I got tickets to see Beautiful as a surprise treat for my mum’s birthday, I knew she really wanted to see it and I had heard great things about it. Although I’m definitely not a fan of jukebox musicals that does definitely not extend to Beautiful for me, I was completely blown away from the get-go.
The plot follows the life of Carole King and her lyricist husband Gerry Goffin as they start their careers together, with rival friends Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil also making competitive appearances, which adds a nice comedic tone to the action. From the start of the performance I had a massive grin on my face, hearing the well known classics performed live with snappy and interesting choreography is enough to make anyone smile!
Cassidy Janson as the leading lady shows diversity in her character as she brings a definite innocence to the young starlet at the beginning of the show. But as the show progresses through King’s musical timeline, she becomes decidedly more mature and firmer in her character. Cassidy Janson is a breath of fresh air as she sings the score with ease, from the initial “It Might as Well Rain Until September” where King attempts to prove her talent, to the emotional performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. I saw understudy David O’Mahony as turbulent Gerry Goffin, who gave a stirring performance as the character. Lorna Want and Ian McIntosh as Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann respectively, had great chemistry and brought an extra comedic dynamic to the plot. Although the production features a great supporting cast, it really is Cassidy Janson who steals and makes the show.
The choreography was a definite highlight for me, with quick costume changes which had the audience gasping, as well as precise and sharp movements from the musical performances which were very effective for the time period. The nostalgia from the show is real with the audience foot-tapping every number; Beautiful is very enjoyable and will certainly leave you humming all the tunes with a smile on your face.