EdFringe 2019 Review: Christina Bianco: First Impressions

Christina Bianco: First Impressions
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Assembly Checkpoint


Christina Bianco has made a name for herself as the premiere female impressionist working today. In her new show Christina Bianco: First Impressions, she arrives with an array of divas up her sleeve and some inspired ways of presenting these impressions. Throughout, Bianco produces a warm, humorous show that boasts a positive message.

With a three-piece live band, a selection of original numbers, and countless impressions of well known women from the world of music, film and television, Christina Bianco: First Impressions, ironically, explores the concept self-acceptance and positivity.

Bursting into the Assembly Checkpoint venue with a bubbling effervescence, Bianco belts out an up-tempo original track Life of the Party. For someone we are so used to seeing perform in the style of other performers, it is refreshing to hear Bianco’s own impressive singing voice and musical stylings. She has a natural warmth and pitches her comedy well to her audience as showcased in the Diva Mashups in which she performs Liza’s Livin’ Da Vida Loca, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand taking on Lady Gaga’s Shallow, and Celine Dion’s Talk to the Animals. These takes are fresh and funny, showcasing Bianco’s diverse range.

There are further highlights to be found in Bianco’s performance of some iconic TV themes with The Golden Girls, Ab Fab’s Wheel’s on Fire, and The Wombles getting diva-fied remixes – the first using a interactive random selection. The world of film gets some highly comic send-ups including Keira Knightley channelling her inner Clint Eastwood with an iconic Dirty Harry quote, and an unexpected actress talking about her ‘particular set of skills’.

The rate and smoothness with which Bianco fires through these impressions is incredibly impressive, dipping into faultless impersonations with complete ease (highlighted in the Total Eclipse of the Heart Diva mashup that closes the show). This is supported with Bianco’s excellent band who contribute the show’s slick musical accompaniment and some amusing titbits themselves. Audio cameos from John Culshaw and Katherine Parkinson also add some comic appeal.

Christina Bianco: First Impressions brings the world’s favourite divas together in one neatly packed show. Inventive spins on her impressions, engaging original compositions, and Bianco’s loveable New York charm help this show to shine.

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