The Zodiac Musical Theatre's upcoming production of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical promises to be a captivating musical journey through the life of one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but it isn't all about Carole! At the heart of this musical masterpiece lies the extraordinary partnership between Carole King and her husband, Gerry Goffin. A lyricist with an unparalleled ability to craft poignant and relatable verses, Gerry played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of an era, and the couple's collaboration produced some of the most timeless and iconic songs in the history of pop music. Join us as we chat with Mikey Silverman who is playing Gerry Goffin in The Zodiac's cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Can you tell us a bit about your background – how long have you been performing for? What does “real life” look like for you?
I've been in and out of drama groups since I was a kid and only started doing musicals since the last year or so. I managed to sneak my way into a production of Joseph and the Amazing Techinicolor Dreamcoat at The Epstein and have been smitten ever since. When I'm not analysing accounts for my day job I'm writing music for an upcoming album release - certainly helps with getting into character!
Is it daunting playing a real person?
It absolutely can be. Whenever you’re playing a fictional character you always have an artistic liberty to fall back on – that aside from whatever is written in the script, the rest is open to interpretation. You don’t have that with real people. There’s always the worry that you might misrepresent a person, whether it be their behaviours, motivations or feelings to name a few, but luckily Gerry spent a lot of his life writing about all those things. Aside from all the things written about him, his own ability to express himself leaves no shortage of research material.
How would you describe Gerry’s character?
Gerry is a very passionate human being. He’s always letting his emotions guide his way. While this is likely why so many people connect with his lyrics, it also lands him in quite a bit of trouble. It seems that, at least during this period of his life, Gerry is never happy with where he is at any given moment. He’s always chasing whatever will give him the next thrill, charging ahead with little thought for what comes after.
What do you think is the most important thing for the audience to understand about Gerry Goffin?
I think just how much drive and spirit he has. He and Carole are dealing with so much at such a young age. I don’t think I could handle half of the obligations these two had right out of their teens, but they persevered and wrote some of their best stuff even with all that weight on their shoulders. Like coal into diamonds, the pressures of their environment really come to shape who they are as people.
What are some of your favorite songs that Gerry and Carole King wrote together?
“Natural Woman,” “Chains,” “I’m into Something Good.” All absolute bangers, I could go on. Being a part of this production really opened my eyes to how many classics were actually theirs, I never realised how many old favourites could be traced back to them.
What's your favourite song in the show?
It’s got to be “Up on the Roof.” It’s beautifully written, with such simple yet emotional lyrics. Every time I hear it I just think what an absolute haven the roof must have been from the everyday bustle of New York streets, and what that little space of peace and quiet must mean to a writer like Gerry in such overwhelming surroundings.
Do you have a favorite scene in the show?
Without giving too much away, the scene with “You’ve Got a Friend.” It’s a very bittersweet scene, but it seems to me that each character in it has a little more hope for the future than they’ve had in a while, and they have this beautiful little moment together where they know going forward will be difficult, but they’re finally on the right path, and it’s all going to be worth it in the end.
Beautiful The Carole King Musical opens 28th February 2024 at The Grange Theatre, Hartford Cheshire. Book your tickets at www.thegrangetheatre.com/zodiac-beautiful or call the box office on 01606 539040.