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Sandra Bernhard (11/21)

Short Description of Sandra Bernhard (11/21)

Sandra Bernhard will perform at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday Nov. 21. Tickets are $28-$48. Visit  www.troymusichall.org for more information.  The performance will benefit the Pride Center of the Capital Region. 
 
 
TROY, N.Y. – Sandra Bernhard is quite willing to accept the adjective ‘fierce’ when referencing her onstage delivery of comedy and social commentary.  Anyone who has seen her on talk shows, sitcoms, or as the star of her groundbreaking feature film “Without You I’m Nothing,” knows she wears the f-word well. Just don’t categorize her as vicious, because the queen of mean she is not.
 
“Being mean doesn’t get you anywhere,” said the award-winning comedienne in a recent phone interview from Manhattan. “Anyone can be snarky. You have to go a lot deeper than that to reveal the levels of culture and shine a light on it for it to be effective.”
 
On Saturday, Bernhard will be both plumbing the depths and hitting the heights when she takes the stage of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, a much-anticipated upstate New York stop on her #blessed tour.  “I chose the title ‘hashtag blessed’ because it’s so overused on social media,” she explained. “The way people are finding its use so meaningful is absolutely absurd to me.”
 
 
Bernhard will be dishing up her take on celebrities, current events, and life in general with her signature brand of insight, with, as always, a little music interspersed.  “I’ll be performing with my band The Flawless Zircons and they are fantastic! Singing’s my first love. When I first moved to L.A. I thought I’d be a singer.”
 
It was in L.A. where she began honing her stand-up comedy skills at local clubs and anywhere she could find an audience  - even bagel shops.  There are the legendary stories of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with industry’s infamous (and notoriously unsupportive) boys club, scrapping for stage time, the ensuing knocks to her self-esteem, and her unshakable focus to remain on the destined path she knew at age five she’d be taking.  As the world knows, her perseverance paid off with regular gigs on Letterman, her award-winning turn in Martin Scorsese’s “King of Comedy,” and a one-woman show off Broadway. In the 90’s Bernhard’s resume expanded further with a recurring role on “Roseanne,” a spread in Playboy, and of course, more stand up, which she describes as an always-cathartic experience. 
 
“The subjects of my act are people or things who fascinate me,” she said. “I don’t get irritated, I find things fascinating, like the Republican debates. They fascinate me because I can’t believe the lack of intellectual acuity these people possess.”  Other things on Bernhard’s current radar: Angelina Jolie’s new movie that “looks so bizarre, I’m intrigued by it,” and “Taylor Swift and her gang…I find it all bemusing.”
 
After having earned the title of comedic superstar with a decades-long career and loyal fan base, Bernhard is also mother to a teenaged girl, and continues to embrace causes close to her heart by lending an unapologetic voice for issues such as women’s equality and LGBT rights. And Bernhard’s resume expands yet again with a new stint on Sandyland, her daily hour-long chatfest on Sirius XM’s Radio Andy channel. “I’m loving Sandyland,” she said. “I’m enjoying the total freedom I have at Sirius; there’s no one hanging over you.”
 
And she’s still drawn to sitcoms, appearing last year in several episodes of the CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls,” and in her recurring role as Darlene Linetti on the Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”  “I love acting,” said Bernhard. “It’s a luxury when someone hands you a script and you don’t have the burden of writing the material. “
 
She still counts Roseanne Barr as a friend and comedic icon. “I admire Roseanne and think she’s very smart,” said Bernhard. “And she gave me a great gig on her show. She took her life and made it into a very successful sitcom and not everyone can do that.” 
 
But nothing tops being in front of a live audience, and Bernhard says she’s looking forward to her return to the Albany area.  “Whenever I perform live it’s a great experience for me; I keep shedding my skin every time I do it,” she said. “Being so firmly in the present moment and honing myself is a one of a kind experience.”
 
Sandra Bernhard’s Word Association Riff
When the comedienne last appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” Andy Cohen delighted the audience by engaging Bernhard in a word association game with top names in the news. She gamely agreed to do the same for “Did You Weekend?”
 
Roseanne Barr – “Evolving”
 
Ben Carson – “Somnolent…he always seems like he could fall asleep at any moment.”
 
Steven Colbert – “Magnetic”
 
Hillary Clinton – “Ready” 
 
Khloe Kardashian – (pause)…”I guess kind of content; I’m not sure what those people do, but they seem content.”
 
Stacey Morris is a freelance writer based in Albany. Her website is www.staceymorris.com .

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