We know the plot, we know the songs. However, the Quebec version of the musical The Bodyguard manages to surprise us – and, above all, to amaze us! – thanks to the unforgettable vocal performances of Jennifer-Lee Dupuy and Sharon James.
Let's be frank: whether in London, Paris or New York, the musical The Bodyguard has never been celebrated for the richness of its libretto, which takes up the main lines of the film -cult of 1992. However, let us underline from the outset the work of the director Joël Legendre, who knew how, with great scissors in various segments, to punctuate and energize his rereading by relieving it of all dead time.
In short, the plot is agreed and, above all, already well known: we find the mythical character of Rachel Marron (formerly played by Whitney Houston), this international star forced to hire a bodyguard to protect her from the insistent threats of 'an anonymous fan.
Ultimately, this scenario is in fact only a pretext to put on the multiple musical numbers, heart and soul of the musical presented at the St-Denis Theater. Because by jumping from the screen to the stage, the plot was enhanced by several songs, all from the repertoire of Whitney Houston.
Stellar Jennifer-Lee Dupuy
And that's where this Quebec version shines, thanks in particular to the talent of Jennifer-Lee Dupuy, stellar in the role of Rachel Marron. Certainly, there is this striking resemblance to a Whitney Houston of the time. But the real merit of this young Quebecer is her way of radiating the very essence of her character, that of an artist at the top of her game.
Because our very own Rachel Marron has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes time to deliver the perilous I Have Nothing, One Moment in Time or even I Will Always Love You . On the contrary, it makes them its own, without ever distorting them or diminishing their impact. And that makes us willingly forgive his lack of playing experience.
De Grandpré in great shape
It must be said that she is particularly well surrounded, starting with Frédérick De Grandpré in the title role. The actor returns to us in stunning form, as solid in dramatic scenes as in moments of action.
Special mention to the spectacular Sharon James, who lends her features to Nicki Marron, the heroine's sister. She had amazed us in Mamma Mia!, then in Rock of Ages. But the actress and singer is simply phenomenal here, masterfully covering Saving All My Love for You and All At Once.
We'd be sorry also to ignore the work of the young Roman Viau Diadhiou, incredibly endearing and charismatic in the skin of Fletcher, the son of Rachel Marron.
►The musical The Bodyguard is presented at the St-Denis Theater in Montreal until April 15th. She will then move to the Capitole de Québec on June 28, and finally return to the metropolis in November.