By Iride Aparicio

Photos By: Matthew Murphy

SAN JOSE, CA –  For those people  who love music, this show has music. For those people who like singing, it allows them to hear over twenty songs. And for those people who like dancing, the dancers in the musical are tops. How about its plot?  the CAROLE KING’s musical “Beautiful,” is the story  of  four musicians, who took their experiences in love, suffering,  laughter, sickness, tragedies and triumphs in life, and converted them into  the notes and lyrics of songs that touch our hearts. Presented as a Premiere in San Jose by BROADWAY SAN JOSE, a Nederlander Presentation, at the Center for the Performing Arts,  “BEAUTIFUL” was a hit on its opening night.

Based on the life of  CAROL KLEIN  (who later on changed her last name to KING) “BEAUTIFUL” the musical,  vicariously, walks the audience on the path of “memory line” to the beginning of  KING’s  career  ending at the point in her life where the singer/composer is at the top, and had acquired the maturity to walk the path of fame alone.

Represented by  SARAH BOCKEL,  the story begins in 1971 at Carnegie Hall in New York City, with Carole in concert   singing “So Far Away” When Carole and the Grand piano she is playing  are removed form the stage, quick chances in scenography take us back to  the year 1978  inside an apartment located in Brooklyn, N.Y. Carole,  l6  a Madison High School student. enters her apartment, rushes to the piano and start playing to her mother her new song.  As her mother watches her she  starts singing “It Might as Well Rain Until September  in a warm timbre of voice.

When the song is finished, she asks her mother’s permission to go to DIMENSION RECORDS in Manhattan, to try to peddle her song.  Her mother, who plays classical music, complains about the  rhythm of the song, but watching NEIL SEDAKA (JOHN MICHAEL DIAS) singing “Oh Carol” on television, convinces her to let her daughter go.  

 Carole’s apartment transforms into the inside of the building of DIMENSION RECORDS where we could observe different groups of singers  rehearsing. With an eighteen year old friend,  Carole (BOCKEL) approaches Producer DON  KIRSHNER (JAMES CLOW) sits at the piano, sings her song and she not only sells it to the studio, but gets asked for more songs.

The “girl meets boy” story, begins, on another day at the recording studio when Carole (the girl who composes music) meets Gerry Goffin (MATT FAUCHER) the boy  yearning to be a playwright like his father, who composes lyrics and is a poet.

SARAH BOCKEL as Carole  and MATT FAUCHER as Gerry

Working together, as Lyricist/Composer team and later as husband and wife, they start  the marvelous CAROLE KING/GERRY COFFIN Discography.

The Musical presents their songs being performed by different groups starting with  “The Shirelles “Will you Love Me Tomorrow?” continues  with   “Some Kind of Wonderful"  sang by The Drifters, and "The Locomotion" sang by Little Eva, to name a few.

At the studio, Carole also meets the composer/lyricist team of  of  Cyntia Weil (AASHLEY MORGAN) and Barry Mann (JACOB HEIMER (pictured below)  which in spite of competing constantly with Her and Gerry’s team for a place in the BILLBOARD CHARTS, become her friend for life. 

During the musical we listen to some of their compositions among them  “Who Put the Bump” “He is sure The Boy I Love” Walking in the rain “ and "On Broadway,” Sang by

JACOB HEIMER as Barry Mann & AASHLEY MORGAN as Cynthia Weil

DOUGLAS McGRATH who wrote the book in “BEAUTIFUL” made the dialogue in the musical so natural. that the action on the stage looks realistic at each moment.  Here we need to add that adding to the effect, is the fact that every one of the actors/singers act in character and all sing well.

As Carole, BOCKEL represents the role with naturality and her songs are well enunciated and interpreted with lots of feeling. The dramatic part of  FAUCHER and BOCKELas man and wife is also presented realistically, specially  the part of FAUCHER as a sick man about to brake down, that was never exaggerated.

And because the  over all acting in this Tour company is superb, and the songs, sang by the different actors/singers actually convey the feelings watching BEAUTIFUL is quite an experience for those of us who  have sang Carole’s songs or are familiar with them. The way they are presented, in the musical,  help us  understand their meaning much better.


Based on the real lives of the main characters, It took five years to develop the Jukebox musical with a book by DOUGLAS MCGRATH, and music/lyrics  by GERRY GOFFIN and CAROLE KING and BARRY MANN and CINTHIA WEIL. This  musical has a heart and because of it, is BEAUTIFUL.

BEAUTIFUL will be shown at THE SAN JOSE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 255 S Almaden Blvd. in S.J. until November 19.  For tickets go to you can go online to or order by phone by calling: (800) 982-2787.