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BeBe & CeCe Winans’ incredible journey from Detroit teenagers to international music superstars is chronicled in the musical stage play Born For This, now appearing at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. BeBe Winans wrote the story and original songs for the musical which is performed by a stellar cast of talented actor/singers.  This gospel spectacular is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright (director of the Broadway and West End runaway hit Motown: The Musical).

Born For This1Leading the cast as BeBe and CeCe are their nephew and niece Juan and Deborah Joy Winans. Juan is singer/songwriter of the Grammy-nominated album We Got Next. His sister Deborah Joy co-stars on OWN’s original TV series Greenleaf.

Also featured are Chaz Pofahl as Jim Bakker and Kirsten Wyatt (Broadway’s A Christmas Story The Musical) as Tammy Faye Bakker, as well as Kiandra Richardson as Whitney Houston, and Nita Whitaker (Pasadena Playhouse’s Breaking Through) as Mom Winans, Milton Craig Nealy (Broadway’s Motown The Musical, Arena’s Akeelah and the Bee) as Pop Winans, Dyllon Burnside(Broadway’s Holler If Ya Hear Me) as Michael Winans and Howard, Desmond Sean Ellington as Carvin Winans and Alvin, Brad Raymond as Ronald Winans and Michael Stiggers as Marvin Winans.

This production of Born for This at The Broad Stage is produced by Ron Gillyard and My Destiny Productions.

Benjamin, “BeBe” Winans, the inspirational R&B and gospel vocalist and six-time GRAMMY Award winner is the seventh child and youngest male of the Detroit based first family of gospel music. Teaming with his younger sister, Priscilla “CeCe”, the duo first began crossing lines as “adopted children” of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker on the PTL television show.

BeBe & CeCe are the first true Christian crossover artists to hit the mainstream. They appeared frequently on national television — from The Arsenio Hall Show to Good Morning America to The Oprah Winfrey Show — where they have taken their message and presented it in a way that touched, moved and inspired wide audiences. BeBe and CeCe are the first brother and sister to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On their first tour, Whitney Houston sang background for the siblings — proclaiming herself their “sister” and setting the tone for her own special career.

The singing and acting performances in Born For This are truly amazing! Nita Whitakers’ solo gave me goosebumps. Kirsten Wyatt steals the show with her portrayal of Tammy Faye Bakker.

The opening night show was well attended by Hollywood entertainment notables including Sydney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, Stevie Wonder, Berry Gordy, Jennifer Lewis, Isaiah  Washington, Debbie Allen, Loretta Divine, Garcelle Beauvais, Robert Townsend, Stephanie Mills, Marvin Winans, Dave Koz, Reggie Hudlin, Mark Ridley Thomas, Pat Prescott, Darrel Miller, James Pickens, Kyle Bowser, Debra Langford, Tyson Chandler, Herb Trawick, Karen Lee, Pam Tyus, Darlene Donloe, Shayla, Marilyn Bachelor, and many others.

This is a play I recommend highly. A great story, amazing music and a whole lot of love!  Congratulations to BeBe and producer Ron Gillyard for this outstanding production!

BeBe, Ron Gillyard, Herb Trawick

BeBe, Ron Gillyard, Herb Trawick