It's beginning to look a lot like Countess — especially for those attending Luann de Lesseps' holiday cabaret show "A Very Countess Christmas" Sunday at The Paramount, in Huntington.
The evening, says the "Real Housewives of New York City" star and former countess — she and the count divorced in 2009 — is different from last year's "Countess Luann and her Holiday Cabaret Show." "Different music, different stories from my diary. It's altogether new," says the 54-year-old, who keeps a house in Sag Harbor. And yeah, sure, she may be a reality-TV star, but here's a reality: She had to add a second Paramount show last year after her initial one sold out.
Some things in the show haven't changed — she'll still perform her trio of dance singles, including the campy "Money Can't Buy You Class." But she's added "Feelin' Jovani," which dropped in June as a paean to the fashion label best known for prom dresses and de Lesseps' more sparkly evening gowns. It became a recurring topic of conversation on “RHONYC" after cast member Dorinda Medley on one wild episode… well, why go there? Let's just say it inspired a meme.
In addition to her songs, "I play games with the audience — like, they take a vote on who their favorite celebrities are," de Lesseps says. "And we dish about everything from 'Housewives' to what I'm up to. We do a Q&A with the audience. It's really old-school entertainment.” Except, of course for the most common question she says she's asked at these things, an exercise we can't name in a family paper and which involves taking a hypothetical trio of people and stating which of them you'd want to marry, kill and sleep with.
"Every show,” says de Lesseps, "somebody inevitably asks me" that question, which led her to a creative inspiration: "I have a new show coming out in January, called" — again, we can't say the title.
She retains the team with which she's performed cabaret since taking it up in May 2018: writer-director Ben Rimalower, musical director and arranger Billy Stritch, and the band The Real Hounddogs of New York City — redubbed The Real Reindeer of New York City for the season. There's a rotating group of guest performers, which for this show — rescheduled from Dec. 18 to accommodate shooting the final episode of "RHONYC" 's upcoming season — is comedian and comedy writer Casey Jost, brother of "Saturday Night Live" 's Colin Jost.
De Lesseps was born LuAnn Nadeau, one of seven children of a Berlin, Connecticut, building contractor. In 1993 she married wealthy French businessman Count Alexandre de Lesseps, with whom she had her now-grown children Noel and Victoria before the marriage ended in 2009. A monthslong marriage to businessman Thomas D'Agostino lasted from New Year's Eve 2016 to October 2017.
Afterward, de Lesseps' alcohol issues led to a much-publicized arrest and conviction for a drunken incident at a Florida hotel. She has since completed probation and has remained sober "day by day. That's all we can do." The holidays, she avers, pose no particular temptation. "I'm kind of used to it," she says of sobriety, "and I'll be around my family. So it's relaxed, y'know? I'm not out at a lot of holiday parties. I get out in the Hamptons, I just want to relax and do yoga and be good to myself and take a break."
And he's dating, though saying there's no one specific. "Nothing serious. Just having fun and dating."
Luann de Lesseps: A Very Countess Christmas
WHEN|WHERE Sunday at 7 p.m., The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington