• John Murray

A Beautiful Musical

Back in the day when the singer songwriter genre was becoming big business with Paul Simon, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and others many music lovers and students turned to the Tapestry album from Carole King. In the days of LP artworks here was hippy Carole with curls in her hair, flared denims and tortoise shell cat sitting by the window in Laurel Canyon. This was a new beginning for many of us, Carole included as she moved away from the stress of NYC only to find acclaim and Grammy Awards as a solo artist.

Beautiful The Carole King Musical now touring the UK reflects on all of this, but the full story is far more revealing. So how can you condense a lifetime musical career in just over two hours? Especially as the writing career focusses so much on the parallel careers of Cynthia Weill (Seren Sandham-Davies) and Barry Mann played by Jos Slovick. Well, we get a fabulous hits medley which sets the scene like the Dreamboats musicals but in four minutes flat. There is no mention of the support or exposure James Taylor gave her on moving to LA especially as it was his version of You’ve Got A Friend that charted globally. Instead, we get cameos from The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Chiffons, The Cookies and a show stopping Little Eva performing The Locomotion on roller skates. The Righteous Brothers are announced too with the Weill/Mann hit You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling and revealing why Barry Mann was never a recording artist.

Molly-Grace Cutler is a very likeable Carole King with a similar vocal range and very believable persona relating to her partner then husband Gerry Goffin played by a convincing Tom Milner. The music all played live on stage by the cast is amazing and the massive timeless hits are well represented like Will You Love Me Tomorrow, On Broadway, Pleasant Valley Sunday, It’s Too late, One Fine Day and a big finale with I Feel The Earth Move.

Festival Theatre Edinburgh till April 9th Tickets HERE

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