Whitney Houston’s repertoire can prove problematic. Anyone attempting a rendition of any one of her greatest hits runs the risk of ending up with a decent karaoke version at best, and the comparisons with the late diva — those unexpected key changes, the high notes, the enunciation — are inevitable.
That’s why Deborah Cox, who reenacts Houston’s iconic 1992 film role as Rachel Merron on stage gets major kudos for accomplishing the near impossible — making the music her own while allowing us to reminisce about Whitney. Her pitch-perfect renditions of “One Moment in Time”, “I Have Nothing”, and of course, “I Will Always Love You” elicited deserving applause from the packed audience. Jasmine Richardson who plays her sister, Nikki, holds her own and also delivers some astonishing moments of ingenuity, especially when singing another Whitney classic, “Saving All My Love For You.” Judson Mills as “the bodyguard” is winsome and even manages to tickle with his karaoke performance, bringing moments of lightness and humor to the show.
This is nothing short of solid entertainment. Think of it as an homage concert to Whitney Houston laced with delightfully choreographed dance numbers boasting a nimble Deborah Cox and plenty of shirtless eye-candy, and even music video effects to recall the show’s blockbuster film roots. You’re guaranteed to be sighing and singing and dancing and, finally, applauding. It’s a party you can’t miss.
U.S. Tour at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre until May 21, 2017. For tickets, call 800-982-2787 or visit Hollywood Pantages Theatre