BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL coming to the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre

Published 3:53 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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By Pam Johnson
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is thrilled to present BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, February 23 – March 10. The production showcases one of the most beloved musicians of the 20th century.

“BEAUTIFUL is a musical written to portray the life of Carole King,” said Tiffany Matthews, who plays the iconic singer. “Her songs show her journey from young love to becoming a mother to heartache and loss to finding herself again. It’s not a typical musical; it’s the story of someone’s life.”

Carole King’s music is some of the most recognized of the past six decades. The show includes songs like “So Far Away,” “Natural Woman,” “Locomotion,” and, of course, “Beautiful.”

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“I chose to sing ‘So Far Away’ at auditions,” said Matthews, “because it portrayed Carole’s softer side. She was and is a gentle person. She found her strength not through power but through learning who she was and what made her happy.”

Matthews prepared many months for the audition, and she is honored to play the role.

“I grew up listening to her music, but I didn’t know her story. But as I learned about her journey, I knew I could connect to it. I could pull from my own life experiences. And I had to learn to play the piano. I had a great support group who helped me learn to play.”

Matthews also explained the importance of Carole King’s involvement with the singing groups The Shirelles and The Drifters. “She’s connected with them because they helped open her up to a different world of music. She was just a piano player, and they made her change her focus a bit where she can orchestrate to make different sounds. They were R&B, where she was more folksy sounding, so they were instrumental in helping her write in different styles of music and not stay in a box.”

Audiences will find much to relate to in King’s real-life experiences and down-to-earth style.

“She was a normal person,” Matthews stated. “We often see icons and stars who have this glamorous life, and that’s what we see them as, but Carole King was the total opposite of that. People could identify with her because her life was normal, and she led that life through the songs and stories she told. And that’s what connects people to her music. She’s a storyteller.
Especially, here in Jonesborough – the storytelling capital of the world! What better place to come out and hear someone’s story be told through song?”

BEAUTIFUL is written by Douglas McGrath with music and lyrics by Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. The show is directed by Jennifer Ross-Bernhardt, assistant directed by Becky Edmisten and Joe Gumina, music directed by Charlotte Anderson, choreographed by Brittany Whitson, and stage managed by Mary Wallen. Sponsors are Sonia King, John and Bonita Martin, McLeod Organics, Dan and Pamela Pope, and Joel and Anna VanEaton.

The cast also includes Brenden Christie, Alyssa Curtis, Elizabeth Anne, Becky Edmisten, Bradlee Ferguson, Janette Gaines, Joe Gumina, Jasmine Henderson, Shawn Hale, Michael Hickie, Emush Lamb, Melvin Love, Mandy Mangiacotti, Ralph Martin, Donna Olujani, Andy Rogers, Chad Simpson, Olivia Smith, Catherine Squibb, Sharon Squibb, Corey Tickles, Douglas Webb, and Hannah Grace Wilcox.

Tickets are $18 general admission, $16 for students and seniors. There is also a special group rate for parties of 15 or more. To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423-753-1010 or go online to