“Beautiful” Recoups Its Capitalization

The First New Musical of The Season to Recoup

Beautiful Broadway ShowBeautiful: 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 wasBeautiful — The Carole King Musical Stephen Sondheim Theatre  Cast List: Jessie Mueller Jake Epstein Anika Larsen Jarrod Spector Jeb Brown Liz Larsen Ashley Blanchet E. Clayton Cornelious Joshua Davis Alysha Deslorieux Kevin Duda Carly Hughes Sara King Rebecca LaChance Douglas Lyons Chris Peluso Gabrielle Reid Arbender Robinson Rashidra Scott Sara Shepard Antoine L. Smith Melvin Tunstall  Production Credits: Marc Bruni (Direction) Josh Prince (Choreography) Derek McLane (Scenic Design) Alejo Vietti (Costume Design)  Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design)  Brian Ronan (Sound Design)  Steve Sidwell (Orchestrations and Music Arrangements)  Jason Howland (Music Supervision)  John Miller (Music Coordination)  Other Credits: Lyrics by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil Music by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil Book by: Douglas McGrath 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.

Carole King Musical Eyes Broadway in 2014

Carole King

Carole King

The new musical Beautiful, which celebrates the music of Grammy-winning artist Carole King, is planning for a Spring 2014 debut on Broadway. The show is expected to play a try-out engagement in another city this autumn before coming to Broadway.

A director has not yet been announced for the project, but the musical will have a book written by Douglas McGrath, a well-known writer in Hollywood who wrote the script for the Woody Allen film Bullets Over Broadway (also coming to Broadway in musical form soon) and the Jane Austen adaptation Emma.

Beautiful tells the true story of Carol Klein, the spunky Brooklyn girl who worked her way into the music biz as a teen and eventually became iconic pop songwriter and musician Carole King. The musical showcases hit songs that King penned along with songwriters like Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Gerry Goffin.

“What’s so great about this for me is that musicals were a major influence on my songwriting,” said Carole King in a statement. “In fact, when Gerry and I first met, we made a bargain that I would write music for the Broadway show he wanted to write if he wrote lyrics for my rock ‘n roll songs. The songs took off, and the show idea never came to fruition. Now that our songs have merged with a Broadway show, we’ve come full circle.”