Carole King Bio-Musical 'Beautiful' to End Broadway Run After Almost Six Years

Joan Marcus
Jessie Mueller in 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical'

The show won a Tony Award for lead actress Jessie Mueller and has been a consistent earner at the box office, grossing $259 million to date.

It's too late, baby, now it's too late. Ot at least it will be by Oct. 27.

Lead producers Paul Blake and Mike Bosner on Wednesday announced that their long-running hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will play its final performance at Broadway's Sondheim Theatre on that date this fall, ending a successful run of almost six years.

Tracing King's journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, breaking out of a constricting marriage and finding independence and her own voice as an artist in the process, Beautiful is written by Douglas McGrath, directed by Marc Bruni and choreographed by Josh Prince.

It features a string of evergreen hits written by King and Gerry Goffin, as well as by their friends and professional songwriting rivals Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill. 

The show opened Jan. 13, 2014, at the Sondheim and won a Tony Award for original star Jessie Mueller as King. It was a strong seller right out of the gate, regularly grossing north of a million dollars a week, though ticket sales recently have dropped to around 50 percent of the production's gross potential. 

Beautiful recouped its production costs in less than 10 months on Broadway, reaping a tidy profit for investors. Cumulative grosses currently stand at $259 million, with attendance of almost 2.2 million in New York alone. By the time it closes at the Sondheim, the show will have played 60 previews and 2,418 regular performances, overtaking Annie to become the 27th longest-running musical in Broadway history.

Productions of the show have since opened in London, Japan and Australia, as well as U.K. and North American tours, the latter about to embark on its fifth year, with a sixth already confirmed. 

Sony Pictures has announced a film adaptation in the pipeline, with Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Blake attached to produce.

"The remarkable run we've enjoyed on Broadway, and continue to enjoy from coast to coast and around the globe, is a tribute to the incredible artists involved, from the inimitable Carole King and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill to Douglas McGrath and Marc Bruni, our entire design team and every single cast member who has lent their talent to our productions," Blake and Bosner said in a statement. "There is no way to express our awe and gratitude to every single person in our Beautiful family."

The original cast recording of Beautiful, released by Ghostlight Records, won the 2015 Grammy Award for best musical theater album. Vanessa Carlton currently is starring as King on Broadway through Sept. 1.

The announcement of Beautiful's departure from Broadway comes the same week that another hit female-driven musical with a lead role originated by Mueller, Waitress, set a closing date, in that case Jan. 5, almost four years into its run.