Actress feels the earth move as Carole King

'Beautiful' playing at Hanover in Worcester Sept. 26-29

Kennedy Caughell stars in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at Hanover Theatre.
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“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” is coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on the weekend of Sept. 26-29. The Tony- and Grammy-winning musical follows the remarkable true story of music legend Carole King, from her early days growing up in Brooklyn to becoming a true voice of her generation.

“Beautiful” has been performed on Broadway more than 2,000 times and features a wide variety of hits, including the King classics “It’s Too Late,” “So Far Away” and the iconic title tune.

“This show is an incredible story about perseverance and love,” says Kennedy Caughell, star of the show. “Playing Carole King has taught me how to love when it is hard to do so. She is a compassionate yet driven woman and reminds us all that hard work pays off.”

Caughell grew up in Oklahoma, where she lived on a ranch with her two parents and her older sister, Caitlyn. She was an adventurous young girl who was never afraid to try new things, whether it was playing an instrument or earning a black belt in tang soo do. But it was her starring role as Annie that fostered her love for theater and film and consequently set her on the path to Broadway.

“I knew that I wanted to act from a young age,” Caughell says. “I did a lot of community theater throughout my childhood, and I got to play Annie twice on both coasts of the U.S. Then I got my first professional gig in college.”

Caughell earned a degree in musical theatre at Elon University. While she was there, Caughell studied abroad in Ireland to learn about Irish literature and the roots of her family tree. After graduation, she starred as Heather in Green Day’s rock musical “American Idiot.” The show took Caughell across the country and, ultimately, the world.

“The most exciting places I went to on this tour were Edinburgh and London,” Caughell says. “There is a huge punk-rock fan base over there, so the reception was absolutely incredible.”Caughell then went on to cover the role of Elphaba in “Wicked,” which she considers her dream role. A short time later, in 2016, she was a proud member of the ensemble for “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.” She performed with the entire cast at the Tony Awards that year, also dancing alongside “Saturday Night Live” Alum Tina Fey.Yet out of all the roles Caughell has taken on, Caughell says Carole King is definitely the most unique.

“‘Beautiful’ is the first role I’ve done of someone who is alive,” Caughell says with a laugh. “With Carole King, I want to tell her story in a truthful way. I want to do well for myself and the person I am playing on stage. With this role, I fell in love with who Carole King is.”

Tickets for “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at the Hanover Theatre are available at https://tickets.thehanovertheatre.org.

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