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Join Walnut Street Theatre on the Journey of a Lifetime with BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical

March 11, 2024

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre (WST) ends our 215th season with the highly anticipated BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL. This inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame features 20 multitalented performers and a live orchestra. The show begins previews on March 26, opens April 3, and will close out the 215th season on May 5.

With a career spanning over six decades, Carole King has left an indelible mark on the music industry. From her early days as a songwriter composing chart-topping hits for artists like The Shirelles and The Drifters, to her groundbreaking solo album "Tapestry," which is one of the best-selling albums of all time, King remains one of the most prolific musicians. Her unique blend of heartfelt lyrics and unforgettable melodies has earned her numerous accolades, including four Grammy Awards, inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

With a book by DOUGLAS MCGRATH and words and music by CAROLE KING, GERRY GOFFIN, BARRY MAN, and CYNTHIA WEIL, BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL made its Broadway debut in 2014, captivating audiences for over 2400 performances with its depiction of a schoolgirl turned superstar. From King’s relationship with husband and songwriter Gerry Goffin to their friendly rivalry with song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, the show captures the untold story of Carole King’s journey. Featuring over two dozen hits, including “One Fine Day,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman,” this Broadway celebration is filled with the songs you remember and a story you’ll never forget!

RICHARD STAFFORD returns to the Walnut as Director/Choreographer, having previously directed and choreographed numerous Mainstage shows, including Rocky, the Musical. In addition to his work with the Walnut, Stafford has also choreographed on Broadway and the New York City Opera. Music and vocal direction will be provided by CHRIS BURCHERI, whose Walnut credits include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Elvis – A Musical Revolution; Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella; and Rocky, the Musical. Burcheri has also served as the music director for the WST for Kids series and the Associate Conductor on Annie and Holiday Inn. Associate Choreographer JOSEPH CULLINANE in his Walnut debut and returning Stage Managers PATRICK DAVID EGAN and MICHELE BEGLEY will also lend their skills to this talented production team.

Making her Walnut debut and embodying the role of Carole King is SARA SHEPERD, an Ohio native who’s no stranger to the role, having played King in the national tour of BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL. Returning to the Walnut as Genie Klein, Carole King’s disillusioned mother, is SABRINA PROFITT, last seen onstage at the Walnut in Rocky, the Musical. Celebrating his 40th production at the Walnut and portraying music publisher Don Kirshner is FRAN PRISCO, who audiences will recognize as having just played Cogsworth in this season’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. MATTHEW AMIRA returns as Gerry Goffin, Carole King’s former husband and song-writing partner. Amira is a Walnut favorite, known for his role as Rocky in the Philadelphia premiere of Rocky, the Musical and Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Walnut Street Theare. Making their Walnut debuts are KATHRYN BOSWELL and EDDIE OLMO II as the songwriting duo Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. Boswell has appeared in shows including Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) and The Watcher (Netflix), while Philadelphia-born Olmo has appeared in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon.

Returning to the Walnut as members of famous musical groups and friends of the songwriting duos are CHALI COOKE (Elvis – A Musical Revolution), DANA ORANGE in his 10th Walnut production (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), SAMANTHA ROCHE (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Dance Captain AUDREY BIEHL SIMMONS (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella; Disney's Beauty and the Beast; Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville), DEVON SINCLAIR (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), and Philadelphia-born SIERRA WILSON (Rocky, the Musical; Beehive – The 60s Musical). Making their Walnut Mainstage debuts and rounding out the cast are WILLIE CLYDE BEATON II, TOMMY BETZ, ANNE BRAGG, CORNELIUS DAVIS, KOURTNEY KEITT, and RYAN KLEINMAN, with extras JOSIAH JACOBY and MIKAYLA NELSON.

Bringing to life the vibrant cityscape and intimate rehearsal rooms is Scenic Designer ROMAN TATAROWICZ. His designs have transformed the Walnut Mainstage for shows including Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Blithe Spirit. Joining Tatarowicz is Lighting Designer ALYSSANDRA DOCHERTY, making her Walnut designer debut, and Sound Designer JOHN KOLBINSKI, a Walnut veteran whose work includes Always…Patsy Cline, Popcorn Falls, and The Winter Wonderettes. Preparing our cast for this Broadway celebration are Costume Designer MARY FOLINO and Wig Designer CARISSA THORLAKSON. Folino’s designs have graced the stage for shows including Holiday Inn; Young Frankenstein; Rocky, the Musical; and Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, while Thorlakson’s work has appeared in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Elvis – A Musical Revolution; Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella; Rocky, the Musical and more here at the Walnut.

BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL starts performances at the Walnut on March 26, 2024. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting or