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'The Bodyguard' is as close to Broadway as one can get

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

For the most part, it is unimaginable to ponder the possibility that any person on this planet might have the courage to take on a Whitney Houston song, let alone more than one.

Now playing at The Welk Theatre in Escondido is Lawrence Kasdan's iconic screenplay "The Bodyguard." Now a musical for the stage, it is filled with the same wonderful songs as the movie. And the lady who sings them is Daebreon Poiema. She attacks every song with boundless courage.

When she sings, one conjures 'the great white way' not Escondido. Yet, here she is in full voice stepping into Houston's Manolo Blahniks singing her way into history as Rachel Marron.

Since I saw the tech-run through, in good conscience, I cannot officially review what I saw. What I can say is this is as close to Broadway as anyone can get without leaving North County.

Artistic director at The Welk, Larry Raben is as confused as I am wondering why Poiema is willing to stay in SoCal instead of making her mark in NYC. Don't get me wrong, we are all glad she is here because this woman can sing Whitney. And, quite honestly, that is her gift.

The cast also includes a talented miss playing Rachel's sister, Nikki Marron. In her Welk debut, Patricia Jewel, last seen locally in "Once Upon an Island" at the Moonlight, shines in this role. For one thing, when she opens her mouth to sing "Saving All My Love for You" it is unforgettable. It actually made the hair on my arm stand up. J-Lo calls them "goosies," and I got 'em.

Stepping into Costner's role as former FBI agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer is local Lance Smith. To my surprise, Smith went from supporting actor to leading man. Just like that! And he's got moves.

The youngest member of this cast is Faizi Mahalingam who plays Fletcher, Rachel's son. Okay, he is a kid, yet he keeps up with the grownups.

Included in the narrative is Steve Gunderson as Sy Spector, Max Cadillac as Douglas, Don Mason as the FBI agent called Tony, Brian Osuna as the stalker, Mark Torres as Bill, and rounding out this big ensemble is Deborah Fauerbach, Shira Jackman, Angeline Mirenda, Shelby Monson, Samantha Roper, Matthew Ryan, and Jupityr Shaw.

For a night of singing, dancing, along with all that other stuff...book your tickets for "The Bodyguard" at https://tickets.thewelksandiego.com or call 760-749-3182 x22148.

You can thank me later.

Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected].

 

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