5 Questions With Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Star Abby Mueller
Mueller takes a quick trip down memory lane to tell us about her most memorable experiences playing Carole King on Broadway and on tour.
Abby Mueller has been performing as Carole King in some capacity since 2015, when she landed the lead role in the national tour of Broadway's Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Following her stint on the road, Mueller joined the Broadway cast as King for the greater part of 2017, and now she's back in the role again.
Three years in, we got in touch with Mueller to find out whether she's "Lost That Lovin' Feeling" or if she still "Feels the Earth Move" every night.
1. What element of preparation most helps you get into the role of Carole King every night?
I have a variety of photos of Carole in my dressing room. Most are vintage ones from the time periods of the show: her with Gerry, with Cynthia and Barry, with Genie, or her during the Tapestry period with the girls. I love seeing all the reminders of Carole as a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter. The person behind the superstar we all know and love. It reminds me of the honor and responsibility I have each time I walk out to that piano to tell her story, and I attempt to do so with the love and honesty that she's infused into her music.
2. Do you have a favorite audience reaction you've gotten during the show or at the stage door?
I'm constantly struck by how emotional people are at the stage door. This music and the show touch people on a visceral level and I'm always so honored when people take the time to express how the show moved them. And it really runs the gamut, demographically — it's both women and men, young and older. Just recently after the latest mass shooting, so many people said "We needed this this week." Music and theater can be a salve to people's spirits. It reminds us of what connects us and truly makes us human. If I can contribute to that, it's been a worthwhile day.
3. What's the coolest opportunity you've gotten thanks to Beautiful?
There have so many cool experiences, but getting to perform on America's Got Talent was definitely a highlight!
4. What's the biggest difference between performing in Beautiful on tour vs Broadway?
Getting to go home to my own bed every night. :-)
5. What is your favorite memory of the time you've gotten to spend with Carole King?
My favorite memory is getting to see first hand the immense joy that she infuses into what she does.To witness that love and light pouring out of her when she performs is truly inspiring.