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BWW Interview: At Home With Leanne Borghesi


From West to East coasts Leanne Borghesi is happy and at home in her life.

BWW Interview: At Home With Leanne Borghesi

It is appropriate Leanne Borghesi's Instagram handle is CrazyBorghesi, as those who have seen her perform can validate - the Lady can, at times, be quite zany. A larger-than-life personality, Ms. Borghesi brings a special quality with her when she steps onto the stage, along with big hair, big costumes and a big, big voice. Leanne Borghesi is on that stage to entertain and entertain she does, in big doses. Everything about Leanne Borghesi is big... on the stage. Off the stage, Leanne Borghesi is a girl in jeans and a top, but she's still got something big to offer: her heart. Known on two coasts as one of the kindest, most considerate, and caring people in the cabaret community, Leanne Borghesi is all about taking her big heart and big talent and making people happy - it's something she is abnormally brilliant at - even in the middle of a pandemic.

I caught up with the cheerful and optimistic Leanne from my place in NYC to her place in San Francisco to see what's happening on the other side of the country.

This interview was conducted digitally and is reproduced as received.

Name: Leanne Borghesi
First Cabaret Show: Divalicious, 2008, The Metropolitan Room, NYC
Most Recent Cabaret Show: SHOWBROADS... A Night Club Duel, 2020, Birdland, Nyc
Website or Social Media Handles:

Leanne Borghesi! I just caught The Changing Table by The Show Broads! Not only are the song and video fabulous, but you and Marta look gorgeous! Was it fun getting glammed up for the camera after so long in isolation?

Oh Stephen Mosher...It's been months since I put on a pair of lashes & spanx for a show, I was starting to question the depth of my existence! Thankfully, my partner in crime, the fabulous cabaret Diva- Marta Sanders and I pulled it together 2,500 miles apart and took the challenge to put that snazzy ditty together for Susie Mosher's son; Hudson! Our Music Director, the fabulous Dana P. Rowe composed the piece & we collaborated over 10 hours for that 2-minute video! The process was a good learning curve!

How's life on the West Coast for your family during the quarantine?

Life's had extreme highs and lows these past 4 months. I vacated Manhattan right after SHOWBROADS played Birdland March 8th and have been in San Francisco since. I went from hustling art in clubs to hustling food in my kitchen for the "compound" here as everyone is working their day jobs at home. Luckily, I enjoy cooking have opened "Borghesi's 24 Hour Bistro"

You are one of the busiest artists working in show business - have the 4 months given you any kind of withdrawal or has it been a chance to slow down and nurture yourself and your family?

Well thanks, keeping busy helps me stay out of trouble, but gawd, these past 4 months have tested my will, patience, strength and with that I have been doing my best to stay positive while keeping depression at bay. Like so many artists, all my 2020 upcoming gigs, tours and appearances have been cancelled with no opening in sight, it's very hard to accept. A diligent focus on self-care and positive mental health has been primary to get through this and it has been a true test in taking life day by day, but I'm starting to get antsy.

Have you been doing other online appearances?

Yes! Online appearances have been rewarding in this time of catastrophic change. It's been great to perform for different cabaret live shows- Piano Bar Live, Harold Sandten's Open Mic in London as well as creating new online content for shows that will be moved to a web format.

Are there other appearances that fans can look for in the future?

Yes! My genre is theatrical cabaret, so I have been able to expand lately with the creation of new music, show material and collaborations. Exciting news, I've an original song and music video that has been released, a lighthearted "boadwayesque" tune dedicated to performers all over the world who are missing the stage AND the audiences who love us. "Together In One Place" is by the new songwriting team- Dana P. Rowe (Composer, Witches of Eastwick) and Lyricist Nathan Cann in NYC. As a character actress, I took it a step further and brought it to life with a music video created with an artistic team spanning 3 states (Director- Nick Minas, NYC, Director of photography-Kristen Meloche, Arizona, and Sound/Video Production by Sharon Boggs, SF). It took us a couple weeks to create/edit/produce and a wonderful quarantine collaboration was had. You can checkout the song at my website and...even buy the music and sing it yourself! What a joy!

BWW Interview: At Home With Leanne Borghesi

Do you and Sharon divide up the household tasks, or are you a couple who does it all together?

We make a great team and divide with strengths/joy...I'm an Italiana Mama so I show my love through my cooking with kitchen as my haven of deliciousness. Luckily we work together to keep the home fires burning and we get to collaborate artistically as she is my sound designer ... We've been busy in the soundproductions studio doing lots of recordings. Very grateful for art in our lives, especially now!

Leanne, when you are on stage, your audiences see an artist who is larger than life - is that a quality that a person is born with, or is it a persona that a performer crafts for their art?

Well, it's definitely a personal quality that I've fostered through the 40 years of my art making. I'm a hands on, boldly visceral performer who's always enjoyed pushing the artistic boundaries within my theatrical cabaret work. It's taken me all this time to figure our what to do with...Me. As a larger than life force of nature on the stage I've learned how to craft all my energy into a vehicle of entertainment. A delicate balance indeed.

You are a woman who really prefers a life filled with personal connection - for instance, you are one of the few people I know who likes to get on the phone and talk, rather than communicate digitally. What has been your personal process in staying authentic to this part of yourself, these last months?

Ahhh yes, this verbal beast & hedonistic passion junkie has been struggling! Sitting at the computer is an extremely focused event so transferring my performance art to video/online formats been hard as the inability to see/hear/feel/manipulate my audience is gone. The energy exchange is quite different; therefore, gratification is diminished but grateful for technology/time to learn how to extend globally. To keep authentic I give a lot of calls to friends and sing random messages for fun.

You have a big wardrobe for your performing life - does offstage Leanne have an equally extensive clothing collection?

Yes! I've easily traded in my sequin gowns and boas for flowing summer dresses and big brimmed hats, but with nowhere to wear them to. Home caftans in an array of designs have become my number one go too this quarantine. I feel like Mrs. Roper ?

Away from the nightclub stage you are active as a character actress - now that the trajectory of live theater has been changed, are you embracing any kind of digital acting work?

This quarantine hasn't halted my artistic creations, it's funneled my work into different avenues of digital. I enjoy film work and a film I was is is circulating festivals - The Miracle Twerker! As an Equity Actress, I am working on camera for auditions, readings, music videos and other special appearances. I must keep moving, as things in the industry change I'm preparing for the re-entry and continuing on with my artistic career in New York.

Put a picture in my head of a quiet moment at home for Leanne Borghesi.

Chillin' on my sister's couch next door with our 3 new kittens (Zsa Zsa, Zippy & Zig Zag), Angel Baby the Boston Terrier and watching 90 Day Fiancé The Other Way.

BWW Interview: At Home With Leanne Borghesi

Leanne, how quickly can you get into your elaborate show drag?

Can you give me 21 minutes and I will show you?

My last question is a simple but important one: How's Angel?

Angel Baby the Boston Terrier is the most awesome stress reliever there is. She sends you all her kisses and snorts!

Leanne, thank you for chatting with me today. We miss seeing you around Manhattan and hope we will be reunited soon. Lots of love to you and Sharon and Angel.

Stephen, it's been a joy! Thank you for everything you do for our artistic cabaret community! Sending oodles of love to you and Pat! Stay safe during all this and I cannot wait to be "Together In One Place" again soon and when we are we will have a grand time!! LOVE! Leanne

Photos provided by Leanne Borghesi

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