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whitney queen of the night

Whitney – Queen of the Night review

Whitney – Queen of the Night review

~a guest blog by Sprog on the Tyne

I love Whitney Houston.  Her music felt like it was the soundtrack to my childhood.  I remember watching The Bodyguard at primary school sleepovers, singing along and wagging my finger disapprovingly to ‘It’s not Right’ in free lessons at secondary school, dancing to her 80s classics in Baja or The Boat on my first nights out in Newcastle, and then cringing with my hands over my eyes watching ‘that‘ X Factor performance.  Whilst her performances might have become slightly shambolic towards the end, there is no doubting that she had one of the best voices in music, and a back catalogue with a song for every occasion. 

When I was offered the chance to go and see Whitney – Queen of the Night at the Playhouse Whitley Bay I accepted straight away.  My sister is my partner in crime for any shows at Whitley Bay, and when our friend heard we were going she declared herself a Whitney super-fan and bought a ticket to come along with us. We decided to make a night of it, and headed for some food beforehand.  Whitley Bay seems to have exploded with new restaurants over the last few years.  We discounted Black Friar’s sister restaurant Hinnies, and Asian Tapas cafe OMNI although I’ve heard really good things about both, and decided to go for Elder and Wolf as I had been looking forward to trying there for a while. It didn’t disappoint, and after a great meal we wandered to the playhouse to get our Whitney on.

We hadn’t been sure what format the show would take.  It is described as, ‘A stunning celebration of the music and life of one of the greatest singers of our time,‘ and we had wondered whether it would include musical type storytelling.  However the actual show, took the form of a straight concert.  Rebecca Freckleton as Whitney was charismatic, and spoke briefly at various times during the show, giving the audience snippets about Whitney’s achievements, or introducing the band, but the voice and songs firmly took centre stage.

The vocals were flawless, and all of Whitney’s classics were covered.  I had forgotten just how many hits she had, but the words soon came flooding back.  From the upbeat, ‘I’m Every Woman‘ and ‘I wanna Dance with Somebody‘ to the beautifully understated Run to You, Rebecca Freckleton seemed totally at ease performing the big notes. Of course it’s a cliche to focus on ‘I Will Always Love You‘ but it’s a cliche for a reason.  It was saved until the second half, when as often happens the interval drinks have warmed the audience up, and the songs have gained hundreds of extra backing singers as we sang along to every note.  But there seemed to be a collective understanding that we would leave the biggest song of the night to the professionals, as the whole audience listened intently to the powerful love song.  In the last quarter of the show, most of the audience were on their feet and dancing in the aisles, us included. Whitney certainly knew how to perform a dance classic.

Throughout the show, our lead showcased a range of Whitney’s iconic outfits and hairstyles.  Including the corset from the Queen of the Night nightclub scene in The Bodyguard.  She was supported by an excellent live band, including a saxophonist who was given a few solos throughout the night. She was flanked by three backing singers and dancers, who were perfectly in time with Whitney throughout the many choreographed numbers.  One of whom also got to show off her stunning voice taking on Mariah Carey’s role in the duet of ‘When you Believe‘. 
We all agreed it was an excellent night.  Both my sister and our friend had seen Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard when it had come to Newcastle a couple of years ago, and whilst they considered that Whitney – Queen of the Night hadn’t packed the same punch as the musical had, it was a consensus that the vocals, dancing and atmosphere in the playhouse had been brilliant.  A show recommended for anyone who appreciates the music of Whitney, which lets face it should be everyone. 
~a guest blog by Sprog on the Tyne
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