A cascade of hair, a dazzle of radiant charisma, and the sizzle of pure artistry, Megan Fulmer makes an unforgettable impression. She is a performer you can’t help but fall in love with because the only thing bigger than her talent is her heart. From Tuesday, February 21 through Sunday, February 26, the Bucks County native returns home when “The Bodyguard,” a production The Sunday Mirror dubbed the “hottest ticket in town,” hits the Academy of Music!
The story is based on the 1992 Oscar-nominated film of the same name where a bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect a musical superstar, Rachel Marron, from a stalker. It features a number of the biggest songs from Whitney Houston’s career, including “So Emotional,” “I Want to Dance with Somebody,” “How Will I Know, ” “One Moment in Time,” and “I Will Always Love You.” Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum R&B/pop artist Deborah Cox plays Marron. Farmer, the bodyguard, is played by Judson Mills (“Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Westworld,” The X-Files”).
“I went to an open audition in New York City,” Megan recalled. “The two things they really stressed at the audition were they wanted individuals — they didn’t want your typical cookie-cutter musical theater ensemble members — and they wanted women who were strong dancers.”
Fulmer is blessed with a unique and striking look that she accents with an incredible tumble of hair. “I did have big hair for the audition,” she acknowledged brightly, “so I didn’t necessarily look like everybody else and I think that was a factor.”
However, it was likely her bold choice, when asked to improvise some dance choreography, that closed the deal. Instead of going “sexy” like the other dancers, during her audition to the fiercely provocative “Queen of the Night,” Megan pulled out some of her breakdancing skills to spotlight her athleticism.
“I wanted to show them that I could do both, I could be feminine and athletic.”
Megan studied dance from seventh through eleventh grade at the family owned and operated Knecht Dance Academy (est. 1959) in Levittown, Pennsylvania. “Miss Elise (Owner/Director) was very, very nice. She’s always been more than a sweetheart to me.”
“I was the kid who always knew what she wanted to do,” Fulmer noted. “I didn’t really do too many other activities outside of theater or dancing or the arts, but I am really into fitness. When I’m in New York I teach fitness classes.”
“This production is definitely demanding on the body,” she continued. “We have three big dance numbers and two of them have a lot of complicated movement and partner work so there are a lot of risks involved with each number. It’s our job to make sure we’re taking care of our body. We have a physical therapist with us to make sure that we’re maintaining proper alignment and we’re not letting an injury go too far. I think everyone does a pretty good job of doing what we need to do to take care of our body.”
“The Bodyguard” began with a six-week run at The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. The actual tour started on January 10 in Minneapolis Minnesota, then moved to Appleton, Memphis, Chicago, Columbus, and is opening in Philadelphia tomorrow. Over the course of her career to date, Megan has been in 43 out of 50 states.
“This tour has been so nice because a lot of the times, it’s more like hit and run,” Fulmer informed. “It’s just been really nice to be able to sit down for a week or two and really enjoy the cities we’re touring. For instance, when we were in Memphis, I got to see the National Civil Rights Museum and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. I also went to Graceland and saw Elvis Presley’s mansion. I’m experiencing so much different culture — I did high tea for the first time at the Peabody Hotel! Whenever somebody thinks of a vacation, they tend to think, ‘Let’s go to this island or that island. Let’s go to Europe.’ It’s been such a great experience being cultured in what makes up the United States.”
As noted earlier, beyond talent, what makes Megan standout is her heart. Yes, she’s an artist who gets to travel and live the dream, but she is also committed to giving back. Throughout college, and even after, she would return home in the summers to work with people such as Nancy VanDerBas (Bucks County Performing Arts Center), James Moyer (Pennsbury High School), and others who helped shape her career.
“It is very important to go back and give back to where you came from,” she expressed. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without the influences of my music teachers and directors that I’ve had growing up since Eleanor Roosevelt [Elementary School].”
In closing, when asked why people should come see “The Bodyguard,” Megan replied, “It’s Deborah Cox doing Whitney Houston! They had a connection with each other, which makes this extra special.”
“The Bodyguard” dates and times at the Academy of Music (tickets):
Tuesday, February 21: 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 22: 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 23: 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 24: 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 25: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 26: 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.