BWW Review: Sacramento Will Always Love THE BODYGUARD
How does a musical do justice to the late Whitney Houston? By casting Grammy Award-nominated Deborah Cox in the role originated by Houston. THE BODYGUARD the Musical is based off of the 1992 film, which starred Houston and Kevin Costner. It ran in London's West End from December 2012-August 2014 and the North American tour began in November 2016.
The plot follows Rachel Marron (Cox), a pop star, and her bodyguard, Frank Farmer (Judson Mills), as they try to keep her safe from an obsessed fan. What begins as a contentious relationship culminates in a hapless love story. There seemed to be dueling acting styles between the two, which was perplexing at times. Cox was overtly passionate and Mills came across as somewhat bored and unengaged. They seemed to find their rhythm by the end of the show and Cox thrilled the audience with her powerful vocals, while Mills showed his comedic talent.
Jasmin Richardson, who plays Rachel's sister Nicki Marron, stood out for her superb acting and strong vocals. The part of Nicki is developed more in the musical and Richardson embodied the tragic blend of loyalty and jealousy.
The true star of the show was young Douglas Baldeo, who played Marron's 10 year old son, Fletcher. Adorable, engaging, a true triple threat. I look forward to seeing what this young man accomplishes in the future.
There is no denying the energy that THE BODYGUARD brings to Sacramento. A musical comprised of Whitney Houston hits is bound to be a crowd pleaser. Everyone was up dancing during the last numbers and Cox's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" was second only to Whitney. The company truly earned their full house standing ovation.
THE BODYGUARD plays at the Sacramento Community Center Theatre through Sunday, April 23.
Photo credit: Joan Marcus