Review: Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical traces the life of one of music’s true living legends.  We expected a journey through Carole’s songbook but was surprised with SO much more as it it delved deep in to her life covering love, tragedy, substance abuse, real struggles, great talent and friendship.

The show began by taking us back to the beginning of Carole’s journey where we saw her as a young school girl peddling her songs in New York.  And it lead us through to her headlining concert debut at Carnegie Hall, playing her own hits from her Grammy Award-winning album Tapestry.

Along the way we were introduced to Carole’s husband and musical partner Gerry Goffin, with whom she became one of the most successful songwriting her time.  We also met their great friends, fellow songwriters and sometime rivals Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann who injected some real fun into the show.

As Carole and Gerry’s marriage deteriorated and ultimately broke down due to his affairs, substance abuse and mental health issues, we saw Carole’s strength and confidence grow to the point at which she took to the stage not just as a songwriter but as the star of the show…something she had never wanted to do before.


This is a beautifully simple yet magnificent show.  It is jam packed with huge musical hits and bits of historical music titbits that surprised us all (like discovering that the singer Little Eva who had a huge hit with Carole and Gerry’s song The Locomotion, was actually their babysitter).

We were really surprised at just how many GREAT songs were written by Carole King and the portrayals of the musical artists who made hits of her songs were fabulous.  Amazing voices and injected sometimes with the humour that comes from seeing just how differently music was performed in the 1960s.

Esther Hannaford who plays Carole is just stunning – her voice was perfect and she played Carole with great sensitivity and style.


All of us who attended just loved this show.  We laughed, danced, sang our hearts out and cried.

Even if you don’t think you know Carole King’s music I urge you to go along…. like us, you’ll be surprised!  And if you DO already know and love her music,,then you know just how great a night you’re in for!  A fabulous night out!

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is currently playing at the Sydney Lyric, The Star, and booking through to December 23.

Author: NBMs

Weekly Newsletter Sign Up