Photo Exclusive: Before She Was Carole King... Chilina Kennedy's Stage Roles at Stratford and Beyond

Photos   Photo Exclusive: Before She Was Carole King... Chilina Kennedy's Stage Roles at Stratford and Beyond
Canadian actress Chilina Kennedy, who made her Broadway debut as Mary Magdalene in the 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, recently stepped into the central role of Beautiful—The Carole King Musical. We look at her busy career on the Stratfor Festival stage and a few other career highlights up to this point.

"After seeing her excel over the years as the preeminent leading lady of Canada's Stratford Festival, I'm thrilled to welcome Chilina back to Broadway,” director Marc Bruni said in a statement. “She's a unique talent, and I can't wait for the audiences at the Sondheim to experience the warmth, vulnerability, and humility Chilina will bring to the role."

With a book by Tony and Academy Award nominee Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features an array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.

The current Broadway cast of Beautiful includes Scott J. Campbell as Gerry Goffin, Tony Award nominees Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector as Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, Paul Anthony Stewart as Don Kirshner, Tony Award nominee Liz Larsen as Genie Klein, and an ensemble that includes Gisela Adisa, Ashley Blanchet, E. Clayton Cornelious, Joshua Davis, Kevin Duda, James Harkness, Aisha Jackson, Sara King, Rebecca LaChance, Douglas Lyons, Chris Peluso, Gabrielle Reid, Rashidra Scott, Sara Sheperd, Yasmeen Sulieman, Daniel Torres, Melvin Tunstall and Alan Wiggins. "Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah," according to press 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."

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