A stage adaptation of “Beaches” remains in development. The musical will receive two private industry readings on Oct. 13. The presentations will star Whitney Bashor as Bertie and Jessica Vosk as Cee Cee. Matt Coward and Tony Award nominee Lonny Price will co-direct.
Based on the eponymous best-selling novel by Iris Rainer Dart, “Beaches” features music by Grammy Award winner Mike Stoller, lyrics by Dart and a book by Dart and Thom Thomas, developed with David Austin. Music supervision is by Joseph Thalken with music direction by Katie Coleman.
“Beaches” tells the story of two best friends, the exuberant Cee Cee and the privileged Bertie, over 30 years of vulnerability and friendship. The book was previously adapted into a 1988 film starring Barbara Hershey as Hilary Whitney Essex (named Bertie in the novel) and Bette Midler as CC Bloom. A television remake of the film starred Nia Long and Idina Menzel.
Previous productions of the “Beaches” musical were directed by Eric Schaeffer, featured music by Austin and starred Mara Davi as Bertie and Alysha Umphress as Cee Cee at Signature Theatre in Virginia, and Bashor as Bertie and Shoshana Bean as Cee Cee at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago.
The cast for the upcoming readings will also include Heather Ayers, Charlotte Sydney Harrington, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Anne L. Nathan, Matthew Saldivar, Analise Scarpaci, Elizabeth Teeter, Mackenzie Wilder, Azalea Wolfe and Jared Zirilli.
“Beaches” is being presented ahead of its international premiere at Theatre Calgary. That Canadian production will begin previews on May 18, 2024, and open on May 24.
The presentations of “Beaches” are being produced by Jennifer Maloney-Prezioso, Douglas McJannet for Arden Entertainment and Alison Spiriti for Right Angle Entertainment.