THE NEW YORK POST:
“…the next best thing to seeing Streisand herself.”
"Carla DelVillaggio’s Streisand imitation is as smooth as buttah. Accompanied by an ace three-piece band, DelVillaggio sang “Evergreen,” “The Way We Were,” “Stoney End,” “People” and more, all with Streisand’s signature phrasing, timing and vocal mannerisms, including the way her voice suddenly soars at key moments. Wearing a black, long-sleeved scoop dress and then an elegant ivory lace gown, she sports Streisand’s trademark bangs and long nails. It’s an all-too-convincing illusion..."
Storied Bon Soir niterie reopens with turn by talented faux-Barbra
Last week, Simply-Showbiz.com reported that Streisand fans had been thrown for a loop with reports that the Bon Soir was reopening and that Barbra Streisand herself would be singing there on Monday, June 4. The news was only partly true. The “square black room” has in fact been refurbished. It’s part of the new locale for a club called The Pink Elephant. But the woman who reopened the room was not Streisand but rather a young singer named Carla DelVillaggio, who impersonates the mega-diva.
As for Carla DelVillaggio, she is a slight young woman with more than a passing resemblance to Streisand. On Monday she dressed in a recreation of Streisand’s ultramarine-blue sailor dress, accented with a bright red bow. DelVillaggio has the Barbra shrug down pat, and is especially adept at recreating the infectious Barbra giggle. She proved deft also at coping with shouted comments from a raucous audience.
BISTRO AWARDS REVIEWER (NYC):
“…anyone who can sing the wide-ranging Streisand songbook this well certainly has a terrific
voice of her own.”
“STREISAND: The Greatest Star”
“ Carla DelVillaggio, based in Florida, made her New York debut this month in a tri-partite show about Streisand, and she was sensational! Not only can DelVillaggio look enough like Streisand, up to her nose and wig, to pull it off, she has the mannerisms and accent down pat. She uses Barbra’s arrangements and even some of her dresses, to the point that…you’d swear DelVillaggio was channeling her. And anyone who can sing the wide-ranging Streisand songbook this well certainly has a terrific voice of her own. I can’t wait to see her in a cabaret as herself.” “It’s a pleasure to say HELLO CARLA, and please hurry back here where you belong: on a New York nightclub stage.”
WATERMARK MAGAZINE (Sam Rennels 2015 Orlando Fringe Festival review):
“This was an hour of heaven! …looking and sounding like Barbra Streisand, from the laugh and giggle, to the hand and head movements…just like watching the actual diva herself.” “…she owned the stage telling stories and singing songs, …as if I was watching her on Broadway.” “…sang with pitch perfect accuracy …[and] had the whole audience captured.”
ORLANDO WEEKLY (Seth Kubersky 2015 Orlando Fringe Festival review):
“DelVillaggio does a fine job capturing Streisand’s signature inflections…vocals sound startlingly like the originals…”. “What makes this more than mere karaoke is the effortless way DelVillaggio inhabits Babs’ persona. Her hair and profile looked dead-on …,but more importantly, she captures the mannerisms and posture perfectly.”
ORLANDO SENTINEL (Matt Palm 2015 review Orlando Fringe Festival):
"When it comes to talent, DelVillaggio is the real deal...delivers [the songs] with signature Streisand flair. She has the look and mannerisms down pat.."
ORLANDO SENTINEL (Matt Palm 2014 review Orlando Fringe Festival):
Carla DelVillaggio, a first-timer at Orlando Fringe has the superstar nailed, not only in her remarkable vocals, but in her patter, manner, giggles and gowns. She's in the Babs zone. A distinctive part of the performance, though, is the interaction with audience members, who seemed to startle DelVillaggio a bit as they burst into song, a throaty collective baritone, for "Second Hand Rose." We're talking chorus and the verses here. Her chats have a little bit of wink-wink to them, which is reassuring: She doesn't really think she's Streisand. She just does a mean impression of her. This Fringe's first showing included a virtual duet with an on-screen "Judy Garland," a re-creation of a famous TV appearance. "She looks pretty good dead," quipped DelVillaggio. "I wonder what her secret is." You couldn't help but smile.
