Beau­ti­ful! Ca­role King shows up as her­self in Broad­way bio

El Dorado News-Times - - Fun & Games -

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 with The As­so­ci­ated Press 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.

King and the cast then per­formed the show's en­core num­ber, "I Feel the Earth Move," at the cur­tain call as the au­di­ence danced and clapped along. The singer-song­writer held hands with Kennedy as the two took sev­eral bows and ac­cepted flow­ers from the cast.

"Ev­ery­one con­nected with this show will agree that the peo­ple we have to thank the most are you, the au­di­ences; please give your­selves a hand," King told the au­di­ence, a sea of cell­phones snap­ping pic­tures.

"It's thanks to you, you who have come once ... twice, three times," she said. "I hear from peo­ple who've brought friends, fam­ily and shared the joy and shared the love, and it's amaz­ing.

"So if you keep do­ing that, you never know when I might show up again," she joked.

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