Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen Will Star in London World Premiere of New Musical The Bodyguard
By Andrew Gans
Thea Sharrock will direct The Bodyguard, a new musical based on the Lawrence Kasdan-scripted Warner Bros. film of the same name, which will open in the fall at London's Adelphi Theatre.
Previews will begin Nov. 6; opening is Dec. 5.
Tony winner Heather Headley will portray Rachel Marron, and Lloyd Owen will be Frank Farmer, the roles made famous on film by the late Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, respectively.
The new musical features a book by Alex Dinelaris, with designs by Tim Hatley, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Richard Brooker, choreography by Arthur Pita, orchestrations by Chris Egan and musical supervision by Mike Dixon.
"Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker," according to press notes. "Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love."
A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a multitude of Houston’s greatest hits, including "Queen of the Night," "So Emotional," "One Moment in Time," "Saving All My Love," "I’m Your Baby Tonight," "Run to You," "I Have Nothing," "How Will I Know," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "I Will Always Love You."
The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
Headley, a Tony and Grammy Award winner, originated the role of Nala in The Lion King on Broadway, then starred in the title role of Disney's Aida, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her debut solo album, "This is Who I Am," was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Her third studio album, "Audience of One," won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. In recent years she has worked extensively with Andrea Bocelli on his American and international tours and sung at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Owen was last on stage in London playing leading roles in Sarah Helm's Loyalty at Hampstead Theatre and J T Rogers' Blood and Gifts at the National Theatre. Other theatre credits include The York Realist for the Royal Court, Julius Caesar for the Young Vic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for the Almeida Theatre and The Way of the World for Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre. On television he is best known for playing Paul Bowman-MacDonald in the BBC's long-running drama "Monarch of the Glen" and Indiana Jones' father in "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles."
Sharrock is currently represented by a new production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy, starring Danny DeVito; the play also reunites her with Richard Griffiths whom she previously directed in Equus, both in the West End and on Broadway, as well as Heroes. At the National, she directed 13 last year and After the Dance (for which she won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Revival). Other theatre credits include Cause Célèbre for the Old Vic and The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre. She was previously artistic director at the Southwark Playhouse (2001-2003) and the Gate Theatre (2004-2006).
As well as "The Bodyguard," Oscar-nominated, Golden Bear and New York Film Critics award winner Kasdan has written or co-written the films "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." He has directed 11 films including "Body Heat," "The Big Chill," "The Accidental Tourist," "Grand Canyon" and "Dreamcatcher." His new film, "Darling Companion," based on a script by Meg Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan, has recently been released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Dinelaris’ plays include Still Life, produced by Manhattan Class Company and Red Dog Howls with the New York Theatre Workshop. He was nominated for two Drama Desk awards for his additional work on the book and lyrics for the musical Zanna Don’t.
Tickets are now on sale; the production is currently booking through April 27, 2013.
For ticket information visit thebodyguardmusical.com.
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