If you have a soft spot in your heart for the 80s, Stevie Nicks, Led Zeppelin and the idea of Sarah Palin being torn apart like “a Wise natural kosher chicken,” then you’ll probably revel in Sandra Bernhard’s one woman show, Without You I’m Nothing currently featured at Theater J.
“She’s another strong, irreverent Jewish woman with a potty mouth,” says Theater J Artistic Director Ari Roth—an understatement by far. Filter-lessly talented Sandra Bernhard is pissed about a lot of things and she’s not the least bit afraid of boundlessly revealing the twisted depths of her rage.
First she was (rightfully) pissed about an unnaturally deranged audience member who persisted in hooting, hissing and shouting out “A+! A+!” at every sentence Bernhard formed. Bernhard responded by graciously reminding him that as an audience member, his job is to “shut the f*&# up.”
…Which brought her to the topic of Sarah Palin. “I’ll kick you in the ass and pretend you’re Sarah Palin,” warned Bernhard before going into a vicious tirade on Palin that was so sadistic, audience members squirmed and I almost began to feel pity for the moose-hunting pitbull herself.
After blowing some steam over Israel’s tantrums, Bernhard eventually drifted from her progressive political diatribe and moved on to reminiscing about the 1980s and her childhood fantasy of being a gentile who lusts after her hunky brother, Chip. She also fondly remembered 1970’s gay sex and an exaggerated encounter with Stevie Nicks.
Bernhard’s social commentary often comes in the form of a song, with Prince covers and Nina Simone parodies backed by Bernhard’s meaty rockstar voice and her three-man band, the Rebellious Jezebels. Her repertoire ranges from “That Boy is Mine” to “Every Rose has Its Thorn,” and culminates with a vivacious interpretation of “Little Red Corvette.”
For all of those who are brushed up on politics, Judaic ethos, and 1980s pop culture—and don’t mind a clever, but completely unsanitized and overflowing toilet mouth—Sandra Bernhard’s truly A+ act promises to tickle and amuse. And with half-price shows for all those who are 25 and under, Theater J won’t break the little ones’ piggybanks.
WITHOUT YOU, I’M NOTHING
Starring Sandra Bernhard. Written by Sandra Bernhard and John Boskovich. Directed by Kenneth Hartung and Sandra Bernhard. At Theater J through September 28.