Daily Herald Guest Critic Jean Kartje, vice president of academic affairs for College of DuPage, joined Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago to see the production of "The Bodyguard, The Musical," now playing at Oriental Theatre in Chicago through Sunday, Feb. 12. Kartje said she enjoyed the special effects, which brought the live show into the multimedia world, which made it relatable to a new audience.
Here is Martinez' take:
By Diana Martinez
For this edition of Short & Sweet, I attended "The Bodyguard," which is now playing at the Oriental Theatre. My guest audience critic was Jean Kartje, who is the vice president of academic affairs at the College of DuPage. We both loved the movie, and were ready to enjoy a fun "Ladies Night Out."
This romantic musical thriller is based on the award-winning movie with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner! The live show features the beautiful R&B singer Deborah Cox as the Superstar, Rachel Marron, and TV star Judson Mills portrays the sexy bodyguard. The plot centers around Rachel who is being threatened by a psychotic stalker. Her manager is concerned as the stakes rise, and he brings in an ex-military security expert, Frank Farmer, to protect Rachel and her young son. Their relationship starts out rocky but takes a quick turn and the two fall in love. The show is romantic, suspenseful and features all of Whitney's greatest hits that sweep you back to the 1990s through its legendary music. It's a love story that lasts through the ages.
Some of the best moments of the show, aside from the singing, were the suspenseful thriller jolts that literally made me jump in my seat. Based on the gasps in the audience, I was not alone! Juxtaposed are the romantic moments that Judson Mills delivers as a sexy, handsome "strong silent type." Deborah Cox belts out about 12 of your favorite Whitney hits just about as good as anyone could. It's a demanding singing role and she does not disappoint vocally. The best acting of the night was brought by Jasmin Richardson, the jealous overshadowed sister who is also a wonderful singer.
The production style gives a big nod to cinematic elements with video clips, and scenery that irises in on tableaus and, sweeps with the music. The lighting is extensive and moves us seamlessly from natural scenes to concert lighting and thrilling moments that delivers energy to the concert scenes.
Jean and I were up on our feet at the end of the show when the entire cast comes out for an energized concert finale with the entire audience singing along to "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"
"The Bodyguard" is at the Oriental Theatre through Feb. 12. The show runs about two hours and 20 minutes with an intermission and it's a great Ladies Night Out or romantic date night show.
On behalf of the Daily Herald, and Broadway in Chicago, I'm Diana Martinez and I look forward to seeing you at the theater! Thanks for reading!