Almost everybody has watched the award-winning movie ‘Bodyguard’ with Whitney Huston. Especially the powerful song ‘I will always love you’ became famous through the movie. In Europe, the fantastic musical ‘The Bodyguard’ has been around for a while and now, it is finally in Australia. After only seven days of rehearsals, the producers called for a media rehearsal at the ABC Studios here in Sydney and I was lucky enough to attend.
At first the producer of the musical spoke to the audience and explained that the main focus of the production lay on the acting and storytelling, whereas in most musicals the focus lies on the musical talent of the cast. And so, they cast Paulini Curuenavuli as the female lead Rachel Marron and Kip Gamblin as the male lead Frank Farmer. Paulini has an amazing voice that can follow Huston’s example and Kip has a background in Ballet but is mostly known due to his roles in various television shows.
The first scene presented was the song, ‘Queen of the night’ and it really showed off Paulini’s talent as a singer. However, the performance from everybody involved was very impressive in this fast and high energy scene. Afterwards, two scenes where presented, which focused more on the acting and storytelling. The last number was the closing song ‘Dance with Somebody’. The whole cast seemed energetic and it was visible how much they all enjoyed being part of the production.
After these impressive scenes, I had the chance to talk to a few cast members. First, I spoke to the charming Andrew Hazzard. He seems to be a very nice and down to earth guy. He has appeared in other musicals before, most notably ‘Spring Awakening’ and even appeared in TV shows, such as ‘Love Child’. He told me how excited he was to be in this musical. He also mentioned, that he lives after the motto, ‘Work out what you want and love and then just do it and don’t think about what other people say.’ We then got into a little conversation about my German background and he revealed to me that he would like to travel to Europe for a couple of months after ‘The Bodyguard’.
After that I talked to Kip Gamblin, who looked extremely familiar to me, I guess, he is a TV personality after all. He said, that it felt like a great challenge, to follow in the food steps of Kevin Costner, but he said with a cheeky smile on his lips, ‘I like a challenge.’ He also mentioned, that he prefers to learn his lines alone, whereas Andrew told me before, that he liked to learn the meaning and context first and then learn the exact words during rehearsal. Due to his media experience, he said that acting as if he was falling in love wasn’t very difficult, but he says that Paulini’s singing voice sometimes ‘takes him away’ and he has to remember to stay in his role.
Paulini described the fact that she was cast for this musical, as ‘a dream come true’. She told me how she grew up with Whitney Huston as an idol and always singing her songs. That is the reason why, she rather had to unlearn some of the old habits when singing Whitney Huston’s songs for the musical. Especially after only seven days of rehearsals, she told me that her mind was filled with instructions and there was still a lot of thinking involved when performing. It is also her first real acting role, which is of course a challenge, but she lives after the motto ‘Wrong & Strong’.
From the few scenes, I was able to preview, I am sure that ‘The Bodyguard’ will be a high-energy sensation and will have no problem stepping into the big footsteps of the movie.
Contributor: Monique Pitzer, born and raised in Germany and came to Australia for the first time in 2008. I have worked as a freelance Journalist and Writer in Germany for about 8 years. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and specialized in literature. In 2015 I have started my own business here in Australia and work as a writer, tutor, story editor and translator. I am also an author and self-published my first book in 2016.
Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
From 21 April
Performance times: Tues 7pm, Wed-Sat 8pm, Matinees Tues & Wed 1pm, Sat & Sun 2pm, Sun 6pm
Tickets from $69.90*, ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 795 267, Groups 8+ call 1300 889 278
Brisbane Lyric Theatre, QPAC
From 19 July
Performance times: Wed to Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm
Tickets from 69.90*, qpac.com.au or 136 246, Groups 8+ call 07 3840 7466
Melbourne Regent Theatre
From 24 August
Performance times: Tues 7pm, Wed/Thurs 7.30pm, Fri/Sat 8pm, Matinees Tues & Wed 1pm, Sat & Sun 2pm, Sun 6pm (performance times vary weekly)
Tickets from $69.90*, ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100, Groups 8+ 1300 889 278