'Real Housewives of New Jersey' talk Off-Broadway debut, tonight's 'explosive' reunion show

My-Big-Gay-Italian-WeddingIf you’ve been getting anxious at the thought of the impending Real Housewives of New Jersey-less future, fear not, for the Jersey ladies aren’t going anywhere. Danielle Staub has a budding singing career, and now her fellow cast members are preparing to make their (Off) Broadway debut. Beginning on September 1, Caroline Manzo, Lauren Manzo, Teresa Giudice, Jacqueline Laurita, and Ashley Holmes will star in four performances of My Big Gay Italian Wedding, with proceeds going to Marriage Equality New York.

“I have zero experience. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t act,” Caroline said during EW’s recent visit to rehearsal. She was the self-assured matriarch we’ve come to expect during a choreography run through, assuring cast members that she would have the steps down by opening night. “I’ll get it, don’t worry,” she insisted, even if it required the help of “three or four mojitos before the show.” The ladies took dance practice seriously, despite not having any musical theater background. “Can we get the music on a CD so I can do it in my kitchen?” Caroline asked. Sister-in-law Jacqueline had another idea: “Unless you call us on the phone and you can sing to us. I’m going to put you on speaker,” she joked to Wedding regulars. Jacqueline was goofing off during practice for the Lady Gaga meets Chicken Dance choreography, which was a nice change from how we usually see her on the show (naively trusting the likes of Danielle or Kim G. and later getting burned, or, fighting with her daughter Ashley). “I think it’s fun, it’s something out of your comfort zone. We’re having a good time with it for sure,” she said.

For the women, raising awareness for Marriage Equality New York is more important than how well any of them can sing or dance come opening night. “I have a gay brother, so this is near and dear to my heart,” said Caroline, whose sister and former Housewives star Dina is also a producer of the show. Added Jacqueline, “And you know not one of us is taking any money off this. I know some people were saying, ‘Oh they’re probably getting paid.’ None of us are getting a dime. It’s all for charity, and we wanted to do it.” The reality show has had its controversial moments over the last two seasons — Danielle taking offense to Joe Giudice’s use of the word “gay” in season one, Danielle’s friend/resident thug Danny calling Christopher Manzo a f—– in season two — but Caroline insisted that the decision to perform in this particular show was not an attempt to dispel any ideas of homophobia among the cast members. “I could care less about public opinion, okay?” she said. “This is for my brother. This is for the trials and tribulations that I have seen him go through in his lifetime, coming out, and the stereotype, and the sometimes prejudice towards it. This is for my brother, it has nothing to do with the show at all.”

So if all goes well, will there be a musical future for these women? (Can’t you see a Von Trapp children number featuring Albie, Lauren, and Christopher Manzo? No? A girl can dream.) “It’s funny because I do want to get into acting, I think,” said Ashley, Jacqueline’s 19-year-old daughter, whose infamous hair pull at the North Jersey Country Club and its aftermath carried much of the past season’s storyline. As for her less than glowing portrayal on the show? “Am I bratty with my mom at times I shouldn’t be? Absolutely,” she explained. “I know that I can be disrespectful, you know but also I’m 19, you know a typical teenager. I fight with my mom [and] it’s kind of like what’s going to be better TV? Like you know my mom and I getting along, or you know the drama aspect of it?” Casting directors take note: She’s all yours.

But before the curtain rises on Wednesday comes tonight’s RHONJ reunion (part one), which Jacqueline described as “explosive” and “unexpected.” After two seasons of table flipping and hair pulling — and with the future of the show and its cast members in questionthe Andy Cohen-moderated discussion will leave everything on the proverbial table. “It was personal to me,” said Caroline’s daughter Lauren, who was onset but not on camera as a makeup artist for the reunion. “I’m sure when you watch and see, just try to put yourself in my shoes for not being able to go out on camera and say what I wanted to say.” And for those skeptical of the “reality” element of the show, apparently things in Jersey can get a lot more heated when Bravo isn’t around. “It’s actually probably worse off camera,” joked Jacqueline, who said she hadn’t seen Danielle since the filming of the reunion about a month ago. “Actually, we might even tone it down a bit [on camera].”

