LEANNE BORGHESI AT FEINSTEIN’S AT THE NIKKO
Leanne Borghesi made her solo debut at Feinstein’s in the Hotel Nikko on August 19 before a sold out crowd of her enthusiastic fans. I have reviewed this extremely talented singer/entertainer mostly in theatre productions like her last appearance at Center Rep in Walnut Creek as the teacher in “Spelling Bee of Putnam County”. The first class entertainer is remonstrant of such legendary divas of Francis Fay and Ethel Merman with a little of Carol Burnett thrown in for good measure. She can belt out a tune with the best of the renowned singers.
Ms. Borghesi elucidations are distinctive and never fall to keep you interest in what she does with all the songs. Her gestures are grand and she dances jokily and twirling with the next up tempo selection. She describes herself as a “crazy good person”.
Leanne Borgheisi new 90 minute show is called “Lush” and she sang a mixture of lounge, Latin, jazz and Broadway songs. There were many songs made famous by Shirley Bassey such as “Burn My Candle (at Both Ends)” “Kiss Me Honey Honey” and “History Repeating’ which she belted out with her powerhouse voice. For a change of pace she was sublime singing “Moonraker”. .
The artist did something I rarely hear in that she segues into a quartet of songs though out her performance such as “Come on- My House” made famous by my friend Rosemary Clooney was seguing into “Le Jazz Hot” from “Victor Victoria moving swiftly into “Fire Down Below” and ending up with “Kiss Me Honey Honey. She was harmoniously energizing in Consuelo Velaquez’s “Besame Mucho” Leanne was awe-inspiringly singing Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things” and “It’s All Right With Me. The was down and dirty singing such songs as “I Want to Be Evil”, “I am a Vamp” and Tom Lehrer’s hilarious “The Masochism Tango”.
Leanne Borghesi changed completely turning serious into the last songs of her gig singing with a smooth vocal cords such songs as Billy Strayhorn “Lush Life” She was pitch perfect singing “You Go To My Head, “This Is My Life”,” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade”.
The artist was beautifully backed up by Brandon Adams on piano leading a hot band with Erika Johnson as drums and Aaron Shaul on bass. Bravo to the sharp direction by New York director Nicholas Minas and sound by soundproductions.biz for making this a great night of entertainment. I said it before and I will say it again. Leanne Borghesi gave a sumptuous performance wild and wonderful with fantastic abandonment. For a complete line up of Feinstein’s at the Hotel Nikko go to http://www.hotelnikkosf.com/feinsteins.aspx