A national touring production of “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” will be on the Popejoy Hall stage for seven performances – at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 15 and at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16. Popejoy Hall is in the UNM Center for the Arts, main campus.
Tickets are available at www.unmtickets.com, at www.popejoypresents.com, at ticket offices in the UNM Bookstore and at The Pit (Dreamstyle Arena) or at the Center for the Arts box office. Groups of 10 or more inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Steinberg
The musical “Beautiful” serves up the many pop songs of singer-songwriter Carole King, songs that helped define America culture in the 1960s and ‘70s.
There were songs that King herself popularized, such as “One Fine Day” and “I Feel the Earth Move.”
And there were many of her songs that others popularized. Like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Up on the Roof” (The Drifters), “The Locomotion” (Little Eva) and (“You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin).
King didn’t write those tunes by herself. She collaborated with Gerry Goffin. King wrote the music and Goffin the lyrics.
“This show feels like a play with music, not a jukebox musical. I feel lucky to have this role but also it is a really challenging character to portray,” Dylan S. Wallach said in a phone interview from San Francisco.
Dylan portrays Goffin opposite Sarah Bockel as King in the national touring company production of “Beautiful.” It’s Dylan’s national touring production debut.
The musical will be at Popejoy Hall for seven performances from Wednesday, June 12 through Sunday, June 16.
King and Goffin met when they were teenagers at Queens College, N.Y., and were married from 1958 to 1970. But Goffin began dealing with mental illness. “What’s called bipolar disorder now. He tried electroshock therapy and other things but nothing helped him. He had a sad rest of his life,” Wallach said.
“You see him breaking down mentally over the course of the show. It’s a challenge to portray him as more than just happy or angry. He hurt Carole a lot and he regretted how much he had hurt her. She forgave him.”
Other principal characters in the musical are Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who where songwriting rivals of King and Goffin yet they remained friends.
After he finishes the tour with “Beautiful” this summer, Wallach plans on moving back to New York City. He intends to continue developing a comedy TV series called “Mannies” with a friend, Nick Carr. They’ve already written the pilot.
It’s based on their personal experiences as male nannies.
A native of Maine, Dylan graduated from Carnegie Mellon where he studied acting. After college he started taking voice lessons. He had the part of Danny in a Toronto production of “Grease.”
On her own, Carole King composed “You’ve Got a Friend,” which was on her award-winning 1971 “Tapestry” album. The song was also a No. 1 hit for James Taylor.
“Beautiful” the musical won two Tony Awards in 2014, one for Best Leading Actress in a Musical and another for Best Sound Design in a Musical. It also earned a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.
In 2013, President Obama presented Carole King with the fourth Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first awarded to a woman.