Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The Bodyguard Movie & The Bodyguard:The Musical
Note: Post contains both movie and musical plot spoilers
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As a someone who tends to date outside my race, I've always had an affinity for this love story between Rachel Marron (Houston) and Frank Farmer (Costner). The Bodyguard may not possess an award winning script, and it's not quite in a class with Pretty Woman or When Harry Met Sally, but it's a good movie which captures your attention and heart every time you watch it. But mainly, 1992 was a pinnacle moment for Whitney Houston, she was a girl on fire! She looked so beautiful, seemed so fabulous, her career in the place everyone wishes for at some point in their lives. And that soundtrack! I mean every song, not one did you skip on the CD, except later, when "I Will Always Love You" got so over played, at the time, you couldn't stand it anymore.
So, I was thrilled when The Kimmel Center/Allied Philly asked me if I wanted to host a contest to give away tickets to the opening night of The Bodyguard, The Musical starring Deborah Cox in the lead role. And it would seem from the number of entries I received, that Tinsel & Tine Subscribers also have a soft spot in their hearts for this movie, turned musical.
The show is currently at The Academy of Music (Feb 21-26, 2017) as part of The Kimmel Center Broadway Season. The opening number, "Queen of the Night" feels just like you're at a concert instead of a Broadway show - full of smoke, concert venue lighting, great sound and exuberant back up dancers.
|Me with Winner of 2 Tix to Opening night - Andrea October|
The story of the musical pretty much follows the flow of the movie, with different emphasis. The movie plays up the friction between Agent Frank Farmer and Rachel's staff, particularly her current head of security and publicists. That friction is there in the musical, but not as sharp.
In the play, there's a triangle introduced into the plot, as Rachel's sister Nicki gets interested romantically in Frank before Rachel makes her move. And I have to say Nicki & Frank have good chemistry too. Rachel doesn't try to cock block Nicki, she's got no idea of Nicki's feelings for Frank. This romantic angle is not a part of the movie. In contradiction, in the movie, Nicki has hired a hitman to kill Rachel, out of mere jealousy of being the sister in the shadows. In the musical, her only crime is having corresponded with the stalker; yet feeling the way she does about Frank, she'd have more motive in the play/musical to kill then in the movie.
I have to send a special shout out to the actress/singer who plays Nicki Marron in this production, Jasmin Richardson, she is most certainly not in Cox's shadow, what a delicious voice!
My friend and fellow writer Thomasena Farrar of MusicMoviesThoughts interviewed Richardson - click HERE for the interview.
Not to take anything away from Deborah Cox who plays Rachel to the hilt and sings the hell out of "He's All The Man I Need" and, of course, "I Will Always Love You" she definitely channels a bit of Whitney throughout the show.
Molly Eichel interviewed Cox for Philly.com - click HERE for interview
The relationship between Frank (Judson Mills) and Rachel's son, Fletcher (Douglas Baldeo) is played more strongly in this musical version; in the movie he likes the kid, but they don't have very many scenes together.
My only criticism - would be that it took me a while to get into the rhythm of the dialogue. For some reason, it's stilted and feels a little like a high school play. As the story progresses, it gets better, but the actor's delivery seems to be deliberately flat. Not sure what the purpose of this is?
The good news - there's very little dialogue. It's really a Whitney Houston songbook, one favorite after another. "The Bodyguard, The Musical" is a wonderful tribute to the late Ms. Houston, whose magic was wasted in the second half of her short life, a tragedy; but the height of her talent will forever be a gift.
Philly Influencers at Opening Night; lft to rt: Emma Tramble - Strategist, Speaker, Author | Tatiana Bacchus - Producer, Actress, Filmmaker | Thomasena Farrar - Journalist, Music Authority, Blogger | Darryl King - Writer, Director, Movie Critic |
Le Anne Lindsay - Blogger, Social Media Maven, Photographer | Mike Dennis - Founder of Reelblack, Filmmaker, Black film historian.
The Bodyguard, The Musical is directed by Thea Sharrock | Set & Costume Design by Tim Hatley to purchase tickets visit thebodyguardmusical.com