Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: Christina Bianco – In Divine Company

Christina’s voice, or should I say voices, are mind-blowing

Presented by: Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Reviewed: 21 June, 2024

The incomparable Christina Bianco is a performer like no-one else. Joined by her long-time musical collaborator at the piano, Joe Louis Robinson, Christina performed her brilliant show In Divine Company to a very appreciative audience. Christina’s voice, or should I say voices, are mind-blowing. Yes, I did say voices — Christina has the remarkable ability to impersonate other well known artists, to the point that if you closed your eyes, you’d swear you were listening to Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Patti LuPone and many, many more.

Christina is a two-time Drama Desk Award nominee with countless stage credits to her name, including Forbidden Broadway (New York and London’s West End), Glinda in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard Of Oz at the London Palladium and Fanny Brice in the Theatre Marigny’s production of Funny Girl in Paris. 

Following her opening number, Here With YouChristina spoke to the audience about the premise of In Divine Company — that we all need to indulge at times in things that make us happy. Christina’s biggest indulgence is sharing with people her sensational gift of voice impersonations, especially the great divas of our time. As Christina points out, whilst she does often present these great icons in a silly way, she does it out of complete love and respect for the artist she is impersonating. 

Christina is a self confessed ‘diva-holic’, who enjoys combining an artist’s voice with the most unlikely song. For example, what would it sound like if Julie Andrews sang Hot Stuff? Or how would Liza Minnelli interpret I’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say No? Christina is a vocal chameleon and the audience lapped up the smorgasbord of divas. Her performance of I’ve Got To Be Me featured a revolving door of divas every few lines — the constant changes and accuracy of the voices was brilliant. 

At the piano, Joe Louis Robinson is also a musical chameleon. He moved between styles of music with ease, providing a brilliant accompaniment to the many divas that Christina pulled out. His skills were particularly on display during I’ve Got To Be Me, where he changed the musical style of the accompaniment to best suit which diva was singing.

There were several times in In Divine Company where Christina showcased her own phenomenal voice. Highlights included the patter song Christina With An A and her closing number, I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together. They showcased Christina’s ability to find comedy in a song, but then to connect beautifully with a lyric and show the tender, emotive side of her voice. 

Sadly, Christina’s short run in Adelaide is over. Come back soon, Christina — we are truly in divine company when Christina is in town.

Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff

Photo credit: Claudio Raschella 

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: ended

Christina Bianco’s voice, or should I say voices, are mind-blowing

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