Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron and Company in The Bodyguard

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and Broadway Across America are delighted to announce that the first U.S. national tour of the hit musical The Bodyguard will play at the Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House from April 3 to 8.

Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox** stars as Rachel Marron. In the role of bodyguard Frank Farmer is television star Judson Mills.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film and adapted by Academy Award winner (Birdman) Alexander Dinelaris, The Bodyguard had its world premiere on December 5, 2012 at London’s Adelphi Theatre. The Bodyguard was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest-selling songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

Rounding out the principal cast are Alex Corrado (Gotham, Hannibal) as Tony Scibelli, Rachel’s personal security guard; Charles Gray (Broadway: The Color Purple, Tour: The Lion King) as manager Bill Devaney; Jonathan Hadley (Broadway: Jersey Boys, A Class Act) as publicist Sy Spector; Jorge Paniagua (Regional: The Full Monty, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) as the Stalker; Jasmin Richardson (Tour: Memphis, Dreamgirls) as Rachel’s sister Nicki Marron, Mark McCollough Thomas (NYC: Consent, Godforsaken) as FBI agent Ray Court, and Kevelin B. Jones III (Idlewild Music Festival) and Sebastian Maynard-Palmer (Tour: Kinky Boots) alternating in the role of Rachel’s son Fletcher.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Deborah Cox for this Hotspots exclusive interview:

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Were you always a performer even as a child or when did it start?

It started when I was 11 doing different talent shows and other things, and then I went to a performing arts high school.

What was your first professional gig?

It was my first commercial, and it was for Marvelous Muffins. I was paid $50.

When did you know singing/performing would be your career?

Probably when I was in high school. I was the one that was always tired in first period as I had a gig the night before. It was somewhere around 17.

You have collaborated with many artists. Do you have a favorite and why?

My favorite is the duet I did with Whitney Houston. The reason for that is I felt like everything came full circle for me as an artist. Growing up I looked up to and admired her so much!

You have received many awards for your efforts in the fight for human rights. What made you decide to use your fame for this cause and has this been rewarding for you?

It’s been really rewarding as it came out of purely organic situations. I had lost a few friends from AIDS, and I had other gay and lesbian friends who were shamed and kicked out of their family’s homes. This made me want to speak up on human rights issues, and I have never stopped!

Your Broadway debut was in Aida, how did this come about and tell us about the experience?

I was literally in between albums and had just given birth to my son. The producers were looking for a new AIDA and I just went for it, and got cast. It rekindled my love for Musical Theater which I had done prior to my albums.

How did you get cast in ‘The Bodyguard’?

The creative team approached me about doing the show years ago. They wanted me to consider doing the us national tour. I fell in love with the script because it stayed true to the story.

What should the South Florida audiences expect from the touring company of ‘The Bodyguard’?

They should expect to come and have a good time. It’s a suspenseful thriller, a romance and has amazing choreography and a great cast of actors that bring the story to life. I think people will be pleasantly surprised on how entertaining it is.

For more information on The Bodyguard, go to: thebodyguardmusical.com.

Tickets to The Bodyguard are available through the Arsht Center Box Office in person at 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132, by calling 305.949.6722, or online at arshtcenter.org. Ticket prices start at $29.

**Deborah Cox is not scheduled to perform at the Saturday matinee performance.