Grammy®-nominated Canadian R&B/pop singer/songwriter Deborah Cox will star as Academy Award®-nominated superstar pop singer Rachel Marron — the Whitney Houston role in the Oscar®-nominated 1992 Warner Bros. film — in The Bodyguard on March 14-19 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The 2016-17 U.S. National Tour of the 2012 West End hit musical will be presented as part of DPAC‘S 2016-17 “Dream Big” SunTrust Broadway Series. It features a book by Academy Award-winning and Drama Desk Award-nominated playwright and screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman and Zanna, Don’t), based on the 1992 screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan, and more than a dozen songs that Whitney Houston made famous.
According to DPAC:
“… The Bodyguard had its world premiere on Dec. 5, 2012 at London’s Adelphi Theatre. The Bodyguard was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical and Best Set Design, and won Best New Musical at the WhatsOnStage Awards. The U.K. production of the musical recently completed a sell-out 16-month U.K. and Ireland tour and made its triumphant return to London’s West End at the Dominion Theatre on July 15, 2016.”
The creative team for the current U.S. tour, produced by Michael Harrison, David Ian, and Nederlander Presentations, Inc., includes director Thea Sharrock; choreographer Karen Bruce; associate director Frank Thompson; production musical supervisor Mike Dixon; musical supervisor Richard Beadle; set and costume designer Tim Hatley; lighting designer Mark Henderson; sound designer Richard Brooker; video designer Duncan McLean; hair, wigs, and make-up designer Campbell Young; casting director Beth Eden; production stage manager Melissa Chacón; stage manager Richard A. Leigh; and assistant stage manager Stacy N. Taylor. The show also features orchestrations and additional music by Chris Egan and vocal arrangements by Mike Dixon.
When the curtain rises, according to DPAC:
“Former Secret Service agent-turned-bodyguard, Frank Farmer [played by Judson Mills], is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron [Deborah Cox] from an unknown Stalker [Jorge Paniagua]. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love.
“A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including ‘Queen of the Night,’ ‘So Emotional,’ ‘One Moment in Time,’ ‘Saving All My Love,’ ‘Run to You,’ ‘I Have Nothing,’ ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody,’ and one of the biggest selling songs of all time [Dolly Parton’s megahit] ‘I Will Always Love You.'”
In addition to the Deborah Cox, Judson Mills, and Jorge Paniagua, the U.S. tour stars Alex Corrado as Rachel’s head of security Tony Scibelli, Jarid Faubel as Frank’s former Secret Service colleague Ray Court, Charles Gray as Rachel’s manager Bill Devaney, Jonathan Hadley as Rachel’s publicist Sy Spector, and Jasmin Richardson as Rachel’s sister Nicki Marron. Douglas Baldeo and Kevelin B. Jones III alternate as Rachel’s son Fletcher Marron. The Ensemble includes Arielle Campbell, Brendon Chan, Megan Elyse Fulmer, Alejandra Matos, DeQuina Moore, Bradford Rahmlow, Benjamin Rivera, Matthew Schmidt, Jaquez André Sims. and Naomi C. Walley; and Swings include Willie Dee, Sean Rozanski, Maria Cristina Slye, and Lauren Tanner.
“Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox made her Broadway debut in the lead role in Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical Aida. She starred on Broadway in 2013 as Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde, and as legendary Josephine Baker in [the world premiere of] Josephine at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Spring 2016.
“Cox began her recording career as a background singer with Celine Dion, before securing her first recording contract with Clive Davis at Arista Records. Her platinum-selling debut album Deborah Cox earned her an American Music Award nomination. From her second CD, One Wish, came the double platinum ‘Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,’ which held the record for the longest-running #1 R&B Single for 14 consecutive weeks and earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination, a Soul Train Award, A Lady of Soul Award, Best Female vocalist Juno nomination, and a Billboard Music Award Nomination for R&B Single of the Year.
“The Canadian-born star has an impressive list of #1 Billboard hit records, including twelve #1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. In 2000, Cox collaborated with Whitney Houston to record the duet ‘Same Script Different Cast‘ for Houston’s Whitney: Greatest Hits CD.
“Cox has been recognized for her longstanding commitment to the LGBTQ community (2007 N.Y. State Senate Civil Rights Award, 2014 CA State Senate Award, 2015 Out Music Pillar Award, 2015 Harvey Milk Foundation’s Diversity Honoree, [and] 2016 Liberty Bell and Proclamation for Philadelphia LGBTQ Pride Day). www.deborahcox.com @Deborah_Cox www.facebook.com/DeborahCoxDRG”
According to the website bio for Cox’s costar Judson Mills:
“[Judson Mills] was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Northern Virginia in a little stone house in the woods built by George Washington before he was President. Mills grew up hunting and fishing, and up through high school enjoyed a small town life.
“After high school, Judson went on to major in Theatre at Barry University in Miami [Shores, FL]. From there, it was off to [New York], where Mills attended the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After school, he booked his first audition and spent three years on the soap opera As The World Turns.
“Mills has since done over 35 guest starring roles on television including Law & Order, The X-Files, Dexter, The Mentalist, ABC’s new Notorious and can be seen on HBO’s new hit series from J.J. Abrams, Westworld. Judson was also a series regular alongside Chuck Norris on the popular action show Walker, Texas Ranger from CBS. He went on to star with Mr. Norris in The Presidents Man: A Line in the Sand for CBS. Mills has appeared in 20 feature films including Major League: Back to the Minors, Mighty Joe Young, Chill Factor, and the Academy Award-nominated Gods and Monsters.
“Mills is thrilled to be back on stage and is honored to be working with Deborah Cox and the amazing cast of The Bodyguard. @JudsonMills”
SECOND OPINION: March 13th Raleigh, NC WRAL.com preview by Kathy Hanrahan for “What’s on Tap”: http://www.wral.com/one-on-one-with-the-bodyguard-/16575098/; March 9th Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/lifestyles/deborah-cox-stars-in-the-bodyguard-at-dpac-says-whitney/article_487fac94-0469-11e7-b5db-db016ee71a28.html (Note: You must subscribe to read this article); and March 9th Raleigh, NC wralSPORTSfan.com audio interview with actress Deborah Cox: http://www.wralsportsfan.com/buzzsportradio/audio/16574415/.
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.
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.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qW9s4bP-9M.
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.
CREATIVE TEAM: http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/whos-who/creative.php.
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).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail email@example.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)