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Review | Christina Bianco: Crowd Control

New York stage star Christina Bianco is one of a kind. Well actually, she’s many, many people… but she’s one of a kind.

Bianco has fascinated audiences around the world with her exceptional singing talent, both as herself and wielding her remarkable impersonation skills to bring a pantheon of great Broadway divas to whichever stage she inhabits.

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Perth audiences may be familiar with Christina from her rave-reviewed sold-out shows of festivals past. For the uninitiated, let me be clear. These are not vague facsimiles of the legendary voices of iconic stage songbirds like Judy and Liza.

No. Christina can practically summon the actual voices of anyone you can imagine; from the gravelly growls of Shirley Bassey to the squeaking heights of Kristen Chenowith.

In Crowd Control, Christina reckons with the myriad voices in her head, sharing them with an enraptured audience Downstairs at the Maj as she deftly bounces from one grand diva to the next.

Opening with her own version of Get This Party Started, sung as herself and as Dame Bassey, the gasps from the audience set the tone for what to expect from the show. The smooth transition from her own crystal clear vocals to Shirley’s growled “I’m coming up!” was the perfect way to show off exactly what she can do.

The evening was peppered with tales from Christina’s time treading the boards and singing with her own voice, as she took us on a tour through her career and her inspirations: Celine, Patti, Idina Menzel – they were all brought to life through the immensely talented vessel of Christina Bianco.

Accompanied by dazzling arrangements from musical director Joe Louis Robinson, Christina Bianco’s Crowd Control is an exquisitely produced, hilariously funny and divinely inspired creation.

Perth International Cabaret Festival continues until Sunday 23 June. Head to perthcabaret.com.au for the full program!

Image: Bill Ernst

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