Deborah Cox and Judson Mills perfect together in “The Bodyguard”

The Bodyguard
Photo: Joan Marcus.

Absolutely gripping! “The Bodyguard” commands your attention from the very first second — even before the curtain opens — and it never let’s go. It’s a non-stop barrage of hit songs stitched seamlessly into the narrative. The story contains dazzling thrills, laugh-out-loud humor, an impossible romance, bona fide chills — that bad guy sure is creepy! —and even a few nerve-racking jump scares.

The production is currently playing in Philadelphia at the historic Academy of Music. The much-lauded venue first opened it’s doors 160 years ago and has hosted countless legends and icons ranging from Aaron Copeland to Frank Zappa. However, on Tuesday night, when Deborah Cox took the stage as Rachel Marron, she did it with such a striking, larger-than-life brilliance that she set a new performance standard for the acclaimed theater. Cox brought an arena-sized grandeur to the renowned, twenty-five hundred seat theater. The magnitude of her charisma was rapturous.

The Bodyguard
Photo: Joan Marcus.

The counterbalance to Deborah’s scintillating flair was Judson Mills’ genuineness. He played Frank Farmer with a low-key, regular-guy charm that served as the perfect companion to the superstar presence of Rachel Marron. The two completed each other in a remarkably natural way.

The danger in having a pair of such dynamic leads, however, is that the rest of the featured performers and ensemble could easily become overshadowed. Luckily, that was not the case as the entire cast was stellar.

The Bodyguard
Photo: Joan Marcus.

Jorge Paniagua (The Stalker) received simultaneous applause and boos during the final bows. It was not because his performance was lacking in any respect. Instead, it was for his thoroughly convincing portrayal of the villain. Douglas Baldeo (Fletcher) stole every scene he was in with his youthful exuberance and remarkable talent. Jasmin Richardson (Nicki Marron) delivered her soulful vocals with an exhilarating vigor that captivated the crowd. But Megan Elyse Fulmer is the one you should be watching. She has a pizzazz that will soon position her as a Broadway lead. Get your autographs now.

Related: “Megan Fulmer, Bucks County’s treasure, appearing in ‘The Bodyguard’

The Bodyguard
Photo: Joan Marcus.

“The Bodyguard” is a potent tale of love and danger that will have you on your feet dancing and cheering with joy and awe. Feel like a star-struck teenager again! This spectacular production leaves Philadelphia on Sunday, February 26. Time is running out, get your tickets now before it’s too late.

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The Bodyguard
Photo: Joan Marcus.

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