Theatre review by Steve Duffy –
Born for This will take you to church!
Detroit teenagers BeBe and Cece Winans experience the ultimate in culture shock when they leave the comfort and safety of their already-famous family to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord Network in Pineville, North Carolina. The televangelist couple becomes an unlikely surrogate family as the siblings rapidly rise to television stardom. After the duo achieve unexpected fame with a PTL performance of a remake of the hit song, “Love Lift Us Up (Where We Belong),” they encounter the seductive lure of celebrity and they establish life-long friendship with rising pop star Whitney Houston. Ultimately, BeBe must learn to reconcile the temptations of stardom and fortune with the things he ultimately values more.
The music is the star of this show. BeBe Winans’ score is a triumph!
The cast is amazing! Standouts are Kirsten Wyatt’s performance of Tammy Faye Bakker. She stole the show in every scene she had. Nita Whitaker, who plays BeBe and CeCe’s mother. Her performance of “Seventh Son” was emotional and stirring.
So many great voices in this show. I could listen to Brad Raymond (Ronald Winans) and Liisi LaFontanie (Whitney Houston) sing all day.
Born for This is entertaining and the songs and the vocals is what makes it a really great theatre experience.
Running Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes (includes 15 minute intermission)
Born For This is now playing at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre through July 15th. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by visiting www.artsemerson.org