For many people, The Bodyguard is considered an iconic film, one that holds its value and appeal despite the many years since its release. This was made evident by the large and enthusiastic crowd present at DPAC’s presentation of The Bodyguard: The Musical, adapted from the original screenplay by Alexander Dinelaris and under the direction of Thea Sharrock.
Like many other recent movies-turned-musicals as of late, this one is designed to entertain and to appeal to diehard fans of the original, a goal that it easily meets. It delves quickly into the familiar story of aloof Rachel Marron (Deborah Cox), a mega-famous songstress, and Frank Farmer (Judson Mills). Frank has been hired to be Rachel’s bodyguard due to a scary stalker (Jorge Paniagua) who has been leaving her alarming notes. While fiery, independent Rachel initially rejects Frank’s help, she quickly comes to appreciate it- and him- when she realizes the intensity of the danger she is in.
The production’s storyline often delves into terrifying territory as the action progresses and the stalker grows more bold in his attempts to have Rachel for himself. This is played up with tense music, lots of intense effects, including 3-D photos projected on the walls, and awesome lighting tricks.
During the non-scary moments, however, there is a real and enjoyable chemistry between the two leads. Cox is fabulous in every possible way, making a believable, diva-esque (but still likeable) Rachel, and Mills is wonderfully handsome, masculine, and just a touch of brooding in his portrayal of Frank- basically everything the lead in a romance should be.
The supporting cast is also good here, especially Douglas Baldeo’s charming, precocious portrayal of Fletcher, Rachel’s young son, and Jasmin Richardson’s intense and intensely sad turn as Rachel’s jealous sister, Nicki Marron.
All-in-all, there are no big surprises here for fans of the original. The play sticks fairly close to the film version, despite the addition of several cleverly-placed songs, the majority of which are delivered powerfully by the super-talented Cox. And, while the play is certainly a lot of fun to watch, there are certain areas in which the story lacks development and where characters could be more fleshed-out and less “stock.” Despite this fact, however, this play provides what it was designed to: an evening of fun and a touch of nostalgia for big fans of the film- though it’s still enjoyable enough for newcomers to the story as well.
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents THE BODYGUARD, starring Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron, at 7:30 p.m. March 14-16, 8 p.m. March 17, 2 and 8 p.m. March 18, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 19 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: Tickets start at $30, plus taxes and fees. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1721733.
GROUP RATES (12+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.
SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/the-bodyguard and https://www.facebook.com/events/1806336329595378/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qW9s4bP-9M.
DPAC NEWS RELEASE: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/the-bodyguard-on-sale-sept-24.
DPAC‘S 2016-17 “DREAM BIG” SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/direct-from-new-york-nederlander-presents-suntrust-broadway-at-dpac-2016-2017-season.
U.S. NATIONAL TOUR: http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/international/us-tour/, https://www.facebook.com/thebodyguardmusical/, and https://twitter.com/TheBodyguardUS.
TOUR CAST: http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/whos-who/us-company.php.
CREATIVE TEAM: http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/whos-who/creative.php.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
NOTE 1: Deborah Cox will not play Rachel Marron at the Saturday matinee and Sunday evening performances. Her understudies, Jasmin Richardson and Naomi C. Walley, will play Rachel Marron at those performances.
NOTE 2: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Saturday, March 18th, performance.
The Bodyguard (1992 film): https://www.warnerbros.co.uk/movies/the-bodyguard (Warner Bros. U.K. web page), http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/18363/The-Bodyguard/ (Turner Classic Movies page), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103855/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bodyguard_%281992_film%29 (Wikipedia).
Lawrence Kasdan (screenwriter): http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/whos-who/creative.php#lawrence-kasdan (tour bio), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001410/ (Internet Movie Database) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kasdan (Wikipedia).
The Script: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Bodyguard.html (IMSDb).
The Bodyguard (2012 and 2016 West End and 2016 US Tour musical): http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/thebodyguardmusical (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/TheBodyguardUK (Twitter page), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bodyguard_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia), and https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBodyguardMusical (YouTube).
Alexander Dinelaris (playwright and screenwriter): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/alexander-dinelaris-406393 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5409486/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Dinelaris_Jr. (Wikipedia).
Deborah Cox (Toronto, Ontario R&B/pop singer/songwriter who plays Rachel Marron): http://deborahcox.com/ (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/deborah-cox-118571 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0184990/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/DeborahCoxDRG (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/Deborah_Cox and https://twitter.com/DeborahCoxNews(Twitter pages), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Cox (Wikipedia), and https://www.youtube.com/user/deborahcoxtv (YouTube channel).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.