Theater-goers might not realize it, but Carole King did not write or produce the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical named after her, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. In fact, she was opposed to the idea of a musical about herself until she read the book for the musical by screenwriter Douglas McGrath (Bullets Over Broadway; Emma). The storyline not only covers the work of King and her former husband and writing partner Gerry Goffin (1939 – 2014), but the songs of their best friends and competitors, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, another married couple who wrote hits songs at the same building in New York City.
In this excerpt from the film, Weil explains that they wanted the musical to include King’s Grammy-winning album Tapestry, so the show draft was changed to include that landmark album and focus less on Mann and Weil, who co-wrote many hits, including early songs “On Broadway,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration”, “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” “Who Put the Bomp.”
Weil says, “We used to joke that they [King and Goffin] were Lucy and Desi and we were Fred and Ethel.”