Christina Bianco at Waterside Arts
Sunday night at Waterside Arts in Sale, we were priviledged to witness one of the finest live performances of the year in this region.
As part of a very LGBT audience, complete with extended Spanish fans, there was no doubt that she has already built a healthy following in our region.
The first half was domintaed by Christina demonstrating her own and very fine voice, which was peppered with several of those trademark exceptional impressions of great divas, inc Celine, Dame Julie and of course, the erstwhile Barbra Sreisand.
Whether her own voice or those of others, Christina showed tremendous, impressive vocal range, combining a powerhouse of a voice with great subtlety of tone and always accompanied with those tremendous expressive hands.
Think Bassey, Dame Julie (hand on the head) or the aforementioned Ms Dion.
She is also very funny and self deprecating, a lovely quality these days in one so talented.
Another notable aspect of the evening was the easy relationship with Ryan MacKenzie her MD and pianist for the evening, a comination that reminded us of the Barbara Cook and Wally Harper many a year ago.
Impressive too was a touch involved her welcoming onto the stage a member of the audience who she then recorded a telephone machine recorded message as Barbra Streisand.
Clever and very entertaining..
The interval was all "who was your favourite impression"?, aswell as a large glass of Rose of course, and we returned hungry for the second half.
We all duly returned excited to hear more and Christina, now in glamorous jumpsuit, took us straight into more Divas including a Drew Barrymore impression were she appeared to change the shape of her face entirely.
Additional material saw Scottish Actress Kelly Macdonald (GosfordPark/Trainspotting etc) at the piano with Ryan with hilarious results.
There were so many diva impressions that we may have missed one or two, but Bjork, Billie Holiday, Piaf, Bassey and so many more came in quick succession, culminating in her trademark rendition of 'Total eclipse of the Heart' faturing all the aforementioned global stars.
As she promised a return to the UK next year, Christina left a buzzing auditorium all heading for the bar and to a friendly, warm welcome and so full marks to the Waterside too.
A must see next time around, with more details here.