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A Cheshire-based theatre company is set to make history as the first community theatre group to be given permission to stage a production of an award-winning musical.

The musical celebrates the life and music of the composer responsible for a string of classic 60s hits including Take Good Care of My Baby, You’ve Got a Friend, It Might as Well Rain Until September, Up on the Roof, and The Loco-motion.

The show, 'Beautiful -The Carole King Musical' will be staged by The Zodiac Musical Theatre at The Grange Theatre in Hartford near Northwich from Wednesday 28th February - Saturday 2nd March at 7.30pm with a matinee performance taking place on Saturday 2nd March at 2.00pm. The production will be directed for The Zodiac by Valarie Ball with Choreography by Jessica Martin and Musical Direction by Craig Price.

Leading the cast as the acclaimed songsmith is local musical theatre performer Beth Stratford who bears an uncanny resemblance to Carole King.

Written by Douglas McGrath, 'Beautiful - The Carole King Musical' is a jukebox musical that tells the story of the early life and career of Carole King from schoolgirl to superstar. From her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, their close friendship and their playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to her remarkable rise to stardom to become one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history and writing the soundtrack to a generation along the way.

The show features a string of hit songs written by King often in collaboration with Gerry Goffin, together with other contemporary songs by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Phil Spector and others.

The original production of the show received its world premiere at the Curran Theatre, San Francisco, in October 2013, with direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, and starring Jessie Mueller in a Tony Award-winning performance as Carole King and Jake Epstein as Gerry Goffin. It made its Broadway debut at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in January 2014. A West End production starring Katie Brayben as Carole began in February 2015. In March 2022, a new version of the production was launched for a UK tour from the Leicester Curve.

Speaking about the show, Matt Weaver, the Chair of The Zodiac Musical Theatre said:

"We are absolutely delighted to be the first amateur musical theatre society in the North West to be staging Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at The Grange Theatre. The entire cast, crew and production team have worked tirelessly to bring Carole’s story to life through her iconic music. We are especially lucky to have found our very own Carole in Beth Stratford, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Carole King herself.”

Speaking about the show's soundtrack, The Zodiac's musical director Craig Price said:

"The show is a celebration of the remarkable life and work of Carole King. She had to fight her way into the record industry as a teenager and sold her first hit, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, when she was just seventeen. By the time she was twenty she was writing number ones for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, including The Drifters, The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin and The Monkees. But, her greatest challenge was to find her own voice and finally step into the spotlight herself. We can't wait to take to the stage at The Grange Theatre and for our audiences to experience this beautiful show."

Full details of 'Beautiful, The Carole King Musical' can be found at: 


...where tickets can be booked online.

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