Christina Bianco is a well-known performer, from New York to the West End and every reach of the Internet as a popular YouTube Star. She has performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show and Graham Norton, and racked up an impressive 23 million views online, but this week she brings her solo show Diva Moments to Australian shores.
A packed house crammed into the Alex Theatre in St Kilda, musical theatre fans and YouTubers alike, which delighted Bianco when at least someone in the audience got everyone of her references. The 4’11 actress and performer is a bundle of joy and enters the stage with a diva moment of her own, with her microphone off and music still playing in her monitors, and starts her show again in true diva fashion.
“I do this with love and respect, but I also did not write these lyrics” Bianco says on a particularly cheeky parody song about Bernadette Peters.
The energy, enthusiasm and talent that radiates from this performer is unfathomable; Bianco rips through impressions of over 30 famous females, from Bette Midler to Norah Jones, Christina Aguilera, Judy Garland and more, through song and spoken word. Her impersonations are not only bang on, she has the gestures, arm movements, stature and posture down of each diva down, down to the last sigh, they way they breathe and punctuate their words, and even more. Bianco oozes diva herself, with an incredible set of pipes on her that tackle even the most dramatic high notes and belts of iconic songs like “Let It Go”, “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, a hilarious Disney parody of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid (about being short), and an incredible megamix of notable performers.
Bianco is charming, endearing and charismatic in her stories between songs, choosing her favourite songs to sing, or to showcase, featuring her favourite ‘diva moments’ of iconic female performers. My favourite, and her most stand out impressions were of Julie Andrews, Shakira, Bernadette Peters, Kristen Chenowith and Edith Piaf: tackling accents, languages and vocal styles.
She also does a section on Unlikely Impressions, and this was also the first time she previewed some brand new songs for an audience. Her Unlikely Impressions are where she sings a song in the style of another performer who would NEVER be expected to. The stunning and hilarious example was, ‘What if Julie Andrews sang Jessie J’s ‘Bang Bang’?’ and I have never laughed so hard in a show like this before. Also featured for her first visit to Australia shores were a number of Australian songs, including “I Come From A Land Down Under” or as it was renamed ‘ We call this Babs (Barbara Streisand) At Work’.
Accompanied by the talented Michael Lavine, this show is simply a delight, and the audience had a ball, as the clapping got wilder as each song went by, and the entire theatre was on their feet for the encore.
This is an wonderfully funny, laugh out loud, musical performance by an incredibly talented performer that is not to be missed – there’s only one more performance at The Alex on Thursday 9 March.