Sandra Bernhard: Whatever It Takes, Leicester Square Theatre, London
Friday 11 February 2011
"When will I see you again?"... So sings the self-styled diva and raconteur Sandra Bernhard, acknowledging that the answer is probably in about two years' time given her biennial visits to the UK in recent years.
Since each visit from "mad Aunt Sandra from America", as I have come to think of the 55-year-old, is an improvement on the last, 2013 could be a hoot. Meanwhile, 2011 will suffice as a pleasing rag-bag of observations, celebrity bitching and song.
"There's so much happening in the world, but I don't give a crap," Bernhard huffs, setting the tone for her devil-may-care musings. Topics for ridicule include Angelina Jolie's role in the spy flick Salt, Karl Lagerfeld's limited Tweeting ability, and articles she has read, including one about a gastronomic tour of Beirut that suggests folding flatbread as a great way to eat hummus.
Bernhard, who dines out modestly on the legacy of Eighties infamy (she plays to a half-full theatre tonight), shows that she can still hit something more challenging than a sitting target and a number of withering asides punctuate some rather unspectacular anecdotes.
Over her 80-minute show, the gangly performer also sings a number of ballads. One documents her early life and youthful frustration after moving from Michigan to Arizona, another seems to pay homage to Boy George although her segues are, by her own admission, tenuous.
Perhaps in two years' time, Bernhard might come back with 60 minutes of pure spoken word and stand-up, forcing her to grapple with a theme and giving focus to her caustic ability. I suspect, however, that her listless spirit and sketchbook style will shrug off the prospect of clarity and accessibility in favour of the mild anarchy that still makes her an icon in the eyes of her hardcore fans.
To 13 February (0844 847 24 75).
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