“When my ‘Total Eclipse from the Heart’ went viral, that’s the one thing that really changed everything,” says the performer, who brings the West Coast premiere of the show to The City this week.
After the video, in which she uncannily impersonates 19 singers — including Adele, Cher, Shakira, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion doing the Bonnie Tyler tune — got 2 million hits in two days in August 2013, her manager was besieged with requests to book her.
Soon after, she recreated the feat on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and since then, she has appeared at New York City’s Birdland, and in Chicago, Baltimore and London.
Bianco says her parents told her she sang before she talked, and that she amused the family as she imitated Judy Garland (“‘The Wizard of Oz’ was a big influence”) and Julie Andrews.
Even though she always had a versatile voice, she didn’t begin her performing career doing impressions.
A month after graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she got cast as the original Dora in “Dora the Explorer Live” and went on to score roles and accolades doing satire in “Newsical” and “Forbidden Broadway,” earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for the latter.
While taking the jump from being part of an ensemble to having her own solo act was a big decision, it’s been working well, in part a result of her solid performing background.
With her pianist and musical director Michael Orland, of “American Idol,” Bianco developed a show she hopes will appeal to audiences that know the Great American Songbook and others more familiar with tunes from “Frozen.”
“Let It Go” is among her diva mash-up numbers, as is “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
The ideal mash-up tune, says Bianco, must have various attributes. The public must “absolutely” know it, both the verse and the chorus. It also helps if it’s repetitive, and that it builds, with a dynamic bridge that allows her to display range: “I never would sing a really high part of a song as Cher,” she says.
There are a few people she doesn’t do, including singers with raspy voices, like Chaka Khan and Tina Turner, and some contemporary artists whose voices are so processed by recording methods that she can’t tell what they sound like.
One of her favorite impressions is one-half of a famed pop singing team who holds a special place in her heart. She says, “‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ went viral the day Eydie Gorme passed away.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday
Tickets: $25 to $50
Contact: (866) 663-1063, www.ticketweb.com