REVIEW: Whitney – Queen of The Night at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Whitney - Queen of the Night
Whitney - Queen of the Night
Belly

REVIEW: Belly, Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

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From the moment we entered the auditorium the audience was enveloped in a world of ’80s nostalgia.

The show, which resembles a Whitney concert in its aesthetic, celebrates the highlights of Whitney Houston’s career through her most successful songs.

Throughout the night, lead singer Shanice Smith’s voice only seemed to get stronger and her charisma did not diminish, despite energetic dancing and multiple costume changes.

Though she could not hope to replicate the range and quality of Whitney Houston’s voice – another reminder of why she is so cherished and celebrated – the singer delivered a powerful and emotional performance.

She weaved seamlessly through emotions, from Where Do Broken Hearts Go to I Wanna Dance With Somebody – she didn’t miss an emotional beat.

The three back-up performers, who were all talented singers themselves, livened the stage and would at times steal the show.

Saxophonist Kit Mlynar also stood out, dancing whenever she wasn’t playing, seeming to enjoy the music as much as the audience.

And audience participation increased as the night went on.

The highlight was during R&B classic My Love Is Your Love when Smith picked out the three male members of the audience who were the most enthusiastic to join her in a chorus on their own.

The audience crossed all ages and by the end of the night most were on their feet or singing along.

The absolute love of Whitney and her music followed me out of the theatre – leaving the theatre was like returning to Earth after visiting another planet.

KASSANDRA UNDERWOOD