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Drowsy Chaperone review - last week to see Leanne Borghesi

Posted by Jessica Coker on March 1, 2011 at 5:04 PM Comments comments (0)


Review: “Diablo Theatre Company’s ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ drives straight for the funny bone – Contra Costa Times Review: Diablo Theatre Company’s ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ drives straight for the funny bone

By Pat Craig
- Correspondent

Posted: 02/15/2011

Musical comedies have based their stories on some pretty unusual topics — selling your soul to the devil so the Washington Senators will win the pennant, finding a place for a crap game, even teaching a young woman to speak proper English. So it probably isn’t really surprising to find one of the funniest musicals ever is about going to a guy’s apartment to watch him play the cast album from a 1928 musical called “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

What is most amazing about ‘Chaperone” is just how wildly funny it is. Director Daren A.C. Carollo and his Diablo Theatre Company cast have done a wonderful job re-creating it, beginning when the curtains opening on the cluttered apartment and reveal the Man In the Chair (Michael Patrick Gaffney), a slightly fey, ever-smiling fellow who knows far too much about early 20th century pop culture and musical comedy. He tells us he likes to put the two-record (yes, “record”) album on the turntable whenever he’s feeling a little blue, to remember that cold night in 1928 when America (OK, Broadway, but what’s the diff?) met the drowsy chaperone. Then, with the drop of a needle, the dreary apartment bursts forth with color and flash, as the cast takes over the little studio and turns it into Mrs. Tottendale’s (Laurie Strawn) mansion on the day of the wedding between Broadway superstarlet Janet Van De Graaff (Sharon Rietkerk) and oil tycoon Robert Martin (Daniel Epstein). It’s to be a wonderful day with Broadway’s finest in attendance and a beautiful setting for the wedding of the season. But the pebble in the rice here is Feldzieg (Michael Markovich), bent on stopping the wedding so Janet can keep earning big bucks for him. Feldzieg shows up with his current arm candy, ditzy ingenue Kitty (Samantha Bruce), and a pair of Toledo gangsters disguised as pastry chefs (Justin Isla and Ned Hansen).

Through it all, the Man In the Chair is dropping hilarious asides to advance the plot, comment on what the actors do in their private lives and a bit about his own life. But most of all, he serves as an enthusiastic cheerleader for the show, dancing, applauding like a seal on steroids and casting his 1,000-watt grin over the action. Gaffney is just unbeatable in the role.

The rest of the cast, too, is fantastic, from those already mentioned to Aldolpho (Dan LeGate), the delightfully cheesy Latin lover; the drowsy chaperone herself (Leanne Borghesi), played with maximum theatricality and drunkenness; George (Stephen Foreman), the harried, tap-dancing best man; and Trix the Aviatrix (Jackie De Muro), who flies in just in time to save the day. What makes it work so beautifully is that every character has a moment to shine, and all of them take full advantage, much to the delight of the audience.

The tunes in the show are charming and sound like those you might here from the time period. G. Scott Lacy directs the music, Sheri Stockdale choreographs, Carol Edlinger designed the attractive period costumes and David Gallo designed the evocative and quite flexible set. All combine to create one of the best shows produced on the Lesher main stage in some time.


By Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Bob Martin and Don McKellar; presented by Diablo Theatre Company.
 WHEN: 8 p.m. most Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through March 5; also 2 p.m. Feb. 26.
 RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, 45 minutes
 WHERE: Lesher Center for the Arts, Civic Drive at Locust, Walnut Creek.
 TICKETS: $17-$48; 925-943-7469,

Posted on February 15th, 2011 « Review: “The Drowsy Chaperone” – Broadway MagazineReview: “The Drowsy Chaperone” – Walnut Creek Journal » Leave a Reply Cancel reply items marked with * are required

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Graham-A-Rama priases in Sacramento News and Review!

Posted by Jessica Coker on January 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM Comments comments (0)



It’s anniversary time! One- and two-year markers for local stage series

By Kel Munger

[email protected]

More stories by this author...


This article was published on 01.27.11.

You never know what you’ll see at Graham-a-rama, but we guarantee it will be … different. And musical. PHOTO BY ANTHONY SHEPPARD Stories on Stage, 7:30 p.m. Friday, $5. Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street; GAR 74: GAR Turns Two, 8 p.m. Sunday, $15. William J. Geery Theater, 2130 L Street; Related upcoming events:

Stories on Stage anniversary

F, 1/28, 7:30pm

$5, Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St. (916) 441-7395


Autism Benefit

M, 1/31, 7:30pm

Free, Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St. (916) 441-7395


Improv Jam

Tu, 7-9:30pm

first workshop is free, $5 thereafter, William J Geery Theater, 2130 L St. (916) 821-4533


Making BDSM Relationships Last

F, 2/4, 7:30-9:30pm

Free, William J Geery Theater, 2130 L St. (916) 456-4152


Related stories:

Death artist

Kurt Cobain meets Anne Sexton meets SN&R (we’re the self-involved alt-weekly journalist). SN&R, 05.29.08.


