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Marriott Theatre does a “Beautiful” job revealing “Tapestry” troubadour Carole King

Trailblazing troubadour Carole King is 81-years-old and more or less retired, but thanks to Broadway’s “Beautiful,” her boundless creativity continues to be passed down to multiple generations.

The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is the latest to revive the Tony and Grammy Award-winner, and considering the venue is located in the round, it could very well be one of its most unique and intimate stagings to date under director Jessica Fisch, choreographer Christopher Windom and Jeff Award-winning musical director Ryan T. Nelson.

BeautifulIt certainly doesn’t hurt that the titular character, played by national tour alumna Kaitlyn Davis, is pure perfection in the part, alongside honorable mention going to Andrew Mueller as songwriting/romantic partner Gerry Goffin, plus their fellow writer friends Cynthia Weil (Erica Stephan) and Barry Mann (Justin Albinder).

Anyone who’s even casually studied album credits throughout the last century certainly recognizes all of those names with King specifically earning her stripes co-writing such certified classics as The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” The Drifters’ “Up On The Roof,” Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion,” The Monkees’ “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” throughout the 1960s, prior to stepping out solo by 1970.

Granted, the path to multi-platinum was far from instant and full of constant struggles, but the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer demonstrated extreme fortitude and enormous talent as she boldly navigated them all at a time when women weren’t exactly at the forefront of the music industry.

“Beautiful” also effectively addresses another somewhat underrepresented topic for its era, such as the difficult to diagnose mental health struggles of Goffin and how his subsequent mistakes affected all aspects of the duo’s relationship.

BeautifulNonetheless, by the point King released the coming of age collection, “Tapestry,” the entire world took notice of both the inner strength and compositional knowledge she gained throughout a steady stream of singles, including “So Far Away,” “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got A Friend,” which helped make it one of the best-selling albums ever.

What’s particularly remarkable about Marriott’s mounting of “Beautiful,” where prices are nearly half of what’s typically charged downtown, is its ability to illustrate just how extensively the subject and her songs transcend time, genre and gender to move the entire earth unlike any other.