The national tour of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Beautiful — The Carole King Musical welcomes Julia Knitel (as Carole King) and Erika Olson (as Cynthia Weil) beginning September 13 in San Francisco, CA.
The two artists join a cast that includes Liam Tobin (Gerry Goffin), Ben Fankhauser (Barry Mann), Curt Bouril (Don Kirshner) and Suzanne Grodner (Genie Klein). The company is currently performing at the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco through September 18. Following San Francisco, the production will then move to Las Vegas, NV, for a premiere engagement at the Smith Center September 20-October 2. A current schedule can be found at www.beautifulonbroadway.com/tour.
“Carole King was only 16 years old when she sold her first song, so in that spirit, we’ve cast two wildly gifted young performers as Beautiful's leading ladies for the second year of the tour,” producer Paul Blake said in a recent statement. “Julia Knitel has been the Carole understudy on Broadway for the last year and has proven how brilliant she is every time she’s ‘played the role,’ which is reinforced by the ovation she gets from audiences – I can’t wait for audiences around the country to get to see her in action as ‘Carole.’
“Erika Olson joins the tour as Cynthia Weil, fresh from Carnegie Mellon’s prestigious Theater Program. She’s talented, spunky and great fun—just like the real Cynthia Weil, the great songwriter and best friend of Carole. We welcome both of these talented women to our Beautiful family and I’m sure audiences around the country will be delighted by their performances.”
The ensemble includes Brianna-Marie Bell, Sarah Bockel, Andrew Brewer, Rebecca E. Covington, Josh A. Dawson, John Michael Dias, Sidney DuPont, Matt Faucher, Rosharra Francis, James Michael Lambert, Traci Elaine Lee, Jay McKenzie, Alaina Mills, Paris Nix, Noah J. Ricketts, Ximone Rose, Salisha Thomas and Delaney Westfall.
With a book by Tony and Academy Award nominee Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.
“Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah,” according to production notes. “She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.”
Beautiful—The Carole King Musical opened on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre January 12, 2014, where it continues its record-breaking run. The production won two 2014 Tony Awards as well as the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. A London production opened February 25, 2015, at London’s Aldwych Theater, where it continues its run, and has won two Olivier Awards.
(Updated September 13, 2016)