Alexander Dinelaris’ production of The Bodyguard began in London, and is based on the Warner Bros. screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan (1992). The story follows Rachel Marron (Deborah Cox) on her journey as a superstar. When Marron’s management team finds a fan letter that threatens her life, former Secret Service agent Frank Farmer (Judson Mills) is brought in to protect Marron and her son. An unexpected love story unfolds as the two realize that to be together, they would be required to give up life as they know it. Although there were multiple technical errors, the intense yet passionate story line keeps the audience on their toes. This production of The Bodyguard is not the most professional, but is still worth the time to see.
The stunning musical numbers blew the audience away, Cox’s voice filling viewers with excitement. However, her strength in vocal performance did not reflect her presentation of character. Cox kept a fairly straight face throughout majority of the production, seeming disconnected and fairly emotionless. The most passionate part of her performance was the big kiss preceding intermission. This was extremely disappointing as viewers could easily get attached to Marron, if Cox would give them something to grab ahold of.
The house lights had yet to flash when a gunshot echoed throughout the Orpheum Theater. The loud chatter of audience members went from relaxed conversation to frantic gasps and shouts in a short moment. This ‘edge of your seat’ realistic feeling kept its presence throughout the entirety of the performance. Sound and light designers Mark Henderson and Richard Brooker did a phenomenal job of giving a cinematic but life-like feel to the production. During the scene where Marron first meets her attacker, the height of the intensity was presented in slow motion as if it were a film. Strobe lights, slowed movement, muted cheering and an echoing heartbeat were used to achieve this extremely powerful effect.
Adding to the list of fantastic technical elements, the projections used throughout the production were entrancing. The layering of Marron’s face projected onto a transparent screen over a scene of a love-struck Farmer gave a cinematic effect. These types of projections casted a warm intimate feel over the audience. The other type of projections spread uncomfort that had viewers squirming in their seats. These consisted of the shirtless attacker cleaning knives, smelling Marron’s dress, constructing his messages, etc. Although tense, these projections forced the audience to play into the fear and jumpscares of Marron’s un-named attacker.
Although majority of the performance held a pristine shock value and impressive technical elements, parts of the show held a certain level of unprofessionalism that might appear in a High School production. There were multiple instances of a spotlight only illuminating the bottom half of Cox’s body. During an intense scene, the curtain stage left seemed to have gotten caught on a moving set piece, tearing viewers away from the romance and into the world of backstage.
The current production of The Bodyguard will be playing at the Orpheum Theater until the 15th. With the exception of Cox’s acting and a few technical mishaps, The Bodyguard is a performance that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats from the first gunshot to the end of curtain call.