By Neil Smith
King was joined on stage by husband-and-wife songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (left)
US singer-songwriter Carole King called a tribute musical about her early life “a wonderful gift” as the Tony-winning show made its West End debut in London.
King took to the stage to thank the “spectacular” cast of Beautiful before singing hit song You’ve Got a Friend.
Before the show, the 73-year-old told BBC News she was “so excited” to see the London company’s efforts.
Singer Petula Clark and record producer Mark Ronson were among the first night audience at the Aldwych theatre.
The former received a round of applause when her name was mentioned during the show, which tells of King’s formative days as a songwriter and her gradual emergence as a solo artist.
As well as You’ve Got a Friend, the show features such timeless King classics as I Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away and Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
There are also performances of other songs from the 1950s and ’60s, among them Oh! Carol – a song written and performed by Neil Sedaka, King’s former boyfriend.
According to the show’s American writer, Douglas McGrath, Beautiful is “about a girl who works hard, achieves her professional dreams and has her heart broken by the boy she loves.
“She thinks it’s all over, but then finds something more beautiful in her life than she realised was there before.”
London-born actress Katie Brayben (right) plays King in the show
Beautiful opened on Broadway in January 2014 and went on to win two Tony awards, one of them for its lead actress Jessie Mueller.
Katie Brayben, from Lewisham in south-east London, plays King in the London production, having previously appeared in the Almeida theatre’s stagings of …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment