Gospel Artist Heather Headley Praised for Performance In Stage Musical 'The Bodyguard'

A stage musical based on Whitney Houston's 1992 movie "The Bodyguard" has opened at London's Adelphi Theatre to a mixed critical reception - but universal praise for its big-voiced star Heather Headley, reports Billboard.

Reviewers raved Thursday about her performance as Rachel Marron, a superstar singer who falls for the former secret service agent (Lloyd Owen) assigned to protect her from a stalker.

Critic Mark Shenton in The Stage newspaper found Headley - who has won both a Tony and a Grammy Award - "an utterly compelling star" who combines "an authentic glamour and blazingly soulful vocals."

Evening Standard newspaper critic Henry Hitchings called her "mesmerizing," while the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer praised Headley's "sassy stage presence" and declared her renditions of songs such as "I Will Always Love You" even better than those by Houston, who died in February aged 48.

As for the rest of the show, some critics found campy fun where others saw just another uninspired jukebox musical.

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