Exclusive: Jay Manuel Is Giving 'The Bodyguard Musical' A New Millennium Makeover

Exclusive: Jay Manuel Is Giving ‘The Bodyguard Musical’ A New Millennium Makeover

Who could forget Whitney Houston’s showstopping turn in The Bodyguard? Alongside Kevin Costner, the late singer and actress solidified her icon status while playing the glamourous Rachel Marron, who falls in love with the phlegmatic man (Frank Farmer) protecting her.

It’s been almost 25 years since the film’s debut and yet, its legacy endures. So much so, that a stage version starring Deborah Cox is full steam ahead with a national tour kicking off in 2017.

A powerhouse singer in her own right, seeing Cox take on classics like “I Have Nothing” and “I’ll Always Love You” was more exciting than nerve wracking when we got to preview the show at Paper Mill Playhouse. Trust us: she does not disappoint.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the ’90s classic is Marron’s divalicious look, which included plenty of hairstyles and of course, flawless makeup. It takes a seasoned expert to recreate such glamour, but Jay Manuel was up for the challenge.

The makeup artist, who grew up going to the theater (Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera were his first shows) was tasked with bringing Rachel Marron into the new Millenium without sacrificing the aesthetic that made her so glamourous back in the ’90s.

Using his Jay Manuel Beauty line exclusively, Manuel decided to step away from traditionally extreme theater makeup and instead, create looks that are truer to real life.

“Heavy ‘pancake’ stage makeup was developed to cover anything, be sweat proof, but it wasn’t an ideal product for daily use and tended to clog skin,” he told ESSENCE during intermission at the Papermill performance. “Today’s theater technology allows Art Directors to light exactly what they need creatively for the production.” Continue reading here

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