By: Mallory Minardi, student at IUPUI
What do you call a show that is more than a show but instead is an experience and an escape from the harsh reality this life provides? I would call it a musical at Footlite but more specifically I would call it this specific show, The Bodyguard. This show captivated the audience members and transformed a simple theater in Downtown Indianapolis into a nightclub, a cabin in the woods, and even a big time showcase performance.
The characterization of the actors and actresses is truly so fitting that I could not have imagined that this was not the original cast from Broadway itself. The main actress, Rachel Marron played by Angela Manlove was truly the showstopper in more ways than one. Not only did she grow in confidence throughout the entire show, but she also showcased a lot of attitude, vocal range, and control in her choreography skills. I will however say that when Ms. Manlove was singing truly just to sing and not trying to mimic the vocals of superstar Whitney Houston the audience members, including myself could tell a difference in vocals, confidence and how truly believable she was to be the popstar, Rachel Marron.
The next character I think that truly grew throughout the show was Nikki Marron played by the radiant Melissa Urquhart. Ms. Urquhart showcases not only that she has a voice that has a range unheard in the theater in a long time but also the control and the ability to change musical styles in more than one way with each song she sings. I do however wish that she was also given a microphone so on songs that were hushed or that she was moving more than just standing and belting that she was able to be heard more so audience members were able to hear when she sings because the notes are there, and they need to be given their own moment to shine.
The bodyguard himself, Frank Farmer, played by R.C. Thorne was not only engaged in the audience but also truly made his character come to life. His relationship on stage with Fletcher Marron, played by Cairo Graves, is not only believable but the most beautiful relationship of the entire show. The way Fletcher looks up to Frank and sees him as a father figure and respects and trusts him right from the start and not only because of him being an adult or being a bodyguard but because Frank took the time and opportunity to get to know Fletcher on a serious and personal level. Their bond is what creates the entire dynamic for the show and what is the most believable.
Music for the show is not only entertaining but the band blew it out of the park. The vocals are beautiful and full and believable when they are true to the actors and actresses, but the full band matches the expectations of these truly mesmerizing songs and dances.
I highly recommend going to see this musical because it not only makes you want to get up and sing and dance but it also makes you fall in love with the father son dynamic, makes you feel scared for a successful pop star and also makes you feel the emotions of the characters on the stage because the actors and actresses really make you believe what they are saying. Director, Bradley Lowe, truly outdid himself in placement, choreography, costumes, characterization, and the all over experience of the audience members to be transformed into a different atmosphere.