Elena Ricardo as Carole King in "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical" at North Shore Music Theatre thru June 18, 2023. Photo @ Paul Lyden

Review: 'Beautiful - The Carole King Musical' Scores at North Shore Music Theatre

Steve Duffy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

During the early 1960s, there wasn't a more prolific songwriting team than Carole King and Gerry Goffin. When King was 17, the pair wrote their first hit, "Will You Still Love You Tomorrow" that heralded a career that has stretched six decades. Recently she released a CD of a 50-year old concert she did in Central Park. will be playing her in the film version of "Beautiful – The Carole King Musical" that is to be directed by Academy Award-nominee Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right").

The jukebox musical, which recounts King's early career, premiered in on Broadway in 2014 and ran for 2,418 performances. It won a Tony for its leading actress Jessie Mueller. In the current production at the North Shore Music Theatre, Elena Ricardo is outstanding as King and is well supported by Jake Bentley Young as Gerry Goffin. Young perfectly captures Goffin's tormented soul and frustrations. Each have amazing stage presence and vocals that are fitting for each of their performances.

Jessica Rush is a confident Cynthia, who knows what she wants, and Jack Cahill-Lemme is great as the hypochondriacal Barry Mann (who also delivers many of the show's best laughs).

Numbers featuring the ensemble playing classic artists as The Drifters, The Shirelles and Little Eva are all standouts. "The Locomotion" is my favorite number of the show.

What makes this musical so good is the music. The songs are well-chosen, matching the events and setting the mood for the story. "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "Take Good Care of My baby," "Up on the Roof," and "The Locomotion" are just many of the songs that will have you dancing in your seat.

"Beautiful" is a show for those who love or lived through the music of the 1960s and early '70s. It is a celebration of the sounds of Carole King, and I promise you won't be disappointed.

"Beautiful – The Carole King Musical" continues through June 18 at the North Shore Music Theatre, 54 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915. For more information, visit the North Shore Music Theatre website.

by Steve Duffy

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