‘Beautiful’ At Tuacahn Is A Fun Stroll Down Memory Lane
Sitting in the Beautiful Hafen Indoor Theater last weekend, my wife and I enjoyed the bio-play as put on by the theater troupe there in the presentation of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."
Admittedly, a lot of stuff during the play was unbelievable. Really, she sold her first song at the age of 16? She skipped two grades of high school? She wrote 118 pop hit songs for groups like the Drifters, the Shirelles and the Righteous Brothers?
Well, here's the thing. All of that REALLY DID happen.
King (born Carol Joan Klein) was an ultra-talented songwriter who seemed to have the magic touch at knowing what the public wanted to hear and used her skill as a writer and ability of absolute pitch (she could name a note just by hearing it once) to become a star.
Later in her career, she even recorded some of her own songs and had a critically acclaimed and commercially successful hit album called "Tapestry."
To realize the genius of King makes the play more enjoyable. The Tuacahn show featured appearances by actors doing impressive versions of Bobby Vee ("Take Good Care of My Baby"), the Drifters ("Up On the Roof" and "On Broadway"), the Shirelles ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"), Little Eva (Loco-Motion) and the Righteous Brothers ("You've Lost That Loving Feeling").
The acting was good (my favorite was James Clow, who played Don Kirshner, the man who gave King her first big break with Dimension Records). I also thought Taylor Aronson was exceptional as songwriter and King's close friend Cynthia Weil.
"Beautiful" will take you through a fun run through the 1960s and 1970s pop scene (or introduce you to some amazing music from that era if you're a bit younger).
The play runs through Aug. 19 at Tuacahn and is inside the air conditioned Hafen Theater. It's there almost every night and even features two shows on Saturdays (a matinee at 2 p.m.). For the full calendar, click here.