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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Australian Whitney Tribute Show – I’m Every Woman (touring) - 2 hours, plus interval

The plaudits are mind blowing, the statistics staggering, the downfall tragic, but her musical legacy lives on.


I refer to the incomparable Whitney Houston (August 9th, 1963 – February 11th, 2012), whose record sales exceed 200 million. She was cited by Rolling Stone as being in the top two singers of all time.


Tilarni, together with a five-piece band – led by musical director David Senn – two backup singers and a couple of dancers have put together a compelling, two-hour tribute show.

Coming from a musical family, Tilarni grew up singing in church, just like Whitney.


With a superlative vocal range, she channels the sound and emotion of Houston magnificently. Take the time to close your eyes and just listen.


The backup singers in a mighty impressive tuneful family are Tilarni and Senn’s children, Hailey and Travis.


The production features 12 numbers before interval, including some of the star’s biggest hits: The Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love and How Will I Know.

Photo by Andy Schwarz Photography


There is also I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Didn’t We Almost Have It All, I’m Every Woman and Queen of the Night.


After the break, the nine-song repertoire (plus encore) is highlighted by All The Man That I Need, I Have Nothing and Whitney’s signature track I Will Always Love You.


The performance goes down a treat with the audience, which is vocal in its support.


Tilarni is aided by the superbly talented band that doesn’t miss a beat – Senn on keyboards, electric guitarist Dave Trower, Peter Menezes on bass, drummer Simon Dewar and saxophonist Anton Delecca Vox.

All are great, but the sax player, in particular, is given plenty of opportunity to shine. Fabulous!


With a surfeit of bedazzling costumes, energetic dancers Annelise Jenkin and Dante Tomsic, too, make a strong impression.


My biggest reservation concerns the imposing video screen behind the band, which is distracting. It is hardly used. When it is, for the most part it simply showcases geometric shapes or is totally white. Why?


I would also have liked Tilarni to have narrated elements of Houston’s life and, perhaps, the background to some of the megastar’s songs.


I have attended several narrative tribute shows and I always walk away richer for the experience.

Regardless, musically the Australian Whitney Tribute Show – I’m Every Woman is a big winner and, after all, that is what we most remember about the talented songstress in her prime – hitting the right notes.


Next stops are Rochford Winery on 27th May and the Arco Bar in Heatherton on 8th July (as a dinner and show, without the dancers).


The dancers return with the show at Karralyka Centre in Ringwood on 20th August.


For bookings, go to www.celebratingwhitney.com

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