Beaches at Signature Theatre Tuesday, Feb. 18

Mention the 1988 tearjerker film Beaches and a few things come to mind: Bette Midler’s explosion of bright red curls, Barbara Hershey’s general perfection, and the gut-punching strains of “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Signature Theatre’s world premiere musical adaptation of Beaches might not have that whole package, but it’s got one essential ingredient: Iris Rainer Dart. The author of the novel on which the movie was based wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book to the show. In her hands, the heart and spirit of the story will remain the same: the journey of a loving and competitive female friendship starting from childhood through the trials of adulthood. Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer directs, and the production features Broadway vets Mara Davi and Alysha Umphress as longtime friends Bertie and Cee. They might not toy with your emotions exactly the way Bette and Barbara did, but it’s probably wise to bring some tissues with you just in case. The show runs Feb. 18 to March 23 at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. $29–$69. (703) 820-9771. signature-theatre.org.

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