All the other real-life characters portrayed in the jukebox musical “Beautiful: the Carole King Musical” – Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Gerry Goffin – turned up for the Broadway opening in January, except for Carole King, whose absence was strongly felt that evening, both at the theater and at the after party.
Word got around that she would not see the musical because she felt she didn’t want to relive that period of her life. So the cast told me at the opening they never expected to see her at any of the performances although they felt she was with them in spirit.
King never endorsed the show, which has twice broken box office records at the Sondheim Theater, even though her daughter, Sherry Kondor is an executive producer of “Beautiful.”
Last night, King finally showed up and made a surprise appearance at the show. Well it couldn’t have been such a surprise since photographers shot off these images of King on stage with star Jessie Muller and the rest of the cast.
Carole King said in a statement released by the publicist that, “It was an honor to see ‘Beautiful’ for the first time last night. And I was thrilled to help the cast raise a fast $30,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Jessie Mueller and company are fantastic, and it was so joyous to be there. I couldn’t be more proud.”