Christina Bianco stars in “Application Pending,” a new Off-Broadway musical that puts a humorous spin on a day in the life of a kindergarten admissions officer at an exclusive Manhattan private school. In this one-woman show, Bianco gracefully tackles several dozen characters, and even slips in her famous Celine Dion impression.
The spunky main character, Christine Evans, is abruptly thrust into the head of admissions position on the due date for Edgely Prep’s applications, making her first day on the job run far from smoothly. She juggles dealing with pushy parents, disgruntled faculty and her personal life, and all the while her phone does not
Bianco differentiates between each character with great precision, assigning different movements, mannerisms and voices to each one. She is so expressive that each larger-than-life character seamle-
ssly communicates with the others. The lighting design also helps the audience distinguish between the roles, as each character has unique lighting specific to him or her.
Bianco makes the comedy seem effortless through the over-the-top characters and zany dialogue between characters. It is also funny in its accuracy, because there’s a hint of truth in the portrayal of these doting parents’ desperation for their children’s acceptance into the elite school. Even though there are multiple characters in the show, none of them appear one-dimensional. The audience sees Christine transform from timid and flustered to bold and assertive. The supporting characters also transform, as they reveal just how far they are willing to go in order to get what they want. From disgruntled Upper West Side soccer moms to George Clooney, no one is safe from mimicry in “Application Pending.”
The set consists of a simple office with a large office desk as the main focus. Zany props are hidden around the office and Bianco discovers them throughout the day, reacting hilariously. Although Bianco is sitting at her desk for a majority of the play, she is never static and is fluid in her movement, using her rolling chair to her advantage.
“Application Pending” has spunk, gags, impressions, a humorous perspective of the human condition and an immense amount of heart.
“Application Pending” is playing at the Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St. through April 19.