As first reported by Playbill.com, Carole King, who watched the show from the audience, took the stage following the evening performance, surprising much of the cast. She also performed her hit "You've Got a Friend" along with the company in front of a delighted audience.
King had previously declined to attend the musical, which chronicles her rise to stardom and the recording of her album "Tapestry," due to the personal and sometimes painful nature of the show.
The music legend issued the following statement after seeing the production: "It was an honor to see Beautiful for the first time last night," King said. "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."
Watch King's appearance below: