Esther Hannaford to play lead in ‘Beautiful’
As groundbreaking music icon Carole King celebrates her 75th birthday, the Broadway sensation based on her remarkable rise to stardom announces its leading lady. Multi-award winning musical theatre star Esther Hannaford will play the legendary singer/songwriter in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which begins its Australian season at Sydney Lyric Theatre in September 2017.
One of Australia’s most versatile and in-demand performers, Hannaford collected a Sydney Theatre Award in January for cult musical classic Little Shop of Horrors. She garnered a Helpmann and a Green Room Award for playing quirky sidekick Penny Pingleton in Hairspray and has won plaudits for her performances as bootlegger Billie Bendix in The Production Company’s Nice Work If You Can Get, the wistful Bonnie-Mae in Nick Enright’s Miracle City, and Ann Darrow in King Kong.
Paul Blake and Mike Bosner, the original Broadway producers, said, “We have been very lucky finding supremely talented leading ladies to take on the iconic role of Carole King. This role has made stars of actresses on Broadway, in London’s West End, and we’re absolutely delighted to do the same with Esther in Australia.”
Australian Producer Michael Cassel stated, “We hoped to find an actress who could capture the indomitable soul and gentle spirit of Carole King, whilst delivering some of the biggest and most iconic songs of the last century. In Esther Hannaford we’ve found our star – an accomplished performer who brings a delicate balance of warmth, humour and vulnerability to the stage, which we know will strike a chord with audiences.”
Director Marc Bruni also commented, saying the role of Carole King demands “a unique and prodigious set of acting and vocal talents.”
“Esther Hannaford has them all,” he remarked. “She’s a world-class performer, and we’re thrilled to welcome her into the Beautiful family to launch the Australian premier production."
Tickets are now on sale to the general public from beautifulmusical.com.au.
Photo: Esther Hannaford will star in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Photo by Nathan Johnson.