At a time when so many performance companies are folding—there’s no money to be had anywhere, and audiences continue to cut back—the DIY, “let’s put on a show” spirit thrives for two of Sacramento’s stage series. It’s a pleasant surprise, especially in a town where the calendar is already crowded (even after an economic shakeout) with things to do, but both Stories on Stage and the Graham-a-rama cabaret series are going strong and celebrating anniversaries this week with special performances.

Stories on Stage is the brainchild of local writer and teacher Valerie Fioravanti, who recognized that Sacramento had a double whammy of talent. The place is just bursting at the seams with writers, and you can’t swing—well, anything—without hitting an actor. Put the two together, and Stories on Stage was born. They’ll celebrate their first anniversary on Friday with two stories: one by Bay Area author Andrew Foster Altschul, read by local poet and actor Tim Kahl; and one by Fioravanti herself, read by actress and comedian Victoria Goldblatt.

Altschul is currently promoting his second novel, Deus Ex Machina; his first, Lady Lazarus, was very well-received (and earned a rave review in SN&R). His stories have been published in Esquire, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Fence, One Story, StoryQuarterly, Best New American Voices and O. Henry Prize Stories.

Fioravanti is also an accomplished writer. Her stories have appeared in the North American Review, Cimarron Review, Hunger Mountain and Night Train, among others. She’s been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, received a special mention in Pushcart Prize XXVIII, and judged SN&R’s most recent Flash Fiction contest.

The evening will kick off with appetizers by chef Matt Fischer and a chance to socialize.

The other anniversary this week is the two-year mark for Graham Sobelman’s award-winning Graham-a-rama series. The anniversary show on Sunday will feature a variety of artists—which basically means that any local musical theater actor who’s not busy that night may wind up onstage. That’s one of the features of Graham-a-rama that makes it such a gem in Sacramento’s theatrical crown: Everybody gets a chance to shine.

Among the highlights of the last couple of years are such programs as Kelly Daniels’ night of show tunes that highlighted American history (in addition to her acting, Daniels is pursuing a graduate degree in history), and Jerry Lee’s show, which included a finale as the Little Mermaid. Yeah, it was that wild.

At Graham-a-rama, they’ve devoted shows to the music of the ’70s and the ’80s and showcased both individual artists and ensembles. Sobelman’s been known to write an original tune or three (including one in which he made fun of this critic’s obsession with a particular singer, a futile attempt to attract more attention for himself—or perhaps not).

There’s a reason Graham-a-rama has earned awards and raves: It’s simply the freshest musical act in town. Unfortunately, everybody knows it, and the theater only seats 49 people, so be sure to make reservations for Sunday’s show.



Leanne Borghesi in the Drowsy Chaperone

Posted by Jessica Coker on January 20, 2011 at 6:48 PM Comments comments (0)

Come see our very own Leanne Borghesi in the Drowasy Chaperone in Walnut Creek

Performing Feb 11 - Mar 5 Welcome to The Drowsy Chaperone, the musical comedy with tons of laughs and the most 2006 Tony® Awards of any musical on Broadway! It all begins when a die-hard musical theatre fan plays his favorite cast album, a 1928 smash hit called “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and the show magically bursts to life. We are instantly immersed in the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast and the audience soaring to the rafters.


for tickets go to:

Hope to see you there!

Talkin Broadway regional review of B.O.O.B.S! Defying Gravity

Posted by Jessica Coker on January 20, 2011 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Another awesome review.... check it out

On December 28th, three buxom lassies did a wild and wonderful show called "B.O.O.B.S! Defying Gravity". The acronym stands for "Busty, Outrageous, Over-the-Top Broads Singing." Leanne Borghesi, Jessica Coker and Soila Hughes with The Graham Sobelman Trio presented a fast-paced, rowdy and great 75 minutes of current songs for the New Year before a packed house at the Rrazz Room.

The trio of robust ladies started the show with an upbeat "Defying Gravity" from Stephen Schwartz's Wicked showing off their busty, covered breasts. After the song each lady told their fans one fact. Leanne Borghesi said, "Just because I'm fat that does not mean I'm funny." Soila Hughes said, "Just because I'm Mexican does not mean I will mow lawns," and Jessica Coker said, " Just because I'm fat and I can pull off the caps of beer bottles does not mean I have to be lesbian." From then on it was no holds barred as the group sang, together and in solos, mostly upbeat songs that wowed the fans.

