(l to r) Michael Breslin, Patrick Foley
Real Housewives fans to the front! The Brooklyn-based theater and media company Fake Friends, who created the widely acclaimed internet play Circle Jerk, teams up with FourthWall Theatrical, in association with Tony nominee Jeremy O. Harris, to present the world premiere of This American Wife. The piece will run online from May 20 to June 6.
Both a loving satire and piercing examination, This American Wife is a multi-camera, live-streamed, dark comedy investigating the obsession, idolization, and all-consuming-hunger the women of The Real Housewives engender in many of us. The piece will take place at and stream live from a Long Island mansion — can we get a Long Island franchise going?
This American Wife is much more than a tribute to the guilty pleasure of a television phenomenon, for as conceived and written by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, who perform alongside their friend and artistic collaborator Jakeem Dante Powell (an understudy in the Broadway run of Slave Play), This American Wife can only luxuriate in the fantasies of reality TV for so long. Tea will be spilled, and we can only hope wigs will be snatched.
Directed by Rory Pelsue and featuring dramaturgy by Cat Rodríguez and Ariel Sibert (all of whom also worked on Circle Jerk), This American Wife is a reimagined and updated adaptation of Breslin and Foley’s stage show that first played at New York Theater Workshop’s Next Door series in 2018. Mixing absurdity and reality, the trio of This American Wife inhabits and disturbs an imagined image of a real world, playing out scenarios, texts, and choreographies from the massively popular—and endlessly memed—franchise. As the boys travel deeper into the dark walk-in closets of their minds, they are forced into crises of desire, repulsion, identity, and autobiography.
“The life of an obsessive fan of a trash cultural artifact — in a trash time, in a trash country — is a humbling one,” said creators Breslin and Foley. “Like the greatest autobiography-driven performance artists from Karen Finley to Spalding Gray, the Housewives have trained themselves to expertly blur the boundaries between reality and fiction. Likewise, the historic segregation of The Real Housewives franchise reflects the aspirations and racism of American escapism. As true fans, there’s no way for us to hide from this reality.”
Jana Bezdek and Jen Hoguet of FourthWall Theatrical shared, “We are so grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with Michael and Patrick as they continue to pioneer a new genre and pull the curtain back on the echo chamber that is reality TV.”