New Century's wide and shallow stage (which can sometimes feel awkward) is a perfect fit for the preview show of the newest series of the Real Housewives-esque show, with cabaret tables in the audience adding to the fun and informal atmosphere. Host and creator Randy (Adan Varela, who also plays multiple other characters) introduces us to each of the housewives (curiously, only two of them have husbands). Ravonka (Kim Kivens) is the vaguely European royalty who carries her tiny dog around in her purse, demands that everyone "pay attention to me right now," and never sees her Baron husband. Claudia-Louise, aka CL (Quinn Shadko), has the perfect family and isn't afraid to tell everyone so. Gwen (Katherine Kupiecki) is an incarcerated politician trying to redeem her image with the public. Ditzy Desiree (Karissa Lade) is a fro yo addict and neck model. Brooke (Anna Hickey) is the newest member of the group, a self-made business woman who has made a fortune selling clothing with writing on the butt. Some of the other members of the group don't accept her "new money" so easily, causing the necessary tension for a show like this.
|Anna Hickey, Karissa Lade, Kim Kivens, Quinn Shadko,
and Katherine Kupiecki (photo by Bridget Bennett)
|the housewives and Randy (photo by Bridget Bennett)
The Real Housewives franchise is an easy one to parody. OK I've never seen it, but it seems like there is plenty of fodder for comedy. It's pretty much a slam dunk, especially when played to a crowd that is obviously hungry for it, and this play delivers on that expectation. Funny, ridiculous, over-the-top, and with a cast that gleefully milks every moment. Playing through November 15 at the New Century Theatre in downtown Minneapolis, grab your best girl and guy friends, a few drinks, and settle in for some easy laughs.