The First New Musical of The Season to Recoup
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has made back its entire $13 million capitalization in less than 10 months. Since it began previews on November 21, 2013, the show has been selling very well at the box office, and its laudatory reviews after its opening on January 12, 2014 solidified its place at the top of the box office charts. The musical recounts the life and career of singer songwriter Carole King, using her own songs as well as a book by Douglas McGrath to tell the tale. The role of Carole King is played by Jessie Mueller (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Nice Work If You Can Get It), who has recently taken her place among the top performing Broadway stars of the present day. The musical was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards, winning two: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Jessie Mueller, and Best Sound Design of a Musical by Brian Ronan. The other nominations were for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Jarrod Spector, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Anika Larsen, and Best Orchestrations for Steve Sidwell.
Increasingly Impressive Box Office
The show has down even better as the months have gone on. Once the Tony Award nominations were announced, and Beautiful was in the running for Best Musical, the audience seemed to have perked up. Whereas the first few months showed grosses in in the $800,000 to $900,000 zone, the show crossed the million dollar mark in the week ending April 20, 2014, and it has never gone back. The highest gross it has achieved thus far wad during the week ending August 10, 2014, when it grossed an impressive $1,325,505, which represented 103.20% of its gross potential. In this most recent week ending September 14, 2014, the show grossed almost as much – $1,300,961 – which is 101.29% of its gross potential. Playing in the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with 8,208 seats, the show has consistently managed to fill up almost them all, with relatively few discounts. This is testament to the brilliant performance of Jessie Mueller, the successful spread of word of mouth, but perhaps most importantly the incredible career and still beloved status of Carole King in the mindset of Americans.
A London Run and a U.S. Tour
In early 2015, Beautiful will begin performances in London’s West End at the Aldwych Theatre. Performances will begin on February 10, 2015, and the official opening night will be February 25, 2015. After that, the U.S. Tour will launch in Providence, Rhode Island at the Providence Performing Arts Center beginning September 15, 2015. Other cities already announced include Chicago, Los Angeles, Durham, and Charlotte. It is not yet determined whether Jessie Mueller will follow the production to either London or on tour or both, but chances are that she will definitely go with one if not both of the opportunities. She was quoted as saying she’d happily hop over the pond for a little while, if given the chance. Similarly, the word has spread that she may also headline the tour.