Tuesday November 21st 2017

“The Bodyguard Musical”

bodyguardRecommended *** Are we reviewers or critics? What exactly is it that we should be doing when we witness a play, and then tell others what they can expect to see? There are times it is confusing. Tonight, for example, we witnessed a great motion picture, “The Bodyguard” as it is after being converted into a “Broadway Musical”. Although, so far, it has only played London’s West End (pretty strong audiences and it won several awards). Now, it is being presented as part of the Broadway In Chicago series at the  Oriental Theatre, “The bodyguard Musical”!

I will say that this production, if nothing else, is a theatrical experience that every audience member will recall, for whatever feelings they had. The glitz is “very” glitzy and the sparkle delightful. The ensemble is exciting and highly energetic making each dance number one that will leave an imprint in your mind. Maybe, just maybe, they can rework the script to make this a better story-telling experience. One can only hope!

Most everyone knows that this is the movie about a star singer, Rachel Marron (Deborah Cox is amazing in her recreation of this role), who is being stalked (Bradford Rahmlow defies explanation on his bringing this character to life- wow!) and ex-secret service agent, who now hires himself out as a bodyguard, Frank Farmer ( deftly handled by Judson Mills) is hired to protect her until they can catch this would-be-killer. What happens between these two strong , but lonely people , is a special bond, or perhaps love.bodyguardopen

The play, directed by Thea Sharrock has some exciting and tense moments, filled with mystery and a wild set (Tim Hatley, who also designed the glitzy costumes) and marvelous choreography (Karen Bruce, who in some cases pays homage to the great Bob Fosse with style and grace). While they follow the basic theme of Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar nominated film, the adaptation  by Alexander Dinelaris for the musical stage moves the story faster and with great musical pieces and dance numbers that will take your breath away.

While I would love to say this is a show that will turn New York upside down (if it gets there), I was not impressed with how the acting worked overall. The songs were great, the dance stupendous, but dollar for dollar, this is not yet a “Broadway Musical”. The ensemble is powerful and highly energetic. Rachel’s sister Nicki (who thinks she is the love interest for Frank, early in the play) is well- played by Jasmin Richardson and her ten-year-old son, the adorable Kevin B. Jones III (on alternate dates Douglas Baldeo takes on this role).

The songs in this show- “Queen of the Night”, “So Emotional”, “One Moment in Time”, “Saving All My Love”, “Run To You”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and of course “I Will Always Love You” are just a partial list- it is two hours of great music and dance, with a story and great special effects and special lighting as well as use of video. The show starts off with a bang (there are gunshots in the production) and finishes with a special “BANG”. NOTE: do not rush out during the curtain call! There is a great deal of fun and excitement after the final song of the play- it gets even better!bodyguard10

“The Bodyguard Musical” will continue at The Oriental Theatre located at 24 West Randolph Street thru February 12th with performances as follows:

bodyguard3Tuesdays  7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays  2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays  7:30 p.m.

Fridays  8 p.m.

Saturdays  2  and 8 p.m.

Sundays  2 p.m.

Tickets  range from $44- $120 and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, by calling the Broadway in Chicago Ticketline at 1-800-775-2000, at all Ticketmaster retail outlets and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com

to learn more about the production’s future, check out www.thebodyguardmusical.com

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “The Bodyguard Musical”bodyguard6

 

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