Wintour is Coming

Ryan Raftery’s new one-man show imagines a day in the life of Anna Wintour.
August 06, 2014
(Ryan Raftery)
 
Not long ago, comedian Ryan Raftery ran out of material from his own life to mine for his one-man shows. “I didn’t have anything left to say in my life. I didn’t have any life experience left to exploit for the stage, so I started thinking about somebody else’s life, somebody who interested me, and someone people knew but didn’t know anything about. It didn’t take long for me to land on Anna Wintour.”  In fact, it was a chance run-in with the Vogue editor that changed everything. “I was in Midtown one day and I was about to cross the street and she was standing right next to me, and this was around the time that I was looking for an idea. And almost mechanically—I didn’t even know I said anything until it came out of my mouth—I said, ‘Good morning, Anna.’ And she looked at me and she grimaced! It was the most brilliant thing in the world! It was like getting insulted by Don Rickles. It was exactly what you want Anna Wintour to do to you. She was by herself; she was holding her Starbucks cup with her arms folded. It was the perfect inspiration.”
 
Raftery’s show, "Ryan Raftery Is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion," took inspiration from a recent scandal involving Wintour. “It came out that Kim and Kanye were going to be on the cover of [Vogue’s] April issue, and then all that Internet backlash came out against [Anna]. People were really upset because Kim Kardashian had been campaigning to be on the cover of Vogue. She had wanted it so badly, and people said it would never happen. And then when it did, there was this mood that Anna Wintour had lost it.”
 
The show takes place in one day at the height of the Kim and Kanye debacle, during which Anna—played by Raftery himself—is summoned to Condé Nast chairman Si Newhouse’s office for an end-of-day meeting. “Anna is convinced that she’s getting fired,” Raftery explains. “So she spends the day ruminating about her life.”
 
Of course, Raftery is under no illusions that Wintour will be in the audience. “I mean, she left the Met Ball early. She is not going to come downtown to see some fairy in a $5 Ricky’s wig prance around the stage for an hour.”
 
Ryan Raftery Is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St (btwn Astor Pl/W Fourth St), August 11 at 9:30pm; $20 (plus $12 food/drink minimum). Visit joespub.com for more info.