Beaches Is Broadway Bound; Musical Will Continue Development in Chicago

News   Beaches Is Broadway Bound; Musical Will Continue Development in Chicago
Beaches, the new musical adapted from the 1985 novel by Iris Rainer Dart — which premiered earlier this year at Virginia's Signature Theatre starring Mara Davi and Alysha Umphress — will replace Deathtrap in Drury Lane Theatre's 2015-16 season.

Alysha Umphress and Mara Davi
Alysha Umphress and Mara Davi Photo by Margot Schulman

Eric Schaeffer (Signature's artistic director, Follies, Million Dollar Quartet), who helmed the musical's world premiere, will again direct the Broadway-bound production, which will run June 24-Aug. 16, 2015.

Opening night is set for July 2. Casting was not announced.

"This is one of the most exciting seasons that we’ve ever presented in our 31-year history," said Kyle DeSantis, president of Drury Lane Theatre, in a statement. "We are elated to produce Beaches, the first new production in two decades on the Drury Lane stage, as well as two Regional Premieres and two musical revivals. We believe that we have a responsibility to help cultivate the development of new works and this season marks our renewed commitment to this."

Beaches marks the first new work on the Drury Lane stage in 21 years and signifies the theatre's renewed dedication to develop new works.

The creative team also includes Broadway producer Jennifer Maloney-Prezioso (Spring Awakening, Rock of Ages), and it is aimed for Broadway. According to Drury Lane, "The production is a poignant yet uplifting story of two extraordinary women exemplifying the triumph of the human spirit and the bonds of sisterhood. Beaches was adapted from the 1985 novel by Iris Rainer Dart, which was later adapted into the popular 1988 film starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey."

The musical features a book by Iris Rainer Dart and Thom Thomas, lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart and music by David Austin.

The season will also include the regional premiere of Billy Elliott (April 10-June 7, 2015, with an April 16 opening), directed by Rachel Rockwell with musical direction by Roberta Duchak; Peter and the Starcatcher (Aug. 27-Oct. 18, 2015, with a Sept. 3 opening), directed by Drury artistic director William Osetek; White Christmas (Oct. 29-Jan. 3, 2016, with a Nov. 5 opening), directed by Osetek with choreography by Matthew Crowle; and Bye Bye Birdie (Jan. 14-March 20, 2016, with a Jan. 21 opening), directed and choreographed by Tammy Mader.

For more information and tickets, call (630) 530-0111 or visit

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