“Borghesi displays great comic flair along the lineage of legends like Fanny Brice, Frances Faye and Carol Burnett…The sold-out crowd, hungry for a Borghesi feast, ate her up!” –Steve Murray for Cabaret Scenes
Leanne Borghesi, “Big Boned Comedian” (Time Out, NYC) residing in both New York and San Francisco, Borghesi entertains audiences from The Cabaret to Stage. A native of California, Borghesi has been producing solo cabaret shows since 2002, working in venues coast to coast. Musical Theater performer and entertainer at San Francisco’s cabaret hot spot Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Borghesi returns with her latest theatrical cabaret “What Is This SWING Called L-O-V-E?” August 3, 8pm featuring the Roger Glenn Trio and Amanda Wu on bass. After last season’s hit solo show: BDSM: Beautiful Dirty Sexy Me! which made it’s West Coast debut this past August as part of Feinstein’s 2016 Women’s Series, this “powerhouse femme” lead the audience on a bold sexually comical musical journey from proper to bawdy with focus on original pulp erotica and puppetry. Written by Borghesi and conceived alongside- Nicolas Minas and Nathan Cann, this “theatrical cabaret” has Borghesi whipping her strengths, fears, truths and desires into shape with a daring new solo show with many twists…with a New York Debut scheduled for November 2017 at The Triad Theater, Nov. 3, 6, 9, and 11th. Borghesi also returns as the majestic Chanteuse for the 2017-18 season of San Francisco’s very own Circus Center Cabaret, where she emcees a monthly show featuring live jazz, cocktails, and renowned circus artists from San Francisco and around the world.
“Borghesi skillfully maneuvered through singing, acting, props, puppets and tear away clothing. Her voice was in great command- clear and bright…pure icing on the delicious cake that is Beautiful Dirty Sexy Me…once again directed by Nicolas Minas, may be her strongest, most cohesive show to date.” –Steve Murray, Cabaret Scenes
Participant & Equity Guest Artist at Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Cabaret and Performance Conference in Waterford, CT, under direction of Michael Bush, & MD Steven Ray Watkins, Borghesi spread her wings with the debut of solo show, “BAZAZZ” and performing alongside Amanda McBroom, Lillias White, Penny Fuller, Marilyn Maye and Loni Ackerman in “Accentuate The Positive, A Johnny Mercer Tribute” . She led the comedic role of Mama in Jonathan Brielle’s, “40 Naked Women, A Monkey & Me” with a swinging 12 piece band! Borghesi attended the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University under Direction of the late Erv Raible mentored by such fierce women in cabaret- Sally Mayes, Amanda McBroom, Sharon McNight, Laurel Masse, Tovah Feldshuh and the late Julie Wilson. These Women and experiences have propelled Leanne to focus on what it is that she loves… entertaining, laughter and travel.. leading her to Europe with “This Summer I Lived” featuring the original music of songwriter David Kent and Edinburgh dreams of the future!
Borghesi’s solo show: “LUSH” made it’s San Francisco and New York Debut in 2015 at Feinstein’s at the Nikko and then to New York’s classic hot spot, The Duplex! An intoxicating comedic odyssey through lust, love and loss, mixing an up-tempo elixir of Lounge, Latin, Jazz and Broadway, with a special tribute to Shirley Bassey and the hits of Eartha Kitt & Rosemary Clooney. Directed by Nicolas Minas and Musical Direction- Brandon Adams.”…the set maneuvered easily through samba, swing, pop and ballads, highlighting the singer’s wide range. Big and bawdy is right in Leanne’s wheelhouse and, using variations on the theme of lust, allow her to work her magic” Steve Murray for Cabaret Scenes
Always attracted to entertaining audiences with laughter and comedy, a founding member, alongside colleagues Jessica Coker and Soila Hughes, the bawdy comedic trio “B.O.O.B.S” (Busty, Outrageous, Over-the-Top, Broads, Singing) entertains audiences with bawdy, comedic vocals, sass and quality theatricality! Performing from San Francisco’s Feinstein’s at the Nikko, RRazz Room, Graham-A-Rama and Hollywood: “these B.O.O.B.S defy the gravitational pull of life with class, sass, and powerhouse vocals in their hotter than white heat comedic cabaret experience… a 90-minute titillating musical journey” (sfbaytimes.com)
Borghesi driven to the creation of new work and diverse performance projects in San Francisco working in cabaret and musical theater that gave Leanne a wonderful artistic playground to create! Working with experimental Director –George Coates, with an all female cast unearthed Valarie Solanas’ long lost manifesto Up Your A$$ and made it’s NYC debut at the historic P.S. 122, after two years of performance in San Francisco. This experience in Experimental Theater began an artistic journey of amazing projects that followed.Along Artistic Director Russel Blackwood of The Thrillpeddlers in San Francisco, Borghesi worked as Associate Director and performed as “Petrushka” in the four year run of The Cockettes ‘ smash hit revival- Pearls Over Shanghai with Music by former Cockette-Scrumbly Koldewin.
With an emphasis in Women in theater and musical comedy, Borghesi’s brassy character Ms. Anita Cocktail was born and has shared her talents to raising funds for non profit agencies, Galas & Events: The Richmond Ermet Aids Foundation, Pride Mainstges, New Leaf, Positive Resources, GLAAD, National Organization for Women, NCLR, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Project Open Hand, PINK! Magazine, Save The Children, Project Open Hand, Aids Lifecycle, Shanti and countless performing appearances in SF & NYC.
Leanne has had the opportunity to work within San Francisco’s vibrant theater community! Companies and people that have shaped who she’s become as an artist: Sean Martinfield, New Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Ray of Light Theater, 42nd Street Moon, Center Rep, The Aurora, Theater Rhino, Thrillpeddlers, Scott Lacey.
“Anita Cocktail, a brassy blond cabaret singer in the Mae West mold rose to fame as San Francisco’s Faux Queen 2002, the city’s annual Faux Queen Pageant, a celebration of drag queens trapped in real women’s bodies. Ms. Cocktail, of course, handles her own vocals, and can belt out a standard, with hilariously raunchy asides, like any trouper..so it wasn’t surprising that at her very first appearance, she joined the city’s pantheon of drag royalty.” (Laurel Wellman, SF Chronicle)