If you have not heard of Christina Bianco, you have never been caught in a YouTube loop. A self-confessed “Diva-holic”, Bianco is a comedic singing sensation from New York who rose to worldwide fame through her YouTube videos where she imitates well known divas singing uncharacteristic song titles.
Two of her most notable covers of the songs, Total Eclipse of the Heart and Frozen’s Let it Go have amounted 8.1 and 6.9 million views respectively, and her YouTube channel has 134k subscribers eagerly awaiting her next clever diva rendition.
As a perfect finale to International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March, Bianco debuted her first Australian visit, performing as many of her favourite divas as well as showing her own vocal prowess at The Alex Theatre in Melbourne. And her fans were not disappointed.
Incorporating a wide range of diva personalities including Bernadette Peters, Betty Hutton, Céline Dion and Christina Aguilera, Bianco’s vocal range and impersonation skills are quite exceptional, and her subtle personifications (in particular as Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli) only added to the overall effect of the great divas performing live.
What makes Bianco’s performances unique and hilariously entertaining is that she doesn’t carry out the traditional impersonation show. As with her YouTube videos, her divas sing unlikely songs, and her Australian performance is worth seeing alone for her Australian tribute entitled Babs at Work with Barbra Streisand singing Men at Work’s Down Under. I sincerely hope this song makes its way to YouTube soon.
Her tribute to Barbra Streisand also included excerpts from Streisand’s epic 288-page design book My Passion for Design: A Private Tour recited by divas such as Drew Barrymore. I should say at this point that as ‘Diva’ is Italian for a female deity, and even though playful jabs at divas such as Babs were plentiful, Bianco was sure to pay respect to these great artists. This was not a cheap parody show, but a reinvention of familiar voices and songs.
Bianco also is an extremely talented singer as herself, and her comedic rendition of the Little Mermaid’s Part of your World – making jest of her own petite stature spaced out the impersonation routine perfectly. If anything, more comedic songs as this kind (in her own voice) would have been welcomed.
For those who haven’t seen Christina Bianco, your chance in Australia has come but you must hurry. If you miss seeing this amazing talent in person, and cannot afford to see her perform in the United States, be sure to join her growing fan base online. Put it this way, Bianco made Céline Dion enjoyable for me, and that is saying something…
Christina Bianco: Diva Moments
The Alex Theatre, 135 Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda
Performance: Wednesday 8 March 2017 – 8.15pm
Performances: 8 & 9 March 2017 – 8.15pm
Information and Bookings: www.alextheatrestk.com
Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point
Performances: 12 March 2017 – 3.00pm & 7.00pm (sold out)
For more information about Christina, visit: www.christinabianco.com for details.
Image: Christina Bianco in Diva Moments – photo by Darren Bell
Review: Jimmy Twin