Louisville native starring in touring show based on Carole King's music
She got her start on the stage in the Derby City, studying with the Louisville Ballet and acting at the Derby Dinner Playhouse.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The touring production of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" is calling the Kentucky Center home this week. For one of the show's performers, the stop in Louisville is a homecoming.
"Beautiful" is a journey through the life of legendary singer and songwriter Carole King. The show begins just before King composed her first hit song, through the ups and downs of her personal life in the decades that followed, to the creation of "Tapestry" one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Alaina Mills is part of the cast of the national tour. She grew up in Louisville and is taking the stage at the Kentucky Center once again.
"I was Clara in the Nutcracker for two years. I was in the Bomhard as Gilly Hopkins with StageOne," said Mills.
Now she's touring with "Beautiful," making stops all over the country and now finally in her home town.
"It's really fun to see all these places and then look it's brought me home," said Mills.
Mills spent her childhood performing in Louisville. She trained with the Louisville Ballet, did shows at Actors Theatre, Derby Dinner Playhouse and StageOne.
"It's such a rich town in the arts and people are so appreciative of it. I had incredible people to look up to," said Mills.
She credits that experience with giving her a foundation to build her career. After graduating from DuPont Manuel in 2007, studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music before moving to New York. In 2015, she landed her first national tour.
"Getting to learn about these people biographically and then bringing it to life every night is really something," she said.
As dance captain and a swing Mills understudies the female principal roles. During the Saturday matinee and evening performance she'll play the part of Cynthia Weil in front of an audience of friends and family.
"You've always got these dreams that you see come true before your eyes and it doesn't always work out like that but when you get on the other side of it you realize that was the dream it all came true. Just in a different way that you didn't even realize," said Mills.
Now Mills is living her dream and performing once again in her hometown.
"It feels kind of full circle and it also feels like I never left. My mom dropped me off at the stage door yesterday and I was like I feel like I'm going to Nutcracker," she said.
"Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" runs at the Kentucky Center through May 21.
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