These days Sonja Morgan has her hands full. When she is not touring the country with her comedy show, Sonja in Your City, she is going all out for the LGBTQ community. This past week she appeared at at Buffalo Pride and Norwalk Pride. Out In Jersey caught up with the Real Housewives of New York fan favorite to discuss her upcoming show at Montclair’s Wellmont Theater, Sonja Sangria, life as a Morgan, and all things reality television.
Before we discuss the tour, wine, and show, I would like to backtrack. Prior to reality television you lived a very elite life as the wife of John Adams Morgan.
Sonja Morgan: It was amazing that he was able to get me to settle down. He was tenacious, and although it took him a while, it worked. I had a very jet-set life before I got married. Then, once I got married, I was in bed by 9 pm. We led a very discreet, quiet lifestyle. We always ate at home, had a full staff, and I oversaw all the properties.
Did you think you were going to stay on the show as long as you have?
SM: No, not at all. It was not until after my divorce when I was responsible for my bills, my daughter, and the townhouse that I considered going on television. I was approached prior to Season 3 but I turned it down. However, once I saw how well Ramona and Luann were able to balance their lives on and off the show, I knew I had to do this.
How does life pre-fame compare to life post-fame?
SM: It is strange to be on reality television because prior to and during my marriage you paid for your own parties. There were no sponsors or step-and-repeats. The exception was charity events in which you would simply receive an endowment from one big firm. The only cameras we had were those Instamatic cameras. I think people are surprised by how much steam I could blow off when I am on camera, but I always danced on tables, there were just no cameras (laughs).
The cast has evolved over the past few seasons. There is a lot of discussion about recasting the next season as well as a legacy edition. What is next?
SM: I can’t answer any questions about timing, shows, etc. I must leave it to the executives. But what I will say is we have not filmed since before last summer. With COVID-19 they were not taking any chances of having to shut down. It is a very expensive production to film in New York. Thus, I’ve had to stay busy on my own. I began both the comedy tour and launched the sangria prior to the pandemic. If you recall, Sonja Sangria was present at the drag queen bingo ball finale on Season 12. I have been expanding the show and sangria. I also became a Top 5 performer on OnlyFans, as well as Top 3 on Cameo including earning the #1 Woman and #1 Reality TV Star slots. I have my shoe line, Sonja by Sonja Morgan, with French Sole Shoes. I am currently working on a line of boots too.
Wines and spirits is a difficult industry to break into. How has the process been with Sonja Sangria?
SM: I have had to be diligent. Due to COVID-19 we had to move production from Spain to Italy. The freakin grapes! However, now that this has been done, we are back in business. There are two flavors, red and white. The sangria can be purchased in-store or online. We offer free shipping. Sonja Sangria is also available at all my shows.
Your comedy tour, Sonja in Your City, has blown up. How has it been seeing it come to life?
SM: It has been an incredible journey. I only use local talent a la comedians and drag queens. I want to support the LGBT community and Black Lives Matter. After we experienced the initial success of the tour, United Talent Agency came to me with Live Nation. Now it is a major tour with 1,700 people in the audience every night. We had to cut the meet and greet down to 100 people at every show because it immediately sells out.
Kudos. Having worked in Top 40 radio, if you are touring with Live Nation, you’ve made it. What can fans expect at the Montclair show at the Wellmont?
SM: We went from an audience of 300 people, to 700 people, to well over a thousand now. It’s not about the money but rather connecting with my viewers, fellow artists, and the LGBT community. I am happy to support our local artists, get them back on stage, and paid. We have a drag queen who opens the show, a stand-up comic, I do improv with my cast mates, and we bring everyone up on stage from interns to couples seeking sex tips. I have t-shirts with some of my famous phrases including “the straw that stirs the drink” and “baddest bitch on the upper east side.” I have a great team in Douglas Widick, Matt Brooks, and Adrien Pellerin, as well as Norm Laviolette and Jeremy Brothers of Improv Asylum.
Were you nervous in the beginning that your show would be compared to your co-star Countess Luann’s cabaret show?
SM: No, not at all. We are friends and love each other. I received a call from Improv Asylum years before the pandemic and we did a couple shows. We were just waiting for it to be safe to financially back — and for me to be available. I was never nervous because I have always been the class clown. I have also been in entertainment my whole life from when I was a young girl participating in beauty pageants and modeling.
What do you do during your downtime when you are not filming?
SM: When I am not filming, I just want to be with my family and tend to my work schedule. My daughter and I are very close. Quincy is a student at an Ivy League school and focused on her career. She is also a prolific artist, and you can see work on her artist Instagram: @WorksByQ.
Peacock’s Ultimate Girls Trip series has become a fan favorite because viewers get to see how their favorite housewives from different series interact with one another. Would you be open to it?
SM: Yes, I just have not been available. I was unavailable for Season 1 as well as Project Runway. However, I will be at BravoCon this year. We have not had a BravoCon for three years since 2019, which I missed, so I am thrilled to be a part of it this year.
Upcoming Tour Dates
The Paramount Huntington, NY June 16th 2022 The Wellmont Theater Montclair, NJ June 18th 2022 Buckhead Atlanta, GA June 23rd 2022 Davidson Theater Columbus, OH June 25th 2022