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Christina Bianco at The Pheasantry

Christina Bianco is an American singer, actor and impressionist, now living in the UK. I first came across her last year in the title role of Rise and Fall of Little Voice at Theatre Royal Brighton in which she was superb. Since then she has garnered rave reviews as Glinda in The Wizard of Oz at Leicester’s Curve Theatre, so I was eagerly looking forward to her intimate cabaret at The Pheasantry. I was not disappointed! (The huge pizza was good as well!)

Christina Bianco
Christina Bianco

Aided by her superb accompanist Ryan Mackenzie, nonchalantly making the baby grand at the venue sound as much like an orchestra as possible, Christina sang her way through two forty-five minute sets, interspersed with anecdotes, charm and passion.

Especially memorable in the first half was the opening number “A Foggy Day”, after which she told us that, as it was her birthday, she was going to be selfish and sing the songs she wanted to sing rather than the ones we might want to hear! “Nobody Else But Me” and “People” began to showcase her versatility, quickly followed by “ Everybody Wants to be a Cat”, wittily and stylishly sung, before she asked the audience why one never heard songs about snow and winter after January 7th! No answer!

So, we were then treated, and I mean treated, to “Let It Snow”, “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Frosty the Snowman” in a variety of impersonations from Celine Dion to Julie Andrews via Bernadette Peters. Most amusing, and she was quite correct, none of these songs has anything to do with Christmas!

Bianco’s first set ended with a moving rendition of Warren and Dubin’s “I only have eyes For You”.

Further treats after the interval included Sondheim’s “More” from the 1990 Dick Tracy movie and “You Were the One” from City of Angels, originally starring Roger Allam in London! “What is this thing called Love” was followed by “You’ve Let Yourself Go” by Charles Aznavour with English lyrics by Fred Ebb, both perfect examples of how to capture an audience completely!

The show ended all too quickly with a medley of “It’s Magic” and Rodgers and Hart’s “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” entwined in many different impersonations, plus “I’ll be Seeing You” to complete the evening.

A well-planned, beautifully executed two hours in intimate surroundings, only perhaps marred by a sound system that seemed to distort at times making diction less than perfect. But just hearing and seeing Christina Bianco in the flesh as it were, was a real treat and one to be long cherished by those lucky enough to be there! For those who weren’t, she is appearing at ATG’s Theatre Royal Brighton in her own show on 16 September 2023, and I am sure that you can book tickets through London Theatre 1. Do it NOW!

5 Star Rating

Review by John Groves

Internationally acclaimed singer, actor and impressionist, Christina Bianco makes her Pheasantry debut with her first solo concert in over a year.

Known for her versatile vocals and comedic charm, Christina will share an all new program of some of her favourite songs, in honour of her birthday. With piano accompaniment and music direction by Ryan MacKenzie, audiences will be treated to dynamic arrangements of musical theatre, jazz, standard and pop classics. The evening will also feature some of Christina’s popular impressions and ‘Unlikely Interpretations’, pairing celebrities with an unexpected material.

The Pheasantry
Performance Date & Times: Friday February 10th and Saturday February 11th at 8pm
Show Duration: Two 40 minute sets with a 15 minute interval.
Address: 152/154 King’s Rd, London SW3 4UT, United Kingdom
https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/whats-on

The Greenroom 42
Performance Date & Time:
Show Duration: 75 Minutes
Age Recommendation: All ages
Address: 570 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY, 10036 USA – Inside YOTEL, Fourth Floor

Christina Bianco
ChristinaBianco.com

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Author

  • John Groves

    John Groves studied singing with Robert Easton and conducting with Clive Timms. He was lucky enough to act in the British premiere of a Strindberg play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe more years ago than he cares to remember, as well as singing at the Royal Opera House - once! He taught drama and music at several schools, as well as examining the practical aspects of GCSE and A level drama for many years. For twenty five years he has conducted a brass band as well as living on one of the highest points of East Sussex surrounded by woodland, deer, foxes and badgers, with kites and buzzards flying overhead.

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