Ca­role King shows up as her­self in Broad­way bio

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Any­thing can hap­pen in live theater, and au­di­ence mem­bers see­ing “Beau­ti­ful,” the life story of Ca­role King, got a sur­prise when King ap­peared in the role of her­self to cel­e­brate the show’s fifth an­niver­sary on Broad­way.

The packed house at the Stephen Sond­heim The­atre erupted into thunderous cheers and ap­plause as King ap­peared Satur­day night, sit­ting at a baby grand pi­ano and show­ing all the love in her heart as she sang “Beau­ti­ful,” the fi­nal song.

“It’s kind of mirac­u­lous that this show has lasted for five years be­cause not many do. And it’s a tes­ta­ment to, I think, peo­ple say the mu­sic … but the book is so good and the direc­tion and the light­ing and the sets. It’s re­ally a well put to­gether pro­duc­tion,” King said in an in­ter­view af­ter the show.

She has sung on­stage dur­ing cur­tain calls dur­ing the show’s long run but has never ap­peared in the show it­self.

In the show’s fi­nal scene – set dur­ing her fa­mous 1971 Carnegie Hall con­cert – the 76-year-old King played a much younger ver­sion of her­self as she took over for Chilina Kennedy, who re­cently re­turned to the Broad­way pro­duc­tion of “Beau­ti­ful” af­ter play­ing the King role in the North Amer­i­can tour.

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