Sandra Bernhard is set to return to the Hamptons on Saturday, June 30 when she will present Sandemonium at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
We caught up with the performer, actress, singer and author the week before her Hamptons performance to learn more about the new show.
Tell me a bit about Sandemonium‘s concept?
SB: I don’t think there’s necessarily a concept to it other than addressing the contemporary cultural ideas that hit us every day, from dealing with the internet and social media and the world at large – whether it’s the environment or politics, but not hit you over the head politics. The sort of things you have to cope with day to day to be happy.
What inspired the show?
SB: The shifting politicalities, but again, I don’t really hit people over the head with it. It’s more nuanced. It’s about finding ways in to contentment, happiness, fun little anecdotal stories and music that keep me going and hopefully my audience as well.
When Sandemonium debuted at Joe’s Pub in New York City, did you originally have plans to take it on the road, too?
SB: I evolve my shows year to year and sometimes I’ll take an existing show that I haven’t done anywhere else and add new pieces to it so it’s always a work in process because I go on the road year-round. It’s not a formal tour, but I do two or three dates a month.
When creating a show like this, there’s so many topics you can touch upon. What’s your process to decide what to cover?
SB: I think a lot has to do with the audience and their reaction and how I present it onstage every night because I’ll add little layers to things as I go along. So a lot of it is actually informed by the actual performance.
The show is described as offering “a brief respite from the endless madness”. How so?
SB: By giving people an opportunity to entertained, which is what I do, and it’s not a political diatribe. It’s funny, it’s witty, it’s fast, I have my band with me, there’s great songs. It’s just an evening of entertainment.
Speaking of, you’ll be joined by the Sandyland Squad Band. Tell me a bit about who will be accompanying you.
SB: I have different musicians on every coast, but my musical director Mitch Kaplan, who I’ve been working with since the 80s, will be coming in from LA, as will my drummer John Badamo, and a new guitar player, Horace.
You’re also very busy with your SiriusXM channel radio show, Sandyland.
SB: I do that four times a week and along with that I’ve got my acting gigs. I just did a guest appearance on Pose, which will be on in a few weeks. I’m creating scripted shows as well. I keep it very eclectic.
Do you have a dream guest?
SB: I’ve already had so many great guests. Today, I had Alexander Wang, the fashion designer. To me, it’s just about people that are doing interesting work in every area. It’s Downtown people. People you might know, people you might not know, but you get to experience something you maybe wouldn’t have been able to see if you don’t live in New York or on one of the coasts. It’s keeping it interesting and fresh.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
SB: It’s always great to be out in the Hamptons during the summer. It’s so beautiful and such a magical place. It’s amazing in two hours you can be out in another world from New York City, so I just appreciate the nature more than anything out there. It’s such a fun place to be.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For tickets, visit www.sandrabernhard.com.