Sandra Bernhard to bring it all to Ann ArborWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine if Sandra Bernhard recorded the Pure Michigan ads. That voice. That attitude. That political repartee and social commentary dipped in searing satire and topped with pop culture sprinkles.
The comic could recycle some of her show names: “Without You I’m Nothing.” “I’m Still Here, Dammit.” “Everything Bad and Beautiful.”
It’d be pure Sandra.
She’s returning to the Mitten State to spotlight “I Love Being Me, Don’t You?” at the Ark in Ann Arbor at 8 p.m. Feb. 1 and 2. Tickets are $50 and $35. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
“I’m actually coming in the day before to go up to Flint and tour around my hometown with some friends, take some pictures and post them on Twitter and Facebook. It should be a fun day — or an interesting day anyway,” Bernhard said.
It was in Flint where she discovered she could make people laugh.
“When I was 5, that’s when I first knew. My dad was a doctor, and I remember talking to his partner’s wife, Marlene Rosenbaum was her name. She said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I said, ‘I’m going to be a comedienne.’ And she laughed and thought that was so cute.
“I knew back then that’s what I wanted,” Bernhard said.
There’s been no stopping her since she performed at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles in the 1970s. She’s graced Broadway and off-Broadway stages, played a stalker in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy” and appeared on “Roseanne” as Nancy Bartlett, one of the first openly gay characters on TV.
The down-to-earth diva fielded a few questions for Toledo Free Press during a Jan. 23 call from her New York City home.
Toledo Free Press: What can fans expect when you come to Ann Arbor?
Bernhard: My work kind of covers the gamut, kind of a whole smorgasbord of ideas from political to personal to pop culture, and I also perform with a band and sing, so everything’s sort of interwoven in and out of music. It’s really a post-modern one-woman show, you know, cabaret meets rock ’n’ roll meets burlesque.
TFP: You seem to love Twitter.
Bernhard: I think it’s a great outlet for what I do creatively and to put out some of the funny or thoughtful ideas that kind of pass through every day. And it’s just a way of staying in touch with my fans and just staying relevant, really.
TFP: You tweeted about the San Francisco-Baltimore Super Bowl with the Harbaugh brothers.
Bernhard: It’s a great matchup. I am so happy with the playoffs; both games on Sunday were amazing and got the results I was looking for.
TFP: What team are you rooting for?
Bernhard: The Ravens; I like their narrative, I like their story — it’s kind of inspirational and a little dramatic and fun.
TFP: Who were your comedic influences?
Bernhard: I loved Carol Channing, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore. Comedy was such a part of early television when I was growing up; I was exposed to so many fun, smart people.
TFP: Do you think you’re more mellow these days?
Bernhard: I don’t think I’m more mellow. I think your performing style changes as you evolve over the years. And I think when you’re younger, you might be a little more hyped up. I think I have the same philosophical point of view that I’ve always had about the world and important sociopolitical ideas. I’m very much a liberal; that is reflected throughout my work. Also, I’m not someone who is didactic and somebody who likes to beat people over the head with the obvious, so I try to do a real good balance and combination of what I believe in a way that’s entertaining.
TFP: What do you want fans to take away from your shows?
Bernhard: Just the whole feeling that you can be who you want to be and who you are, and that everybody has their own voice and point of view, and it’s great when you can tap into it and kind of effect change through your point of view.