Producers have announced that Bronté Barbé is to play Carole King in the upcoming UK tour of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical which opens at the Bradford Alhambra on 9 September 2017. Bronté was a finalist inAndrew Lloyd Webber’s TV talent search Over The Rainbow in 2010 and has since appeared in Cool Rider (West End), Shrek the musical UK tour playing Princess Fiona and most recently in The Wild Party at The Other Palace. She will be joined on stage by Kane Oliver Parry (Sweeney Todd – London Coliseum, Wicked and Urinetown – West End) as King’s husband and song-writing partner ‘Gerry Goffin’, Amy Ellen Richardson (Merrily We Roll Along, Crazy For You and Les Miserables – West End) as song-writer ‘Cynthia Weil’, Matthew Gonsalves (Beautiful – West End, Dirty Dancing and Dreamboats and Petticoats – UK Tour) as song-writer ‘Barry Mann’, Carol Royle (Moonlight – Donmar … Read more
On the strength of this first, tentative outing, concerts like this could come to rival those staged in the Encores! series in New York or by the Production Company in Australia. Jonathan Groff was truly terrific – and one was left wanting to see him headline a full scale production of this show, with Cynthia Erivo and Hannah Waddingham (and Amy Ellen Richardson) by his side.
In the case of Betty Buckley as Carlotta, the casting was inspired. Her powerful and joyful rendition of I’m Still Here stopped the show. But it was Anita Dobson’s self-deprecating turn as Stella which finally galvanised the entire company into glorious cohesion: her attack in Who’s That Woman was splendid (a gutsy belt matched her tap-dancing prowess) and she and all of the other women acquitted themselves well in bringing Andrew Wright’s clever choreography to life. The younger versions of Sally, Phyllis, Ben and Buddy were spot-on, engaging and sublime. Christine Baranski’s Phyllis was brittle, regal and immaculately stylish.