EXPERIENCING BEAUTIFUL WITH AN INTERGENERATIONAL GROUP OF CAROLE KING FANS

“As a kid growing up, you heard it everywhere,” one theatregoer says about the music of Carole King.

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Cathy Smith is the kind of organizer that every arts-loving group of friends needs. “She’s got her finger on the theatre pulse,” says Ariadne Keyes, who has known Smith since 1978.

Smith put 13 people together recently to see the musical Beautiful at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. This intergenerational group, mostly in their 50s and 60s and mostly from the Kitchener-Waterloo area, included Dawn Smith-Doering, Smith’s mother-in-law, and Hayley Johnson, her 29-year-old niece, home from teaching in Moscow. They let me tag along to find out what drew them to see this show and what they think of it.

For Smith, the appeal is definitely the Carole King catalogue: “I want to listen to some fun music and I don’t really know much about her career before Tapestry,” she says over a pre-show dinner.

“I think I know all the words off that album,” Keyes says.

“As a kid growing up, you heard it everywhere,” adds Kirk Smith, Cathy’s husband. “Her music makes me feel warm. It’s uplifting.”

Graham Chevreau says he’s “pretty sure” he’s a Carole King fan, “but I don’t have an encyclopedic memory of what she wrote and when she wrote it.” That’s why he’s looking forward to the show.

Price point is a priority for Cathy Smith when it comes to putting these outings together. “It has to be on sale,” she says. She chose to see Beautiful on a weekday because the prices are lower than weekends and they were able to take advantage of the 25-per-cent discount for groups of eight or more for this show.