Saturday 4th November 2017, and I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for two more performances of the excellent Carole King Musical ‘Beautiful’. Today is another milestone for me as the matinee will be my 400th performance of a show in all theatres since December 2012 (for the record I’ve seen 148 single shows in that time). So a little bit of a celebration today, I might treat myself to a glass of Lemonade in the bar before the show.
For today’s musical extravaganza we have Bronte Barbe (who I last saw playing Princess Fiona in the touring production of Shrek, she was also brilliant in that as well) playing Carole. It’s brilliant that I’ve now had the chance to watch Leigh and Bronte play this role, and may I say how magnificent they both are, so impressive. Also in the show I have the chance to see the brilliant Amy Ellen Richardson as Cynthia Weil, who I last saw playing Kathy Seldon in Singin in the rain when it toured a few years ago, she was amazing then and is just made for this role at this time.
The music Carole and Gerry wrote was just phenomenal, along with Cynthia and Barry the two couples were trying to outdo each other for hit records for others to sing. The show revolves around them, until ‘Tapestry’, an album she wrote and sung all her own songs. ‘It’s too late’ just happens to be one of my all time favourite pieces of music, with the girls on stage singing it beautifully, so good it brought tears to my eyes, listening to them belt out this superb number.
I love the way the ensemble play all the top bands of the era and just how amazingly good they all are, of course the songs are legendary and will probably be played for a lot more years to come. I also love the end and the way Bronte and Leigh immortalise the songs I myself love from Carole’s repertoire. Again there were tears for It’s too late, You’ve got a friend and Natural Woman, which were performed brilliantly.
There are times when I wished I could have booked the week off work and came to watch all of the shows, this fabulous musical would have been in that bracket. It’s just brilliant. My life has been so enriched watching these superb shows, long may it continue.