“Born for This” is an engaging musical that gives insight into the journey of Benjamin “BeBe” Winans and Priscilla “CeCe” Winans. The singing siblings, who come from Gospel Music’s Winans dynasty, became breakout stars on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord (PTL) Network based in Pineville, SC. The two would go on to become a groundbreaking music duo who would achieve huge crossover success.
The musical shows BeBe & CeCe deal with the challenges of racism working on PTL; facing jealously from their already successful older brothers, The Winans; and explains how they became close friends with the late, great Whitney Houston.
Starring Juan Winans (BeBe) and Deborah Joy Winans (CeCe), the children of Carvin Winans (The Winans) capture the essence of their famous aunt and uncle in the musical. Deborah Joy, who currently stars in OWN’s new hit drama “Greenleaf,” previously played her Aunt CeCe in Lifetime’s “Whitney” movie about the life of Houston.
One of the highlights of the show is actress Kirsten Wyatt, who is hilarious in her impeccable portrayal of eccentric televangelist Tammy Faye.
Grammy-winning Gospel superstar Donald Lawrence serves as music supervisor for “Born for This.”
Rounding out the cast for “Born For This” are Chaz Pofahl (Jim Bakker); Kiandra Richardson (Whitney Houston); Nita Whitaker (Mom Winans); Milton Craig Nealy (Pop Winans); Dyllon Burnside (Michael Winans/Howard) Desmond Sean Ellington (Carvin Winans/Alvin Love); Brad Raymond (Ronald Winans); Michael Stiggers (Marvin Winans); Nick Morrett (Bob); Alison Whitehurst (Penny); Kurt Boehm (Jimmy Ray) and Gracie Jones (ensemble).
In addition to spotting the show’s choreographer Warren Adams at opening night, those in attendance included Marvin Winans; Cathy Hughes (Radio One/TV One); Lisa Kimmey-Winans (Out of Eden); music producer Daniel Weatherspoon (Donald Lawrence/Karen Clark-Sheard); Byron Nichols (Richard Smallwood & Vision); Sarah Hearn (Examiner); and Shiba Haley (National Museum of African American History & Culture).
“Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story” will play at Arena Stage until August 28, 2016.