From Liza to MJ to Disney, Christina Bianco Salutes Her Musical Influences at Birdland with Party of One
September 18th, 2015
by Christina Bianco
Mega talent Christina Bianco heads to Birdland September 20 & 21 with a brand-new show Party of One, in which she'll sing an eclectic musical mix influenced by her New York roots, her global travels, and her love of celebrity divas. Below, Bianco teases the Birdland set list a bit through this 10 questions Q&A.
1. Song to describe my childhood:
"When You Wish Upon A Star". I’ve always loved the music of Disney. From the musical feature films, to the New Mickey Mouse Club on TV, to the compilation cd’s my parents would play in the car—Disney was part of my musical upbringing. I was always singing and listening to Disney music. Their theme song, "When You Wish Upon a Star", encompasses all of that.
2. Song that sums up my relationship with NYC:
"What Is This Thing Called Love". This is one of my favorite Cole Porter songs and although the lyrics themselves don’t make me think of NYC, our jazzy arrangement does. I sang a lot of jazz growing up and when I went to NYU, I’d pick up gigs singing with jazz trios at restaurants and bars around town. I’ve always thought that the ongoing sound track to NYC should consist of only jazz and swing.
3. Song that describes a typical Saturday night:
"Life Of The Party". I live in, arguably, the greatest city in the world where there is constant activity, culture and entertainment. If I’m not making the most of it most Saturday nights, then I’m doing a disservice to my city!
4. Song that best expresses my sense of humor:
"Twisted". Need I say more?
5. Song I’ve always dreamed of singing on a New York stage:
"New York, New York". I’ve never included it in a show before and of course, I do it with a little twist in this one, but singing that iconic song, at the iconic venue of Birdland, where Liza Minnelli herself has stood—singing ‘if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’ to a room full of people— it doesn’t get much cooler than that!
6. Song that could make me cry:
"Anyone Can Whistle". Quite simply, my favorite Stephen Sondheim song. It’s an incredibly beautiful sentiment that everyone can relate to, whether they’d like to admit it or not. I sang this many times as a child while my mother played the piano so I always think of her when I hear it, and I know I’ll start to tear up when I see her out in the audience on Sunday & Monday!
7. Song that makes me feel great:
"Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’". Michael Jackson wrote the BEST feel good jams! Although I won’t be singing a ‘traditional’ version of it during my show, it’ll still be hard to not bust a move! (and in a gown and high heels on carpeting, it’s probably best that I don’t!)
8. Song that describes my stage career:
"I’m Every Woman". I’ve always played a wide variety of types. From Maureen in Rent to Cunegonde in Candide. After doing Forbidden Broadway, Newsical and Application Pending, I can safely say I’ve played just about everything! Like Chaka Khan said, they are ALL in me!
9. Song that I feel stretches me the most:
"Two Little Words". It vocally stretches me to the limit! I also sing it with sort of a split personality so quickly switching back and forth makes it even more difficult. I performed it once in concert years ago, and I was terrified but remember being so happy that I took on the challenge. Now, I put it into my show because I wanted that challenge again. I’m wondering at this moment why I did that…
10. Song I’d use as my personal theme song:
"Born This Way". I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, in life and in the business. I don’t really fit a mold. But I’m absolutely ok with that. Being a little different has led me to some incredible places! I wouldn’t trade any of it.
Don't miss Christina Bianco in 'Party of One' at Birdland on Sunday, September 20 and Monday, September 21.