Kevin Yatarola
September 18, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

Rock Bottom

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
09/17/14
performer
Bridget Everett
director
Scott Wittman
author
Bridget Everett, Adam Horowitz, Matt Ray, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
We gave it an A-

Fans of Inside Amy Schumer might recall cameo appearances by Bridget Everett, a blonde bombshell who’s been kicking around the New York comedy and cabaret circuit with memorably bawdy songs about her double-D décolletage. In Rock Bottom, playing at the Public Theater’s Joe’s Pub through Oct. 11, she’s honed her act into a tour de fierce evening of laughter and lyricism.

Everett is a broad in the old-fashioned sense, a crafty mix of Mae West, Bette Midler, and drag chanteuses such as Justin Vivian Bond. And she spins some hilarious yarns about her love of chardonnay, her supposed hookup with a certain Hollywood star, and her casual embrace of her plus-size frame (”I’m one cheeseburger away from death by sleep apnea”).

She also boasts a strikingly clear, sometimes rafter-shaking alto, which she uses to deliver original songs that fall into two distinct styles: First, there are the Broadway-tinged cabaret numbers, written with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Shaiman, a five-time Oscar nominee, even played piano at the performance I attended; Wittman took on the directing duties). Then there are the hip-hop-influenced tunes, including one composed with former Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz that is ridiculously NSFW. ”She’ll pop in your mouth like Orville Redenbacher,” she sings, rhyming (of course) with ”lady locker.”

Everett’s gift for provocation extends to her performance. She flashes her bright red panties, makes boob-exposing costume changes center stage, and combs through the seats to directly engage the audience (and occasionally motorboat them). It’s a full-bodied presentation, in the very best sense. A-

(Tickets: publictheater.org)

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