Christina Bianco, diva impressionist, shares her favorite videos
By JORDAN BARTEL
The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 08, 2014 | 6:06 PM
What do you get when you post videos of your spot-on diva impressions?
A boatload of page views.
Singer and actress Christina Bianco has made a viral splash with a series of hilarious -- and uncanny -- videos where she honors everything from the dramatic rendering of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to Adele and Idina Menzel.
Bianco will be featured on the program when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents "Broadway Standing Ovations," which celebrates some of the best musicals on Broadway. Before the Oct. 10-12 shows, Bianco shared with us her five favorite impression videos.
1. 'Firework - Impression Reel'
Bianco: "I made this as an audition for a TV show. I chose 'Firework' because it had a wide vocal range that fit many voices. I took great care choosing which celebrities would sound best on each line. I had a very short time to film, so between matinee and evening performances of the show I was in, 'Newsical,' my husband filmed me as I frantically changed wigs and costumes. He bopped his head so I could keep time to the backing track he was listening to in headphones, and I sang a cappella hoping it would all line up. It was insanely fun!"
2. 'Two Little Words' - a voice war with Kristin Chenoweth'
Bianco: "I was asked to sing this song in a concert at the prestigious Town Hall Theatre in NYC. Performing it was a personal victory for me. Kristin Chenoweth originally sang it in 'Steel Pier' and I had become known for my Kristin impression through 'Forbidden Broadway' so they asked me to impersonate her. The operatic style is out of my comfort zone but the director and I found a way for me to sing it as both Kristin and myself. I worked very hard and thankfully, the rehearsal and performance went off without a hitch!"
3. 'Celebrity Divas React To Magic'
Bianco: "I collaborated on this with my friend, Ryan Joyce. We were both headlining on a cruise ship for a week and had the idea of making a video that blended magic and impressions. We had very limited resources and to this day I have no idea how we pulled it off! The outcome was a video that allowed me to improvise and show impressions in a new way. I snuck in a little bit of singing, but it was nice to focus on speaking impressions here."
4. 'Total Eclipse of the Heart on The Paul O'Grady Show'
Bianco: "The popular British television program booked me to sing 'Total Eclipse,' the same day the songs original singer, Bonnie Tyler, was booked to appear! It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life but Bonnie was incredibly kind and supportive. Also, unlike the version on my viral video, this time I performed the song knowing exactly who I would sing as, on which line. I threw in some new impressions and think I finally found the right format."
5. 'What Makes a Diva?'
Bianco: "This is a favorite because the song was written for me by the team of David and Paul Rigano. It's clever, challenging and showcases what I do in a different way from my cover songs. Here, I'm performing it for the first time. I remember I had to concentrate very hard at the end when I say 'then that's what makes' over and over again, to make sure I got all the divas right! Somehow I pulled it all off and I'm very proud of the outcome."