Deborah Cox is having the time of her life in 'The Bodyguard' musical
Having worked in the music industry in the late nineties I was familiar with Cox because of her breakthrough album "One Wish," a dance record with rhythm and blues leanings that proved very popular in clubs. I wasn't aware that she also had aspirations to appear on Broadway.
"It’s actually something that started my career; it was the recording contract that took off before. I had done a lot of musical theater in high school, out of high school. Did it professionally before I started to do background singing. It was while I was doing background singing that the recording career just kind of took off at that point. I got an opportunity to go back to Broadway in Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” and then I did “Jekyll and Hyde” and toured with that and went to Broadway. When this role came along, I just jumped in, you know. I really wanted to do the show. I was really intrigued by the story and the music, of course. And, so, yeah, and here we are."
If you grew up in the eighties there is a very good chance that you've seen your share of Whitney Houston music videos. For Cox, Houston was the reason she wanted to be a professional singer in the first place.
"[She was] the first woman that I heard with elegance and class and poise and clarity. The way that she sang the songs was just amazing. When I saw the performance of her singing, it was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ In the early 90s when the movie came out, that was the soundtrack of my life. I played that soundtrack over and over again. I loved the movie. I’m having the time of my life. It’s probably the hardest role I’ve ever done. But it is really, really rewarding."
I've yet to see the play, but I've been told that the audiences can't help but join in by singing along with the songs.
"Oh yeah, when you hear songs like “How Will I know?” and “I Want to Dance with Somebody” and “So Emotional” you go back to what you felt like the first time when you heard those songs on the radio. It brings back all of those great feelings and that’s essentially what we hear from the audiences. They’re just so moved by the experience."
Cox also believes that the audiences are getting more out of the musical than they might expect.
"The show is very different from what people expect. The storyline is very much the same as the film, but the way that it is presented, you know it’s more of a musical thriller, a romantic thriller. People see the stalker, they see what is going on in Rachel Marron’s world. They see her love for her son. They see her passion for Frank Farmer and they see how complex her world is. While you are hearing all this music and it’s helping to tell the story"