Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Banquet Room
Until 10 Jun 2018

Review by Sarah Westgarth

Christina Bianco is the very definition of a crowd pleaser. From the moment she emerges from the audience, she has a captive audience, and it’s clear this is what she was born and raised to do. She is charming, poised, and her craft has been well-honed. Bianco’s voice is incredible, and she utilises her versatile range, effortless physicality, and decades of experience, to recreate and imitate a variety of songstresses; from Judy Garland to Ariana Griande, Julie Andrews to Shakira, Bianco wows the crowd with her effortless ability to slip into another persona, in this affectionate tribute to legendary divas.

Bianco’s skill for impersonations has gained her worldwide attention, television appearances, and millions of views on YouTube. It is undeniability impressive, and the show itself is an entertaining, polished piece of cabaret. The audience laughs and cheers with recognition as a multitude of other voices emerge from this lone performer, and Bianco utilises this ability in a variety of ways, from simply recreating a singer’s most famous hit, to presenting a revolving door of divas singing an iconic number together, to her ‘Unlikely Interpretations’, where she performs a song as a singer that would never usually perform it. These moments are the highlights of the night, as they showcase not only her talent for mimicry, but creative and innovative musical arrangement by Bianco and her long-time collaborator Joe Louis Stevenson. The entire night is a showcase for Bianco’s truly extraordinary talent, and she has her craft perfectly honed.

Not all of Bianco’s impressions work; many miss the mark, or rely too much on broad and obvious qualities to really sell it. Others bring the house down, such as her Liza Minelli and Whitney Houston. And while Bianco never fails to entertain, the premise does wear a little thin after a while, particularly as the show doesn’t have a very strong thematic narrative to tie it all together. By the end, it becomes clear that this is Bianco’s tribute show to her idols, and through studying them it has helped her find her own voice. This is an interesting idea, and it would have been nice to see that explored further or threaded into more of the show. Her message of being true to yourself is poignant, but seems antithetical to the concept in some ways. The work that Bianco does in ‘Me, Myself and Everyone Else’ is truly incredible, but it would have been nice to see her push beyond the central gimmick and explore something a little deeper.

If you’re unfamiliar with a number of famous female singers, some of what Bianco does may go over your head, but her truly astonishing vocals are enough to wow any crowd. The show is also a great reminder of the repertoire of so many female singers, and really is a fantastic loving tribute to the all-time greats. ‘Me, Myself and Everyone Else’ is a great night of cabaret, and Christina Bianco’s talent is truly extraordinary.