Friday, April 20, 2007
Sandra Bernhard IS Plan B From Outer Space (The SOB Review) - Rossi's Blue Star Room, Minneapolis, MN
*** (out of ****)
In Sandra Bernhard IS Plan B From Outer Space, it's not so much not knowing where the Flint, Michigan native is coming from -- I think I've at least kind of sorted that out after all these years -- but it's wondering where she's taking you.
Just when you think she's whirled you out of orbit, she suddenly comes back to the original point with style and finesse. It's quite a ride.
Not so surprising, but utterly funny was her entrance from the back of the room singing "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" with remarkable clarity and just enough grit. Her voice has certainly come a long, long way from its rather raw beginnings.
Most of her music, accompanied by a tight three piece band, serves to bookend her nearly non-stop two hour performance, starting with playful R&B takes on the aforementioned Jennifer Holliday tune -- along with Monica and Brandy's "The Boy Is Mine" and a poignant tribute to Nina Simone -- and concluding with her rocking out to Guns N' Roses ("Welcome To The Jungle"), Led Zeppelin ("Whole Lotta Love") and Prince ("Little Red Corvette").
Along the way, Bernhard easily sways from the irreverent to the reverential.
With riffs on everyone -- from Madonna and Malawi babies to Angelina Jolie's adoption addiction to the Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan/Nicole Richie capers to designer Tom Ford's new ad campaign to, of course, President George W. Bush -- and everything, including her own study of kabbalah, her Manolo Blahnik shoes and Larry King's 50th anniversary party, Bernhard packs it all in with her biting trademark humor.
Yet she also demonstrates great restraint and reverence, whether it's her salient remarks on the events at Virginia Tech and the continued loss of life in Iraq or even on the death of the late great Kitty Carlisle Hart.
While the title of her act may suggest she's from another planet, Ms. Bernhard has thankfully come back down to earth to entertain us once again.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for tickets.