Sandra Bernhard keeps it fresh

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 02:06 PM

Comedian, singer and actress Sandra Bernhard’s new stage tour is named “Sandyland.” She’ll bring the show of theater, rock and roll, stand-up, burlesque and cabaret to the Carolina Theatre tonight.

Bernhard spoke with The Herald-Sun by phone this week from her home in New York, before hitting the road. So what would a visit to a real “Sandyland” be like? First, you’d put on all your pretty clothes, she said. And it would be fun, and a wonderful place. Expect things with literary value, and things that aren’t commonplace. For her show, first and foremost she wants to entertain the audience, Bernhard said, sharing herself from the political, feminist and mother that she is.
“And also engage people to think, bring people out of their day-to-day experience and take them on a journey,” she said.
Bernhard’s career has been quite the journey, starting with stand-up in the 1970s, and then later a long stint as Nancy on the hit show “Roseanne,” plus numerous appearances on television and in film, and several one-woman shows. Plus albums and books.
Performing on stage is what she started off doing, so it’s second nature because she’s done it so much, Bernhard said.
“These are things I can just do because I’ve honed my craft over the years,” she said. Her fans range from those there since the beginning to new ones who follow her on social media. “There’s a new generation of audience every 10 years.”
All of her work is fun, Bernhard said. “Travel can be crazy, but I even have fun travelling, getting to see places and getting to know people – it’s enriching,” she said. “The combination of all of it makes it fun.”
Keeping performances fun means approaching politics a certain way.
“You can only take it so far because it can be depressing. I try to do something creative, turn it on its side. I tell funny stories,” she said. Bernhard won’t say exactly what those funny stories are, so audiences will be surprised. But if you’re going to the show, you can expect that North Carolina audiences will get a show that’s unique and will include material she may never do again.
“I like to take what’s happening in the moment,” she said. “I always try to keep it fresh. That’s the most important thing.”
Bernhard said the only states where she hasn’t performed over the years are the Dakotas. Her audiences don’t really differ from city to city.
“I think my audience is my audience. People across the world get it and relate to it,” she said.

: Sandra Bernhard
WHEN: 8 p.m. Oct. 11
WHERE: The Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St., Durham