The cast — and audience — of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical got quite a shock last night. Carole King (who had previously said she would not see the musical based on her life) herself came on stage during the curtain call.
King’s appearance coincided with the annual fundraising drive for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. She joined in the appeal for donations, as well as leading the cast in “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Cast members, including star Jessie Mueller, were moved to tears by the surprise, and audience members responded with their wallets to the tune of $30,000.
“It was an honor to see Beautiful for the first time last night,” the iconic songwriter said in a statement. “And I was thrilled to help the cast raise a fast $30,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Jessie Mueller and company are fantastic, and it was so joyous to be there. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Beautiful stars Mueller as King and Jake Epstein as her songwriting partner, and ex-husband, Gerry Goffin. The musical includes King’s hit songs like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” “So Far Away,” “One Fine Day” and “Natural Woman.”