Call Answered: Abby Mueller: "BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical"
In August 2017, I felt the earth move under my feet as I watched Abby Mueller bring Carole King’s story to life in Broadway’s BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical. Abby was mesmerizing as Carole. If I closed my eyes, I often thought Carole King herself was on that stage singing. I had to remind myself that it was the exquisitely talented Abby Mueller.
After originating the role of Carole King on the National Tour of BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical, Abby came to star in the Broadway production from March 2017-August 2017.
Abby rejoined the show this past summer and I’m beyond excited for this “Beautiful” interview with Abby discussing her return to Broadway & the role of Carole King.
BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical plays at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 West 43rd Street). Click here for tickets!
1. This summer you returned to the role of Carole King in BEAUTIFUL - The Carole King Musical after originating the role on the National Tour and then a subsequent Broadway run in 2017. What's it like to be back at the piano? It’s awesome! It’s so rare you get to revisit a role, so this is the gift that keeps on giving.
2. What do you bring with you this time around that you learned from originating the role on tour & your first Broadway run in the role? With any role, you obviously bring yourself and your perspective to the table. I’m always trying to learn and grow in whatever I’m doing, so it’s a unique opportunity to get to revisit this role and incorporate all that into this iteration.
3. What do you relate to most about Carole? Carole clearly has such amazing gifts, but she was hesitant at first to be in the spotlight herself. I can relate to feeling a calling to something, but not necessarily feeling comfortable with the attention that goes with it.
4. Has the real Carole King seen you perform in the role? If so, what was that experience like? Yes! I got to perform WITH her on The Today Show while I was still in rehearsals for the First National Tour. And then she surprised us when she came to see the tour in Boston. They were surreal, humbling, and thrilling experiences.
For the last few questions, let's play with some of the show's song titles....
5. "Beautiful" - In these trying times, especially in the wake of all the mass shootings we've had, how do you get up every morning, with a smile in your face, and show the world all the love in your heart"? I think this lyric is especially critical in the current times. Love is an action. It’s a choice you can make in every moment. This doesn’t mean we try to slap a fake smiley face over a bad situation. We can recognize the severity, and then recognize that at any given time, we really have two choices - Love or Fear. Choosing love is a skill we can all learn and improve on, and the attempt matters. The practice matters.
Love is the only thing that can truly alchemize hate and violence. We each have immense responsibility and power in our daily thoughts, words, and actions and they do matter. We do all affect each other. Each person can and does make a difference, and it truly starts with you. Even the smallest light alters the darkness.
6. "You've Got A Friend" - When you sing this song night after night, who do you think of while singing? I think of the friends onstage I’m singing with, I think of the past friends I’ve sung it with onstage, and I think of the relationships in my life.
Being a true friend is an active, dynamic choice and I’m so grateful for the ones I have and who inspire me to be the same.
7. "I Feel The Earth Move" - What's an event in your life that made you feel the earth move under your feet? Starring on Broadway is a dream come true and a privilege I do not take lightly! Getting to play Carole is a joy.
More on Abby:
Abby Mueller is thrilled to return to BEAUTIFUL: The Carole King Musical! Prior to Broadway, she originated the role of Carole King on the first national tour. NYC: Kinky Boots (Broadway), A Minister’s Wife (Lincoln Center), School of Rock (Off-Broadway workshop, Gramercy Theatre). Regional: Abigail Adams in 1776 (American Conservatory Theater and Asolo Rep); Fantine in Les Misérables, Ellen in Miss Saigon, and the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Fulton Theatre); Mary Zimmerman’s Candide (Huntington Theatre Company); Catherine in Pippin (Utah Shakespearean Festival); Constance in The Three Musketeers (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Fiona in Brigadoon, Cinderella in Into the Woods and Georgie in The Full Monty (Marriott Theatre).