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BWW Review: The Long Island Premiere of THE BODYGUARD at The Gateway

BWW Review: The Long Island Premiere of THE BODYGUARD at The Gateway

The dazzling 70th season at The Gateway continues with the Long Island premiere of The Bodyguard. Excellently directed by Keith Andrews, the production runs at the charming Bellport venue through July 20th. Indeed, this show is one not to miss.

Based on the 1992 movie, the tale centers on pop star Rachel who has a stalker. Her team hires Frank, a former Secret Service agent, as her bodyguard to which she grudgingly complies. Fans of the film are sure to enjoy the staged creation even with the differences from the movie.

Among the cast are Kimber Sprawl and Michael Shenefelt who strongly lead as Rachel and Frank, Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner's roles from the movie. Ms. Sprawl skillfully performs the bulk of the score filled with Houston's most beloved songs. Long Island native Matt Baguth is also a highlight as the stalker. In truth, the whole company is terrific, and it seems they're enjoying their time in the production.

An intriguing choice is the use of smartphones and taking "selfies." The story is from the early 1990s, and smartphones didn't become available until the 2000s. To add, "selfies" became mainstream just several years ago. However, I digress at this point. I'm not a millennial, and, in the end, it is fun and entertaining.

On the talented creative team, the set by Christopher and Justin Swader is well done. It is a bi-level stage with the majority of the action taking place on the lower level. The stalker's room is on the top level. Kim Hanson's top-notch lighting and Joe Greene's stunning costumes are also a highlight. A favorite of the audience is Rachel's "Queen Of The Night" outfit when she is "in concert." And, of course, it is always great to have a brilliant live orchestra this one headed up Alexander Rovang.

Do I recommend this production? Absolutely. In spite of the differences from the movie, this is a stirring production. Houston's songs are nostalgic, the stalker is super creepy, and the audience is engaged. It's an emotional rollercoaster, really. Combined with a stellar cast, this is an enjoyable night of theatre.

The Bodyguard runs at The Gateway through July 20th. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 286-1133 or visit

Based on the film screenplay Lawrense Kasdan, Book by Alexander Dinelaris, Direction & Choreography by Keith Andrews, Associate Director & Choreographer is Deb Roshe, Musical direction by Alexander Rovang, Lighting Design by Kim Hanson, Projections & Video Design by Patrick W. Lord, Set Design by Christopher and Justin Swader

Starring Kimber Sprawl, Michael Shenefelt, Danea C. Osseni, Logan Alexander, Peter Simon Hilton, Tim Barker, Joe Buono, Matt Baguth, Thomas Deloach, and Tony Gasbarri as Douglas with Zuri Washingon, Emily Esposito, Justin Keats, Héctor Flores Jr, Tislarm Bouie, Braden Sweeney, Veronica Fiaoni, Lindsey Weissinger, Saki Masuda, Katherine Stanas, Kaitlyn LaGrega, Elisa Tarquino, Will Brennan, Delaney Gruber, Gabby Pegg, and Justino Tesoro.

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