The Bodyguard opens today at the Orpheum in Memphis and singer Deborah Cox will be in the headlining role of Rachel Marron. As any pop culture fan will know, Rachel Morron was originally portrayed by Whitney Houston in the smash hit film. The film features all of the best-known songs from the film, including “Queen of the Night” and “I Will Always Love You.” These are big shoes for Cox to fill, but she is more than eager to. Cox comes from the world of R&B and is a Grammy Award-nominee, but as she explains in our interview, she also has a history in musical theatre. She’s a true triple threat, and I’m so excited to see her in the show tonight.
1) Hi Deborah! How did you become involved with the stage production of The Bodyguard?
I learned of the show quite a few years back. Clive Davis mentioned it to me but it was in the U.K. Then years later the producers here approached me about this tour. I read the script and decided it was something new and challenging that I could sink my teeth into.
2) How do you make a role that is so iconic your own? Do you feel that you have to separate your version from Whitney Houston‘s?
Yes I do. Whitney made these songs so iconic, it’s hard to hear them sung any other way. But I try to keep the essence of the original by allowing the melody and lyrics to tell the story. I make sure the phrasing and tone remain in tact. It’s more important the story be told than trying to change what is so special about it in the first place.
3) You’ve had so many accomplishments in your career. What made you decide to tackle Broadway and this show specifically?
I love Broadway. A lot of people may not know that I’ve had a musical theater background before my recording deal. The “triplet threat” is a term I grew up on. Being able to do it all. I feel so fortunate to be in a role that allows me to explore and show my range, not only with the singing but the acting and dancing!
4) Playbill announced that you will be recording 8 tunes from the show. Can you give fans any more information on this or what’s next once the tour wraps up?
Yes, I decided to record some of the most requested songs from the show and have an EP done.
5) What do you hope to give longtime fans from this show?
I hope the fans leave inspired and touched by the story we’re telling in this production. People will be surprised at how much this is a thriller as well!!
Tickets are on sale now with the show running from January 24-29. They can be purchased on the Orpheum’s website or at the box office. Shows will more than likely sell out so get your tickets soon!!