Margot Schulman
Melissa Rose Bernardo
March 07, 2014 AT 05:00 AM EST

Beaches (theater)

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
03/04/14
performer
Mara Davi, Alycha Umphress
director
Eric Schaeffer
author
David Austin, Iris Rainer Dart

We gave it a B-

If Bette Midler’s Oscar-night performance didn’t ruin ”The Wind Beneath My Wings” for you, good news: A far superior version — gorgeously sung by star Alysha Umphress, with lovely barely-there accompaniment — awaits in this world-premiere tuner, playing through March 30 at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va. (Incidentally, that’s the only musical remnant from the 1988 big-screen weepie.) Original novelist Iris Rainer Dart wisely simplifies her flashback-filled, globe-trotting story of childhood friends Cee Cee (Umphress) and Bertie (Mara Davi). But with a glut of mostly so-so songs — 19 not including reprises! — and superfluous subplots (Bertie becomes a Parisian designer?), Beaches is far from a shore thing. B-

(Tickets: Ticketmaster.com)

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