The Bodyguard, in my opinion, walked the fine line between an overly cheesy performance and a great theatrical production. They mainly stayed on the positive side of that line, and when doing so reminded me of many of my favorite aspects of theater. For example, whenever Deborah Cox stepped onstage, I could not draw my attention off her. She was glitzy and gorgeous and had a huge voice that perfectly matched one power ballad after another. On the other hand, there were a few moments here and there that caused me to think that the production was getting a little too over the top. Like when the lights started flashing constantly and the band played rattled the house with incredibly loud ultra-low bass notes. However, in the dark, the flash and boom all seemed to fit, and given the fact that The Bodyguard used to be an 80's themed movie and taking into account the central plot of the show, it must have been intentional.
The Bodyguard is the story of Frank Farmer (Judson Mills), a bodyguard for superstar musician Rachel Marron (Deborah Cox). Frank struggles with his relationship with both Rachel and her sister Nicki (Jasmin Richardson) while searching for an assassin (Bradford Rahmlow) who's been plotting to kill Rachel since the beginning of the play.
I did not notice any weak performances from any of the actors, especially Ms. Cox. One could argue she was the show itself. She reminded me of the things I love about theater. Her strong voice in the happy and energetic songs she sang gave those parts of the show the feel of a true pop concert. Her emotional tones in the sadder songs made her character feel so personable when she sang about things we all can relate to like love and heartbreak. Cox's acting also gave her character that same personal feeling. Somehow, watching Rachel singing a power ballad onstage while thinking back to an emotional moment she just had had made me appreciate the almost unrelated song she was singing even more. It's kind of like knowing the backstory of your favorite musician.
I said earlier that the show was often very close to being too cheesy and over the top. When it wasn't to cheesy, but close, the show was very entertaining. However, whenever the production crossed the line into unnecessary, it became somewhat less enjoyable. I feel like determining where this play stood in overall feel was somewhat dependent on the tech aspects. The tech created effects that you often find in movies, but rarely in theater. Sometimes it worked, but sometimes it crossed that imaginary line into too over the top. And example of when I thought movie elements really worked well were the parts when everything would go into slow motion. This occurred at times when Frank would come rushing in to save Rachel whenever the assassin got dangerously close to attacking her. One moment I didn't think the movie aspect worked was shortly after one of those encounters. Frank had just picked Rachel up in his arms and saved her from the assassin. Shortly after, the two disappeared offstage and a silhouette of Rachel in Frank's arms was cast onstage. This appeared to me as if the crew was trying to make the scene even more dramatic then it already was, and that just seems unnecessary.
Even though some parts of the play were a little weaker than others, it didn't matter in the end. The overall performance was quite good and I can definitely say that I enjoyed The Bodyguard.