What’s not easy is singing as Carole King when you aren’t Carole King. The audience doesn’t want an impersonation that reminds them they can just listen to Tapestry later at home, but they want the actress to still sound like Carole. The actress thus needs to evoke her but not imitate, and has to bring something unique to the performance and elevate it above mere copying. Jessie Mueller did this on Broadway perfectly, and (I begrudgingly admit (just because Kelli O’Hara when is it your turn)) deserved her Tony.
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