I saw Beautiful on the 28th July 2017, a week before closing on the West End. I had seen Cassidy Janson 9 years ago understudying Elphaba in Wicked so was looking forward to seeing her again and I had heard good things about the show.
The set was very clever, moving the piano to quickly change scene worked really well and I liked the fact that it was remotely controlled. There were no flashy projections which I thought was good as some shows can rely too heavily on these.
I saw 2nd cover, David O’Mahony, as Gerry Goffin and he was really convincing. I especially liked the second act where his character was finding it increasingly hard and going through a marriage and mental breakdown. The acting throughout was very believable and his voice was very good too.
On for Cynthia Weil was Georgie Ashford, who I’ve since found out I have seen in about 4 shows. She was really good. The character is quite funny and she really hit the spot with the comic timing and delivery of the lines. I also thought that Ian McIntosh (Barry Mann) was played really convincingly. I loved his portrayal of his hypochondria and his vocals were amazing.
Cassidy Janson (Carole King) was present on the stage almost throughout and some of the quick changes were amazing. Apparently for some of the quick changes she has four dressers off stage helping – this is more than some shows have full stop. Her vocals were clear and pitch-perfect. I also liked her ability to use full range and power – whilst there were some power notes and belts it wasn’t all about this. I personally found the accent took a while to get used to but that is obviously Carole King’s accent.
I’m glad to have seen the show but I have to say it was missing something for me. I thought it was good, easy to follow and watch and clearly the audience were enjoying it but I didn’t ‘feel’ anything. For me it was missing the ensemble numbers and harmonies which I love and I didn’t really feel anything for the characters. However I do think fans of that era of music or Carole King were delivered a really good story of her life and how music was created.