Trina Johnson-Finn’s regular job is singing in “Vegas! The Show,” where tributes to musical legends are done by representing the icons, not literally impersonating them.
She’s applying the same approach to a side project today called “Queen of the Night – A Tribute to Whitney Houston” at Texas Station.
“I’m giving you my story of Whitney, and how I feel about Whitney,” she says. “It’s through my eyes.”
And it won’t be some dramatic piece digging into Houston’s heart of darkness. “It captures the days when she was the life of the party, not in her bad moments,” Johnson-Finn says. “It’s coming from my very soul and what that music meant to me.”
It sounds like a wise approach that avoids both the “too soon” factor of a costume-and-wig treatment, as well as some bad memories of a past celebrity impersonation.
Johnson-Finn made national news in 2009 when she was jailed in Suriname after a promoter failed to promote the difference between a Toni Braxton tribute show and the real Toni Braxton.
It turned into a four-month ordeal of confinement in harsh conditions, but the singer is now philosophical about it. “Ultimately it makes you a stronger artist, a stronger woman, a stronger person.”
She and husband Raymond Finn are producing the Houston tribute under their newly formed Gemini Twin Productions, and she thinks her own ordeal “would be a good read. Those are the things we can now pursue” under the new production company.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.Preview
“Queen of the Night – A Tribute to Whitney Houston”
8 p.m. today
Texas Station, 2101 Texas Star Lane