Belinda Davids, the captivating and incredibly focused South African singer from Port Elizabeth in Capetown, weaved a memorable spell with her show, THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL – THE WHITNEY HOUSTON SHOW, produced and directed by John Van Grinsven Snr. Davids has been touring the show for six years. She is enchanting, entertaining and engaging and sounds just like the late and great singer whose songs have embedded their way into our psyche.
I’m a huge fan of Whitney Houston and now I can say I’m a big fan of Davids. Davids connected with the audience and invited us into her heart and soul. She possessed authenticity in bucket loads. Time was suspended for two hours as we grew privy to her pain and suffering in the finale I Will Always Love You where she was a vision in a long, white dress. There was also the joy in her rendition of the song, I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Memories were made from these magical and mesmerising moments.
Davids voice was clear and strong during many vocally demanding musical numbers. She performed in front of a mostly older crowd, in their fifties and sixties, who watched Davids belt out Whitney up tempo tunes and also her soft, slow ballads.
The first set began with I’m Every Woman, and Davids looked like one million dollars dressed in a stunning, strapless silver and black panelled, glittery dress.
The singer’s strength lay in her fragility and ability to vulnerability to take the audience on an emotional journey and transport them to another time and place.
The two male hip hop dancers and two female dancers were energetic and had expertise in accompanying Davids dancing in unison and with perfect timing.
It was unfortunate that due to house regulations, only those seated in the stalls were permitted to stand up and dance. The rest of the auditorium had to be content with-dancing in their seats, This was most evident when Davids sang the faster paced How Will I Know. The theatre was jumping and when Davids invited everyone to sing along with her, the spectators knew all the words. The response was applause, cheering, whistling and the stamping of feet.
After interval Davids wore a black, leather mini dress with thigh high black boots and rocked the venue with Queen of the Night.
In a change of mood, Davids sang The Greatest Love of All – the anthem of a generation. When Davids delivered a wonderful rendition of One Moment In Time, the audience gave her a standing ovation. There were audible sighs with I Have Nothing.
Another highlight of the show was when Davids sung, whilst walking amongst the audience, Saving All My Love For You.
Credit goes to Jack Hopper for his effective lighting design. Musical direction was by Richie Baker. One small gripe – There were a couple of glitches in the sound quality.
The accomplished six piece band were visible on stage. The saxophonist had his time to shine in the spotlight. The backing vocalists had perfect harmonies.
As I left I overheard a woman remark to her female companion, “That was so good, wasn’t it?” This was the understatement of the year so far. This tribute show was a brilliant way to celebrate a true artist, Whitney Houston, who was taken from the music industry and her legion of fans way too soon at the age of forty-eight.
THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL – THE WHITNEY HOUSTON SHOW was performed in the grande dame of venues, the State Theatre, for one night only, on Friday, 2nd February.