HE is Judson Mills, the best thing in the touring company of The Bodyguard. Maybe he is a good actor. I'm willing to believe he is. He's just not called upon to do much in this show -- except be strong and studly and look good without his shirt. And he was sublime in those areas.
He's in the Kevin Costner part. A leather-lunged lass named Deborah Cox is in the Whitney part. She sings well, but it's something of a suicide mission. The producers added some of Whitney's other hits to the show -- "So Emotional," "The Greatest Love of All," "All the Man that I Need" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" -- and those songs are so indelibly connected with Houston that it's hard not to hear the original in your head when someone else sings them.
The play itself is dumb. A bad idea, poorly executed. The source material isn't that good. The staging is ham-handed (the audience actually giggled at the video image of the cartoon-crazy stalker).
And yet I really had a nice time. Judson Mills/Frank Farmer is hot. He has a moment during the encore when he snaps his cuffs and grabs Ms. Cox for a twirl and my old heart went pitter patter.
Also, it's because we bought tickets to this turkey that we got face-value tickets to Hamilton the moment it opened in September. Hamilton was as innovative and smart as this was predictable and dumb. As wonderful as Hamilton was, not a single person in the cast made my old heart go pitter patter.