REVIEW: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Beautiful has a lot of heart at its core, it showcases themes of perseverance, agency, and the importance of standing in your truth.

By Ariel Mary Ann

This week, Cincinnati Landmark Productions opened their production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical currently playing at Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. Beautiful explores the life of Carole King (Sydney Higgins) and her rise as a singer-songwriter musician featuring music by King and a book by Douglas McGrath.

The Story

The first act opens with Carole (Higgins) playing Carnegie Hall in 1971 before going back in time to her childhood. There, we see her at 16-years-old begging her mom to allow her to go into the city to sell her music.

After successfully selling a song to Don Kirschner (Trey Finkenstead), this leads Carole (Higgins) to meeting Gerry Goffin (Greg Moore); the man who would become her musical and romantic partner. Much of the rest of act one highlights the highs and lows experienced by Carole. The second act sees Carole attempting to piece back together her private life after a devastating discovery. In the end, Carole rises above it all after the release of her album, Tapestry and performance at Carnegie Hall.   

While the main focus of “Beautiful” is that it features Carole King’s well-known songs, the show also does a decent job at shining a spotlight on the realities of being a woman in the music industry. 

Sydney Higgins as Carole King in Beautiful:The Carole King Musical, now at Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre.


Sydney Higgins’ performance as Carole King came through as being authentic and vulnerable at times. She has a voice that can soar and her take on “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” should not be overlooked.

Greg Moore as Gerry Goffin works well on stage opposite Higgins. Moore does a good job particularly during Gerry’s darkest moments.


Beautiful has a lot of heart at its core, it showcases themes of perseverance, agency, and the importance of standing in your truth. Jay Goodlett as director highlights these themes through his direction in a very intimate way. 

Jenny Goodlett’s choreography is fun, tight, and will make you want to dance. She makes great usage of the stage particularly during large ensemble numbers. 


Overall, the production is a good time well spent. If you’re someone who loves Carole King but is a theatre novice, consider giving Beautiful a chance. The cast works well together and put a lot of heart into this show. For anyone looking for a feel-good musical. You won’t be disappointed.

Tickets to Beautiful

Beautiful: the Carole King Musical runs through May 12th 2024. Tickets can be found here.

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