Carole King is one of the great pop songwriters of the 1960s and '70s. Now, her songs — from early novelties such as “Who Put the Bomp” to intimate, soulful compositions such as “So Far Away” and “A Natural Woman” — are on Broadway in the biographical show Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. The show, at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, stars Jessie Mueller as King, and features a book by Doug McGrath. The director is Marc Bruni.
King’s personal story — she started out as Carole Klein from Brooklyn — is told with her songs as signposts along the journey. New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood lets us know whether that journey is worth an evening in the theater.