Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Real Housewives of New York Countess LuAnn de Lesseps made the comeback no one could have predicted. From a one-year marriage to a philandering womanizer, to an inebriated Palm Beach arrest, and multiple stints in rehab; for the past two years the life of LuAnn de Lesseps was anything but that of a Countess.
Nevertheless, last year in February, LuAnn debuted her own cabaret show at Manhattan’s Feinstein’s/54 Below, Countess And Friends, which featured LuAnn performing songs referencing her complex life as both a Countess and reality television veteran. It was coupled with appearances from celebrity friends. The show is directed and presented by Ariamnes Events & Marketing. In August 2018 LuAnn decided to take the cabaret show on the road, leading to a plethora of sold out shows across the country. The tour included a holiday cabaret tour entitled Christmas with The Countess.
Following an electric performance at Montclair, NJ’s Wellmont Theater, Countess LuAnn sat down to spill the tea.
Will Loschiavo: Prior to interviewing you, I posted on social media asking readers for questions. There seemed to be a tremendous response with a theme. First off, when all of the revelations came out about your ex-husband Tom D’Agostino, do you feel as though the women on your show were sympathetic, or more concerned with using your personal struggles as a story arc?
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: I think the cast was genuinely concerned because they knew of Tom’s history. You know how love is blind? I did not really want to see it for what it was. I prefer to believe people at face value. And ultimately preferred to see past that part of Tom. However, sometimes outsiders looking in have a better view. Reflecting back, I do not think it was for a storyline; I think my castmates were seriously concerned for me.
Do you feel as though certain women in your cast have been more supportive than others, and if so, who?
CL: In general, the girls have been very supportive. That includes my divorce, my arrest in Palm Beach and most recently my sobriety struggles.
When Season 10 wrapped, it appeared as though you grew closer to Bethenny Frankel and Sonja Morgan. Yet, there appeared to be cracks developing in your friendship with Dorinda Medley. Is this still the case? Who are you closest with out of the cast today?
CL: When it comes to relationships that you care about, you repair them. As you will see in the upcoming season, Dorinda and I are working on our relationship. I love Dorinda; she has been a friend of mine for a long time.
Compared to the challenges viewers witnessed transpire in your life during past seasons, is Season 11 going to be lighter for you?
CL: I am doing what I love most — which is my cabaret show. It is a topic you will see play out in-depth on the upcoming season. You will also be privy to my continued struggle with sobriety, which is difficult especially when you are on the road doing what I do. Although the girls have been supportive of me, you will see there are shifts within the dynamics of friendships.
You had mentioned it is difficult maintaining sobriety. For those navigating the road to recovery, do you have any particular tips or advice?
CL: You have to take it one day at a time and let the waves come and go. The wave comes in, you have to duck, let it go over your head and continue on your way. Sobriety is a daily battle. I take it day-by-day. And that is what I advise anyone undergoing the same inner-demon to do.
Your cabaret show has unexpectedly taken off and is selling out nationally. The Wellmont Theater show alone was highlighted by overwhelming audience participation and enthusiasim.
CL: It is wonderful! I get so much love from the audience which empowers me and gives me so much strength. I love creating new shows, such as the recent holiday tour. Now, we are arranging the upcoming shows for 2019. It is very exciting to sink my energy into the creative element of cabaret. I am very hands on with everything.
It appears as though you are making a strong effort to keep the show evolving. Going into the new year, what can fans expect?
CL: I do not want the show to be the same. I prefer to keep refining the elements with each tour. I am going to be singing different songs. This is after all Countess And Friends. So I will have all new guests, friends, jokes and diaries lined up.
On a final note, you recently partnered with SuperJeweler and launched the Countess LuAnn Collection, a glamorous line of jewelry consisting of striking statement pieces. You always adorn your own pieces during your performances. Can you tell us more about your line?
CL: I love to wear my collection during my shows. I use different stones, mixed metals and crystals. The prices range anywhere from $49 to $300. My goal is to provide ornate jewelry at an affordable price.
The 2019 Tour for Countess And Friends will include February 23, 2019 at Englewood, NJ’s BergenPAC and then March 23, 2019 at Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino & Hotel.