The Greatest Love of All
Reviewed – 19th May 2019
“a thoroughly entertaining evening and a wonderfully fitting homage to Whitney Houston”
Presented by Showtime Australia, The Greatest Love of All is billed as a live concert honouring the talent, music and memory of Whitney Houston. The show has already been introduced to audiences worldwide and, this time, it was London’s turn to experience two hours of Whitney hits.
Whether you’re a fan of Whitney Houston, or perhaps not as familiar with her music, Belinda Davids ensures a great evening. From the moment she takes to the stage, she has the audience in the palm of her hand, belting out those high notes and nailing the softer moments in songs. We are encouraged to get up from our seats during some of the numbers, including “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, which the majority of the packed out London Palladium does without much persuasion. Davids’ energy and enthusiasm never falters in the time she is on stage and she maintains a powerful presence throughout, as well as being personable.
Accompanying the vocals are a six-piece band and the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, who are on stage throughout. This generally works well, although the musicians did appear to overpower the vocals at the start of the show. One musician gives an especially notable performance, playing the saxophone, flute and keyboards at various points. The saxophone solos are particularly effective and give an enhanced energy to an already lively show.
There are some nice visual elements to the show. Lighting design fits in with the moods of the songs, with colourful lights for the upbeat numbers and spotlighting for the emotion-fuelled ballads. Visual effects include vibrant designs and sequences (some best described as kaleidoscopic) shown on screens either side of the stage and a main screen at the back. Far from distracting from the vocal performances, this element complements the whole show and is amazingly effective.
Director Johnny Van Grinsven has clearly put a lot of thought into a production that could quite easily have turned into just another tribute show. Alongside a stunning performance from Belinda Davids, there are talented musicians, dancers and fantastic visual design all combining to create a thoroughly entertaining evening and a wonderfully fitting homage to Whitney Houston.
Reviewed by Emily K Neal
The Greatest Love of All
Previously reviewed at this venue: