The saga of Whitney Houston the reality-TV trainwreck could have overtaken the legacy of Whitney Houston the prodigiously talented singer. But it didn’t. That once-in-a-lifetime voice; the infectious joy of her performances; the songs that became part of our collective musical DNA — these endure in our memories despite the tragedy of her downfall. The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston starring Belinda Davids honors that legacy.
Davids, a South African singer, isn’t doing an impersonation. Though her gowns and her hair and even her gestures evoke Houston to an uncanny degree, she seems more about capturing Houston’s spirit than slavishly imitating her delivery — and after all, who could? But she’s an excellent singer in her own right, and what songs she gets to sing! From “I Will Always Love You” to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” to “How Will I Know” to oh so many others (including the tribute’s title number), it’s hard to go wrong with the Whitney Houston songbook.
7:30 p.m., Mahaffey Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, St. Petersburg, themahaffey.com.