Sandra Bernhard Red Hot; Cultural Trust Going Green

Last night was the first time I’ve seen Sandra Bernhard perform. I hope it won’t be the last.

Sandra Bernhard can sing. Really sing. Sing enough to bring her accompanist. Sing enough to hit notes, high and low, one does not expect from a comedian. Sing enough to leave me thinking Ryan Murphy is an idiot if he doesn’t cast her against type as some over the top character on GLEE – mousy librarian Ginger ringleader trying to seduce Emma away? Mentor to Santana? Brittany’s mom? Blaine’s mom? Just give her a solo and a duet with someone who can keep up with her – Will, Artie or Santana.

Photo: LA Times
Photo: LA Times

She’s also quite funny and has a damn good grasp on social satire and commentary. I didn’t “get” some of the references she made to her earlier performances, but she skewered the audience (mostly white middle agish, gay and straight) on racism – in a way that had us laughing with her, but also hit home. She’s that rare combination of incredible intelligence and empathy that invites the audience in on the joke even as she’s holding up a mirror. In between her hilarious name dropping accounts and self-critique as a quasi “has been” D-lister, she’s slyly making some terrific points about privilege and a range of social issues. She appears to have no false modesty, but at the same time – it rings true that she would fit right in with a typical yinzer gathering.

Thumbs up from the lesbians. And come back soon, Sandra.

On another note, the Cultural Trust is going green – I suppose the cleanup costs associated with people who bring their beverages into the theater and spill finally got to them. For $3, you can purchase your own grown-up cultural arts sippy cup. What’s cool is that you can bring it back with you for future shows at any of their venues. Now, me? I’ll tuck that baby into my evening tote bag and whip it out all of the time. I do hope they go a step further and recycle (plastic #5) because clearly – this was not a “stuff crap into my teeny purse” crowd. I’m going to the Pittsburgh Opera on Tuesday – I wonder if it can be used there?

Does this count as porn content? Sigh. Beautiful decor at Nicky's.
Does this count as porn content? Sigh. Beautiful decor at Nicky’s.

Our friend Cathy passed along her tickets and we are very grateful. We kicked off the evening with dinner at the downtown location of Nicky’s Thai Kitchen – it is gorgeous, packed and the food was amazing (of course.) And the nice two block walk was a good leg stretch between dinner and the show.

This was our third foray into the Cultural District in a month (opera, pgh public theater and now this.) All in all – its good. The parking situation is annoying b/c the garages are always convoluted and why does one charge $5 and the other $8? Dinner can be a challenge b/c I can’t afford $20 entrees on a regular basis. But life is hopping, the streets look good and I’m looking forward to returning soon.