Inshallah * Written and performed by Sandra Bernhard * Joe's Pub, New York City (and on tour)
The Mouth is back. Ever since Sandra Bernhard's first HBO special, hard-core fans have closely watched that pair of stretchy Mick Jagger lips to see what outrageousness will issue forth next. You can start quoting one of the routines from Without You I'm Nothing (her off-Broadway show that became a CD and a movie) in any crowd of gay men, and chances are good that someone else will chime right in. Yeah, yeah, Roseanne, the short-lived talk show, bit parts in movies--none of that really stacks up against the full-evening shows that Bernhard periodically creates and tours around to theaters, clubs, and concert halls. "I will go off on you," she's been known to threaten, and we wait with delight for her to do so.
In Inshallah, following her 1999 Broadway show I'm Still Here ... Damn It and 2001's The Love Machine, she comes out blazing to the tune of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" and proceeds to lash into the sentimental self-congratulation that has gotten larded onto the post--September 11 patriotic sweep. She takes well-aimed shots at the "corrupt motherfuckers" behind the Enron collapse and their close personal friends in the White House. And she does not hesitate to imagine the rude comments that First Pets Barney and Spot might have made while watching their master choke on a pretzel. …