The life and career of beloved singer/songwriter Carole King is in the spotlight once again in the Windy City.
"Beautiful - The Carole King Musical" continues through Jan. 28 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. The show played Chicago for the first time in 2015.
This time around "Beautiful" stars Chicagoan Sarah Bockel as the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Carole King, the former Carol Klein of Brooklyn. King wrote a lion's share of the hits which took over the charts during the 1960s and early '70s
"I'm so excited to bring the show to Chicago," said Bockel, who calls the Windy City's Lincoln Square neighborhood home. Bockel lived in Palos Park as a teen.
For Bockel, it's an honor to be performing as the acclaimed songwriter/singer King.
"She drew people with her music and lyrics," said Bockel, adding King's music was loved by many.
She said King's songs were a splendid mix of pop, romantic, artsy and even folksy characteristics.
The "Beautiful" storyline traces King's journey from Brooklyn to the record business, her songwriting and personal life with husband Gerry Goffin and her progression to becoming a solo act.
Bockel said she's happy to step into this iconic role. Previously Abby and Jessie Mueller, from the Mueller performing family of Chicago, starred in the role as King on Broadway and in a past touring production.
"I first auditioned for the role in 2014," Bockel said. "Then I was the understudy for Abby...I had always dreamed of being able to audition for something like this."
Bockel said her understudy role was "perfect" for her and allowed her to experience the role from another perspective.
"And I got to work with Abby every day and to go 'on' occasionally."
The actress hopes people "will be inspired" to keep on pushing through in life and going after goals and dreams after seeing the show. King, she said, had some major obstacles to overcome in her life but still became successful.
"She got pregnant at 16 and overcame tremendous odds and heartbreak...Her story is so inspiring," Bockel said.
King fans will find a variety of songs in the spotlight in "Beautiful." Among tunes which star in the show are "Natural Woman," "So Far Away," "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Up On The Roof," "The Locomotion," Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" and more.
FYI: "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical" continues through Jan. 28 at The Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. For ticket information and more, visit BroadwayInChicago.com.