Martha Stewart knows how to make jam and jelly, but now she’s getting preserved. And skewered.
“The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart,” debuting Monday at 7 p.m. at Joe’s Pub, is the new musical spoof by New York actor and writer Ryan Raftery.
The show takes a cheeky look at Stewart’s life — the Good Things and the Not So Good, all to music of Beyonce, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adele and Metallica.
Raftery’s previous shows concerned Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Bravo’s Andy Cohen. Why Stewart?
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“I recently got booked to do the Anna show at a casino in Sonoma County in California,” he said. The show got laughs in New York and Los Angeles, but in Sonoma — crickets.
“I promised myself I’d write a show that can play everywhere from Brooklyn to Boise,” he added. “Everyone knows who Martha is — at the very least they know she went to prison.”
That, people, is a story that sings. And Raftery told the Daily News how he put his show together.
Daily News: How much of Stewart’s life do you cover?
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Ryan Raftery: The show begins on the day Martha’s meant to report to prison, sweetly singing to her chickens to the tune of Guns n’ Roses’ “November Rain.” Then we go back in time to Nutley, New Jersey, where we see teenage Martha running a cookie-selling business in her neighborhood. The blind ambition is there from the start. I want the audience to see a girl who was determined to succeed at any cost. The modeling years, her career as a stockbroker, then caterer, leading up to the ascent to America’s Queen of Perfect. It’s all in there.
DN: Martha in lock-up?
RR: Yes! “What About Love” is a beautiful duet from the “The Color Purple,” a musical I’ve always loved. In prison, Martha befriends a tough inmate and finds that they both have mothers that spent quality time with them as they crocheted and that becomes a tender, romantic parody of that song. It’s called “All About Yarn.”
DN: What did you learn from your research about Stewart?
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RR: She loves Christian Louboutin heels. They are very expensive and have a trademark red sole, which most women like because that lets other women know that they’re Louboutins! Martha loves the shoes but hates the color of the soles, so she has her maid use a Sharpie to color them black. Yes, it is in my show.
DN: What was trickiest to nail about Stewart?
RR: This is the first time I am truly aiming for authenticity in creating a public persona. Having been on television for close to 30 years now, Martha Stewart has a voice known to millions. I’ve spend literal hours listening to her. I’ve thrown in a bit of Kim Cattrall’s character from “Sex and the City” to create my “Martha” sound.
“The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart” runs Aug. 7, 22, 28; Sept. 11, 12 at Joe’s Pub.
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