Sandra Bernhard To Play The Paramount
She’s a film and television star, darling of the Broadway stage and she kills on the comedy circuit. She’s Sandra Bernhard, and don’t try to pigeonhole her. Let’s just call her a performer.
The veteran performer is bringing her latest show, “Sandyland,” to Huntington for a one night stand at The Paramount next Saturday, Jan. 25. Part musical, part commentary and part stand-up comedy, “Sandyland” is 100-percent Bernhard. It’s an hour-and-a-half from an in-your-face performer who isn’t afraid to be abrasive – shocking even – but mostly likes to be funny.
In an interview with Long Islander News, Bernhard described the show as “an amalgam in my style of the type of shows I enjoy – vaudeville, rock and roll, comedy, burlesque – adapted stylistically to my mindset.” Basically, she tries to make you laugh.
Professionally Bernhard has been making audiences do just that since starting her career at LA’s Comedy Store in the 1970s. She became a favorite on the live, stand-up comedy circuit nationally, but also carved out a career in film, television and on Broadway.
It started when fate cast her as the younger sister of three brothers.
“I grew up with three older brothers, so I was the one always trying to be in the center of things. It became second nature, getting people’s attention,” she said.
Bernhard, 60, got her first big break when she was cast as a supporting player on “The Richard Pryor Show” in 1977. In 1983, Martin Scorsese cast her in the role of a stalker/kidnapper in the film “The King of Comedy.” She won the National Society of Film Critics’ Best Supporting Actress award for her performance.
A favorite of the late night talk show circuit, Bernhard has appeared more than 30 times on “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Perhaps her greatest exposure came in the early 1990s when she played television’s first openly gay character on the hit series “Roseanne.” She returns to television this season as a guest star in ABC Family’s original drama series “Switched at Birth.”
With her stand-up background, Bernhard is plenty comfortable performing live. Her live show, the critically acclaimed “I’m Still Here… Dammit!” opened off-Broadway in 1997, moved to Broadway a year later, and was later filmed for an HBO special. In 2006, Bernhard’s “Everything Bad and Beautiful” also opened to raves, and her most recent show, “I Love Being Me, Don’t You?” played to sold-out crowds last summer in Los Angeles.
Since then she has since been touring almost non-stop. But that’s a natural for a woman who says she can’t stand still.
For the current live show Bernhard brings musical accompaniment with one of the members of her band, The Flawless Zircons.
“The show is a piece in itself,” she said. “The music weaves through it,” but it works in plenty of theatrical performance, along with the signature sharp, provocative commentary synonymous with her name.
It’s the product of a sharp eye that’s been honed by decades as a comedic writer and performer.
“I was always the inquisitive one, wondering, ‘What is that?’ and ‘How’s it work?’,” she said. But add to that a natural inclination for looking at things differently, for mixing things up, and you have Sandra Bernhard.
“I’ve got to take something and turn it on its ear,” she said.
She’ll turn everything on its ear here performing her one-woman show next Saturday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m. at The Paramount. Tickets are $25-$49.50 at the box office, 370 New York Avenue, Huntington, or go to ParamountNY.com.