Eccles theater welcomes first Broadway touring production

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SALT LAKE CITY — At the new George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theater, even the load-in door is a work of art.

Monday night, the first of seven 85-foot-long semitrailers arrived at that door, carrying 78,500 pounds of sets, props and costumes for the theater's first Broadway touring company production: "Beautiful — the Carole King Musical."

Inside the theater at 100 S. Main St. on Tuesday morning, the rush was on for opening night. KSL News got the exclusive backstage tour of the setup process.

Organization was key. Trunks were assigned to specific areas of the stage. Some 50 members of the crew had to make sure each piece is in the right place for every scene in the show.

Every costume had to be checked, arranged in the correct order and pressed before the curtain goes up.

While we were there, lighting designers were making sure certain lights came on when they should — sometimes it's pink, sometimes it's blue. Timing is everything.

Douglas McGrath, who wrote the Tony Award-nominated book, or script, for "Beautiful," said he was inspired by the talent Carole King had from the young age of 16, when she began writing songs for top recording artists. But when she struggled, King rose above it through music, he said.

"The musical itself is a celebration of that choice she made to be joyful in her life. So, I can't think of a better thing, a better theme, for the opening of your beautiful theater," McGrath told KSL News earlier this year.

"It's kind of wonderful to christen it with something that is, itself, about the art of creation ... a story about triumph over heartbreak and just the regular ups and downs of life."

"Beautiful — The Carole King Musical" opened Tuesday night and plays for eight performances. Some tickets are still available; visit for more information.


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