Countess Luann (aka Luann de Lesseps) will bring her holiday...

Countess Luann (aka Luann de Lesseps) will bring her holiday show to The Paramount in Huntington.   Credit: Countess Luann

Reality-TV star and now established cabaret performer Luann de Lesseps, of Sag Harbor, brings her updated holiday show "A Very Countess Christmas" to The Paramount in Huntington Sunday night.

"It's an all-new show," de Lesseps, 56, of "The Real Housewives of New York City," says by phone from her Manhattan apartment. For one thing, this third annual iteration of the cabaret show she began in 2018 (and skipped last year due to the pandemic) includes the new song "What Do I Want for Christmas?," as well as the accompanying music video with herself and fellow "RHONY" stars Leah McSweeney, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer and Eboni K. Williams plus pianist Billy Stritch — who along with Bruce Roberts composed the humorous throwback to nightclub novelty songs, mixing self-conscious schmaltz and mock-greedy spoken asides about wanting things like a Chanel bag and a red Ferrari.

Also new this year is the show's director, Richard Jay-Alexander, a theater veteran who most recently directed the limited-run Broadway concert series "Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls" (2019), and who succeeded de Lesseps' original director since 2018, Ben Rimalower.

"Ben gave us his blessing," de Lesseps says. "He's doing other things and pursuing his own interests and career."

She grudgingly agrees part of her cabaret appeal is the campy nature of seeing a reality-TV star with no previous career in music or theater. But, she says, "I think it's much more than that. If it wasn't a great show, I don't think people would be coming back" to see it again.

Jay-Alexander, she says, had approached her after having seen one of her earlier cabaret shows "and he goes, 'I wasn't expecting much from you, but let me tell you, you can sing, you're funny and you wear a dress like nobody I've ever seen. You're going to become a big cabaret star.' He saw in me a lot of promise and a lot of talent. I'm very grateful and I'm pumped."

There remains something of a "Rocky Horror Picture Show" aspect to it. "My fans and my crowd," she says, "get dressed up — they wear their sequins and they wear their beautiful sparkly necklaces" a la the faux-fabulous evening gowns bedecking many a "Housewives" star — with de Lesseps particularly partial to Jovani, a label best known for prom dresses and, in recent years, some of her more sparkly attire. She even sings about the brand in her cabaret show, with "Feelin' Jovani" — one of her signature songs, along with "Money Can't Buy You Class."

Born LuAnn Nadeau, one of seven children of a Connecticut building contractor, she married wealthy French businessman Count Alexandre de Lesseps in 1993, and the two had children Noel, 25, and Victoria, 27, before the marriage ended in 2009. A monthslong marriage to businessman Thomas D'Agostino lasted from New Year's Eve 2016 to October 2017.

Her current monthlong tour began Nov. 30 with the first of eight dates at Feinstein's/54 Below in Manhattan and includes Boston, Minneapolis, Florida and Washington, D.C. When it's over, she says, she'll retreat to her home in Sag Harbor. "I feel like I'm part of history in some sense, living in an old whaling captain's house and living on the water, which gives me a lot of peace.

Top Stories