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  Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at Ford Oriental Theatre

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Ford Oriental Theatre
24 W. Randolph Chicago

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Dec 5, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017


Show Times TBA

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

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  Beautiful - The Carole King Musical Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Abby Mueller is doing the best work I've ever seen her do, and I've watched her perform for years. She really does embody King, especially in the crucial middle sections of the show, and many of her vocal interpretations feel right on. Most crucially, she is very warm and empathetic and, like her sister, authentically embracing of King's insecurities and early lack of self-confidence."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...In a very real sense, this is the story of how King rediscovered the buoyant artistic confidence she possessed as a teenage prodigy, and realized she could triumph on her own. And those moments are winningly theatricalized in the show’s climactic scenes as King, who had long preferred to write songs performed by others, is cajoled into singing “It’s Too Late” at the intimate Bitter End in Greenwich Village, and finally, after winning a Grammy Award for “Tapestry,” her transformational 1971 album, triumphing at Carnegie Hall as a late-blossoming flower child soon to turn 30."
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Hedy Weiss


Chicago Reader - Recommended

"..."Beautiful" isn't really the word to describe this jukebox musical covering the early career of Carole King, from her precocious start, grinding out hits for pop impresario Don Kirshner, to her apotheosis as the boom-generation madonna of the Tapestry album. "Sweet" seems more apt. "Fun." And most particularly, "comfortable.""
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Tony Adler


Gapers Block - Recommended

"...Broadway in Chicago's production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is playing at the Oriental Theatre through February 21. The Tony Award winning musical written by Douglas McGrath features the greatest hits of King's songwriting and performing career from "Some Kind of Wonderful," and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," to "You've Got a Friend" and "Natural Woman." Director Marc Bruni's production is almost worth attending for the songlist alone."
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Emma Terhaar


Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...McGrath and director Marc Bruni mostly avoid the pitfalls of similar shows-the macho bluster of Jersey Boys, the masturbatory self-congratulation of Motown the Musical-in their portrait of King's troubled marriage to and eventual divorce from songwriting partner Gerry Goffin (Liam Tobin), with friendly-rival team Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (Becky Gulsvig, Ben Fankhauser) on hand as supporting characters."
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Kris Vire


ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...Growing up in the early 1970's entering high school, I started putting together my music collection. One of the earliest records I purchased was the Carole King "Tapestry" album and cassette. I was mesmerized by her songs and the sound of her voice. I remember the songs Tapestry, Smack Water Jack, You've got a Friend, So Far Away, I Feel the Earth Move, It's Too Late, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Where you Lead, You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman and Beautiful. During that time, I realized that Carole King wrote all of the songs on the album as well as performed them. However, at my young age, I was unaware of her many years of experience as a songwriter for the hottest singers during the late 1950's and 1960's. "Beautiful" The Carole King Musical fills in that gap."
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Russell Goeltenbodt


Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended

"...Beautiful is at its heart a simple story about a woman learning to grow her wings. The transformation on stage appears genuine and the music will leave you humming for weeks. In the end the play more than lives up to its name."
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Noel Schecter


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...Beautiful the Carole King Musical is indeed a slick masterfully produced jukebox bio-musical with fine lighting (by Peter Kaczorowski) with a dazzling set design (by Derek McLane) upon wonderful sound design (by Brian Ronan) featuring period-perfect costumes (by Alejo Vietti) with a strong supporting cast of singer/dancers making this National Tour a worthy night at the theatre!"
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Tom Williams


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The title of the newest show to play the Oriental Theatre describes the production itself, from start to finish-"Beautiful". Yes there is something more to add-" The Carole King Musical". This is the first National Tour of this amazing biography that took Broadway by storm depicting the amazing story of the amazing, and very talented, Carole king (aka Carole Klein), a Jewish girl from Brooklyn whose music is magic to our ears and our hearts. To make this sterling production even stronger for Chicago audiences is knowing that the actress who brings this character to life is Abby Mueller, a local talent, and who is replacing the Tony Award winning Jessie Mueller (her little sister), in the title role."
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Alan Bresloff


NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...What do the songs "The Locomotion," "Take Good Care of My Baby" and "It's Too Late" all have in common? Aside from being number-one hits, they were all penned by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Carole King. The first two-along with a slew of others-were co-written with King's ex-husband Gerry Goffin. However, King is a legend in her own right and "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," directed by Marc Bruni with musical direction by Susan Draus, explores why."
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Mary Kroeck


Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This is one joyous, magical musical, from start to finish. No one will leave the theatre wishing for more because it’s all there on the stage. Unlike some other plays, this is a production that can truly boast the name, Broadway in Chicago, starring the very best actor/singer/dancers, featuring gorgeous, beloved songs from the past and creating a deserved tribute to one of America’s finest musical artists. This highly recommended musical is quite simply, “Some Kind of Wonderful!”"
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Colin Douglas


Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"..."Beautiful" won't disappoint patrons happy to luxuriate in Abby Mueller's star performance and the music of Carole King., Other will wish that the production found a narrative style that set s the show apart from the typical "and then she wrote" manner loosely buttressed by a thin storyline. King in real life is a very private person who never courted the flashy rock style life. Lady Gaga she isn't. Short of fictionalizing the biography to artificially create some dramatic fireworks, the audience is left with a modest story of a gifted and agreeable woman who survived a disruptive marriage and endured. King's music is her monument and the Mueller sisters are her wonderful interpreters."
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Dan Zeff


The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...I loved BEAUTIFUL The Carole King Musical. It's an inspirational tale of reinvention. But be warned since seeing the show, I can't stop singing to Carole King's "Tapestry" album on YouTube. (I'm certain my neighbors don't think my singing is beautiful.) Still, Mueller and the entire cast do sing BEAUTIFUL. Buy a ticket before "It's too late, baby now it's too late. Though we really did try to make it.""
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Katy Walsh


Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended

"...This is truly a beautiful biographical piece. Its magnificent storytelling success is credited first to hometown star Mueller, who transubstantiates into rather than merely portrays the songwriting legend King in her early creative years. Of course book writer Douglas McGrath deserves a nod as well."
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Barry Reszel


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