When Artistic Director, Ed Flesch sets out to cast a show, he plans a week of auditions in New York that will include agent submissions, members of Actors’ Equity, non-equity actors, and singer- dancers! For BEAUTIFUL’s open call, Ed received 380 submissions the first day the notice appeared on playbill.com. Over the course of the audition week he saw close to 800 people for 23 roles, including about 50 who wanted to be considered for Carole King.

Katie Horner is thrilled to be making her Fireside debut playing such an inspirational artist. She is a Philadelphia-grown, New York City based actor, composer, and pianist. She has worked Off-Broadway in THE GOLDEN CAGE, at New York’s Paper Mill Playhouse in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, in the Nat’l Tour of BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story, and is a composer in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Katie first saw BEAUTIFUL in 2014 when just starting college and deciding what she wanted to do with her life. Carole’s story spoke to her as a pianist and songwriter and as actors do when they see a show they like, they plan and prepare for how they would perform it if the opportunity arrives. “So,” she remarked, “I guess I’ve been training for this for ten years!”

BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical, opening April 18th at The Fireside, tells the story of Carole before she became known as one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time. She wrote her first #1 hit song when she was just 17 years old – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” made popular by The Shirelles. Her full body of work is an amazing achievement and as the show goes on you’ll no doubt be thinking, “I didn’t know she wrote that song, or that song, . . .”

Carole King was a great pianist, as is Katie who will be playing live during the show. Carole loved playing recording sessions and shows as a member of the band. One night while on tour with James Taylor as pianist in his band, he decided she should sing a song and introduced her. That was the beginning of her becoming the superstar we remember. BEAUTIFUL is a wonderful show, and in the show has many meanings. We leave you with these lyrics, and an invitation to join us!

“You’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart. Then people gonna treat you better. You’re gonna find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful, as you feel!”