Cast Announced for The Bodyguard
THIS NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE BEGINS NOV 25 – LIMITED ENGAGEMENT THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2017
STARRING GRAMMY AWARD NOMINEE AND R&B LEGEND DEBORAH COX
Millburn, NJ (Oct 14, 2016) – Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, in association with Michael Harrison, David Ian, and Nederlander Presentations, Inc., is pleased to announce casting for North American premiere of the hit new musical The Bodyguard based on the Warner Bros. film written by Lawrence Kasdan, with book by Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), directed by Thea Sharrock (Equus) and with choreography by Karen Bruce (Strictly Come Dancing). As previously announced, Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox (Jekyll & Hyde) will star as Rachel Marron. In the role of bodyguard Frank Farmer is Judson Mills (Walker, Texas Ranger).
Performances are set to begin Friday, Nov 25, 2016, for a limited run through Sunday, Jan 1, 2017, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ, prior to the official national tour opening at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, MN, on Jan 10, 2017. The Bodyguard will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wed–Sund. Performance schedule: Wed at 7:30PM, Thurs at 1:30PM and 7:30PM, Fri at PM, Sat at 1:30PM and 8PM and Sun at 1:30PM and 7PM. Please visit PaperMill.org for special holiday schedules. Tickets are on sale now starting at $32. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or by clicking here. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016–2017 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time,” “Saving All My Love,” “Run to You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – “I Will Always Love You.”
Rounding out the principal cast are Alex Corrado (Gotham, Hannibal) as Tony Scibelli, Rachel’s personal security guard, Charles Gray (Broadway: The Color Purple, Grease, Tour: The Lion King) as manager Bill Devaney, Jonathan Hadley (Broadway: Jersey Boys, A Class Act) as publicist Sy Spector, Jorge Paniagua (Regional: The Full Monty, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) as the Stalker, Jasmin Richardson (Tour: Memphis, Dreamgirls) as Rachel’s sister Nicki Marron, and Douglas Baldeo (Broadway: Kinky Boots, Tour: Motown) and Kevelin B. Jones III (Idlewild Music Festival) alternating in the role of Rachel’s son Fletcher.
The ensemble includes Arielle Campbell, Brendon Chan, Willie Dee, Jarid Faubel, Megan Elyse Fulmer, Emily Jenda, Alejandra Matos, Bradford Rahmlow, Benjamin Rivera, Sean Rozanski, Matthew Schmidt, Jaquez André Sims, Maria Cristina Slye, Lauren Tanner, and Naomi C. Walley.
Set & costume design is by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Mark Henderson, sound design by Richard Brooker and video design by Duncan McLean. Hair, wig and makeup design by Campbell Young Associates. Choreography is by Karen Bruce, orchestrations by Chris Egan, musical supervision by Richard Beadle and production musical supervision by Mike Dixon. Musical Director Matthew Smedal will conduct the live orchestra. The production stage manager is Melissa Chacón.
Deborah Cox (Rachel Marron) Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox made her Broadway debut in the lead role in Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical, Aida. She most recently starred on Broadway in 2013 as Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde, and starred as legendary Josephine Baker in Josephine at Asolo Repertory Theatre in the spring of 2016. Cox began her recording career as a background singer with Celine Dion, before securing her first recording contract with Clive Davis at Arista Records. She has recorded six award-winning and critically-acclaimed albums, and has written and recorded on numerous celebrated soundtracks. Her platinum selling debut album Deborah Cox earned her an American Music Award nomination. She won her first of 3 Juno Awards including a Female Vocalist of the Year nomination. From her second CD One Wish, came the double platinum “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here” which held the record for being the longest running #1 R&B Single for 14 consecutive weeks and earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination, a Soul Train Award, A Lady Of Soul Award, Best Female vocalist Juno nomination and a Billboard Music Award Nomination for R&B Single Of The Year. Cox has collaborated with such artists as Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Josh Groban, The Isley Brothers, Cyndi Lauper, Sarah McLachlan and numerous others. The Canadian born star has an impressive list of #1 Billboard hit records, including twelve #1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. In 2000, Cox collaborated with Whitney Houston to record the duet “Same Script Different Cast” for Houston’s Greatest Hits CD. Cox has been recognized for her longstanding commitment to various social issues in the LGBTQ community. In January 2015, she received the Out Music Pillar Award. In 2014, she received the California State Senate Award and in 2007, she received The Civil Rights Award from the New York Senate for her efforts in the fight for Human Rights and Equality. She was recently honored by The Harvey Milk Foundation at the 2015 Diversity Honors for all of her efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the LGBTQ community. On June 12, 2016, she was given the Liberty Bell and Proclamation in Philadelphia by Mayor James Kenney to proclaim June 12 as LGBTQ Philadelphia Pride Parade and Festival Day. www.deborahcox.com @Deborah_Cox www.facebook.com/DeborahCoxDRG
Judson Mills (Frank Farmer) is an American actor known for his performances as Texas Ranger Francis Gage in the American action drama television series "Walker, Texas Ranger." He joined the TV series in the second episode of Season 7 "In Harm's Way" together with his female partner and good friend Sydney Cooke (Nia Peeples) to back up Walker and his team. From 1991–1993, Mills performed as Alexander "Hutch" Hutchinson on "As the World Turns." He also appeared on "The X-Files" and Disney's Mighty Joe Young as supporting actor. Other credits include episodes on "Saving Grace" as Ham's brother as a Marine.
Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film and adapted by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), The Bodyguard had its world premiere on Dec 5, 2012, at London’s Adelphi Theatre. The Bodyguard was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards. The UK production of the musical recently completed a sell-out UK and Ireland tour and made its triumphant return to London’s West End at the Dominion Theatre on July 15, 2016.
Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for The Bodyguard on Sun, Dec 18, 2016, 1:30PM and Sat, Dec 24, 2016, 1:30PM. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, Dec 18, 2016 at 7:00PM.
Free Audience Enrichment Activities for THE BODYGUARD
Conversation Club: Join Paper Mill Playhouse Thurs evenings, Dec 1, 8, 15, or 22 one hour before curtain for an informal, informative gathering. Learn more about the performance and perhaps catch a glimpse of the stage being set.
The Director's Viewpoint: One hour before curtain on Wed, Nov 30, Paper Mill Playhouse hosts a pre-show discussion in the Renee Foosaner Art Gallery.
PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Todd Schmidt (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
Jay Manuel Beauty is the official makeup sponsor for the US tour of The Bodyguard www.jaymanuelbeauty.com
BASED ON THE WARNER BROS. FILM WRITTEN BY LAWRENCE KASDEN
BOOK BY ALEXANDER DINELARIS
DIRECTED BY THEA SHARROCK
CHOREOGRAPHY BY KAREN BRUCE