Entertainment » Theatre

Deborah Cox Steps into Whitney's Shoes in 'The Bodyguard'

by Joe Siegel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Dec 28, 2017
Deborah Cox
Deborah Cox  

R&B sensation Deborah Cox will appear in the hit musical "The Bodyguard," which plays at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) from January 9 - 14, 2018.

Cox stars as pop superstar Rachel Marron who hires a bodyguard for protection after receiving death threats from a stalker.

In the role of bodyguard Frank Farmer is television star Judson Mills.

Rounding out the principal cast are Alex Corrado as Tony Scibelli, Rachel's personal security guard, Charles Gray as manager Bill Devaney, Jonathan Hadley as publicist Sy Spector, Jorge Paniagua as the Stalker, and Jasmin Richardson as Rachel's sister Nicki Marron.

Based on the 1992 Oscar nominated film that starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, "The Bodyguard" features a batch of Houston classics including "So Emotional," "One Moment in Time," "Run to You," "I Have Nothing," and one of the biggest selling songs of all time -- "I Will Always Love You."

A huge fan of the film, Cox said she was "intrigued" by the prospect of turning the story into a stage musical.

"I'm a huge fan of (Whitney Houston) so it felt like something I could really sink my teeth into," Cox told EDGE. "When (audiences) come into the theatre, I don't think they know what to expect. The show pretty much starts with a bang and then you're taken into this world of Rachel Marron and you basically go on the journey with her."

Cox, who grew up in Canada, made her Broadway debut in the lead role in Elton John and Tim Rice's musical, "Aida." More recently she starred on Broadway in 2013 as Lucy in "Jekyll & Hyde," and as legendary Josephine Baker in "Josephine" in the spring of 2016. Cox began her recording career as a background singer with Celine Dion, before securing her first recording contract with Clive Davis at Arista Records. She has recorded six award-winning albums, and has written and recorded on numerous soundtracks.

Cox, who said she was "fiercely shy" when it came to live performances, found her way while recording commercial jingles as a young woman.

"I found real solace and comfort being in the studio and being behind the (microphone)," Cox noted. "That felt like a really safe place."

Cox is enjoying the fruits of her success and notes "The Bodyguard" came at just the right time in her career.

"I feel great," Cox said. "I feel like I'm finally in a place where I'm able to do things on my own terms and I can pick and choose the things that I'm most passionate about."

Tickets for "The Bodyguard" are on sale now at the PPAC Box Office (located at 220 Weybosset Street in downtown Providence), online at www.ppacri.organd by phone at (401) 421-ARTS (2787).

For more on the musical's national tour,visit the show's website.

Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.


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