Leanne Borghesi was down and dirty singing "Gravity (Is Getting Me Down Blues)" from the new musical OMFG! by Christopher Winslow with lyrics Gavin Dillard. The "gravity" refers to the bosoms of Leanne and it was very funny. She had strong vocal chops singing "Old Fashioned Love Story" from Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party and "After the Lights Go Down Low," by Alan White and Leroy Lovett.

Jessica Coker with a terrific upbeat voice sang a droll song called "White Audra" about Audra McDonald getting roles on Broadway. This comic song was penned by Andrew Byrne. The artist turned heartfelt singing "How to Return Home," with music by Brian Lowdermilk and lyrics by Kait Kerrigan, and "It Hurt So Bad," music and lyrics by Tom Hambridge.

Soila Hughes showed nice vocal chops rendering the sexy "Todd (The Phone Sex Song)" by David Dabbon and Tom Bruett and was sublime singing the Spanish song "(God's Child) Baila Conmigo" by David Byrne and Selena. She sang a zippy arrangement of "Shadowboxer," music and lyrics by Fiona Apple.

The three women gave a fetching rendition of a song Betty Hutton made famous, "It's Oh So Quiet" by Hans Lang, Bert Reisfeld and Erich Meder. They sang a tribute to the candy bar called "Oh Henry!" by Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman. These gifted singers also did a put-on of YouTube artist Kesha with a medley from the musical stylings of the artist. The trio ended the session with "The Life of the Party" from The Wild Party and "Pretty Legs (and Great Big Knockers)" by Gene Pistilli and Theodore Irwin.

The Graham Sobelman trio, consisting of Kellen Garcia on Bass, Alfonso Portela, and Graham Sobelman on piano, rocked the house assisting these very talented ladies. The ladies will be performing this show at the Metropolitan Club in New York in June 2011. For more information on upcoming events in January at the Rrazz Club, Hotel Nikko, 277 Taylor Street, San Francisco, visit

B.O.O.B.S. - Defying Gravity review in Bay Times

Posted by Jessica Coker on January 11, 2011 at 3:17 PM Comments comments (0)


Boobs Were Bustin’ Out All Over! By Sister Dana Van Iquity

Published: January 6, 2011

Jessica Coker, leanne Borghesi and Soila Hughes. San Francisco’s bawdy, sassy, somewhat nasty theatrical trio was back last week after a two-year’s absence to kick off the New Year with the “B.O.O.B.S! Defying Gravity” cabaret in the RrazZ Room. Starring Leanne Borghesi, Jessica Coker, and Soila Hughes in a 90-minute titillating musical journey, these BOOBS (Busty, Outrageous, Over-the-top, Broads, Singing) defied the gravitational pull of life with class, sass, and powerhouse vocals in their hotter than white heat comedic cabaret experience. As they warned me, “You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll want a pair of your own!” They were accompanied by The Graham Sobelman Trio (Sobelman, musical director, on piano; Alfonso Portela on drums; and Kellen Garcia on bass. The good news is they will be booked in New York June 17 and 18, with more dates upcoming at the RrazZ as well. I’ll keep you posted. 

 The buxom threesome opened with the title song, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, wickedly opening their shawls to reveal bodacious breasts popping out of bold brassieres. They followed with “U Know U Want It,” teasing and flaunting their cleavage all the while. Jessica sang “White Audra,” proving a Caucasian chick can sing black as well, letting her inner soul sister singer out. “And I am telling you” this sister was on fire! Soila sang “Todd: the Phone Sex Song,” lamenting that her paramour apparently preferred telephonic intercourse rather than the in-person version. “Why does he prefer his hand?” she wondered. Leanne then belted out “Gravity Is Getting Me Down Blues” regarding her figure gradually going south on her (although her upper balcony was surely perky enough). She looked fine, especially since it was her birthday that night; and of all nights, that’s the one you want to look your birthday best. 

The trio joined back to sing Bjork’s “It’s So Quiet,” taking turns on singing soft as a librarian busy at work, and then bursting into a RIOT of very loud song. Soila revealed she once sang and lost in a Mexican mariachi contest, but proved to be a winner with the Spanish lyrics to “Baila Conmigo” (“Dance with Me”). Leanne sang “An Old Fashioned Lesbian Love Story” from The Wild Party as she cruised a woman in a bar with two qualities she admired in the lady: she was alone and she had a pulse. Jessica mused on the well known phrase and novel, “You can’t go home again,” in her touching rendition of “How to Return Home” and the difficulties involved in such a journey. 

