Christina Bianco Gathers Hearts During A LOT TO UNPACK at the Birdland Theater
There are times in life when it becomes necessary to say goodbye to a friend. This can be a confrontational time to face, especially if what takes you away from your friend is something that is beneficial to them. Last night a crowded theater said goodbye to Christina Bianco, and although there were pangs in her heart and tears in her eyes, it just isn’t possible for anyone to wish the actress singer does not go, because she leaves New York. and its different families here for a land of opportunity. In a short time, “The Girl of a Thousand Voices” will immigrate to the United Kingdom, where she is repeatedly offered work opportunities as an actress and performer. Bitterly, he asks the straightforward question “Why weren’t there enough vacancies here in the United States?” Because Christina Bianco is a performer who shouldn’t be wondering about work, not a day in her life. Nonetheless, there weren’t enough vacancies to keep the virtuoso in the US, so soon she’ll be having breakfast crumpets for Lady Mary and DSB’s land … and those who do. like are docked to wave at her in style.
Christina Bianco had a LOT TO UNPACK last night at the Birdland Theater as, in three short acts and fifteen musical numbers, she discussed her decision to leave, her quarantine creativity, her Fanny Brice moment and all the women who live in her head . Brilliantly and beautifully assisted (powerfully) by Music Director Brad Simmons, bassist Sean Murphy, and drummer Joe Choroszewski (as well as special guest and adorable husband Billy Ernst), Christina let her hair hang loose in frank, straightforward conversations, discussions filled with honesty and humor, and generosity of mind and heart. In her ninety-minute farewell concert, Ms. Bianco wows the mind with more talent than a person should be allowed to possess, reminiscent of one of the variety shows of a bygone era when women like Carol Burnett and Kaye Ballard ruled the airwaves. The only difference is that the women who built the foundations on which Bianco’s entertainment style is built did their jobs with a cast of characters and actors around them. Christina Bianco is her own cast of characters, and while it’s an honor and a compliment to compare her to Burnett and Ballard (and Imogene Coca, Pat Carroll, Dorothy Loudon, Andrea Martin), and most importantly to reference a famous show television starring Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey, it is also rather a futile exercise. Christina Bianco is that rare thing, one that only happens once in a while: Christina Bianco is a “One and Only” from The Business of Show – and last night it showed.
The first act of A Lot To Unpack devoted almost entirely to the discussion of the pandemic and Paris, Christina Bianco had the opportunity to let people see and hear Christina. While it’s about a famous funny girl she played, it’s about Christina as Christina – speaking as Christina, singing as Christina, and socializing as Christina. To that end, Bianco has welcomed two overwhelming talents on stage in the form of Nicolas King and Jeremy Miloszewicz, and while commenting on exactly what the gentlemen are doing with Bianco would be a spoiler for tonight’s audiences, it suffices to say their contributions. Mutuals at Christina’s show are well worth the applause it takes to get them in and out of the stage. It’s a charming first act, filled with vocal performances that will light up the eyes and thrill the spine, but most of all filled with feelings of adoration for a woman and a talent easily labeled as incredible.
And then comes the second act, when disbelief becomes as common in the room as the inhale and exhale.
No one can ignore Christina’s status in the world as a great impressionist. And with the help of her fellow musicians and her singer and actor husband, Bianco puts her skills to the test in front of a grateful audience. Ranging from a girl named Gumm to a chick on a wrecking ball, Bianco provides eerily accurate vocal and facial representations of the galaxy’s biggest and most beloved stars, insult-free hilarious parodies, and amazing recreations based on the galaxy. ‘love. Using a format created in quarantine for social media, she and Billy and miraculous musician Brad Simmons deliver more thrills than the last amusement park ride, through a box, artificial braids and vocal skills impressive, sometimes even watching Christina enter her golden voicemail to find the voice, in real time. Those who did not know about this gift from Bianco were amazed last night, while those who do, were just living their best lives, happy and blessed in a Birdland show. There’s a reason Christina is so popular, there’s a reason her nightclub acts are selling and there’s a reason they want her in the British Isles.
The reason is all Christine. Underline it, make it bold and italic.
She’s not just a creative comic book genius, she’s not just the Girl of a Thousand Voices – she’s a good girl, a gentle, caring soul, and it shows in every expressive and over-the-top moment that her little one – A talented and titanic person is on stage, whether they are simply sharing the story of an experience lost to the pandemic, making the most beautiful sound you have ever heard or spinning the voice wheel that will send you home to listen to all your Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters and Liza Minnelli albums in one day. She is the most dedicated worker, the most unique performer and the kindest person you can meet, on either side of the pond. It’s just their luck, on the other hand, that the casting directors and directors see her, value her, and have a job for her.
So, with all the love in our hearts and all the best wishes for a successful career that will bring her what she so richly deserves, we gathered last night to basque ourselves in the glow and the glory, and for the send with trunks full of goodwill.
We will miss you, Christine. Come back soon, but go ahead and eat the life. It’s up to you to have it, and to have it, you will.
Because there are visual spoilers in the photographs taken last night, Broadway World Cabaret will refrain from posting detailed photos until after tonight’s show. Please come back next week for a full photo essay of the evening.
Tickets for tonight’s A LOT TO UNPACK performance are HERE.
Christina Bianco’s website is HERE.
Christina bianco scores five out of five microphones for performing their entire show without the use of a lyric sheet, tablet, or music stand.