Reviewed by: Adelaide Review Team
Review by Stephen Foenander | 02 March 2024

Whitney: The Greatest Love of All
Thursday 29/2/2023
Gluttony – Flamingo
I entered Flamingo, a now familiar and wonderful venue at Gluttony with great expectations of Charmaine Jones and her Gospo Collective.  Having reviewed Gospo shows in the past, I knew to expect massive sound and harmonies from the choir members and a selection of their finest singers as the principals at front of stage.
Firstly, the venue was superb, viewing from any seat was brilliant and the sound was enormous.  Opening with “Jesus Loves Me” Gospo immediately featured the amazing front line singers and Lead Vocalist, Director Charmaine Jones.  It felt like a Sunday afternoon in the Baptist church with Whitney gliding above the phenomenal choir, and that was just the start.
From that point, the hits just kept coming and it was for sure that Record Producer and Manager, Clive Davis’ vision of Whitney would be well and truly remembered from 2024 and for many years to come.
The song selection was a plethora of what we loved.  Including “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”, “So Emotional”, “Saving All my Love for You”, “Where do broken hearts go” and, “All at Once.”  
“The Greatest Love of All”, featured two beautiful and very young Gospo girls, “Hattie” and “Gracie” who sang perfectly, making great sense of the lyrics that state, “I believe that children are our future”.  They were both a big crowd favourite for the nearly sold-out show.
The show was relentless as the Collective launched in to “Run to You”, “Shoop Shoop” which featured Charmaine’s sister Joanna, another brilliant vocalist.  
I waited for my favourite Whitney song and was again not disappointed when they sang the David Foster/Linda Thompson penned, “I have nothing”.
In this outing, there was a lot to take in.  The Choir, did I mention that they were outstanding.  Well in all truth, hand on heart, they were exactly that. The warmth of all those voices (it felt like 100 singers) and how they joined in with choreography helped build the already electric atmosphere at Flamingo.  
Director and Lead Vocalist Charmaine Jones had several costume changes and was gorgeous in every outfit.  Not only can she sing like an Angel, she belted like a powerhouse often soaring above the other front-line singers, but always mindful of being part of something much bigger than herself.  Speaking of which, I can’t name them, but the front-line vocalists added not only depth, perfect harmonies, soul and texture, they were each given their time to shine and show their individual tone and style.
Charmaine and her Gospo Collective have done it yet again and this may just be their best outing.  Whitney: The Greatest Love of All was not just a show but more an event.  The band and arrangements were outstanding, true to the music but on many occasions interesting and new, with segues and cross overs between different songs that kept the audience guessing and always engaged.  
The dancers of Empire Dance Studio added an extra dimension to the already captivating choreography.  It was a little difficult to hear Charmaine’s dialogue, introduction to the band and thanks over the sound of the band and the audience cheering.  In the end it didn’t matter, Charmaine’s beautiful smiles all night and her recognition of the always hard work put in by this massive cast was enough.
The just over 1-hour show went by in a flash and I just wanted to see it again and again and again.  
Whitney’s catalogue of music is more than safe with the “Gospo Collective.”  We all love fringe, and this show is testament to those who conceived and brought it to life.  
We need to support home grown acts like this that should be offered the opportunity to perform in venues, festivals and events across Australia and internationally.  
If you see anything this year at the Adelaide Fringe get your ticket to Whitney: The Greatest Love of All.
My Number 1 pick for Best of Fringe 2024 a definite must see show get your tickets now.
Whitney: The Greatest Love of All – Powerful, Electric, outstanding vocals, exquisite costuming, superb arrangements, incredible staging, lighting and band.  An absolute must see show that will stay in your memory long after you leave.
Stephen Foenander 
For Adelaide Review Team