On stage, Sandra Bernhard isn't just gay-friendly, she's gay-
BestFriendForever. But while much of Sandra's new one-woman show plays
(panders?) to her same-sexing fanboys — who went “Gaga” over her at
REDCAT — she's more than “a drag queen's idea of a woman”, which is
how she describes her persona back when she first began performing at
parties. Bernhard's L.A. gig has the feel of an Industry klaxon: a
brash, loud return to Hollywood reestablishing her star power, which
is on full display. ILBMDY? is an extended cabaret turn that
alternates between stand-up, observational riffs and songs belted out
with the help of a tight 3-piece band and male backup singer.
Musically the act sits on the finest of lines between camp and
sincerity. Bernhard's voice is just good enough to pull off the
effects she's trying for, but the strain often shows. Her taste in
tunes, however, is exquisite, be it a hysterical rendition of “Eres
Tu” in Spanish complete with Castillian lisp, a campy cover of the
theme to blaxploitation flick “Across 110th Street”, or a passionate
re-do of Cat Stevens' beautiful Sad Lisa. How effortlessly she weaves
these into her comic commentary is what makes Sandra more than an
oddity; she's a pro who still has far to go. — Jeff Schultz

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