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FIRST LOOK: Deborah Cox Channels Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard Musical

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Joan Marcus

Deborah Cox is getting ready to hit the road.

PEOPLE can exclusively reveal that the 42-year-old Grammy nominee is stepping into Whitney Houston‘s shoes, taking on the late singer’s iconic role of Rachel Marron in the national tour of The Bodyguard.

In the exclusive First Look photo, Cox shines in costume designer Tim Hatley’s sparkly blue sequined, feathered dress that’s accented with a stunning blue necklace fit for any “Queen of the Night.”

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar-nominated 1992 film, The Bodyguard features a score filled with Houston’s irresistible classic songs, including “Saving All My Love,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “One Moment in Time,” “So Emotional,” “Queen of the Night,” “Run to You,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and her timeless cover of “I Will Always Love You.”

RELATED VIDEO: Remembering Whitney Houston


Adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman) and directed by Thea Sharrock, the production first premiered in London in 2012. The national tour will be the first time the musical has been seen on this side of the pond.

The tour kicks offs at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse this November before making stops in more than 20 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Nashville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Diego and Dallas. A full list of stops – and ticket information – can be found at the show’s official website.

The musical follows the film’s story closely: Celebrated singer and actress Marron hires a former Secret Service agent named Frank Farmer to be her bodyguard and protect her from an unknown stalker and, according to a release: “Each expects to be in charge – what they don’t expect is to fall in love.”