Beaches, The Musical, Is Coming To The London Theater…But Just Without The Same Songs…

QX Magazine
Beaches The Musical Is Coming To The UK Theater To Work Out Some Kinks
March 27, 2019

Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in Beached

Beaches The Musical: Will It Hit Or Miss?

Just when you thought that the West End couldn’t get any gayer. According to Entertainment Tonight, a production of Beaches the Musical is due to make its way to London this year. The musical has been making waves over in the breeding grounds for American theatre – Virginia’s Signature Theatre and Chicago’s Drury Lane Theatre. Now it’s heading over to the UK to work out the show’s kinks.

Unfortunately, the show will have little to do with the Bette Midler cult film which has had audiences in bits since 1988 and is instead based on the book which inspired the film. The novel’s author Iris Rainer Dart told ET that they’re “just listening, refining, redoing and seeing which songs work and which ones don’t.”

Since the show has little to do with the film, it won’t be featuring any of the beloved songs featured in the film, from ‘The Glory of Love’ to ‘I’ve Still Got My Health’, and will only feature a small part of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ as a nod to the film adaptation. The show will instead feature original songs by Iris Rainer Dart and newcomer David Austin. The plot will still follow a friendship between friends over 30 years who stumble in and out of each other’s lives.

The show is said to be aiming for a Broadway transfer, provided the London run is successful. If it were to make its way to Broadway, it’d be the third late ’80s/early ’90s film to hit the global theatrical capital, after Groundhog Day in 2017 (which garnered seven Tony nominations) and Pretty Woman: The Musical which opened last year. Cyndi Lauper is also rumoured to be working on a musical adaptation of Working Girl, based on the 1988 movie.

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5 thoughts on “Beaches, The Musical, Is Coming To The London Theater…But Just Without The Same Songs…

  1. Interesting that this musical version of “Beaches” is sticking closer to the original source material (i.e.: Ms Dart’s novel,) because there are some surprising twists in that story; to give an idea, here are two major ones:

    1. The reason for the temporary break-up in Cecilia C. Bloom’s & Roberta Baron (Hilary Whitney in the film) friendship was far more traumatic than the one given in the film. One night during an “accidental” joint Hawaiian vacation, Roberta overheard from outside their hotel room her husband “coming on” to C. C., then fled from the scene when she thought she heard them starting to make love. If Ms Baron had stayed a few more seconds, however, she would have found out that what actually was going on was Ms Bloom getting ready to tell him in no uncertain terms EXACTLY what she thought of him, and where he could put his “appendage” (big hint: not into her …LOL!!!) Unfortunately, the damage had been done by that point.

    2. The final days of their friendship was more like a few months in the novel, during which time C.C. was both Roberta’s caretaker as well as her friend as she was dying from cancer. The reader would not find out until the sequel, “I’ll Be There,” that Ms Bloom had almost sacrificed her career to be with Ms Baron (I think that was why the decision was made for the movie “Beaches” to change the performance C. C was rehearsing for to a concert instead of the TV special as it was in the book.)

  2. I loved the book, but I’m impressed how much you remember from it. I can’t remember anything except Bette was supposed to sing, was it, Climb Every Mountain. Some kind of standard. See I can’t remember that!

    1. Remember when I had my website, I actually had analysis of both “Beaches” and “The First Wives Club” (among other items.) I still had those pages archived locally on CD-ROM, and last year transferred them to my home network (NAS) drive. I just checked the “Beaches” pages, and they actually lined up pretty well with what I wrote. I had actually also wanted to mention the two friends reconciliation (which – interestingly – included a very moving “Wind Beneath My Wings” type moment involving C. C. and Roberta’s comatose – and soon to pass away – mother,) but it was late.

      I can say this, though. Even though there are differences between the novel and film “Beaches,” their stories at least follow in the same general direction. One cannot say the same, however, for “The First Wives Club” (for instance, the three main targets in the movie were secondary ones in the novel; also the wealthy three-time divorcee who was the heroines major ally was actually Elise’s uncle…)

      1. Yeah. I know who you are and the website. I just have a horrible memory when it comes to details of books, but now I see why yours is so good lol

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