Carole King is coming to Broadway! Well, not Carole King exactly, but the story of her life in a biographical musical entitled Beautiful: The Carole King Musical which is currently slated to open on Broadway in the spring of 2014.
In the jukebox musical tradition of shows like Jersey Boys, the show will consist of tunes written by King with writing partner and first husband Gerry Goffin as well as songs by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Beautiful will follow King’s life growing up in Brooklyn, her work as a songwriter in the legendary Brill Building, and her personal and creative relationship with Goffin.
This isn’t the first time a Brill Building story has hit the Great White Way: the 1985 Broadway musical Leader of the Pack (a jukebox musical before the term had been coined) told the story of Brooklyn born Brill Building songwriter Ellie Greenwich (“Da Doo Ron Ron,” “River Deep, Mountain High”) and her personal and creative relationship with husband Jeff Barry.
Coming to Broadway seems a natural fit for the music of King, who in a press statement said, “”What’s so great about this for me is that musicals were a major influence on my songwriting. In fact, when Gerry and I first met, we made a bargain that I would write music for the Broadway show he wanted to write if he wrote lyrics for my rock ‘n’ roll songs. The songs took off, and the show idea never came to fruition. Now that our songs have merged with a Broadway show, we’ve come full circle.”
Initially known primarily as a songwriter, King became a major performer as well in the 1970s with the release of her album Tapestry which included such hits as “It’s Too Late,” and “I Feel The Earth Move.” Tapestry has been certified Diamond by the RIAA, for sales in excess of ten million.
Produced by Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Beautiful will have a book by Douglas McGrath who received an Oscar nomination in 1995 for his screenplay for the Woody Allen film Bullets Over Broadway. Casting for the show has yet to be announced. This past month, King received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th GRAMMYs.
Brad Haynes, 1059 SUNNY FM/Orlando