Ryan Raftery Returns to Joe's Pub with THE OBSESSION OF CALVIN KLEIN
This fall, Ryan Raftery returns to Joe's Pub for his fourth consecutive run, premiering his new celebrity bio-musical comedy The Obsession of Calvin Klein. The career and life of one of the most ubiquitous monikers in the world gets the Raftery treatment - the artist's signature blend of comedic stage play and popular music parody. Like the modern classic film BLACK SWAN, The Obsession of Calvin Klein imagines the madness that goes hand-in-hand with the gift of creativity, set to reworked versions of popular songs from the past four decades interwoven with Tchaikovsky's haunting Swan Lake.
The Obsession of Calvin Klein begins Sunday, October 28 and runs on varied dates through Saturday, November 17. Tickets are available online, over the phone (212-967-7555) and in-person at The Public Theater's box office (425 Lafayette, NYC).
Raftery brings to life an imagined story between real fashion design icons. Obsessed with crushing paranoia that childhood friend and fellow mega-designer Ralph Lauren (Miranda Noelle Wilson) is intent on sabotage, Calvin Klein (Raftery) and henchwoman Donna Karan (Jessica Watkins) scheme to ensure the continued reign over his black and white empire of perfection.
"After the Titans of Media trilogy, I wanted to do a show about an artist and the pressure to create," said Raftery. "That naturally led to fashion design, and once I found out that Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren came from the same neighborhood in the Bronx and knew each other, I imagined a lifelong, one-sided acrimony. I then coupled that with my own personal obsession with the brilliant film BLACK SWAN, and the idea for my next show was born."
The stage play and parody lyrics to songs by artists as varied as Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra are written by Raftery, with stage direction by Jay Turton, musical direction by Daniel Lincoln and choreography by Jason Wise. Raftery takes on the role of Calvin Klein, with Miranda Noelle Wilson as Ralph Lauren and Jessica Watkins as Donna Karan.
The first performance of The Obsession of Calvin Klein, on October 28, is part of the Showtime Salon Series, a yearlong, curated series of monthly performances at Joe's Pub that celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and their creative expressions.
Ryan Raftery has appeared on television in Ugly Betty, What I Like About You, Malcolm and the Middle and, most memorably, on Law and Order: SVU where he warmed hearts all across America as Dennis Faber, the lovable Amish teenager with measles. He has written nine shows, including solo shows that included "Ryan Raftery & Friends: A Solo Act", "Ryan Raftery's It Gets Worse" and "Ryan Raftery is Black and Better Than Ever!" His celebrity bio-musicals based on the lives of Anna Wintour, Andy Cohen and Martha Stewart have sold out from coast to coast and have garnered praise in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine and many others.