Updated July 23, 2021 - 7:57 pm
Hologram Houston headlining Harrah’s.
There’s your quick description, folks, of the new show set for Harrah’s Showroom beginning Oct. 26. “An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Concert” is a new variation of tribute show, brought to the stage by Base Hologram (in the Base Entertainment empire), The Estate of Whitney E. Houston and the GFour Production company.
The production features a Houston holographic form singing to a live, four-piece band and backing dancers. Her legendary voice carries the music, with the show peppered with such hits as “I Will Always Love You,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “The Greatest Love of All” and a cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.”
Houston’s original vocal tracks have been digitally upgraded, but her hologram figure is portrayed by an actress who spent more than two months on video performing Houston’s movements. CGI technology is used to make the image match Houston’s physical appearance.
The project was originally announced in March 2020, and first scheduled for the Flamingo Showroom (now home to “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Live!” and “Piff the Magic Dragon”). But Caesars Entertainment’s closing of the Bronx Wanderers show in May created an opening at Harrah’s Showroom.
The hologram show is seeded in an actual touring concept discussed less than a year before Houston’s death.
“In 2011, Whitney and I discussed her idea of an intimate, unplugged concert tour. It was a project we called ‘Whitney Unplugged’ or ‘An Evening with Whitney,’” said Pat Houston, Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law, former manager and president and CEO of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston. “While Whitney’s no longer with us, her voice and legacy will live on with us forever.”
Houston continued, in a statement issued by the production, “‘An Evening With Whitney’ is another chance for us to relive and celebrate the talent that we were so lucky to receive for more than three decades.”
The show alternates showtimes with Donny Osmond, who opens Aug. 31. Houston-as-hologram runs 6 p.m. daily, 8 p.m. on select days, Tuesdays through Sundays (dark Mondays). Tickets range from $49-$89 (minus fee) and are onsale 10 a.m. Friday at Ticketmaster.com or WhitneyVegas.com.
Base Hologram has been developing several shows based on departed recording stars, among them Roy Orbison,, Buddy Holly and Maria Callas.
Base Entertainment CEO Brian Becker says Houston had a talent “beyond words, and her influence and artistry transcended all boundaries.” The production brings her stage performances back to life.
“What we are creating here is a new theatrical concert experience designed to capture that magic,” Becker said in a statement. “This collaboration of art, live entertainment and technology enables us all to celebrate and extend Whitney’s legacy with Base Hologram providing audiences with the unique opportunity to experience her incredible art in a new and innovative way.
“If you were lucky to see Whitney perform live, this is an opportunity to see her again. If you weren’t so lucky, this is the closest you may ever get to experiencing what it was like.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.