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Omaha Magazine

Review: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical

Sep 15, 2023 01:14PM ● By Tamsen Butler

Photo by Omaha Community Playhouse.

Carole King is a singer-songwriter-musician who shattered glass ceilings and helped pen many of the songs that people still hum along to more than 60 years later since their release. This musical at the Omaha Community Playhouse gives audience members a glimpse into her restrained, yet reluctantly chaotic, life.

The stage is masterfully designed, initially sparse except for a piano and sheet music background, but a revolving stage keeps the show moving at a quick pace from one scene to another. 

The cast dazzled in this entertaining production. Under the skilled musical direction of Jim Boggess, Ginger Johnson presented a believable portrayal of living legend Carole King and delivered vocals and mannerisms that mirrored King. It’s obvious much care was taken when developing her rendition of King, and it paid off in a good performance. Her delivery of the “One Fine Day” reprise stunned the audience with its powerful emotion. 

The entire cast nimbly guided the audience members along from scene to scene. They all seemed to enjoy themselves, and in turn, the audience similarly enjoyed themselves, too. 

Tyler Marshall stood out in his scenes as a member of The Drifters with his powerful voice and stage presence, as did Monica Weber as Lucille/Shirelle. Scott Van Den Top as Neil Sedaka had a stage presence that repeatedly brought a burst of energy onto the stage. James Verderamo as Gerry Goffin did a fantastic job of keeping character when the audience unexpectedly (but understandably) booed his character at a scene entrance.

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” runs Sep 15 – Oct 15 on the Hawks Mainstage. The performance is around two hours long and features a 15-minute intermission between the two acts. Caution: You will leave this show humming songs.

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