Both Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw said the Americans and the English are two nations divided by a common language (won’t venture to guess who said it first, lest I accuse the other of plagiarizing). This seems true as the Broadway production of “Beautiful–The Carole King Musical, ” makes its way to the West End for its premiere in February, as observed by the NY Daily News.
The marquee shows the star Katie Brayben as the Brooklyn-born Jewish songstress smiling with wide glee at the piano as if she is sharing a joke with it at a cocktail party. To American audiences, this would seem a bit eerie; Jessie Mueller, who was awarded a Tony for the role, took a more understated picture. However, Rick Miramontez, spokesman for “Beautiful” says London theater art tends to be more “ebullient” and Broadway’s tastes with promotional pictures is more understated.
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A few words and expression that would be misinterpreted in England were changed. At one point in the show, Carole King talks about getting cats for her daughters. Barry Mann responds, “I only have two words for you: cat dander.” In New York, cat dander causes sneezes but in England, dander means “take a nice stroll.” While the script was read in London, “dander” got big laughs, but now it is going to be changed. Well, if it got big laughs, why not keep it?