Next week we will open a new musical, Born For This, in the Cutler Majestic Theatre. In many ways, ArtsEmerson was literally born for this moment. This new musical totally animates ArtsEmerson’s vision of a thriving world, fueled on empathy and ignited by art. At the same time, it’s strong evidence of our commitment to supporting the work of the world’s great voices, uplifting the richness of our cultural diversity in Boston, and activating our venues in the service of new work.
In July 2013, months after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, we hosted the first of two workshops in Boston for this stirring production. Its vision of the transformative power of love along the road to fulfilling one’s destiny lifted everyone’s spirit. The diverse cast of characters in this story, some of them household names, underscored our commitment to connecting across differences. And the music melted hearts and moved many of us to tears. Audiences who attended the public presentations immediately began advocating for its return to Boston and, with the help of many people, that time has finally come.
Born For This is a funny, moving new musical for the whole family. It tells a timely tale of the power of redemptive love on the road to finding one’s purpose. In 1981, while still in their teens, BeBe and CeCe Winans, left their home and musical family in Detroit for rural North Carolina to become the first black singers on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord network. Their unexpected rise to fame as crossover stars parallels the rise and excess of the Bakker’s evangelical empire and intersects the rise to superstardom of their friend Whitney Houston. Along the way, BeBe struggles to navigate the culture shock and keep his footing while trying to discover his calling and purpose.
The music blends beloved Winans family hits with original music and score, penned and composed by six-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter BeBe Winans. I can’t wait for you to hear it. We’re blessed with a powerful ensemble of Broadway veterans, with Donald Webber (Hamilton), Loren Lott (Once on This Island), and Lisi LaFontaine (Dreamgirls, West End) in the roles of BeBe, CeCe and Whitney Houston. Actors Milton Craig Nealy and Nita Whitaker play the passionate and protective Winans parents, while Kristen Wyatt and Chaz Pofhal channel the young Bakkers in performances that are both hilarious and achingly human. The musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright of Motown.
Born For This is the one offering in a busy summer season that is sure to lift you up, fill your heart and captivate the entire family. We’ll see you at the theater!
This delightful new musical is for anyone who has ever searched for their own purpose in life. BORN FOR THIS: A NEW MUSICAL. JUN 15 – JUL 15. Grab tickets now: https://bit.ly/2pgUHja