The Bodyguard comes to the Wharton Center
Based off of the 1992 film of the same name featuring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, “The Bodyguard” debuted in England in 2012 and has been touring around the world ever since. From Oct. 17-22 at the Wharton Center, “The Bodyguard” musical will be playing live.
“One thing I’m really excited for is going to a show where I can sing along. I know the music, because it’s Whitney Houston’s music that we know from the radio,” said freshman elementary education major, Mae Bennett. “So it’s going to be really exciting to go to a show that I don’t know. It’ll still be surprising but I can still sing along.”
In 2016, “The Bodyguard” kicked off its North America run, starring Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron and Judson Mills as Frank Farmer. Its original iteration was directed by Alexander Dinelaris, who is an Academy Award-winning director for his work on “Birdman.” The current direction for October’s East Lansing shows comes courtesy of Thea Sharrock, a long-time English director who’s had her work showcased at many storied venues such as, Shakespeare’s Globe.
Cox, playing the role of a famous singer who unexpectedly falls in love with her bodyguard, is a Grammy-nominated artist, who’s 1998 single “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” set a 14 week record atop the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B charts. Mills, who plays the role of said bodyguard, is an accomplished actor who has appeared in “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “As the World Turns” and “The X-Files.”
“Working with Deborah Cox is at the top of the ‘pros’ list, if you will. Being on stage in front of a large audience, it was another exciting aspect of this,” said Mills. “Being able to be back involved with the theatre medium, if you will. Working with a huge audience and what not, there’s something very magical about that exchange."
“This is an interracial love story. A lot of people forget that this is an interracial love story,” Mills said. “At the particular moment, it’s a very socially relevant topic. So I’m proud to be doing that.”
The U.K. installment of “The Bodyguard” was the musical’s most successful, as it was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design. It won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.
Set and costume design for the East Lansing show comes from Tim Hatley, who has won two Laurence Olivier Awards and two Tony Awards for his work on sets and costumes.
“I just think that MSU students particularly will love it,” said Wharton Center Public Relations Manager Bob Hoffman. “The music is timeless.”
Cox will not be performing in the Saturday matinee shows or the Sunday evening shows, but will be present for the remainder of the shows.
“I really love that they a student ticket option. Not just because I’m cheap, which I am, but also because it’s just a great way to get students and young people to go get involved and see it,” said Bennett.
Tickets for “The Bodyguard” start at $43.00, but students can expect a reduced price.