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The Bodyguard The Musical

Home > Brisbane > Music | Music Venues | Musicals | Performing Arts | Theatre Reviews
by John Andrew (subscribe)
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A string of pearls without the string
A string of pearls without the string/

The deaf need have no fears about whether they will hear this musical in fact, they might wish to leave their hearing aids in the "off" position.

The rest of us may not quite be on the edge of our seats, but the opening may knock us off them. Under-stated this jukebox musical is not.

The original movie (believe it or not) opened in 1992. The West End musical premiered 20 years later, to reviews which essentially said "great music, pity about the acting and the plot". Not much has changed.

The directors have thrown everything at this production. Back-projection, flame throwers, confetti, strobe lighting, dancers with torsos that look like Schwarzenegger on steroids all add over-the-top energy which fail to resuscitate a flaccid plot. If you are coming for Hitchcock level tension may we suggest you go elsewhere.

Given the choice between great singers who can act a bit and great actors who can sing a bit, it is clear which choice has been made. Which means that the potentially menacing scene where the stalker with an exceedingly large knife creeps up on the unwitting diva was greeted with snorts of derision by audience members sitting behind your humble reviewer. And the love scenes lack chemistry.

Yes, there are moments which are cringeworthy. High on the list is the schmaltzy rendition of "Jesus loves me". "But" I hear you ask " does it matter".

Probably not.

Because the show is an excuse for showcasing Whitney Houston songs from the best selling album of all time. And it does that superbly.

Paulini Curuenavali gives her all to the songs and the lady can sing even triumphing over an extremely over the top staging of "I will always love you".

Prinnie Stevens underplays her role as the resentful overshadowed sister, but her singing is superb. Arguably her "Saving all my love" is the song of the night. And the young boy who played Paulini's son stole the show, as actor, singer and dancer.

The encore sequence was simply wonderful: high energy dancing, audience sing-along sheer exuberant celebration, and a great "high" to end the show.

If what you want is iconic songs presented with razamataz that is what you get.

And, judging by the ecstatic standing ovation, the punters were very happy indeed.

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Why? Best selling album of all time on stage
When: 19 July to 13 August
Where: Lyric Theatre QPAC
Cost: $59 - $159
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