What I’m talking about
It’s Deborah Cox’s world and we are just living in it! I wasn’t sure what to expect from the first U.S. National tour of The Bodyguard at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. I expected a few iconic Whitney Houston and a reenactment of the 1992 Oscar nominated film by Lawrence Kasdan but this is a London West End musical show and WHAT a show!
I got more than I expected from the shocking opening moment that got my heart pounding with gunfire and a video montage of the work famous Rachel Marron played by Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox and Judson Mill as Frank Farmer the bodyguard who steals her heart.
This is a departure from the film that sprinkles movie magic but weaves Deborah’s voice throughout. She’s not playing Whitney Houston but instead makes the role her own. I don’t want to give anything away but the show has a great fast pace with a supporting cast that surrounds Deborah as they twinkle on the stage.
Don’t worry the classic scene where Frank sweeps Rachel into his arms was played out with talented background dancers that gave a frantic feel necessary to make the scene chaotic and exciting. The strobing lights, the music, the movement and feints had me wondering how it would look and I for one <gasped> it was DAMNED sexy and really looked good on the stage.
I really enjoyed having my musical with a little suspense and lots of great singing by Jasmin Richardson (Nicki Marron) and Kevelin B. Jones III (Fletcher) as well as the supporting cast. I really enjoyed the change in the sister relathinshiop between Rachel & Nicki with deep abiding love at war with jealous rivalry. The father son vibe between Frank and Fletcher was sweet and would appeal to anyone who wants a family of their own.
If you’re a huge fan of the film and think this hits all the same dots be ready for a surprise because they changed some major plot points to keep the pace of the show fast as well as create emotional connection with the audience. I’d like to say that I’m a Rachel but am more like a Nicki!
I’m very excited to have seen the show and really recommend it to fans of musicals, Deborah Cox and (of course) Whitney Houston! Watching the Bodyguard was like watching a an album with the music keeping the story on pace and the voices of the cast soaring to the heavens with music that had me tapping my feet all night long. Make sure you stay till the lights come on because the cast has a special treat that will have everyone dancing out onto the street!
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. A romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
PERFORMANCE INFORMATION: Tickets are available at www.HollywoodPantages.com or www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-982-2787, as well as at theHollywood Pantages Box Office (6233 Hollywood Blvd) and all Ticketmaster Outlets. The
performance schedule for THE BODYGUARD is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. Opening Night is Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 8pm. Deborah Cox is not scheduled to perform at the matinee performances. recommended for ages 13 and up. (Children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre. All patrons must have a ticket, regardless of age.) Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes including intermission. Tickets start at $35.
I saw Motown: the Musical on opening night and had expectations from when the show opened on Broadway. I must admit the appeal was the idea of a Broadway show telling the story of Motown Records with African Americans behind the scenes and on the stage. So I can’t lie the opening night with Barry Gordy & Smokey Robinson coming out to briefly talk was like butter on my toast!
My expectations were very high and I found that everything was colored by the current political climate. So my review is going to focus on my feeling watching the musical. The cast sound great and it was very excited that some of the Broadway original cast is on the tour. The voices of the show have a rich soulful timbre that you will not normally hear in a Broadway musical. The production team (obviously) worked very hard to find stage actors who could bring the voice spirit of the iconic talent Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson found and nurtured.
I just had a hard time connecting during the first half of the show as he fought to build his empire that eventually succumbed to big business. I knew a little about the drama behind the music because my grandparents and parents listened to a LOT of Motown and we have family in Detroit. But for me I was waiting for the music and to see if it would bring back memories of watching tv with my grandparents.
I did like the spare stage that really focused on the cast, the costumes and they used it effectively to give movement and passage of time. Wait scratch that the stage was PERFECT when they showed the Motown review and (PLEASE) with the images of what it was like to tour during that time in places where the KKK was active and advertised on city/state signs.
I think that the true standouts that excited me were little Michael Jackson (CJ Wright) and Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye) who were just electric. Everyone screamed when little Michael Jackson was dancing and singing I suppose because it took all of us back in time. While Marvin Gaye segments gave background to his protest songs.
But this is the Barry Gordy story told from his viewpoint and using the Motown sound to show the trials, pain and sacrifice to create one of the premier black owned businesses.
I recommend seeing Motown the Musical and allow yourself to be immersed not just in the sound but the time when it was classified as ‘black music’, segregation and the right to protest for equality. We have come so far but can’t forget out past as we keep moving toward the future of our dreams.
Motown the Musical will be at the Pantages until February 12th please buy a ticket and see this beautifully flawed musical about a man, his dream and the music that is still loved the world over.
Rounding out the company are Michelle Alves, Malcolm Armwood, Erick Buckley, Latrisa Harper, Judith Franklin, Jeremy Gaston, Alyssa V. Gomez, Garfield Hammonds, Rod Harrelson, Jared Howelton, Louis James Jackson, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Ramone Owens, Devin L. Price, Alana Randall, Tavia Rivee, Matthew Sims Jr., Kimberly Ann Steele, Doug Storm, Daniel Robert Sullivan, Gabriella Whiting, Galen J. Williams & Ricardo A. Zayas.
The show was recently nominated for eleven 2016 NAACP Theatre Awards, garnering four of the top awards at the 26th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards ceremony held in Beverly Hills on Monday, November 21, 2016. The first national tour of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL won for Best Playwright (Motown Founder Berry Gordy), Best Choreography (Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adam), Best Costumes (ESosa), and Best Sound (Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook).
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.
Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” MOTOWN THE MUSICAL’s arrangements and orchestrations are by Grammy and Tony Award® nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as music supervisor in reproducing the classic “Sound of Young America,” with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award® nominee Bryan Crook (“Smash”) and dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features staging by Schele Williams, choreography by Patricia Wilcox (A Night with Janis Joplin) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Aladdin), hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe (Memphis) and casting by Wojcik | Seay Casting.
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony Award® winning producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy, and in association with Work Light Productions.
The performance schedule for MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm.
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is recommended for ages 10 and up. (Children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre. All patrons must have a ticket, regardless of age.)
Individual tickets for MOTOWN THE MUSICAL start at $35. Prices are subject to change without notice.
For more information on MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, visit www.MotownTheMusical.com.
For tickets or more information about the Los Angeles engagement of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, please visit the official website for Hollywood Pantages Theatre: www.HollywoodPantages.com.
If you are looking for a fun Valentine’s Day Gift for your girlfriend, boyfriend or just reliving a beloved movie as a singleton grab a ticket to see Dirty Dancing Tour for $49 (select seats/dates)! This should be a blast with music from the movie we all love and classic scenes brought to life by a talented cast. Don’t hesitate this if for a limited time only!
Seen by millions across the globe, the worldwide smash hit DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says, “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”
It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances `Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Baby discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters where an all-night dance party is in full swing. Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor. Baby’s life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off with breathtaking consequences.