Carole King And Her “Beautiful” Life

As the Broadway musical that celebrates the singer-songwriter's gifts marks its fifth anniversary, she surprised the audience by taking the stage to play herself

It is possible, even likely, that many people in the audience of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" know most of the songs by heart. Carole King has heard it from her fans the world over.

"I meet people, and they come up to me apologetically: 'I know you've heard this a million times …' and I say, 'But never from you,'" King said. "'And I really want to hear from you. What did you feel?'"

Well, there was a lot of feeling last night at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where actress Chilina Kennedy portrayed the legendary singer-songwriter. But near the end of the second act, something remarkable happened: Kennedy stayed in the wings, and Carole King took the stage.

To a stunned audience, King played herself to celebrate the fifth anniversary of "Beautiful" – an international hit that tells her life story.