Broadway vets Shoshana Bean (Wicked) and Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County) star in the Chicago mounting of the new musical Beaches. Billed as a pre-Broadway run, the show plays the Drury Lane Theatre through August 16.
Bean and Bashor take on the roles of Cee Cee Bloom and Berti Whitee, whose friendship from childhood to adulthood is charted over the course of the show. Directed by Eric Shaeffer, the musical is inspired by Iris Rainer Dart's novel and features music by David Austin, lyrics by Dart, and a book by Dart and Thom Thomas.
The full cast also includes Travis Taylor as John Perry, Nancy Voigts as Leona Bloom, Kelly Anne Clark as Rose White, Jim DeSelm as Michael Barron, Michael Accardo as Nathan Bloom, Andrew Varela as Arthur, Samantha Pauly as Teen Cee Cee, Olivia Renteria as Teen Bertie, Presley Ryan as Little Cee Cee, Brooklyn Schuck as Little Bertie/Nina, and William Carlos Angulo, Heather Brorsen, Josh Kohane, Christine Mild, and Holly Strauder.
The story is perhaps best known from its 1988 film adaptation, which starred Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. The musical version premiered in 2014 at Signature Theatre in Virginia with Alysha Umphress (On the Town) as Cee Cee and Mara Davi (A Chorus Line) as Bertie.
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