By Margaret Freelon, NDG Special Contributor
I could not think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Dallas than reminiscing over a dozen songs from Whitney Houston including songs from the 1992 original soundtrack album for the movie of the same name The Bodyguard. The album, which defined an era, was certified platinum 17 times. For the stage production presented by the Dallas Summer Musicals the story takes us back to enjoy the story of Rachel Marron played by Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox, and her on stage sister, Nicki Marron played by Jasmin Richardson. Even Frank Farmer, played by Judson Mills, who portrayed Francis Gage on Walker Texas Ranger and also appeared in over 35 guest starring roles on television for shows such as Law and Order and The X-Files, attempted to sing a couple of lyrics.
The Bodyguard – The Musical, a touring stage adaptation of the 1992 blockbuster film which helped to propel Houston into certifiable mega-stardom when she played opposite Kevin Costner. However, remember this is an adaptation of the movie so it does not follow the movie scene by scene. The opening scene will definitely get your attention and all the glitz and glam when the music starts will remind you that the true star of this musical is the music. Cox showed she could hold her own in the iconic role of Rachel Marron. Cox belted the show’s well-known hits like “How Will I Know,” “Run to You,” and “I Will Always Love You” with ease and when she began to sing “Queen of the Night” the audience was ready to sing along.
The story looks at the sibling rivalry between sisters Nicki and Rachel. Although Nicki is older and just as talented, the attention and fame are focused on Rachel which caused that green-eyed monster raises its ugly head and the jealousy intensifies when both sisters have eyes for the newly hired bodyguard. Without giving away the plot twist and turns of the musical, I will tell you that I feel Judson Mills carried the role of Frank Farmer better than Kevin Costner. In fact, I was waiting for him to do one of those classic Walker- Texas Ranger spinning kicks while protecting Rachel.
Do not attend the musical looking for it to help you make sense of the movie. Do not look for it to make some deep political statement. The reason you should go and enjoy The Bodyguard – The Musical is to hear the music. The costumes, the set, the energy in the theater were electrifying and judging from the cheering and standing ovation served as evidence that The Bodyguard – The Musical is a riveting play that touched the soul of those who enjoyed the music.
The production continues in Dallas through July 30 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Then it shifts west for a limited engagement at the Bass Performance Hall from August 1-6. Don’t forget to enter for an opportunity to win tickets to opening night in Fort Worth!