Barry’s a Jewish kid musician from a Northeast city — that’s me,” said Philadelphia native Jarrod Spector, referring to Brooklyn-born Barry Mann, one half of the legendary songwriting duo of Mann and (Cynthia) Weil. “But I’m not as neurotic as Barry is portrayed in the show.”
Despite a strong performance from Jessie Mueller, ‘Beautiful’ never quite coheres.
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If ever pop music could be said to define a generation, it was in the 1960s, a time of social ferment set to the beat and rhythm of youth. Carole King, working with her husband Gerry Goffin, helped to set the tone for that era with her catchy tunes about the elusiveness and slipperiness of love. In “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” which opened last Sunday at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, King’s music shines through the decades. But the musical itself, which stars Jessie Mueller in a scintillating performance as the composer, never quite coheres into a satisfying show.
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