What are you more excited for: the Housewives performing live on stage for a good cause, or Teresa pushing our dear friend Andy Cohen?

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • elizabeth degtoff

    anyone else see the physical similarities between danielle and one of the dc ladies?

    • kennedyDC

      Yes I noticed it. She looks like … Linda is it? The one who owns the agency.

    • pamb

      Absolutley! I did a double take when I first saw Lynda. They could be sisters. I don’t think Lynda would take kindly to that, though.

  • Kiesha

    Is Danielle a prostitute that tricked some old rich guy into getting pregnant so she would have money?

  • Kiesha

    I love Taressa she keeps it real…

    • SaraS

      Ew, you would. You don’t even know how to spell. You’re probably also 11 million in debt just like Ter-e-sa.

      • blondy

        Ahahahaha SaraS, ain’t dat da truf , there are so many illiterates on these boards, instead of watching TV they should be gettin schooled

      • Taylor

        To blondy: Maybe YOU are the one that should be “schooled”. “Ain’t dat da truf” isn’t a REAL SENTENCE sweety. ;D

      • Taressa

        I think that is Teresa..she probably cannot spell her name

    • Rahiq Syed

      Teresa is a classless lowlife. She showed her true colors last night. She is a complete gutter mouth and sets a poor example for those ugly little gargoyles she is raising.

  • Leslie

    I suppose every show has to have their villian. Why does Danielle like to portrait herself as the church going angelic character. Everyone knows she’s garbage. She & her thug friends need to get over it.

  • Tribunal

    Damn Teresa is ugly. Up there with her unibrow, lmao.

  • Veronica

    I’m excited at the ending of this season and (hopefully) these women disappearing from our social consiousness. (don’t take that as a threat to your safety, ladies). I with they all had a mirror that would show what a disgrace they are to women, housewives, NJ and Italians (all of them).

    • Boetica

      NO KIDDING!!!!!!!

      • Jan Leslie

        I can’t make up my mind about these women. One minute they’re a freak show and the next I feel sorry for them (and think about the times I’ve been just as bad as they!!!)

  • Rahiq Syed

    Teresa Guidice is a pig. Nothing but poor white trash.

    • CM

      Agreed. She’s always saying Danielle is the psycho but she is freakin nuts. Three times on the show now, she has shown what a crazy wack job she is. Just saw the first reunion show and was shocked at how fast she lost it. She needs a pill to calm her ass down. Wacko.

  • Lin MN

    Baahaahaahaaa How smart is Bravo NOT to have anything on set besides pillows, that could be used as a flying weapon?

  • Ms. Cuntess

    Scary that Jacqueline admits they tone it down for the cameras. Forget about Danielle! I would run the opposite direction screaming if I ever came across the Manzo women and Theresa. Theyre all trash!

  • keith

    Whoah!! Just watched part one. Sweet fancy moses. They didn’t lie. It’s bananas.

  • jamma

    teresa is an idiot LOL she is beyond stupid, and wears hideous clothes, and looks like she wears a wig. i have no respect for someone who goes around yelling and talking a big game like she does. SHUT THE HELL UP and sit your broke ass down

  • Boetica

    Caroline, Theresa, and Jacklin, did you guys practice your attack skills before you went on? Danielle definitely has problems but you three are GARBAGE! Love how you attack Danielle and still stick to the story that Joe the adulterer wasn’t drinking. Sorry, alcohol doesn’t go through your system that fast, or did it take the cops two hours to get there? Guido TRASH!

  • Boetica

    Manzo mafia hypocrites. Still stickin’ to the story that Joe took some shots after he crashed his car. He wasn’t driving drunk. I guess some people will believe or say anything for money. Danielle has her issues, but you other ladies are GARBAGE!

  • jenny

    teresa is class less trash and jacqueline and caroline aren’t far behind either. Danielle is crazy but without her and the drama this show would be so boring!!!

  • Jade

    It’s so sad that they all have each other and constantly shove that up Daniels ass…WTF they need to get a life…even jaqueline was stupid on the show and Caroline is so fake and Teresa is sooo ugly n so is her husband

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