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"Director Marc Bruni has taken the gift of a smart and economical script and run with it. Amid lightning-quick transitions, this show only decelerates when it wants to. Split-second costume changes (designer Alejo Vietti must be a witch) add to the magic and fun of the evening." Full Review
"The early life and career of legendary singer-songwriter Carole King surely deserves more imaginative treatment than the corny chronological storytelling and old-fashioned musical format of “Beautiful.” But all is forgiven, whenever Jessie Mueller, in the modest person of Carole King, sits down at the piano and pours heart and soul into familiar favorites from the composer’s songbook." Full Review
"Perhaps such material can’t be well directed, but we will never know. What I can say is that Marc Bruni certainly hasn’t improved it. The show is full of clunky transitions, dead space, scenes that peter out until someone mercifully snaps off the lights." Full Review
"McGrath, director Marc Bruni and the appealing performers don’t exactly break that mold by going for complexity. But while keeping things light and breezy, they have populated Beautiful with well-defined characters with relatable human foibles." Full Review
"Before we get to what's wrong with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, let's establish what's so right that it instantly joins the ranks of irresistible jukebox tuners. In other words, it should have a long and healthy run, if, the producers can either convince Jessie Mueller to remain in the title role forever or if they can find replacements as enormously talented as she is." Full Review
"King made magic with her catalogue and it is an unqualified treat to hear her best-known hits performed live...Too bad a great musical isn’t only about the music. The book is crucial, too — and this show’s connect-the-dots story line is so simplistic that the extravagantly talented King’s life emerges as a mundane version of the long-suffering little woman." Full Review
"'Beautiful' takes the early life story – and music – of the legendary singer-songwriter Carole King to create one of the most entertaining Broadway shows in years. All of the necessary elements have come together here, from a surprisingly smart and witty book by Douglas McGrath, smooth direction by Marc Bruni, and the work of a consistently top-notch cast. As a result, audiences leave with a song on their lips, a smile on their face, and even a tingle in their heart." Full Review
"'Beautiful' places more focus on the music than the story and plot, making it not so much a tribute to Carole King’s life as it is a tribute to her large body of work...King’s relationship with Gerry is glossed over and we learn little about what their life is like. This leads to the end of their relationship feeling less dramatic and climactic than it could have been...Anyone who was not a fan of King’s songs before the show will most likely be one by curtain call." Full Review
"Director Marc Bruni and the design team keep things moving at a brisk pace. The show is tightly directed and seamlessly flows from the songwriters to the pop artists that shared their work with the world. The hard-working ensemble takes on these musical icons, and while they look and sound incredibly polished, there is a decidedly “Broadway” sound to their vocal delivery." Full Review
"'Beautiful' lacks the biographical wallop and dramatic intensity of such jukebox musicals as 'Jersey Boys' and the gleeful fun of 'Mamma Mia'... The presentation and performances of these venerable songs is hollow and spotty, like watching a highbrow version of TV’s 'Solid Gold'…Regardless, 'Beautiful' has a guilty-pleasure sense of fun and nostalgia and a few hearty performances, making us overlook the show’s many shortcomings." Full Review
"Watching Beautiful, the new jukebox musical celebrating the remarkable life and work of Carole King, you may not feel the earth move under your feet. But the new Broadway show emerges as a slick and joyous celebration of female empowerment." Full Review
"An entertaining blend of charm, nostalgia, and showmanship. The show’s overall feel and musicality will resonate greatly with a generation of baby boomers...While the book provides a cohesive plot and allows for a firmly developed point-counterpoint between the songwriting teams, the overall results for 'Beautiful' are problematic." Full Review
"Beautiful lives up to its name and then some! The new musical based on the life of and featuring the music of legendary songwriter Carole King is a non-stop hit parade and the perfect example of a jukebox musical done right!" Full Review
"It’s more of a living jukebox filled with Carole King’s works, with minimal context and a cringe-worthy Jewish mother added...The audience is there for the great music and choreography, and the cast does not disappoint...Unfortunately, some of the references will only make sense to AARP card-toting audience members...It’s practically a given that everyone will leave the show humming something from the Carole King catalog." Full Review
“Abby’s opening moment at the piano did lack the spark and charisma of Jessie–but once the actual story began, Abby pulled way ahead with her acting chops. She acted her way through each and every moment. I knew I was going to love the music, but this time I really connected with the character and her struggle. This show is so much more than just a jukebox collection of great songs. There is a wonderful story full of wit and pathos.” Full Review
See it if You like jukebox musicals done the right way, with a compelling story that binds the hit music together.
Don't see it if See it. Fun going in not knowing much and having lots of, "Wow, she wrote that song too" moments.
See it if you love Carole King or if you just want an enjoyable evening of theater. Fun for all ages, probably not for kids.
Don't see it if you are looking for a family-friendly show like Lion King. Even if you don't like Carole King, still amazing.
See it if you enjoy a Broadway spectacle. Fantastic songs and powerful voices tell a sweet and simple story of passion and perseverance
Don't see it if don't enjoy finger-snapping foot-tapping music from the '60s and '70s.
See it if You love Carole King's music or just want to see an uplifting, colorful story that will leave you smiling.
Don't see it if You don't like Carole King or jukebox musicals.
See it if You appreciate the genius of Carole King or just want to see an intelligent musical
Don't see it if You don't like musicals
Also One of the best musicals I've seen this year. It was phenomenal!
See it if you love Carole King or motown, women's stories, jukebox musicals (though this is better because it has a fascinating story), great voices.
Don't see it if you dislike the music of the era, you want a deeply developed story. That said, if you're on the fence, it's definitely a fun matinee show!
See it if you love Carole King, music of that era, jukebox musicals, Jessie Mueller (or her sister Abby), you want to smile
Don't see it if you don't like jukebox musicals, or the music of the era, or don't care for how/why music gets written and made
See it if you love good music & learning about the history of music. You'll know all the songs, but you may not have known Carole King was behind them
Don't see it if You're not into music from the 60s and 70s. You're not into feel-good musicals.