“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” On Stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Tony and Grammy Award-winning show based on inspiring true story.

I tend to love most productions I see at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, but THIS is a special one that I really don’t want people to miss. 

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” makes for a perfect date night or outing with musically-inclined teens. My husband and I are huge fans of King’s music, as she is “songwriting royalty,” so we decided to make this show a date night right before Valentine’s Day.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

It was a thrill to hear the hugely talented Devon Perry and the strong ensemble cast bring many of King’s greatest hits (and our favorite songs!) to life on stage, including “One Fine Day,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “Up on the Roof,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Beautiful,” and “Natural Woman.” Perry – who has been inspired by Carole King since she began singing and playing piano as a child – is a dream to watch on stage in this role. I loved the way she captured the essence of King’s unique voice without going too far into imitation or caricature – every note she sang and played on the piano rang with sincerity. The story takes us through King’s early songwriting years and rise to success, incorporating hit songs performed by The Drifters, The Shirelles, and the Righteous Brothers, and culminating with King’s beloved solo album, “Tapestry.”

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Elliot Litherland as Carole’s songwriting partner and first husband Gerry Goffin was a powerful presence, drawing us into the heartbreaking challenges of managing an intense and pressure-filled creative career as a young couple. Devan Mathias brought her signature radiance, humor and vocal strength to the role of Carole’s best friend, composer Cynthia Wyle, who played a key role in my favorite moment of the show: an emotional quartet version of “You’ve Got a Friend.” Jacob Butler and Justin Tepper gave me chills with their flawless sound as the Righteous Brothers, and Bridgette Ludlow, Tiffany Gilliam, Maya Mays and Ebony Deloney were captivating and gorgeous as The Shirelles.

I could go on and on about this incredible cast, the fun choreography (nice work, Kenney Green-Tilford!), and the intriguing back story of a musical legend – but the bottom line is this: “Beautiful” is a joyful ride through Carole King’s musical legacy and personal story, filled with uniquely talented performers who leave you humming her enduring tunes and wishing for more. Go see it while you can!

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” directed by Heather Patterson King, is on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through March 30. Visit beefandboards.com or call 317-872-9664 for ticket information.

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