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Sandra Bernhard: Provocateur at Guild Hall

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Sandra Bernhard makes me laugh. Her brassy, wild mouthed persona has always seemed an exaggeration of femininity, her humor bold, her image could be menacing as in her role in The King of Comedy, Martin Scorsese's 1983 movie starring Jerry Lewis, out there as in a 1992 nude spread for Playboy, or mock kitten as in her stand-up routine, "Without You I'm Nothing, and With You I'm Not Much Better," wearing little under a mink. When I heard she would be performing at Guild Hall on June 20, I wanted to know what she would bring to the East Hampton vacation community, after her sold out performances at Joe's Pub. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to this funny woman, and found her dead serious about her work.

How would you describe the act you are bringing to Guild Hall?

I put together new material for the Joe's Pub shows, a great city space. This will be a version of my new show "Sandyland:" music, stories, rock & roll, cabaret, and burlesque.

Ah, burlesque! Will you be wearing your mink?

No, I won't be wearing my fur coat; for one thing, it's summer, and I don't want to rile PETA. I'll be wrapped in something less cumbersome.

Do you come to East Hampton often?

We go every summer, either stay with friends or rent. I'm looking forward to that wonderful gem of a theater.

Your work on television and film is so memorable. Will you make another film?

I've been offered some small independent films. I want to see who else does them before I decide. I'll definitely do more films.

Is there a question you wish I would ask?

Not really. I don't try to craft my public persona. I'd say about myself, in our culture of turnover performers, in reality tv, I am still connected to my work and I am very proud of that. I would tell young performers: do your work, live life, observe the world, and take a day job.

What was your day job?

In my early career, I worked as a manicurist.

Would you encourage your daughter to go into show business?

I would not encourage my daughter to take this path unless she had a passion for it. She might write, be creative behind the scenes.

Will you do something risqué at Guild Hall?

I don't want to give it away; I may do something risqué, but I'll do it with class.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.