Broadway veteran Matt Loehr is thrilled to be out touring again, this time in the national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Loehr took time to give us some insight into his character, Don Kirshner, King’s manager and legendary music publisher.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will play February 22-27 at the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Academy of Music.
Debra Danese: Who was the first person you called after booking Beautiful?
Matt Loehr: My mother. She is so supportive- almost to a fault, it can get exhausting (laughing.) She knew how badly I wanted to get this role and go out on tour again after many years of not having performed on the road. I’m so grateful to be working and playing this role in a show that I genuinely love.
DD: What was the most interesting fact you learned about Don Kirshner when researching your role?
ML: There’s a book on Don Kirshner entitled “The Man with the Golden Ear,” which had some interesting tidbits about his life and successes. One thing I loved learning about was that when he was younger, he and Bobby Darin used to be a singing duo before Darin’s career took off as a solo artist. The book seemed to imply that even though he knew he wasn’t nearly as good a singer as Darin, and encouraged him to go solo, it was still a bit upsetting when Darin’s career soared. However, that also helped him move into the trajectory of song publishing and co-founding Aldon Music, which obviously was the right move for him.
DD: What traits do you have most in common with your character?
ML: Hard-working, on the go, funny, joyous, and a lover of all kinds of music to the point of obsession. I don’t know what I would do without music in my life and I think Don wouldn’t have known what to do either.
DD: What’s your favorite one-on-one moment in the show?
ML: Towards the end of the musical, I get a brief but sweet scene with Carole King before she moves to Los Angeles to record her album. Sara Sheperd, who plays Carole, is such a giving and wonderful actress and I cherish those moments when I get to share the stage with her.
DD: What’s the best compliment you’ve gotten on your performance as Don?
ML: “You really make me laugh and I love your accent!” I’ll take it!
[Academy of Music, 240 S Broad Street] February 22-27, 2022; kimmelculturalcampus.org