Miranda Sings was created by American comedian, actress and singer Colleen Ballinger, and first introduced via the YouTube channel Mirandasings08 in 2008. The character is a quirky, self-obsessed and hilariously untalented young woman who posts videos of her performing well-known songs and undertaking challenges given by her legions of fans. Ballinger has stated that Miranda Sings is an example of her satirising the handfuls of arrogant know-it-alls she has witnessed who haven’t an ounce of talent; the character also both looks and acts how performers are told not to when studying, albeit in a grossly exaggerated way. So far, Ballinger’s videos have accumulated nearly 60 million views and have turned her into a worldwide sensation.
Since 2009, Ballinger has also started performing a cabaret act which combines elements of her videos with new material and special celebrity guests, including Kerry Ellis and Broadway star Sutton Foster, who undertake ‘voice lessons’ from Miranda. Once again she returns to London to perform a special show at the Leicester Square theatre and once again it is absolutely spectacular.
Introducing the night’s events and his girlfriend, Josh Evans gets the audience revved up with some 90s pop favourites including NSync, before inviting three incredibly willing participants to do their own personal impressions of Miranda on stage. Whilst entertaining, the mass of teenagers and mums and dads watching the events are obviously far from satisfied with this, instead becoming increasingly restless for their hero to appear. Once Ballinger strolls on looking as far away from Miranda as possible in a gorgeous LBD, the screams erupt and definitely caused long-term damage to my ear-drums. As herself, Ballinger performs musical theatre favourite, ‘Taylor the Latte Boy’ to whoops of joy and laughter before finally transforming into her alter-ego during Wicked’s ‘Defying Gravity’, a familiar presence now associated with each performance of her cabaret act.
From start to finish, this show is almost utter perfection and even if you’ve never heard of Miranda or Ballinger this is sure to be a treat that will leave you laughing well after leaving the theatre. Whether she is utterly destroying powerful and emotional songs such as Whitney’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, current smash hit, ‘Blurred Lines’, or taking us through a journey of her life using props and images projected on to the stage (“I’ve always been famous, now people know”), Miranda strolls around the stage showing just why she is a ‘five threat’ (singer, dancer, actress, model, magician). There is absolutely no point during the entire evening where she goes out of character and in fact, she is constantly in control of herself, those around her and the audience, ensuring they are eating out of the palm of her hand.
Unfortunately a bitterly disappointing rendition of Chicago’s ‘Cellblock Tango’ made sure the evening wasn’t a consistent success and it wasn’t even our star’s fault as the group of male and female dancers around her were shockingly bad, most of the time having absolutely no idea what they were doing or who they were (probably).
Ballinger is a phenomenally talented individual, showing she has a great voice both prior to her Miranda transformation and during a magic trick to Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Think of Me’ as well as an extraordinarily gifted actress and comedian. When the Miranda Sings fire eventually burns out I’m sure she has a wonderful future ahead of her, whether it be in musicals or making people chuckle themselves to death.