And now for Plan B
Ask Sandra Bernhard if she’s mellowed out over the years and she’s quick to respond with a resounding “No.” Let that “no” hang for a bit and the qualifiers start coming.
“I mean, listen, I think I’m a much more content person, but that doesn’t mean I’m not as passionate as I was. Certainly the past six years and going through the George Bush administration has made me more vigilant and more concerned about where we’re headed as a culture and a country,” she explained.
For the past 30 years, Bernhard, armed with her cap-gun tongue, has been deconstructing the foibles of celebrity and our country’s administration. Not one to merely take cursory shots at people, Bernhard’s stand-up is of the informed and intellectual variety.
Her razor-sharp wit can be intimidating but, as it turns out, she’s quite wonderful and personable.
“That balls-out, tough-chick image that I’ve always had, people automatically assume that’s how I’ll be one-on-one. As you can see, that’s not the case. I’m a pretty rational person, more rational than most,” Bernhard confessed.
Bernhard successfully has walked the line between “average Jane” and celebrity, maintaining an easy-to-relate-to style that has won the adoration of her fans. Walking said line doesn’t require much of a balancing act. After all, Bernhard isn’t a Cirque du Soleil acrobat; she’s a “functioning human being,” as she so matter-of-factly puts it.
“I go to the grocery store. I go to the gym. I walk along the streets. I run my own errands. I love being out amongst the world. Anyone can pretend that they’re being harassed and that they can’t do those things, but it’s usually bullshit,” she said.
Being amongst the people is where Bernhard gets the majority of her material. Wherever she goes, she’s ready to jot down any random, off-the-cuff thoughts that pop into her head. These little morsels of daily life become integral parts of her show.
The show, Sandra Bernhard is Plan B from Outer Space, is what Sacramento audiences will have the chance to see this Friday. It’s not the same show S.F. audiences will enjoy, simply because the Crest Theatre is a much larger venue than her show Everything Bad and Beautiful requires. Still, Bernhard promises that what “Plan B” lacks in technical effects it makes up for in audience interaction.
It’s this audience-performer relationship that Bernhard and her fans crave. Hecklers aren’t a concern for Bernhard; most fans just want a one-on-one interaction with the lanky entertainer.
“There’s nothing like the intimacy and the once-in-a-lifetime experience you have with each audience. You’re kind of baring your soul to a room full of people and there’s that common thread of a particular performance and how it affected that group of people. Every night is different and it’s amazing,” she said.