Theater review: ‘Carole King Musical’ better than beautiful at Shubert

If I were a musical revue, I think I’d want to be a jukebox musical. Consider such long-lived shows such as “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story,” “Jersey Boys” and “Mama Mia.” Because they have proven brand name appeal and resonate with older theatergoers flush with disposable income, these shows never seem to fade away (sorry, Buddy). “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical,” which continues through Sunday at The Shubert Theatre in New Haven, certainly knows how to please its audience. The revue is cute, fast-paced and features popular songs from its subject’s vast catalogue, mostly all written with her first husband, Gerry Goffin. Douglas McGrath’s libretto, which covers King’s career right up to the release of her 1971 watershed singer-songwriter album, “Tapestry,” mixes the correct Turkish blend of historical accuracy, humor and pathos to the show. Best of all, it sets up those wonderful songs: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Up On The Roof,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and on and on it goes. Similar to “Leader of the Pack,” a 1985 jukebox salute to Brill Building songwriter Ellie Greenwich, the subject’s husband supplies not only the lyrics but also the love story and, as the marriage sours, the […]

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