The Lips That Ate Cincinatti belong to SANDRA BERN HARD, who’s been giving her all to American audiences for well over a decade. She’s in Edinburgh with the raunchiest cabaret since Liza
Minnelli hung up her fishnets. Tom Lappin gazes on in awe.
ig-assed Jewish girl from Flint Michigan reinvents herself as the 905 embodiment of Broadway 5 glitter. sends up American showbiz 5 royalty. bumps and grinds through ‘Little Red Corvette‘ in tassles and v . . ; a G-string, and still finds time to ‘out‘ 3 1" ., ‘. 5 several members ofthe audience. Sandra
“' ' " Bernhard should have ‘Only In America‘ l tattooed on an intimate part of her anatomy
'2 a ‘ i g: .: . . .ifshe doesn’t already.
1'. r I . , ‘ As it is, the 36-year-old Bernhard is
7/ . » ' ’ ' F probably the most visually striking
i performer to grace the American stage since
. her peg-legged namesake Sarah shipped
l overin the 18905. A long. angular physique
i is complemented by facial features that look
i as ifthey’ve been designed by a photofit
5 artist with a taste for extremes. The eyes
3 gaze out at you with a sullen intensity. while
3 those lips are enough to send Mick Jagger
j scampering back to Jerry Hall begging to be
You might remember Bernhard as the
E groupie obsessed with Jerry Lewis in
’ Scorsese’s The King Of Comedy, or you may
1 have come across her in a supporting role in
the sitcom Roseanne, but what she really ‘
f does is live performance. ‘giving big hair. big 2
I lips and throwing lots ofshade‘. She retells l
the stars’ stories as they should be. up there
; on stage in shows that are a mixture of
high-camp cabaret. personal confession.
, showbiz tribute/pastiche and confrontational comedy. Oh. and she
' occasionally informs attractive women in the audience that ‘while I have a face you will always have a seat. babe.‘ Your mother
‘ wouldn‘t like it, but probably wouldn‘t be able to resist tapping her toe to some of the tunes.
In American celebrity terms. live
performers. however outrageous. don‘t
. really cut it into the top echelons of celebrity. To make up the shortfall.
J Bernhard has bolstered her reputation to
starlet level by regular appearances on the David Letterman TV chat show. where she
has been known to strip to her underwear.
and invariably terrifies the compliant
: Letterman into submission. In a joint appearance with Madonna, she grabbed the tabloid headlines for weeks by making
. disparaging revelations about Sean Penn‘s
5 sexual prowess, and suggesting that she and
Ms Ciccone might just be doing more
i together than borrowing each other‘s
3 lipstick. That’s all in the past now. the story
l presumably having served its purpose. and a
l veil has been firmly placed over the subject
of whether Madonna really used to be her
i Bernhard has chosen August to display her ;
' . . talent and style in a new setting. but that‘s
enough about the nude photo-spread in the Sandra Bernhard: ‘givlng big hair. big lip: and throwing lots olshade'. l current Playboy. She‘s also performing in
.1 .‘2? [.71
’8 The List 21 — 27 August 1992"