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MCCC's Kelsey Theatre to open season with "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"

originally published: 09/06/2023


 Jennifer Fischer of Hamilton, NJ, as Carole King in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"

(WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre and Playful Theatre Productions will be kicking off the 2023-24 season with the soundtrack of a generation, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” from September 22 to October 1. “Beautiful,” a Tony- and Grammy-winning  production, tells the inspiring true story of singer/songwriter Carole King.

“Beautiful” follows her amazing rise from a teenage songwriter to her role as part of a hit songwriting team with her husband, Gerry Goffin, to one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The story is told through a narrative and classic songs that span generations.

From chartbusting hits King wrote for James Taylor and Aretha Franklin to her own unparalleled success as a solo artists, you’ll feel the earth move with more than two dozen chart toppers that include “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “Up on the Roof,” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” – tunes you’ll be humming long after the final curtain.

“Kelsey’s 2023-24 season is all about leading ladies, and there can be no doubt that Carole King is the leading lady of popular music from the 60s, 70s, even today,” said M. Kitty Getlik, artistic director at Kelsey Theatre. “We are thrilled to kick off the new Kelsey Theatre season with such a high-energy, upbeat production that will leave the entire audience with a smile on their face and a song in their heart.”

Performances for “Beautiful” are Friday, September 22 and September 29; Saturday, September 23 and September 30 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm; and Sunday, September 24 and October 1 at 2:00pm (October 1 performance is sold out). Tickets are $30 and available online at or at the Kelsey box office, (609) 570-3333.

Cast members include Jennifer Fischer of Hamilton, NJ, as Carole King; Lindsay Paige Spitzer of Manalapan, NJ, as Cynthia Weil; Patrick Lavery of Flemington, NJ as Barry Mann; Karaline Rosen of Robbinsville, NJ as Marilyn Hobbs; Samantha Phillips of Hamilton as Betty/Carole Cover;Lisa Ernst of Hightstown, NJ as Genie Klein; David Nikolas of Palmyra, NJ as Don Kirschner; Aidan Stallworth of Ewing, NJ as Bill Medley; Shawn Simmons of Hamilton as Bobby Hatfield; and Dan Keyser, Bridgewater, NJ, as Gerry Goffin.

As members of The Shirelles: Jordan Griffin, Ewing, as “Little Eva” Boyd; Lori Howard of Mt. Laurel, NJ, as Barbara Alston/Shirley; Geyby Aguilar of Jersey City, NJ, as Janelle Woods; and Cathryn Grochowski of Old Bridge as Lucille. As members of The Drifters: Kyle Blocker of New Brunswick, NJ as Rudy Lewis; Nicholas LaRusa of Hamilton as Charlie Thomas; Darrell J. Watts of Ewing as Doc Green; and Lynn Baskin of Lambertville, NJ, as Elsbeary Hobbs.

“Beautiful” is directed by Frank Ferrara of West Windsor, NJ, and produced by Suzanne Smith of Fallsington, Pa and Hilary Leboff of Langhorne, Pa. Musical director is Shannon Ferrara of West Windsor, and associate musical director is Mike Gilch of Asbury Park, NJ. Emily O’Sullivan of Hamilton is choreographer, and Nancy Scharf and Ruth Kresge, both of Yardley, Pa., are the stage managers.

Kelsey Theatre is located on the MCCC campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor Township. The theater is wheelchair accessible with free parking adjacent to the venue. Assisted listening devices are available upon request.

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