By D. A. Blackburn
It turns out that wealthy, spoiled housewives are the same everywhere – from Orange County, California, to Washington D. C., and even at the North Pole. The Bravo network has been taking viewers inside the lives of “Real Housewives” since 2006, but it took the Ringwald Theatre and a new late night show courtesy of Sweetlove Productions to gain access to the mavens of Santa’s home town.
“The Real Housewives of the North Pole,” written by Marke Sobolewski and Cara Trautman, is exactly what one would expect from a show bearing such a title – a lightly holiday themed, sexually-charged exploration of the tawdry, shallow exploits of five fictitious women. And a spot-on spoof of its reality television franchise namesake.
Like the TV show, it’s a little short on plot, but big on characters – and cast with five of the Detroit area’s most prominent and talented actresses. As such, the stage show comes to life with tremendous laughs.
It seems that even the North Pole isn’t immune to the economic woes of our times. A world-famous economist has been brought in to consultant the town on its recovery, and he’s brought with him a new housewife, Trista (Christa Coulter) – and loads of new drama. Santa’s wife, Jessica (Jamie Warrow), is convinced that her husband has been unfaithful, and the local ladies are sure their newest “friend” is involved. Jessica’s sister-in-law, Patty Kringle (Cara Trautman), is working to get to the bottom of the situation, and local trollop Roxy Dupont (Lauren Bickers) has been enlisted to help Mrs. Claus spice up her floundering love life. And somehow, stuck in the middle of it all, the ultra-conservative Mary Margaret Cross (Dyan Bailey) is trying to keep her values intact.
Without fail, all five ladies create vivid, unique characters, and all earn their own shares of the laughter as the plot unfolds. And best of all, it’s obvious that all five have had tremendous fun along the way.
The production unfolds as a series of short skits, punctuated by stand-alone housewife interviews, all of which are packed with terrifically funny one-liners and physical humor.
From a production standpoint, the show is reasonably simple, and Sobolewski’s direction is likewise clean and concise. And all of this adds up to a show that allows its bold characters to shine.
‘The Real Housewives of the North Pole’
Sweet Love Productions at The Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday & 5:30 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 20. $10. 248-545-5545. http://www.whowantscaketheatre.com