Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thoughts on the Carol King Musical "Beautiful"

So many thoughts still running through my head after seeing the Carol King musical "Beautiful" last night. Liz and I were holding hands throughout the show because her songs had so much meaning to us, and because Carol King's story, in so many ways was that of our whole generation, who grew up with a hope and optimism and confidence in changing the world that is sadly missing today. The story line of the show,which included much we didn't know about Carol King's life, was incredibly powerful, the performances dazzling, sometimes astonishing, and the sheer array of life changing, gorgeous songs ("Up on the Roof" "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" "You Make me Feel like a Natural Woman," "You've Got A Friend") left us moved and inspired

There was sadness too, that this music was a product of a special time in American History, the mid-50's through the early 70's, when the wealth of the society was more widely shared than it ever was before, and would ever be since, and where working class and middle class Americans, not only thought the prospect of a good life was there for the taking,but that they could strive for that good life while making the country better for all those who had been left out of the American Dream. It was also a time when people still believed in Love and Romance and when the music nurtured that hope and expectation.

So many of the hopes and feelings associated with the music have come to grief, or seem naive, yet Liz and I still try to be guided  by them in our work and personal lives, We are still in Love. Still working for justice. Still trying to share our good fortune with others.

The great music Carol King wrote, that the show presented so lovingly,is not just a reminder of our youth, it is a moral compass that motivates us to keep true to the ideals we grew up with, and still remain the best hope for a happy life and a better world.