The Bodyguard has all the right ingredients. It just has the wrong formula.
Paulini is spectacular as Rachel Marron, the role played by Whitney Houston in the 1992 movie. She completely carries off one of the hardest musical challenges of all-time ‘I Will Always Love You’, the signature tune of the show. Kip Gamblin is completely credible in the role of the bodyguard, originally played by Kevin Costner. Prinnie Stevens is perfectly cast as Nikki Marron, Rachel’s sister. When Prinnie sings, she owns the song.
Unfortunately, the show doesn’t cut it as the Whitney Houston homage smothers the original story. This stage version of The Bodyguard is more tribute to Houston and less re-enactment of the original movie.
‘The Bodyguard’ wasn’t about Whitney Houston so flooding the story with her greatest hits is overkill. Whitney was the actress who played the lead character in the movie. Whitney’s greatest hits, most which were not in the movie, is just too much of a distraction.
The Bodyguard is also a dark story. By wrapping Whitney’s many uptempo greatest hits with the story of a murdering stalker is an uncomfortable fit.
The Whitney songs from the original movie where made for the movie. The other Whitney hits were not. They are out of context to the point of coming across as filler. The Bodyguard was one of the great movies of the 90s. Whitney Houston recorded some of the greatest hits of the 80s and 90s. However, putting it all is like putting round pegs in square holes.
As I mentioned, all the right ingredients are there. The costumes, the scenary, the cast, the music are individually perfect. Trying to achieve both a Whitney tribute and stay true to the story is where the show falls over.