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the bodyguard the musical @ the lyric

For all of those hopeless romantics out there, you’ve got to feel the love and see THE BODYGUARD THE MUSICAL. It is based on the 1992 Warner Bros film, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner with the book by Alexander Dinelaris. The musical is directed by Thea Sharrock and has arrived in Sydney from its smash hit run in London’s West End.

The journey follows the lives of superstar vocalist Rachel Marron and her new minder, former Secret Service  agent Frank Farmer.( played by the appealing Kip Gamblin) Throw defiant personalities into the mix, a threat from an unknown stalker (Brendan Irving) and a sensational soundtrack with  lyrics which weave a tale of love, loss and longing and you have a recipe for success.

Comparisons to Whitney Houston are inevitable but Paulini Curuenavuli (Rachel) is on fire in her role and commands attention just like the pyrotechnics in the opening scene. Paulini demonstrates an unsurpassed depth of feeling and passion in her singing and who can forget the heart wrenching  song – I Will Always Love You and her rendition is a highlight of the show which  brings a tear to one’s eyes. It is a real Paulini moment. She can sing with a gentle tone one minute, (All At Once and One Moment In Time) being tender and touching then be an absolute powerhouse  like in the song Queen of the Night. She is the Queen of the show. Her range is extensive.

There is sibling rivalry. The more than competent Prinnie Stevens plays Rachel’s  competitive  sister in love with performing, Nikki Marron. She sings Saving All My Love and one can also feel the connection when she performs a duet with Paulini – Run To You.

Rachel’s ten year old son Fletcher is played by adorable  Rome Champion and he is a bundle of boundless enthusiasm, energy and personality plus…

The script tends to deviate somewhat from the original screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and there are additional songs included.

Social media is used to update the film script.

There are a couple of sexual innuendos in the show which seem unnecessary and detract from it but this is just a small point of difference.

The live band is conducted by Musical Director David Skelton.

The set and costume designer is Tim Hatley. He has the  cast decked out in glitter and glamour, shimmering in sequins and sparkles. The action takes place place in Rachel’s mansion, recording studio, karaoke bar (an amusing scene) and Frank’s family’s  log cabin on the lake complete with fireplace.

Credit and kudos go to the dancers choreographed by Karen Bruce are exceptional and are great eye candy. There is a Latin American flavour to the number I’m Every Woman which proved a hit.

The lighting designer is Mark Henderson and he makes for a visually effective production.

Look out for the toe tapping and hand clapping finale.

So get dancing and romancing with THE BODYGUARD THE MUSICAL playing at the Lyric theatre, Star Theatre until the 25th June.

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