Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
At Best When There's Singing and Dancing on Screen

At Best When There's Singing and Dancing on Screen

'Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody' now screens across Philippine cinemas.

Manila, Philippines--Learning music mogul Clive Davis gave the imprimatur to "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody," the biopic of Davis's former protegee and the late music icon Whitney Houston, promises topnotch musical sequences, which would not disappoint--even the most critical superfans. Lead actress Naomi Ackie ensures she does the job well: to look and sing like Houston, especially lip-synching to the singer's original recorded vocals, which makes for hauntingly mesmerizing musical moments.

From that instance where Ackie, as the 19-year-old Houston, steps on a small stage to sing "The Greatest Love of All," originally recorded by fellow Arista artist George Benson, with Davis in the audience, to Ackie, as Houston in her prime at the 1994 American Music Awards, where she received eight awards, the British actress, who also sings in real-life, apparently gives an eerie life--in an astonishing way--to Houston. Every hand gesture, the flick of an eye, and lip movement was right on the money.

Add to that Gerald Sullivan's precise production details, where he recreates frame-by-frame some of Houston's similarly iconic music videos from the mid-'80s to the early '90s, such as "How Will I Know" and the love theme from the movie "The Bodyguard," "I Will Always Love You," originally recorded by Dolly Parton. Sullivan has coined his approach to capturing the littlest details as "like contemporary archaeology," which was a rewarding treat for the viewers.

Unfortunately, the magic fizzles out when no singing or dancing is happening on screen. The spoken scenes, which fall under the department of screenwriter Anthony McCarten of "Bohemian Rhapsody" fame, wallow in formulaic storytelling about one's path to musical stardom, which proved detrimental to biopics in the same vein, such as in the case of "John & Yoko: A Love Story," or the more recent "Respect," which chronicles Aretha Franklin's life and music.

The proceedings get to pick up, though, when the film reveals bits and pieces about Houston's complex relationships with the people closest to her--partially fulfilling the film's promise of a no holds barred account of the rise and fall of the superstar. Longtime friend-turned-creative director Robyn Crawford, played by Nafessa Williams, shared a romantic relationship with Houston, but the latter's parents, John Russell and Cissy, disapproved. On the other hand, Houston's dad, played by Clarke Peters, had a massive fight with his daughter over money. The scene where Peter's John Russell is on a hospital bed nagging his daughter, "Pay me the money you owe me," did happen for real.

"Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody," directed and executive produced by Kasi Lemmons, is now screening across Philippine cinemas.

The film is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, the local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Photo: Columbia Pictures



Winners Announced For The 2022 BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards Photo
The winners have been announced for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards, honoring the best in regional productions, touring shows, and more which had their first performance between October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordons DADDY LONG LEGS This Week Photo
The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts.

Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordons DADDY LONG LEGS, Feb. 3 Photo
The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts. Directed by Penelop Ong (Vaudeville Theatre Company), the production will run until February 5.

Stars of the International Tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC Visit Manila Ahead Of March Performa Photo
The international tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC, produced by Broadway International Group will arrive in Manila from March 7 to March 26, 2023.


From This Author - Oliver Oliveros

Oliver is a seasoned organizational communication, public relations, and digital marketing professional who works with CEOs and young professionals to hone their creativity, stakeholders' engag... (read more about this author)


Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS This WeekCebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS This Week
January 31, 2023

The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts.

Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS, Feb. 3Cebu City Premieres John Caird & Paul Gordon's DADDY LONG LEGS, Feb. 3
January 20, 2023

The two-hander period musical 'Daddy Long Legs,' featuring the book by John Caird (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the music and lyrics by Paul Gordon ('Jane Eyre' on Broadway), will make its Cebu City premiere on February 3, 2023, at the Siddhartha Theater, Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts. Directed by Penelop Ong (Vaudeville Theatre Company), the production will run until February 5.

New Year Deal: FROZEN Offers Limited Discounted Tickets at S$18 OffNew Year Deal: FROZEN Offers Limited Discounted Tickets at S$18 Off
January 17, 2023

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Disney’s 'Frozen,' the hit Broadway musical, offers a limited number of discounted tickets at S$18 off until January 25, 2023. Based on the highest-grossing film of 2013, 'Frozen,' the film-to-stage adaptation, sets foot in the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, from February 5 to March 19.

At Best When There's Singing and Dancing on ScreenAt Best When There's Singing and Dancing on Screen
January 12, 2023

Learning music mogul Clive Davis gave the imprimatur to 'Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody,' the biopic of Davis’s former protegee and the late music icon Whitney Houston, promises topnotch musical sequences, which would not disappoint--even the most critical superfans.

Photos: A Peek at WE WILL ROCK YOU Opening Night in SingaporePhotos: A Peek at WE WILL ROCK YOU Opening Night in Singapore
January 9, 2023

Broadway titles’ presenter GMG Productions opened its newly-reimagined production of the hit jukebox musical based on the songs of the rock band Queen, 'We Will Rock You,' at the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay” last January 5. Check out photos from opening night!