“The Bodyguard” begins with a bang — a gun shot, actually — that made every single theatergoer in the 1,200-seat Paper Mill Playhouse jump. It ends with pop music star Rachel Madden, elevated above the audience — alone in the spotlight.
First produced in London in 2012 and recently revived, the American production ends its 5-week U.S. debut this weekend and continues its national tour Jan. 10-15 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, the second site for the 20 American cities tour. More dates are expected to be announced. Most of the tour consists of 5-day stints, but several cities are booked for two- to three-week sit downs, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa. (Complete schedule below)
It’s the slickest production I’ve ever seen at the Millburn, NJ, a nonprofit venue that has become a launch pad for Broadway musicals recently, including “Newsies,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” and earlier this month “A Bronx Tale.” “Bandstand,” which premiered there in 2015 is scheduled to make its Broadway debut April 2017.