When we last spoke to Langley-born Kaylee Harwood in 2018, she was about to perform before a hometown crowd in the touring production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Carole’s an incredibly uplifting and energizing source herself as a human being, and to get to tell her story, to get to witness her story, is such a joy. So I think audiences really take that away too. – Kaylee Harwood.
Fast forward five years, and Harwood is back to her old stomping grounds, ready to take on the title role again in the upcoming Arts Club Theatre Company production of the musical biography about the singer-songwriter responsible for such massive hits as I Feel the Earth Move, The Locomotion, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, (You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman and the show’s title song Beautiful.
Following the true journey of Carole King, arguably one of the e greatest singer-songwriters of all time, as she rises to stardom, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical chronicles the ups and downs of King’s career from the songwriting duo of her teens to her wildly successful 1971 platinum album Tapestry.
“I really love the story of the first half with Carole as a young singer-songwriter who meets the love of her life, Gerry Goffin, and they write together,” said Harwood in our 2019 interview. “Carole undergoes quite a bit of heartache, and in the second half of the show, Carole really comes into her own, and becomes her own voice, metaphorically and literally in terms of her release of Tapestry.”
Not Harwood’s first time on the Arts Club’s Stanley stage, she credits her turn as Cossette in the company’s 2009 production of Les Miserables as one turning point in her career that led her from Vancouver to the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and eventually to Broadway in the 2012 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Having “obsessively” listened to King’s songbook, the Arts Club’s artistic director and the show’s director Ashlie Corcoran is excited to bring the musical to the Arts Club stage, featuring Harwood and over 20 Canadian actors bringing King’s story to life.
“Beautiful tells the story of Carole King’s early life, weaving both her professional and personal realities, triumphs, and challenges, into a theatrical ‘tapestry’ that is both moving and funny, sensitive, and generous,” she says in a media release.
The Arts Club Theatre Company presents Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St, Vancouver) from June 8–August 6. Visit artsclub.com for tickets and information.