Short and Sweet guest critic Susan DeBouver shares her perspective on Beautiful: The Carol King Musical with Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago
Jan 7, 2016 12:07 PM -
The opening night performance of Beautiful at the Oriental Theatre was full of heart, thanks to an honest and sincere performance by Abby Mueller as Carole King. Imagine how challenging it would it be to play a role that your sister originated and won the Tony for on Broadway? That's what she does in this production. Abby Mueller plays the part with a perfect, understated control that depicts a singer-songwriter who started her career more comfortable behind the scenes than on stage. King and her college sweetheart develop a relationship that is bound by their song-writing power and is challenged by her husband's depression and infidelity. Ben Fankhauser and Becky Gulsvig play their best friends, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. This dynamic, funny and powerful songwriting couple is challenged only by their fear of commitment to each other. They are the perfect sidekick comedy duo and inject hysterical laugh-out-loud comedy and energy into every scene they step in.