In her return to the stage, Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox stars as Rachel Marron in the hit musical “The Bodyguard.”
Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love.
“The Bodyguard,” a romantic thriller, features many classic songs, including “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time, “Saving All My Love For You,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Run to You,” “I Have Nothing” and one of the biggest selling songs of all time, “I Will Always Love You.”
“The Bodyguard” hits Detroit this month, as part of the Fisher Theatre’s Broadway in Detroit series, and Cox couldn’t be more excited to portray such an iconic role.
“I think it’s a dream role. For an artist like myself, it has everything. The singing, the acting, the dancing. It’s just one of those dream roles, and these types of roles don’t come very often.” Cox said.
“I wanted the chance to bring the story to stage in front of a whole new audience, which has never been done. And being a huge fan of the movie and Whitney Houston, I know the huge challenges and what was expected. It’s just one of those roles that you just don’t say no to.”
Although Cox handled the lead vocals for “Whitney,” the biopic directed by Angela Bassett, preparation for this role was entirely different,
“In the musical, I am not emulating Whitney Houston. In the film, it was more about the voice and tonality of Whitney’s voice, but in the musical, it’s about the character. It’s more about telling the story from a Rachel’s perspective,” she said.
Cox expressed that the most significant challenge was re-structuring the songs more reflectively, to embody Rachel’s character.
“The music in this show lends more to what Rachel is feeling versus just singing a song as a recording artist. Like the love for her son she expresses when she sings, ‘The Greatest Love of All.’”
Although the movie is an iconic one that is a favorite of many, the musical will give the audience a different view with some surprises.
“I think audiences will be surprised that it’s a romantic thriller, it’s suspense… you see it’s a stalker, you see him in and out of the scene, you see him more prevalent in the musical than he was in the film,” she said.
“Although the storyline is the same, you get a sense of the danger while you’re in your seats. I also think because there is more music in this. You hear the songs in their entirety, and there are additional songs, like “The Greatest Love Of All” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” along with “Run to You” which is a duet with her sister.”
So what’s next for Deborah Cox?
“Rest,” she said. “More music of course, but once the tour ends, rest.”
“The Bodyguard” runs Jan. 16-28 at the Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd. For tickets and performance times, visit www.ticketmaster.com
*Note: Deborah Cox is not scheduled to perform at the Saturday matinee and Sunday evening performances.