Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-07-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Beautiful, The Carole King Musical
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2017-12-17

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Douglas McGrath ( book ); Jerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ( words & music )

At: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. Tickets: 800-775-2000; BroadwayInChicago.com; $30-$115. Runs through: Jan. 28

The Oriental Theatre is packing in the teenie and tweenie females for Wicked, but it's their grandmothers who are whoopin' and hollerin' two blocks away at the Cadillac Palace with the return of Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, a biography of the artist who has spent an astonishing 60 years in pop music. The audience base for Beautiful clearly has followed King for a lifetime, quite literally.

King's music is far from new, but it remains remarkably fresh, appealing and insouciant. In part, it's because King and her early writing partner, Jerry Goffin, wrote excellent songs with smart lyrics ( mostly Goffin's ) and clever tunes ( King's ) with a hook and sometimes unexpected modulations. Book writer Douglas McGrath has woven a story—King's biography—in which the songs fit more tightly and appropriately than in most any other jukebox musical. As pleasingly familiar as they are, the songs seem to have been written for the specific characters and situations. Beautiful also celebrates rock's pre-Motown era when white producers and songwriters worked closely with early Black crossover artists, many of whom are portrayed in musical cameos. The show knowingly creates nostalgia for that seemingly-more-innocent period in pop culture.

King ( Sarah Bockel ) started early and fast: she was in college and a published songwriter at 16, pregnant and married by 18. Goffin, her golden writing partner, also was her husband for 10 years although he strayed and had substance abuse issues. Beautiful presents King as a trend-setting song stylist with very middle-class, frequently naive ideas about marriage and family—unable to see how Goffin felt personally and creatively confined.

With their break-up, King quite literally found her own voice as a performer and also broke free of her own creative limits. The moment when wise Jewish mama Klein ( the real family name ) tells Carole that she doesn't need a man for validation is the moment the audience shouts and claps its approval. Yeah, it's a woman's story, so I guess it does belong on the same street as Wicked.

It can't be coincidence that the show once again stars someone with Chicago street cred. ( We breed grit as well as talent here. ) Bockel doesn't make Beautiful quite as exciting as the first time around, with Chicago-bred Abbey Mueller ( from a well-known clan of actors ) in the lead, but it's not because Bockel lacks voice or ability; it's the absence of surprise in the show's straight-forward narrative. First-time viewers won't have that issue. Bockels supporting team is solid and charming down the line: hunky Brewer as Goffin, Sarah Goeke and Jacob Heimer as best buds ( and competing song-writers ) Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, James Clow as producer Don Kirshner and Suzanne Grodner as mama Genie Klein.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Milly's Orchid Show Summer Musical Spectacular Extravaganza July 21 2018-07-18 - ( Chicago, IL ) Celebrating it's 30th year the variety show Milly's Orchid Show is thrilled to announce it's "Summer Musical Spectacular"—a one-night-only ...


Gay News

Diesel Tykes album release show July 22 2018-07-18 - The Diesel Tykes are celebrating the release of their full-length album, Songs For The Rainbow Family, by having a live show at Wishbone, ...


Gay News

THEATER South Side native comes home for 'The Color Purple' 2018-07-18 - South Side native Carla R. Stewart looks to Rihanna when summing up Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel "The Color Purple." "It's ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Pamplona 2018-07-18 - Playwright: Jim McGrath At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: GoodmanTheatre.org; 312-443-3800. Runs through: Aug. 19 Stacy Keach tried to ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Topdog/Underdog 2018-07-18 - Playwright: Suzan-Lori Parks At: Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, 927 Noyes St., Evanston. Tickets: $15; Noyes Cultural Center; 847-866-5915. Runs through: July 29 In the ...


Gay News

Critic's Picks 2018-07-18 - Support Group for Men, Goodman Theatre, through July 29. These are confusing times for everyone, but Ellen Fairey doesn't neglect the other half ...


Gay News

SPOTLIGHT Bus Stop 2018-07-18 - In Bus Stop, director Steve Scott takes on William Inge's classic about a bus stranded by a snow storm and the group of ...


Gay News

Ysaguirre named new Court Theatre ED 2018-07-18 - Angel Ysaguirre has been appointed executive director of the University of Chicago's Court Theatre, effective Sept. 4. Ysaguirre will join Marilyn F. Vitale ...


Gay News

Emanuel announces plan to reopen Uptown Theatre 2018-07-18 - Recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Ald. James Cappleman, Jam Productions and Farpoint Development to announce Chicago's Uptown Theatre will be restored and ...


Gay News

'Carnaval of New Latinx Work' July 19-21 2018-07-18 - The Latinx Theatre Commons ( LTC ) is presenting the 2018 LTC Carnaval of New Latinx Work ( Carnaval 2018: ConeXion! )—featuring readings ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.