BWW Review: ANITA LUNA: THE DIVA, Hen And Chickens Theatre
Anita Luna is not merely a diva, she's The Diva. She takes a look at her life-story, sharing it through physical comedy and cabaret aiming to find bittersweet humour in the tragedy. Anita Giovannini is the star; she hails from Italy to narrate the tomboy roots of her character through a journey that's as nostalgic in its nature as it is amusing.
Substantial singing chops and an exceptional physical language make Anita Luna: The Diva an intricate show that's quite impossible to categorise precisely. Rude jokes and poignant silent scenes coexist in the piece - which is cut down from its original length - and present Giovannini as a complex performer with an impressive voice range as well.
Her Diva is moulded after the likes of Norma Desmond, whose spirit takes over for the last, fiercely melodramatic scene. She details her upbringing, introducing her father as a food-loving, wind-breaking man who was imposing even in his shortness. She explores gender and identity, passionately professing her love for theatre and the possibility it gives to become someone else.
She keeps the audience guessing what's coming next, commanding the stage (and her unfortunate stage manager) with apt entitlement. The interactions with the audience are calibrated well and energise the act, giving Giovannini's confidence and broad talents the chance to shine.
Anita Luna is fun, joyful, intriguing, and unabashed. An impeccable representation of its Diva.