Ron Davidson – Private Party, Tampa, Florida
“There are moments, you remember all your life…there are moments you wait for and dream of all your life…this is one of those moments.” That lyric from “Yentl” exploded in my head when Carla DelVillaggio made her stunning entrance as Barbra Streisand at my mother’s 75th birthday luncheon. Exquisitely dressed in a beautifully tailored gown circa “The Concert” from 1994, my mother was surprised beyond words when Carla appeared and began to sing “Evergreen.” Carla delivers each song, no wait, each note with magnificent precision and tone that, if you didn’t know better, you’d swear you’re listening to Barbra Streisand! Carla’s mannerisms as Barbra, her repartee with the audience as Barbra, her “shtick” as Barbra, all completes the perfect illusion as Streisand.
Mark LaClaire – Lifestyle Director, The Village of Deaton Creek, Georgia
"As the lifestyle director at Village at Deaton Creek in Georgia (Del Webb Properties) I have booked all types of entertainment, from bands, comedians, mentalists, belly dancers….you name it. Also I spent 20 years in the music business working with nationally touring artists and record labels. I’ll admit…I was a little nervous trying something I was personally not familiar with (Carla’s Tribute to Barbra Streisand) but…WOW am I glad I did! Not only were you (manager, Paul Brown) and Carla fabulous to work with and did everything you could do to make this happen for us…but Carla was absolutely outstanding! I had over 20 emails and probably another 50 residents come see me to tell me that was the BEST show we have ever had here in the 4 years we have been having entertainment. We will certainly have you back again – for TWO SHOWS. Truly wonderful how talented Carla is as not only a singer (sounds just like Barbra) but how she works the crowd, stays in character at all times and can improvise on the spot. She is funny, charismatic and really knows how to read the audience and give them what they are looking for. "
Jeff Kiltie - Event Services Manager, Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Aventura, Fl.
"Carla DelVillaggio and her band put on an amazing show! This is the second time she has performed at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center and we would be thrilled to have her back anytime. Just when I though it couldn’t get better than the original “Simply Streisand” show she performed in 2011, the “Back to Broadway” show surpassed my expectations. Carla’s nuanced performance as Barbra Streisand goes beyond impersonation and her voice is incredible. The audience gave her a standing ovation and the comments included, "Marvelous", "What a voice", "Amazing", "Better than the real Barbra", "Wonderful".
Leah Ronen – Executive Dir. Jewish Community Center, Augusta, GA
Dear Carla, On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Augusta Jewish Community Center, I would like to thank you for your wonderful performance at the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year event. I am sure you have been told this before but I must add my words to those of others. Your likeness in appearance and voice to Barbra Streisand is simply remarkable. Even I, who has actually met and spent time with Barbra, was captivated by your performance. We very much appreciate the fact that you did not cancel when you broke your wrist. Putting off your surgery until after your show in Augusta was a wonderful example of the old adage "the show must go on". We wish you a speedy recovery from your upcoming surgery and much success as you continue to bring Barbra to those who rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to see her in person.
Ellen Battaglia – Private Birthday Party, Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.
I just wanted to touch base again and tell you how no one has stopped telling me how awesome you are. My brother taped it and I have been watching your show over and over..I still can't get over how lucky we were to find you available for my Mom’s 90th birthday party and willing to travel even though you had to fly to Vegas the next morning. I can't even express how excited we were to surprise mom with "Babs"! and you surpassed our high expectations - you were like Buttah!. You are extraordinarily talented and so beautiful. I loved the way you wanted to know everything there was to know about my mom and personalized some of the songs to her love of chocolate! She ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT FROM BEGINNING TO END! You made my mother so happy as well as everyone at her party. You have such charm and grace and even though the servers were all over the place, you just smiled and joked and made everyone feel like nothing bothered you at all. You were so sweet and warm to everyone - especially my mom - I know that her 90th birthday party was her best one ever - so far!!
Harriet B. Weiss – JCC of Greater Orlando
Dear Carla, “Simply Streisand” was one of the best shows we have featured at the Jewish Community Center! Your gestures, your face and most important your magnificent voice were so real that if we were to close our eyes we would think Ms Streisand was on the JCC stage. Oy! It was fun to work with you and I especially admire your patience with our “microphone graveyard challenge.” On stage you joked and handled it as though you encountered this every day. Thank you, Carla, for being such a good sport in what was at first a difficult situation. Most of all, I want to thank you for an outstanding performance which all the people who attended will remember always. You are truly a professional in every way.