Christina Bianco at the Hippodrome
With four sold-out shows at the Hippodrome’s Matcham Room, Off-Broadway star Christina Bianco has come a long way and fast since her now-famous Diva Impersonations video was uploaded on YouTube last month.
Drag act Velma Celli began Saturday night’s performance with an attitude-ridden performance of Lady Gaga’s Marry the Night, and post interval whipped the crowd into a harmony of Queen’s Somebody to Love.
Pretty, preened and polished, headline Bianco bounced onstage to her second audience of the night shortly after, receiving rapturous applause. She opened with a Bernadette Peters classic from Mack and Mabel, choosing to sing as herself “so you guys can get to know me a little better”.
Next, a discussion of her fascination for experimenting with vocalists introduced The Wind Beneath My Wings, sung in the guises of Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Norah Jones and Julie Andrews. The singer/actress’ ability to flick between vocal personas effortlessly, maintaining rhythm and appropriate physical gestures, is marvellous. Oscillating from powerful and frantic to slow and soft, Bianco excellently demonstrated her wide vocal ability.
The Mega Mix brought to life modern divas Alanis Morisette, Britney Spears, Shakira, Lady Gaga and Adele, and appreciation rang out in the Matcham room as all eras were covered. However, with Britney Spears and Adele, Bianco employed a touch of overkill, which was a shame in view of her talent and ability do to justice to these voices. Nonetheless, her Edith Piaf Non Je Ne Regrette Rien was eerily like the real deal.
Later she read extracts from Barbara Streisand’s new design book, occupying the forms of Drew Barrymore, Keira Knightly and Penelope Cruz, and causing hysteria while Cheryl Cole didn’t quite hit the mark.
Anna Jane Casey, of Spamalot and Billy Elliott, guest starred in a duet of Set Fire to the Rain with a ukulele, which was nothing less than beautiful.
Bianco finished the night almost in the way that it began, hailing that YouTube video for getting her this far with Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, jam-packed with 19 divas (including Cher, Christina Aguilera, Liza Minelli and Judy Garland). If the hushed crowd were any indication, it was perhaps even better than the original – the night’s highlight certainly did not disappoint.
Christina Bianco is much more than an impressionist; she is an energetic, talented performer and accomplished singer in a league of her own.
Photos: Darren Bell
For further information and future events visit Christina Bianco’s website here.
Watch a live performance of Christina Bianco’s Total Eclipse of the Heart here: