Stage Review

Beaches (2014)

BEACHES Alysha Umphress and Mara Davi
Image credit: Margot Schulman
BEACHES Alysha Umphress and Mara Davi
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Opening Date: Mar 04, 2014; Lead Performances: Mara Davi and Alycha Umphress; Writers: David Austin, Iris Rainer Dart; Director: Eric Schaeffer; Genre: Musical

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)
Originally posted Mar 04, 2014 Published in issue #1302 Mar 14, 2014 Order article reprints
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