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Cast announced for Australian production of ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’

'Beautiful The Carole King Musical', with Chilina Kennedy as Carole King in the Broadway cast. Photo by Joan Marcus.
'Beautiful The Carole King Musical', with Chilina Kennedy as Carole King in the Broadway cast. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The full cast has been announced for the Australian production of Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which opens at a newly refurbished Sydney Lyric Theatre on 17 September 2017. The cast will be led by Esther Hannaford, who will play the legendary Carole King.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical charts the true story of King’s journey from teenage songwriter to international superstar, including her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin and their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

The Broadway cast of 'Beautiful The Carole King Musical'. Photo by Zachary Maxwell Sterz.

The Broadway cast of ‘Beautiful The Carole King Musical’. Photo by Zachary Maxwell Sterz.

Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with extraordinary talent. She sold her first hit, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, at just 17. By the time she was 20, she was writing number ones for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, including The Drifters, The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin and The Monkees. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her own voice and step into the spotlight, becoming the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century, with music that would become the soundtrack of a generation.

Joining Hannaford as ‘Carole King’ are Green Room Award winner Josh Piterman as ‘Gerry Goffin’, accomplished musical theatre star Amy Lehpamer as ‘Cynthia Weil’, singer-songwriter and The Voice favourite Mat Verevis as ‘Barry Mann’, along with with stage veterans Mike McLeish as ‘Don Kirshner’ and Anne Wood as King’s mother, ‘Genie Klein’.

The cast also includes Jason Arrow, Stefanie Caccamo, Doron Chester, Barry Conrad, Andrew Cook, Marcus Corowa, Julia Dray, Akina Edmonds, Nana Matapule, Cameron MacDonald, Lorinda Merrypor, Joseph Naim, Ruvarashe Ngwenya, Naomi Price, Rebecca Selley, Sean Sinclair, Angelina Thomson and Chloé Zuel.

The Shirelles in the Broadway cast of 'Beautiful The Carole King Musical'. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Shirelles in the Broadway cast of ‘Beautiful The Carole King Musical’. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Of the Australian cast, Director Marc Bruni says, “In the three years since we opened on Broadway, we’ve taken Beautiful to London and toured across the U.S., finding some remarkable performers to bring this story to life. We’re proud to grow our family with this phenomenal Australian company – superb actors with exceptional voices who really did make the earth move under our feet in the audition room!”

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical features a book by Tony and Academy Award-nominee Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, choreography by Josh Prince and a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.

Hits include “You’ve Got a Friend”, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, “It’s Too Late”, “Locomotion”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Feel the Earth Move”, along with chartbusting Mann/Weil tunes such as “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, “On Broadway” and “Uptown”.

The Broadway cast of 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical'. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Broadway cast of ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall says the Tony Award-winning Broadway production was another major coup for Sydney. “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is a significant drawcard for visitors to NSW, with about 60,000 overnight visitors expected to travel to Sydney, generating approximately $26 million for the local economy,” he explains. “Securing the Australian premiere of Beautiful further cements Sydney as Australia’s home of musical theatre, and we look forward to welcoming the remarkable cast to the newly refurbished Sydney Lyric Theatre.”

Beautiful opened on Broadway in January 2014, at the Stephen Sondheim Theater, where it won two Tony Awards and the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The Broadway production has broken every box office record at the theatre, recently becoming the highest grossing show in the venue’s history. The London production opened in February 2015, winning two Olivier Awards, and the U.S. touring production is currently wowing audiences throughout the country.

New seats will be released on Monday 8 May, with the musical extended until 12 November. Tickets are available from beautifulmusical.com.au.

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