The 1992 movie, which featured Houston as a pop superstar who falls in love with a bodyguard played by Kevin Costner, has been turned into a big budget theatre production with R&B star Headley in the lead role of Rachel Marron.
The stage show premiered in London on Wednesday night (05Dec12), but was met with a largely negative reaction from theatre critics.
Michael Billington of British newspaper The Guardian called the show "a sterile attempt to recapture the feel of a not very good romantic thriller" adding, "although the show is staged with enormous technical efficiency, it is one more example of the necrophiliac musical morbidly attracted to a cinematic corpse."
The Telegraph's writer Charles Spencer was full of praise for Headley, insisting she is "at least as fine a singer as Houston in her heyday, if not even better", but added of the show, "The Bodyguard is dross with a gloss."
William Russell of The Herald writes, "(The show is a) bowdlerised, poorly dramatised version of the film... It might be cheaper to stay home with a Houston Cd and a Dvd of the film."
Henry Hitchings of the Evening Standard newspaper adds, "The story is thin and the characterisation sketchy. The script has a few racy moments yet often uses a clunky shorthand that makes it impossible for the actors not to sound hollow... (But) this is a show of real technical dazzle... It's a feelgood show... (But) what's missing is a sense of danger. That, and true emotional depth."
However, Paul Taylor of The Independent, concludes that despite "all kinds of flaws", The Bodyguard is "tremendously enjoyable".