Ah, San Francisco…you’ve got me. I just got back from three days in the City by the Bay, and I’m already missing it. While I praise Denver for being such a livable city, there’s an edge to San Francisco that I really am drawn to at times. Of course, I encountered some of the nicest January weather you can ever come across, but the city has really grown on me in so many ways. It has a soul unlike any other city I’ve ever encountered, and that soul keeps calling out to me like a old, haunting song that you can never avoid.
My good friend Bill called me about two months ago and told me that Sandra Bernhard was going to be performing her 1987 record “Without You, I’m Nothing” for two nights, so of course I had to go. “Without You” is a classic comedy album for me in several ways: it was the first female comedy record I ever owned, it was the first one I ever knew word-for-word, and it was the first in my mind to really integrate music, not only as a punchline, but also as a storytelling tool. Fun facts…Tori Amos sings backup on “Little Red Corvette”, and a later version of “(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real” hit #15 on the Billboard Dance Chart.
After a day of wandering around town (checking out the scenery, above), Bill, another friend and myself all met up to see Sandy at the Herbst Theater (see aerial photo, right). For once, I had a quality camera with me, so of course there was a sign at the door saying “No Cameras”. My luck. Still, it wouldn’t prohibit me from enjoying the show, and enjoy it I did. Sandra was on-point, unlike five years ago when I saw her in Denver at the Comedy Works. The most memorable part of that show was that she kept referring to the venue as the “Comedy Cavalcade”. Saturday, however, she stayed right in the moment, and she worked with it.
The show was a mix of classic monologues from the original show, interspersed with up-to-date commentary on current events including President Obama, Angelina Jolie, Yom Kippur with Gweneth Paltrow & Madonna, and the most recent Neiman Marcus catalog. There was new music, too, including “Native New Yorker”, “Violet” and “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”. Sandra doesn’t have the best voice, but she uses it as an effective instrument in conveying whatever manic emotion that she’s working at the moment. Check out the monologue below from her L.A. show, which includes a surprise cameo on “These Dreams”:
I won’t bore you with the other details of the weekend, but let’s just say it was a wonderful weekend, and I really don’t have the heart to go back to work tomorrow. As far as I’m concerned right now, I won’t break my string of yearly trips to San Francisco any time soon.