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Beaches the Musical to get international premiere with Theatre Calgary

The best selling novel that tells the story of a 30-year friendship thtough childhood to adults, from pen pals to romantic rivals, and the enduring power of sisterhood is coming to a Theatre Calgary Stage next season.

Beaches the Musical, is making its international premiere in Calgary, after an off-Broadway run that began in 2014.

The book by Iris Rainer Dart was a major hit in the mid 1980s, and led to the 1988 film staring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey—and the Grammy award-winning theme song for the film, “Wind beneath my wings.”

“I remember the movie Beaches like it was yesterday. I first saw it when I was 18 years old. Now 35 years later, the brilliant Iris Dart, who wrote the original novel, has teamed up with the legendary songwriter, Mike Stoller to re-imagine this timeless tale of friendship as a musical,” said Theatre Calgary’s Artistic Director Stafford Arima.

Arima said that he was thrilled that the new production of Beaches would be making its international premiere on a Theatre Calgary stage.

That feeling was echoed by Dart, who said that she had fell in love with the Theatre Calgary team.

“Not long ago I visited the beautiful Theatre Calgary and fell in love with the theatre, the energy of the team, and Stafford Arima’s joy and enthusiasm in presenting plays and musicals to the community,” said Dart.

“Remarkably, it was my old friend Stafford’s idea, many years ago, that I turn Beaches into a musical.”

Lonny Price (Sunset Boulevard revival, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) and Matt Coward (Sunset Boulevard revival, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) will be directing and co-directing the production.

“We defy anyone to walk away unmoved by Iris Dart’s hilarious and touching book, as well as her lyrics to legendary composer Mike Stoller’s exhilarating new score,” said the pair.

“If we sound very excited about it—we are.”

Price and Coward previously collaborated on another world premiere for Theatre Calgary, The Louder We Get, in 2020.

Beaches the Musical runs from May 18 to June 16, 2024.

Single tickets for Theatre Calgary’s 2023-2024 season, which starts on September 12 with The Moustrap, are on sale at www.theatrecalgary.com/season2324.