Chill Magazine

March 7, 2013 at 2:37 am

Listening to Sandra Bernhard’s CD release of her off-Broadway stage act “Everything Bad & Beautiful” is like being seated next to a table full of witty socialites at a crowded restaurant. You’re just sitting there doing your own thing, and you become swept up in a whirlwind of laughter. You find yourself wanting to be in their group instead of sitting there with your sad lasagna for one. Recorded over two nights at The Daryl Roth Theatre in New York City, Everything Bad & Beautiful contains a hearty handful of live comedy, song-stylings and political satire. Tackling subject matter such as Condoleeza Rice being a sell-out to Bernhard claiming responsibility for Mariah Carey’s nervous breakdown, there’s something for everyone—“Rosanne” fans and “L Word” worshipers alike.

Bernhard performs with such an on-point conversational tone that it really creates an atmosphere of friendly gossip rather than a theater performance. Her shining moments are when she gets caught up in the punch line and spits out sassy hits like a champ. Hearing her hiss that John Kerry is a “big headed, Ronald Regan look-alike motherfucker” just never stops being funny.

Having been nestled in domesticity with her long-time companion, Sara, and her daughter Cicely for many years now, Bernhard has not let her home life soften her sharp wit in the slightest. The most rip-roaring bit on the CD revolves around Bernhard discovering e-mail to exchange constant updates with her working girlfriend while stuck at home bored out of her mind, yet faking a busy schedule.

It feels good to laugh, and it is liberating to hear someone say things in a way you wish you could say them, to people you wish you could say them to. Bernhard isn’t afraid, and she’d be the perfect dinner date. (Kelly McClure)