Christina Bianco & Brad Simmons: The Long and the Short of It

| September 7, 2017

Christina Bianco & Brad Simmons 

The Long and the Short of It

Birdland, NYC, September 4, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Brad Simmons &
Christina Bianco

This unlikely team continues a trend in pairing performers who have apparently little in common. Brad Simmons is a rocker; Christina Bianco is a Broadway babe. He’s prone to cynical monologues; she’s the definition of peppy. He’s 6’2”; she’s 4’11”. About all they have in common is they like dogs and men.

But they found a wonderful middle ground in their music, they mutually enjoy the country and pop music of the end of the last century. Simmons soloed with Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long (All Night)” to open the show, and later a most moving “Summer, Highland Falls” (Billy Joel). He also has a distinctive piano-playing style, seemingly discovering chords and phrases on the spur of the moment.

Of course, no appearance of Bianco’s is complete without her amazing abilities as a mimic. At Birdland, three separate sequences were devoted to her talent in this area. A mash-up of unlikely women singing “Tomorrow,” and later “Let It Go,” ranged from Barbra Streisand to Celine Dion to Gwen Stefani to Britney Spears, with a switching from one persona to the next with amazing speed. And not only the voice is captured, but each singer’s body language as well. Even funnier was a series of “unlikely interpretations,” such as Piaf offering “The Winner Takes It All,” and Barbara Walters intoning “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Bianco also showed off her own musical voice with lovely versions of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” as well as shared numbers such as “Guilty,” “Feelin’ Groovy” (“The 59th Street Bridge Song”) and the inevitable “Short People.” In this case, the long and the short added up to a far more than average evening.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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