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Music

Watch the Carole King musical cast sing an epic, quarantined ‘You’ve Got a Friend’

Carole King
Carole King joined cast members from her musical, “Beautiful,” for a new rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend.”
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

You’ve got a friend in the cast of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” during the coronavirus shut-in.

Filming from the comfort of their respective homes, actors and musicians from various productions of the jukebox musical have banded together to sing the ever-uplifting 1971 classic “You’ve Got a Friend” in support of the Actors Fund amid the public health crisis.

The feel-good video premiered Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” and now has thousands of views on YouTube. Even King herself got in on the fun, joining the video at the last minute to deliver one final “You’ve got a friend.”

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“When you’re down and troubled / And you need a helping hand / And nothing, nothing is going right,” dozens of voices harmonize as more and more squares fill the screen “Brady Bunch"-style. “Close your eyes and think of me / And soon I will be there / To brighten up even your darkest night.”

Participants — including past and present leading ladies Kennedy Caughell, Chilina Kennedy, Abby Mueller and Tony winner Jessie Mueller — are joined by a variety of guest-starring kids, partners and pets, whose hugs and kisses add some extra candid joy.

Some performers hold up signs with messages of solidarity, such as “I am here for you, brothers and sisters” or “I’m not wearing pants.”

“We’re bringing ‘Hamilton’ to you,” said John Krasinski, who organized a call with Lin Manuel-Miranda for a young fan whose plans were canceled by coronavirus.
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At the end of the hopeful montage, Brian Stokes Mitchell, chairman of the Actors Fund, asks viewers to “please continue to help us care for others and donate today.” Last month, the “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Ragtime” actor revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 but that he was “doing well.”

In recent days, King has taken to Instagram to send love to those on the frontline of the outbreak and others affected by the pandemic. A week ago, she tweaked the lyrics to her 1971 track “So Far Away” to promote social distancing.

“So far away/ Everybody has to stay in one place anymore / It would be so fine to see your face at my door/ Doesn’t help to know / You’re just time away,” she sang, as opposed to the original lines: “So far away/ Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?”

“I hope you and your family are well and that you all stay well,” King said before launching into the updated rendition of “So Far Away.” “I wish the same for all the medical professionals who are doing such important and difficult work. And also to thank all the people who keep the groceries coming and the trash being picked up.

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“There are just so many things that I don’t even know about, but I’m not taking it for granted, none of it. So thank you all. And thank you all for staying in and making sure that we do our part to help this crisis go away. May it be soon!”


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