Arlington, Virginia's Signature Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming world premiere musical Beaches, adapted from the 1985 novel by Iris Rainer Dart (later adapted into the popular 1988 film starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey). Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer directs the production, featuring a book by Dart and Thom Thomas, lyrics by Dart, and music by David Austin.
Beaches follows two women, Cee Cee Bloom and Bertie White (known in the film as "Hillary Whitney"), through 30 years of friendship, which withstands many trying experiences. Broadway alums Mari Davi (A Chorus Line, The Drowsy Chaperone) and Alysha Umphress (American Idiot, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) will star as Bertie and Cee Cee, respectively. Davi and Umphress are joined in the cast by Clifton Samuels (Follies); Matthew Scott (Jersey Boys), Donna Migliaccio (Ragtime), Helen Hedman (My Fair Lady); Brooklyn Shuck (Annie); Presley Ryan (NBC's The Sound of Music); Maya Brettell (The Big Meal); Gracie Jones (Spring Awakening); Svea Johnson; and Michael Bunce (Victor, Victoria). The ensemble includes Bayla Whitten, Jamie Eacker, Heather Brorsen, Davis Hasty, Dan Manning, Ryah Nixon, and Robbie Roby.
The creative team features choreography by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges, musical supervision by Mary Mitchell Campbell, orchestrations by Lynne Shankel, scenic design by Tony Award winner Derek McLane, costume design by Frank Labovitz, lighting design by Chris Lee, and sound design by Lane Elms.
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