Greatest Love of All
I wanted to dance with somebody in this broadway rendition of The Bodyguard. This show, performed at the Orpheum through the fifteenth is one to see. This show boldly shows what it will be right from the start, immediately drawing you in. The lights went dark as suddenly as the gunshot went off. I was stopped mid-word, mid-sentence and was sucked into the show. As soon as the intense scene started, it ended, and a dance number came on in an explosion, and that is how the entire show was. This show, based off of the movie “The Bodyguard” with Whitney Houston as the star, uses her music throughout the entire performance. The basic story is of a star, Rachel Marron, who starts to receive threatening letters in her dressing room. Her manager calls in the best bodyguard there is, and romance ensues, but it is complicated with interest and conflicting emotions of others. While this happier story is happening, we see bits and pieces of the investigation going on, which gets more and more serious. THis show is full of theatrical talent and heart wrenching Whitney Houston songs juxtaposed to a dark story that had me cringing.
The thing that makes the show is the singing. Deborah Cox, the lead actress performing Rachel Marron, is the reason to come to this show. Her voice is strong, and it is allowed to shine with main parts in ten of the eighteen songs and two solos as well. Her performances were each show stopping. This may have gotten a little repetitive after the 5th time of myself being blown away. But to have too many amazing songs is impressive to me. This show is through and through broadway- theatrics are high in this performance. One actor that really stood out was co-star Judson Mills, playing the bodyguard Frank Farmer. His subtlety evened out the intense extremes of the show, and still gave a compelling and believable character.
Lighting was quite theatrical, and well used, especially with the set. The set and lighting designers Mark Henderson and Tim Hatley did a wonderful job creating scenes from minimal pieces in the set. It was quite creative and really allowed for the dualities of the stories to play out. They used a layer of walls, that could when needed, light up and create a show in the show. These created an infinite number of frames and places. The set does justice to the movie the show is based off of, as I felt like I was watching a movie at some points, with the frame only allowing you to see a single shot or image that was the focus. This was well used and a really strong set because of its creative possibility that they really allowed to shine.
I was confused at with where the plot was going. The divide of the seriousness of the underlying plot was so distinct from the love and lighter sweetness of the rest of the show. I was pulled in by the talent of singing and dancing in this show, and it let me warm up to the plot as it continued to set the scene. Deborah Cox made me feel like I was actually at a concert when she sang her opening song “All at Once”.
This show is full of explosions, and is bursting with talent. It may take you a bit to fully get immersed in the story, but I promise it will be worth it.