Lena Moy-Borgen and Cheo Bourne: Office Party

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Lena Moy-Borgen and Cheo Bourne

Office Party

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, June 2, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Lena Moy-Borgen &
Cheo Bourne
Photo: Craig Mungavin

Anyone who has spent some time in a mid-size company has faced that dreaded event—the office party. But who knew they could be so much fun and so entertaining? Thanks to Lena Moy-Borgen and Cheo Bourne and some special guests, all the highs and lows of such events were featured with just the slightest tongue-in-cheek attitude on display. One reason the evening worked so well was the commitment to the concept that all involved devoted to it, including inter-office gossip and carefully chosen wardrobe.

The theme for this office party was “the ’90s” and most of the songs, as well as the memories shared and trivia quizzed, were from that decade. Plunging in with a spirited “’90s Medley” that showcased Moy-Borgen’s big belt and Bourne’s strong tenor, the show was off and running at a high level. Along the way they, of course, got to show off separately with solos, including “King of the World” (Jason Robert Brown) for him and “Welcome to Paradise” (Billie Joe Armstrong/Mike Dint/Tre Cool) for her—indicating the wide range of material included in the show.

Several other “employees” got a chance to shine. Temps Lisa Yaeger and Julissa Miranda each got such moments with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (George Merrill/Shannon Rubicam) and “Just a Girl” (Gwen Stefani/Tom Dumont), respectively; Miranda was especially quietly touching in her rendition. The Employee-of-the-Month was Joel Perez, indeed a special contributor to the merriment with a brilliantly comic delivery of “Dressing Them Up” (John Kander/Fred Ebb).

The hosts promised that there would be future parties planned. They are well worth attending.

Bart Greenberg

Bart Greenberg first discovered cabaret a few weeks after arriving in New York City by seeing Julie Wilson and William Roy performing Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter outdoors at Rockefeller Center. It was instant love for both Ms. Wilson and the art form. Some years later, he was given the opportunity to create his own series of cabaret shows while working at Tower Records. "Any Wednesday" was born, a weekly half-hour performance by a singer promoting a new CD release. Ann Hampton Callaway launched the series. When Tower shut down, Bart was lucky to move the program across the street to Barnes & Noble, where it thrived under the generous support of the company. The series received both The MAC Board of Directors Award and The Bistro Award. Some of the performers who took part in "Any Wednesday" include Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock, Tony Desare, Andrea Marcovicci, Carole Bufford, the Karens, Akers, Mason and Oberlin, and Julie Wilson. Privately, Greenberg is happily married to writer/photographer Mark Wallis, who as a performance artist in his native England gathered a major following as "I Am Cereal Killer."