Get ready to cry, Virginia! The stage adaptation of Iris Rainer Dart’s tearjerker of a novel Beaches is gearing up for a February premiere at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, with Broadway vets Mara Davi and Alysha Umphress now set to take on the roles of two unforgettable BFFs: uptight Bertie White (better known as Hillary Whitney Essex from the film version) and wild child Cee Cee Bloom, respectively.
Beaches started as a 1985 novel about a 30-year friendship and is best known for the 1988 movie featuring Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey and THAT SONG: “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” The Grammy-winning ballad will not be heard in the musical, which features an all-new score by composer David Austin, with lyrics by Dart herself. The book of the musical is a collaboration between Dart and librettist Thom Thomas. Under the direction of Eric Schaeffer, performances start February 18 at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.
Davi made her Broadway debut as Maggie in the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line and later replaced Sutton Foster in The Drowsy Chaperone. She also had memorable roles in Blue Bloods and Smash. Umphress has been featured in the ensembles of both American Idiot and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Here’s hoping their onstage chemistry brings us to tears!