The musical Carole King pulsed onto the stage of the Grand Theater in a tide of musical delight that drew packed audiences.
Four years after the show that wowed Broadway and the West End was on Church Street at the Opera House, this traveling production that originated at Leicester’s Curve Theater has reveled on the smallest stage with a dazzling array of nonstop success of Carole’s pens, writing partner and first husband Gerry Goffin and rivals and friends Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
The glorious catalog of songs stretches back to the 60s and 70s, but it’s a spectacle not just for those of us who remember the era, but a feel-good experience from the first minute to the last. in which all generations can revel.
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Beginning with Carole playing at Carnegie Hall and looking back on her debut before culminating in a jaw-dropping climax at the legendary New York hall, it features soulful performances of song after song you probably didn’t know you knew, from It Might As Well Rain to September, through Up On The Roof, Pleasant Valley Sunday and Carole’s later solo hits such as It’s Too Late and the show’s title song.
Molly-Grace Cutler is excellent throughout Carole, with her distinctive singing voice to a tee while Tom Milner, last in Blackpool as the memorable Jimmy in American Idiot at the Opera three years ago, is in high form as Gerry and Seren Sandham -Davies and Jos Slovick shine as Cynthia and Barry.
Performers who made hits of early Goffin and King songs such as The Shirelles, The Drifters and the couple’s babysitter Little Eva are colorfully and expertly performed by a very talented cast, with the music performed live on stage by a band in which even the main cast members show off their instrumental skills, not just when they’re center stage.
It’s a moving show that’s a real stunner for The Grand and a deserved highlight of its fall season.
Guaranteed to leave audiences smiling all the way home, it runs until Saturday evening at 7.30pm, with matinees on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.