On January 10th, Minnesotans got to get out of the bleak weather and see a colorful romantic thriller The Bodyguard at the Orpheum brought by company Michael Harrison, David Ian, and Nederlander Presentations, Inc.. While lacking in substantial plot and story this musical was well executed. The concert was driven mainly by music the plot only means to an end. The Bodyguard is about a singer Rachel Marron (Debra Cox) who is being stalked and gets a bodyguard. In other words it is a musical about Rachel and cast finding many ways to sing iconic songs. Pushing that aside the technical elements were more than enjoyable and if you don't care too much about plot this musical is for you.
There is no denying Debra Cox is an alto powerhouse who throws the average person for their money. Her acting when the writing allowed was good, but her singing was geared more to being perfect than telling a story. The second act was where she acted the most. Her sister Nikki Marron (Jasmin Richardson) was by far preferable. Her voice reminded of the greats like Ella Fitzgerald, or Aretha Franklin and was far more expressive than Cox's. The character itself was written as an openly flawed person which made the actress admirable and easy to empathize with. Frank Farmer (Judson Mills) was comedic gold during the performance. Mills went as far with his character as the writing allowed and got uproarious laughs from the audience. Stalker (Jorge Panagua) gets an honorable mentions as scariest villain ever garnering respect and screams. The ensemble/dance company were rehearsed beyond belief and showed the world that being in the ensemble is not an unseen role. Each member added their own unique flavor to scenes and was appreciated by the audience.
The tech elements were strongly rooted in modern technology. Scrims and videos/projections were all the rage. Time Hatley's set design was unique and fun to look at. There were four "doors" acting like curtains that allowed layers and dual scenes. Many set pieces also slide in and out making set changes everything smooth and enjoyable. Tim's previous credits seemed a great asset in making the set. Overall, the music, sound effects, lighting, and set were meticulously worked to bring best audience satisfaction. The costumes were phenomenal for both leads and support. Various characters had many costume changes and it added to the time progression of the musical.
For a show with little substance the Michael Harrison, David Ian, and Nederlander Presentations, Inc. definitely milked all they could out of it. The musical numbers were well performed by singers, dancers, tech, and crew. The lack of feeling could've been opening night blues, but maybe somewhere from January 10-15 someone will see the show that'll stop their heart in wonder for one moment in time.