For a complete change of pace, they all sang “Oh Henry,” which was not about a man, but rather the eponymous candy bar. They sang about many different chocolate bars, while Soila pulled lots of varied brands from Twix to Three Musketeers from her bra and tossed the treats into the willingly receptive if not chocoholic audience. But she refused to toss the Snickers, because, “That one’s MINE!” She then sang “Shadowboxer” by Fiona Apple: I’m a shadowboxer, baby, I wanna be ready for what you do; I been swinging around at nothin’, I don’t know when you’re gonna make your move.” Jessica said she was really a poet, and then did a spot-on send-up of a poetry slam. And then she sang “It Hurt So Bad.” 

In my opinion, the absolute climax of the evening had to have been the trio’s interpretation of young rocker Ke$ha’s songs. First they all put on specially made glittered BOOB$ sunglasses to look ultra hip. Even the band donned the Ke$ha eyewear. The three gave perfect impressions of “Your Love Is My Drug;” “Hot and Dangerous;” “We Are;” Blah Blah Blah;” and the big hit that put Ke$ha on the charts, “Tic Tok on the Clock,” because “the party don’t start till we walk in.” True dat! 

Leanne announced that her New Year’s resolution was not to lose her sexiness and sense of play, and proceeded to illustrate her resolve by macking shamelessly all over the piano player with kiss after kiss “After the Lights Go Down Low.” The three ladies did Pink’s “Glitter in the Air,” singing, “Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air? / Have you ever looked fear in the face, and said I just don’t care?” and continued, “Have you ever wished for an endless night?” and I could truthfully admit I wanted that night of B.O.O.B.S. to go on forever. It was because this group of glorious gals was “The Life of the Party” from The Wild Party, the musical. They closed the show quite apropos with a very Bette Midler “Pretty Legs and Great Big Knockers” to a roaring, stomping, whooping, hooting, standing ovation. Boobalicious!!! Don’t miss these lovely lusty ladies when they come back to town!


Our first Rrazz room show

Posted by Jessica Coker on December 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM Comments comments (0)

It was amazing. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us. We sold the house out and got invited to come back to do the show again. So anyone who missed it, please come out and play with us.

We also announced 2 shows at the Metropolitan Room in NYC in the next year. We'll keep everyone up to date with that. Consequently we'll be planning some additional BOOBS shows to raise money for the trip. We hope you can all join us again!

Graham Sobleman - The Sac 100

Posted by Jessica Coker on December 10, 2010 at 2:47 PM Comments comments (0)

Our very own Graham Sobelman (B.O.O.B.S.! Defying Gravity pianist) was named as one of the most interesting people in the region in the SN&R Sac 100!!!

chech it out ya'll and come see our show at his Graham-a-rama in Sacramento this Sunday night, 7pm show is sold out but the 9pm show is still available!

Press Release

Posted by Jessica Coker on November 18, 2010 at 6:39 PM Comments comments (0)




Leanne Borghesi/ Public Relations

650-280-8477 / [email protected]


The RrazzRoom & Accidentally Double Booked Presents:

“B.O.O.B.S!  Defying Gravity”



                        San Francisco’s bawdy, sassy theatrical trio is back thisDecember to kick off the New Year with:  “B.O.O.B.S!  Defying Gravity”  Join LeanneBorghesi, Jessica Coker and Soila Hughes in a 90 minutetitillating musical journey as Busty, Outrageous,Over-the-Top, Broads, Singing defy the gravitational pull of life with class, sass and powerhousevocals! Fall into the musical cleavage of this year’s hottest comediccabaret experience with the musical styling of: The Graham Sobelman Trio!  An evening of harmonies, shimmyshakin’ talent and a variety of music to tantalize, “You’ll laugh, you’llcry, you’ll want a pair of your own!”


WHEN:           Tuesday,December 28, 2010

8 p.m.; doors open 7:30 p.m.


WHERE:         TheRrazz Room at Hotel Nikko

222 Mason Street

San Francisco, CA94102


TICKETS:       Tickets are $25.00 with a (2) drink minimum.

                        BOX OFFICE:  (866) 468-3399



PARKING:      Mason O'Farrell Garage, 325 Mason Street.  BART andpublic transport


MORE:            Accidentally Double Booked: “Defying Gravity”is the fifth production for this San Francisco based production company.   Previous productions include:  AnitaCocktail and Diamond Daggers and Love& Lust, Lust. Lust Cabaret with Twilight Vixen Revue, B.O.O.B.S! andB.O.O.B.S Emergency Cabaret Relief: Haiti. Non-Profit beneficiaries of previous ADBProductions include:  Save the Children, Breast Cancer Fund andPartners In Health.  ADB Productionsstrive to create and collaborate with local artists and musicians to enhanceour lives through music and art.     (





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