The friendly rivalry between King and her husband-and-writing-partner-for-most-of-the-show Gerry Goffin, and Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, provided an enjoyable way to structure the show. I loved that the performances of the songs came about because they were writing them. It was never “Let’s break out into song here to express our feelings” it was “Listen I just wrote this song want to hear it?” The realism is a good way to win over musical theater haters, not that I care about such weirdos.
Mueller really is just perfect, as perfect as anyone besides the real-life figure could be in a role. She is heartbreaking and relatable, and it’s a special performance to witness. What she is doing with her voice, an homage more than an imitation of king, is so impressive. I asked her if it was hard and more importantly if it hurt, because doing a different voice for that many hours a week can’t be healthy. But she seemed fine and I'm sure is being coached well. She is the newest star of this generation and I am thrilled for her. She breaks your heart and then together you’re healed through the powerful music.
Even if you are a King fan, you will be surprised by just how prolific a songwriter she was before she started singing her own tales. Not only did she write “One Fine Day”, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, “Some Kind Of Wonderful”, “Up On The Roof”, “Take Good Care of My Baby”, but she also freaking wrote “The Loco-Motion”! Can you even believe that? And then of course you get a smattering of King’s more personal work that she sang herself: “Natural Woman”, “Too Late”, “I Feel the Earth Move”, “Beautiful”, &c. Damn she is brilliant. I can’t wait to see this show again.
So, because of the very familiar music, and because so many adults grew up with this music, “Beautiful” is the kind of show that brings hundreds of middle-aged ladies out for ‘girls night’. If you can stand these perhaps slightly tipsy women pretty much announcing “OH I LOVE THIS SONG!” and “OH THIS IS SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL!’ when they hear the beginnings of each piece, then you’ll be fine. If, like me, the mere thought of this lack of decorum makes your blood run cold as if you were watching a Spice Girls musical, you should probably have a drink first. But you should absolutely still see the show. Here's a sneak to enjoy while Telecharge.com loads.