It’s hard to describe what Sandra Bernhardt’s act is, because nobody does what she does but her. It’s standup comedy … only it’s not. She’s herself … except when she’s in character. She sings … but sometimes with tongue in cheek. It’s cabaret! It’s theater! It’s burlesque! … She’s her sister aannndd her daughter! Forget it, Jake, it’s Sandratown!
Or rather, Sandyland, the name of her show coming to the Kessler on Wednesday. We got a few minutes to ask the bisexual multi-threat about her art, her politics and her show.
You’re truly one of the multi-threat performers: Cabaret star, recording artist, comedian, actress, author, activist-celebrity. How do you think of yourself — entertainer, satirist, goddess? Bernhard: First and foremost, I am an entertainer who has the abilities to incorporate all of these other skills into the big souffle I like to call my career.
As a self-described bisexual, is B the underrepresented letter in the LGBTQ alphabet? I am totally comfortable being in my skin. I guess I always viewed sexuality in a very sophisticated, groovy way and although I understand the need to politicize it for the obvious reason, I like to leave it loose. I like being multi-faceted in every area of my life.
You’ve never shied from controversy. What are your thoughts about all the political infighting? It’s a lot of posturing and theater by a bunch of bad actors. Politics [attracts] a lot of crackpots. We’ve been in this stink since they tried to bring Clinton down.
What have the developments in recent years in gay rights meant to you, and how do you see it in the scheme of the larger fight for equality? It’s part of the evolution of post-feminist race equality that we fought for back in the ’60s. Those were the foundations for a bolder, sweeping change in [our] culture.
If you have just a few adjectives to describe Sandyland, and what people can expect out of your show, what would they be? Brassy, crazy, demanding, musical … wild!
The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. Oct. 23. 7 p.m. $50–$75. TheKessler.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 18, 2013.