|From left: Jeb Brown as Don Kirshner, Jake Epstein as Gerry Goffin, Jessie Mueller as Carole King, Jarrod Spector as Barry Mann, and Anika Larsen as Cynthia Weil; Photo credit: Joan Marcus|
The show covers a lot of ground, so the transitions aren't always seamless (though they are sometimes comical, like when Goffin asks their babysitter to think of someone to sing "The Locomotion" by saying, "Come on Little Eva, think," right before she goes into the song). But the cast really makes the most of the material. Mueller isn't imitating King, but creating a lovely three-dimensional portrait of the woman. Peluso manages to make Goffin sympathetic even when he's acting like kind of an asshole. Spector and Larsen have great chemistry, provide comic relief, are both in fine voice (a highlight of the show is Spector's rendition of "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place"). And every song is good. Every single one. How many new musicals can you say that about?