BWW Interviews: Christina Bianco Before London DIVA MOMENTS!
Welcome to London, Christina!
It's wonderful to be here in London, and I'm very excited to talk to you!
We're excited to have you! Not just because of the show, but also your recent celebrity here via your viral video...
I always say when people ask me how it happened, "I have absolutely no idea." I'm sure that if I'd tried to make this video go viral and I sent it to all the right people and I paid people to promote it, it would never have taken off the way it did, it was just a bit of good luck, and I'm very grateful.
I think it went down particularly well here because it's a song that we adore, and of course you also impersonated some of our favourite British divas...
It was a two-fold reason, the first thing is I'd never done Total Eclipse of the Heart with any impressions before that night in my life, I'd always wanted to try it, and then it sort of made sense to do that song, because I knew that I had some gigs at the Hippodrome coming up, so in honour of Bonnie Tyler who's having a comeback what with this year's Eurovision, I thought, "Well, maybe some people might click on it that wouldn't have otherwise clicked on the button, because it's Total Eclipse of the Heart." Of course, I never knew it was going to take off the way it did. I do have to say I'm sure that video is the reason that my Hippodrome shows are now sold out.
It's exciting to sell out - particularly when we've still got good weather, it's tough to drag audiences inside...
Yes, it's very exciting, and I don't mean to go off on a tangent here, but my whole life I've always joked that I was born on the wrong continent. I'm such an Anglophile, I love all things British, so I'm especially glad the UK has embraced the video and is coming to support me, it's a really special time to me.
So why are you such a fan of British culture?
Most kids in the US grew up watching Full House and Roseanne; I would rush home from school to watch Absolutely Fabulous and A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Blackadder. I tend to gravitate towards British humour - I love Monty Python, my favourite comedian is Eddie Izzard, I just have that sensibility in me. My parents tried to expose me to a lot of music and programmes from different cultures, and British was my favourite.
You mention A Bit of Fry and Laurie - that's VERY British humour!
It's difficult to get a hold of too! We didn't have Netflix back there, so it was hard to get DVDs. Friends of friends would procure them for me from the UK and I'd have to hope the DVDs were in the right format.
So are you also a fan of the divas that you impersonate?
I'm a fan of most of the divas I impersonate. There are a few, who I will not mention, that I find to be more iconic and less truly talented, and I applaud their fame and I have to include them because they're so well known, but I think it's clear who are my favourites - I tend to spend a longer time impersonating them!
Is there anyone you want to impersonate but you haven't quite got the impression yet?
Yes! Dolly Parton. As a New Yorker, it's very odd that I grew up with country music, but I really love it, and she's been a great influence to me as an actress and comedic performer and as a singer and songwriter - and I've not nailed that impression yet! I would really love to. I'm never going to unleash it to the public until it's just right.
Looking ahead to the show, what can the audiences look forward to?
The show is called Diva Moments, so I'll be singing songs that essentially mark significant moments in the career of specific divas. I'm singing half the show in my own voice, and half the show with impressions, so people get to know me, and I also find that it's nice, when they hear me sing in my own voice, it's a little more effective when they then hear me switch into the voice of a particular diva. So it's a lot of fun - the music is very eclectic, ranging from Broadway to pop-rock, some standards - it's just a lot of fun.