Before we get to what's wrong with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Stephen Sondheim, let's establish what's so right that it instantly joins the ranks of irresistible jukebox tuners Jersey Boys, Motown The Musical and Mamma Mia.
Being 16 years old in Philadelphia in the late 1950s had to be one of the coolest things ever, one of those generational defining moments that separate some of us from the rest of us. At least it was for my older brother.
Two of my life's guideposts, American Bandstand and The Band, drew their last breaths a week ago with the deaths of Dick Clark and Levon Helm. Now the bandstand is less full, the songs less soothing, the beat a little harder to dance to...
We all have these moments in life where we see we're not the person we used to be, or the scene is too big and not as full of passionate brothers-and-sisters-in-arms as it used to be. "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
I remember dressing the morning of the show, putting on my snappiest outfit, aware that the TV cameras would probably do head shots of the audience, as they often did in the smaller Philadelphia studio.