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See This Show: "Whatever It Takes"


This week I got to experience two firsts: one, attending a show at the Rrazz Room, and two, seeing Sandra Bernhard live. Both lived up to my expectations—the Rrazz Room for being a swanky, intimate lounge setting, and Sandra Bernhard for being effing hilarious. (Yes, I said “effing.” I try to keep things PG over here.)

When I interviewed Sandra for the Bay Guardian—shameless plug: read it here!—she mentioned that she’d be trying out a lot of new material. And try out she did. In fact, what I liked most about “Whatever It Takes” is how off-the-cuff it was. You really get the sense that Sandra is, in many ways, winging it. That sort of impromptu style doesn’t work for some performers, who can appear scattered and unprepared. But Sandra Bernhard is adept at improvisation, and she makes it charming and riotously funny.

The music is good; in all honesty, I preferred the live versions of her songs to the samples I’d heard on her album. Part of the appeal is seeing her perform them, as there’s a certain amount of humor that doesn’t carry over when you’re merely listening. Comedy aside, she has a lovely voice.

But it is Sandra’s comedy that’s the real selling point. Her commentary on current events is as good as anything they’d air on VH1. She caters her set to the venue, talking extensively about San Francisco, responding to the audience. This is one of the few shows I’ve seen that I can honestly say is probably different each night. So go once. Go several times. I guarantee a fun evening.

See “Sandra Bernhard: Whatever It Takes,” from now to October 25. (Be advised: there are no shows on October 18 and 19.) Tickets can be purchased on the Rrazz Room website.