Arts Review: Carole King: The Songbook of Her Life – Arts Centre Melbourne

You wouldn’t necessarily think a show dedicated to the legacy of Carole King would resonate so profoundly to a younger audience. Let it be known that this show is for absolutely anyone who has a connection with music, a respect for the truth and a deep-seeded love for nourishing your soul.

As we are taken on a trip down memory lane, we learn so much about the real woman behind Carole King, FKA Carol Joan Klein. Apart from her incredibly successful career, which blossomed from a very young age, we learnt the timeline of events which led to those pivotal moments in her life.

A biographical show like this is such an interesting way to experience the theatre; going into you’re thinking you know exactly what King’s story is all about. Then you realise, you didn’t know the whole story. This show gave us the opportunity to learn so much more about the struggles and challenges that King faced throughout her career, primarily the aspects of her personal life, which we aren’t always privy to.

For a woman who evokes so much tenderness, love and strength in her music it was such a surprise to discover some of the inspirations behind those chart-topping hits. The soul of Ms King flourished through three young divas; Michelle Brasier, Jessica Papst and Erin Herrmann Young. Their outstanding and soulful vocals, both as soloists and as a trio, brought to life 32 of King’s greatest hits. Under the musical direction of Shanon Whitelock with a stellar band and string section, there’s no wonder why audience members were soaking up every last chord and harmony.

As each song rolled onto the other we couldn’t help but bop our head, shimmy our shoulders or sway from side to side. In fact, it was so heart-warming to see just how much of an impact King’s music has had on a whole cross section of music lovers, especially when hits like I Feel The Earth Move, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Oh No Not My Baby, It’s Too Late, You’ve Got a Friend, The Reason, and Natural Woman played out.


Carole King: The Songbook of Her Life is currently on a national tour with an international tour looking to take place in the very near future. For more information, stay tuned to their Facebook page.

The reviewer attended the show on May 7.


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