Countess LuAnn de Lesseps Source: Mike Ruiz

What Is 'Marry F Kill!?' Countess LuAnn de Lesseps on her Latest Cabaret Show

Nicholas Dussault READ TIME: 11 MIN.

Life is indeed a cabaret for Countess LuAnn de Lesseps. The infamous member of the original cast of the "Real Housewives of New York" has parlayed her significantly more than 15 minutes of fame into a career as a cabaret star. And don't for a minute think that the Countess is dressed in sparkling black, singing Liza Minnelli covers in piano bars in the places you'd never want to visit. After performing her outrageously entertaining show to sold-out houses in leading U.S. cities, Countess LuAnn and her entourage are getting ready to cross the pond and take London (and the UK) by storm before returning to the States to complete her tour over the summer.

You can get all the details about the Countess' trip to London, Brighton, and Manchester, England; and Dublin, Ireland; as well as upcoming appearances stateside, including the PRYSM drag brunch on June 22 in NYC, at her website. You might also want to check out her merch – perfect gifts for any occasion.

As far as future appearances in NYC, there's no word yet. But it's hard to believe the Countess wouldn't strap on her highest heels, put on her finest Jovani creation, and delight her hometown crowd with stories and songs like Miley Cyrus' "Flowers" in her latest show, "Marry F Kill!" that is currently touring. (For upcoming dates, follow this link).

Recently EDGE had the opportunity to chat with the Countess and she's now our favorite royal.

The cover art for the poster for F, Marry, Kill!" tour
Source: Mike Ruiz

EDGE: You're one of the OGs of the Housewives franchise and certainly among the most famous and successful. How did you get the job?

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: It really came to me. I was at a party in the Hamptons where I met Jill Zarin. We just hit it off like a house on fire because I had never seen anything like her in my life. I was intrigued because I like people who are authentic and real, and she was the real deal. At the time I was trying to work my way back into television because I had worked for Italian television before I came back to the States, so I gave her my card.

EDGE: You were in Italian television?

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: I used to work for [Silvio] Berlusconi. I hosted my own show on soccer. I started as a sort of Vanna White, turning letters though not speaking the language. Then I realized if I spoke the language I could go really far. I fell in love with the place and wanted to stay. Thank God I did, because I met the Count skiing in Switzerland with my Italian boyfriend.

When I came back to the States, Jill emailed me and said she was doing this brand-new show and thought I would be perfect for it. I met the producers at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, they did a tape, I think I sang. They hired me. It really came to me. At the time it was called "Manhattan Moms." They didn't tell us it was the "Housewives." I had seen the "O.C.," and if they did tell us it was, I probably would never have done it.

EDGE: What did your family think?

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: The kids were like 10 and 12 at the time, and I was still married to the Count. I told them we could do this together as a family. Alex said, "If you want to do it, that's great. We support you." We talked about it as a family, of course.

EDGE: They didn't think you were nuts for having these cameras everywhere?

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: [Laughs] We didn't know what we didn't know. I didn't know what reality was, really. You want to follow me and my kids, and Jill and Ramona, who I had known from playing tennis with Jill? Then Bethany came along, then Alex and Simon. I had no idea who they were. It took time for Sonya to get into the franchise. She was reluctant to do it. Then she saw Ramona and me do it. Sonny and I go way back. That's how it started. The rest is history.

EDGE: What was a typical day like for you in the beginning?

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: I would literally say to the crew, "Don't go near my bedroom. You see this door. Never open it. I can't start at 10, I can start at 11. You're not talking to my children unless you have clearance from me to talk to my child." We really produced it ourselves. These field producers and line producers are out there to grab the restaurant, grab the situation, but it really is based on what's going on in our lives and what we're up to. So, we really produced the show.

Reality was a whole new genre for me, and it was brand new, basically. I think "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" was the most popular, maybe "Big Brother," at the time. When we first started, it was just kind of getting going.

by Nicholas Dussault

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