Jessie Mueller to Star in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Arriving on Broadway in November
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award nominee Jessie Mueller will portray Grammy Award-winning musician Carole King in the new musical Beautiful, which will now premiere on Broadway this November following a late summer engagement in San Francisco.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, based on King's life and music, will premiere Sept. 24-Oct. 20 at San Francisco's Curran Theatre and will now begin Broadway previews Nov. 21 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre towards a Jan. 12, 2014, opening night.
The musical, which has a score comprising songs King penned with her Brill Building collaborators Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, was originally slated to premiere on Broadway in spring 2014.
A representative for the production stated that Mueller is currently taking piano lessons to play King, who wrote numerous piano-driven hits including "I Feel the Earth Move," "Natural Woman," "Up on the Roof," "You've Got a Friend" and more.
Mueller made her Broadway debut opposite Harry Connick, Jr. in the 2011 revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She has also appeared in the Broadway productions of Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Mystery of Edwin Drood as well as Carousel with the New York Philharmonic and Into the Woods for Shakespeare in the Park.
Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing are producing the musical that features a book by Academy Award nominee Douglas McGrath, who collaborated with Woody Allen on the screenplay for "Bullets Over Broadway." He also penned "Infamous" and "Emma."
Marc Bruni (Pipe Dream, Ordinary Days, Old Jews Telling Jokes) will stage the production that will have choreography by Josh Prince and musical direction by Jason Howland.
Additional casting will be announced at a later time.
"What's so great about this for me is that musicals were a major influence on my songwriting. In fact, when Gerry and I first met, we made a bargain that I would write music for the Broadway show he wanted to write if he wrote lyrics for my rock 'n roll songs. The songs took off, and the show idea never came to fruition. Now that our songs have merged with a Broadway show, we've come full circle," King said in a previous statement.
Here's how the creators bill the musical: "Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. 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."
Tickets for the San Francisco engagement go on sale Aug. 16. A pre-sale for the Broadway production begins Aug. 26 for Citi Cardmembers.
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