"Tapestry," a musical revue composed entirely of tunes by pop diva Carole King, sets out to remind us there was more to the songwriter's repertoire than the breezy, sometimes wistful hits that left her imprint on the '60s and '70s.
Showcasing inevitable King standards like "Up on the Roof," "It's Too Late" and "You've Got a Friend," the show also features carefree early efforts ("Do the Locomotion")--as well as reflective ballads on heartbreak, parenting and other harmonically correct life experiences. Nevertheless, it's pretty flimsy stuff for musical theater--the book is nothing but a specified song sequence, sometimes grouped by common themes.
Yet International City Theatre's production in Long Beach delivers a pleasant romp down memory lane, thanks to superb singing and lively delivery from DeBorah Sharpe, Dwayne Stephenson, Melissa Berman, Joe Giuffre, John Michael Morgan and Karen Olson. Director caryn morse labors valiantly to inject humor and occasional social relevance into the fluff (like camouflaging the man in the "So Far Away" duet to suggest a Vietnam-induced separation). Ingenuity and wry humor abound in Sherry Linnell's period costumes and Lisa Hashimoto's stylish piano-themed set. Polished and agreeable, even if you don't feel the earth move under your seat.
\o7 * "Tapestry," International City Theatre, Long Beach City College campus, Clark and Harvey Way, Long Beach. Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Ends Aug. 27. $18. (310) 420-4128. Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes.\f7