Life of Carole King comes alive at the Dr. Phillips Center

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I have a woeful confession to make … I have never been to an actual live Broadway production.  I’ve only been able to experience my love for musicals second-hand, with recorded versions or the soundtracks, and the occasional school performance.  Last night, every single one of my broadway dreams came true when I was blessed with the opportunity to see Beautiful for Supersize Orlando.  Be still my beating heart, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was!  I grabbed my long-time bestie, and Broadway know-it-all Kristen, and we headed out to the Dr. Phillips Center for our big night out.

Oh! The sets!  I was in awe with the way they seamlessly flowed back and forth.  The techie in me is *dying* to know how they did it, because it looked like everything was just gliding back and forth across ice – so incredibly impressive. 

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The costumes were flawless, it was like looking through my parents’ yearbooks!  There were a couple of costume changes that seemed like real Disney magic happening right before our eyes.  One moment, the Shirelles were wearing street clothes, and then just by quickly passing behind a wall, they appeared in full performance costumes!  My jaw literally dropped!  Watching the 60’s come alive before our eyes was like time-traveling.  My parents had me very late in life and I have 3 older siblings, so I grew up on the music of the 60’s and 70’s.  I know it sounds cliche’ to say “toe-tapping” or “whisked back to that era” … but, honestly, that is exactly what happens in this show.  You watch rock-and-roll learn how to take sweet and clumsy baby steps through the hearts of the parent/writers.  I think my favorite was when Matt Faucher and John Michael Dias sang “You Lost That Loving Feeling” as the Righteous Brothers.  Just, WOW.

I’ve always known who Carole King is … but … whoa.  I never realized just how far her talented arms reached.  I never understood just how much she influenced music.  Her personal story is relatable – a difficult marriage to a man who clearly was dealing with psychiatric issues that our modern medicine would have been able to deal with easily, but they just didn’t understand back then.  She balanced a career and motherhood.  She endured, she survived, she thrived.  She became a strong and encouraging voice for women everywhere.  I don’t think she would ever be comfortable with the knowledge that she’s a role model, but after the story I saw last night, she has certainly earned that status in my book.  I can’t wait to share her story with my daughters so they can see that there are incredible women out there that keep fighting.  Abby Mueller is the talented actress that brought Ms King’s story to life, and oh how she shone!  We will be seeing this lovely young lady again and again.  The chemistry between her and Andrew Brewer – who played King’s husband Gerry Goffin – was tangible.  It was very easy to forget that we were seated in a packed theater in the middle of Downtown Orlando 2016 and not in their 60’s apartment in Brooklyn.  And meeting them at the cast party just brought even more sparkle.

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Wait!!  Did I tell you that we got to go the cast party?  **gasp**  I just can’t even tell you how special that was.  If you have not been to Kres Chophouse, you need to go.  Grab your phone right now and make reservations for as soon as you can.  Go on, I’ll just wait here until you’re done.  Did you call?  Good.  Make sure you get the beef wellington.  Or the pork belly, tuna tar tar, seared steak … ok, get anything, because it was all so very good!  The cast party was quite tame compared to tales I’ve heard in the past.  Most of the attendees just sat together in small groups at the tables nibbling on all of the goodies and sipping wine.

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We had the opportunity to speak briefly with Abby and Andrew before we left, and they were so sweet!  Kristen and I both have had many opportunities to meet celebrities of all types, and we’re very used to the nice smile and handshake and obligatory selfie that they are willing to give.  But not these two!  We were able to speak with them for a few minutes about how much fun the show was to watch – and perform! They were genuinely happy to chat with us, were very glad that we loved the show, and we can’t wait to see what they do next! 

Amazing show continues at the dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts through May 8th tickets start at $38

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