Crystal Cimaglia: Crystal Cimaglia Sings Celine Dion

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Crystal Cimaglia

Crystal Cimaglia Sings Celine Dion

54 Below, NYC, January 10, 2024

Reviewed by Chris Struck

Crystal Cimaglia

Crystal Cimaglia is a true delight to see and hear. At times during her show, she appeared to be the little girl who looked up to her idol, Celine Dion. Now, with a bigger voice, Cimaglia simply enjoys her craft. She also shared bits of her own story, often breaking into a Long Island accent throughout this “condensed” version of her delightful Celine Dion tribute show. She has been performing this show for a number of years around the world. This “Celine in Vegas” tribute took us through Dion’s career, and Cimaglia took on some of her idol’s mannerisms. The two divas share one important thing in common: both can definitely sing.

From the start, Cimaglia’s voice burst forth. She truly came alive with some of the quintessential Deon-associated songs with resounding performances of “All by Myself” (Eric Carmen/Sergei Rachmaninoff), “My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic)” (James Horner/Will Jennings) toward the end of the show, and “Because you Loved Me” (Diane Warren). Each of these songs is known for its iconic lines, and Cimaglia delivered them well. The line “Don’t wanna be all by myself anymore” still lingers days later, but now I hear it in her voice rather than Dion’s. In “My Heart Will Go On,” her delivery of the lines “Love can touch us one time/And last for a lifetime” had the depth and strength to be remembered. Each of these songs has a bittersweet message, but each in many ways also expresses faith in the positive, as in “The Power of Love” (Mary Susan Applegate/Candy Derouge/Gunther Mende/Jennifer Rush).

Cimaglia shared other classics too, such as “The Prayer” (Carole Bayer Sager/David Foster; Italian lyric by Alberto Testa & Tony Renis) which was sung in duet by Dion and Andrea Bocelli. After she shared her story of singing for David Foster, she was joined on stage by guest vocalist Paul Saylor for a powerful duet. On this song, Cimaglia’s voice was at its most powerful, and when she finished the first verse with the lines “In times we don’t know, let this be our prayer, when we lose our way,” I was mesmerized. This was my favorite moment of the show among the many great performances by Cimaglia. Saylor’s beautiful and deep singing in Italian responded to her melodic soprano, and their duet made for a simply stunning combination. When they followed it with a Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” (Freddie Mercury/Brian May/John Deacon/Roger Taylor) that used the intro from “We Will Rock You” as a tribute to their meeting, it was icing to a delicious cake.

Cimaglia was backed by music director and exceptional pianist Katie Coleman, as well as bassist Samuel Gelfer, guitarist Beth Callen, saxophonist and flautist Ben Schonhorn, and drummer Fabio Rojas. They complemented the singer well. Cimaglia is a talented singer; hopefully she’ll return to a New York cabaret stage soon.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see