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Pride Tea w/ Sandra Bernhard

An actress, author, a fabulous singer and a straight up comedy legend, there isn’t a person in this world who doesn’t know the name…Sandra Bernhard.

First gaining fast attention in the late 1970s with her stand-up comedy routines, Ms. Bernhard would truly skyrocket to fame thanks to her iconic portrayal as kidnapper Masha in Martin Scorcese’s, The King of Comedy. The critically acclaimed role would not only begin to cement Bernhard’s place in Hollywood comedy history, but it would lead her to the recurring role of Nancy on Roseanne (sigh..), for which Bernhard would go on to play the first openly gay character on network television. 

A true LGBTQ icon in her own right, Sandra hasn’t stopped in her crusade to ensure that we are all treated equally, but most importantly that we respect our damn selves along the way. And just in time for Philly Pride Week, Ms, Bernhard will be taking to the TLA stage tomorrow night for a fun stop on her Sandemonium tour, which has been garnering some truly fabulous reviews thanks to the always on point–and certainly on time–comedy stylings of this truly legendary comedy diva. 

But before she lets loose for Philly(get those tickets right here), Ms. Bernhard stopped by Philly Mixtape for a delectable spot of Pride tea where she broke mugs about, well, it all because you show she is, kids and we love it. 

Take a sip alongside the incredible Sandra Bernhard below. 

Kicking off our little spill, how are you these days? Everything’s great! Very, very busy. Very productive. Lot of good things happening and sort of working around the times we’re living in……which can tend to be a little bit–ya know–draining and exhausting politically. I’m always trying to lift up the work I do with good entertainment. [I’ve been doing] a lot on my radio show, Sandyland on Sirius XM on radio Andy(Andy Cohen’s network) interviewing people and having really smart conversations. [That’s] also been a great platform for me to talk about whatever’s going on in my life day-to-day. It’s been a really good incubator to come up with new material for my live shows. So, it’s all happening! And of course, I’m very excited to come back to Philadelphia, I haven’t been back in a while. It’s a great classic American city! 

You’ve also been getting back to acting quite a bit as well. Break some mugs for everyone about your latest venture….I’m [in] Ryan Murphy’s new show Pose. It’s more of a dramatic role, I’m playing a nurse in the AIDS ward in the ’80s, which is the time frame [the show] takes place in. I’m really excited about this. It’s a time I can really relate to. I lost a lot of friends back during the AIDS crisis. It’s supposed to be a recurring role, so hopefully I’ll be back! 

Taking a serious sip for a moment, there’s so much sensitivity these days when it comes ro crossing lines with politics and comedy. How do you personally find the ways to balance it all out? I think there’s a happy medium in a way to balance it all out, which is what I’ve been able to do. It helps you stay fresh and imaginative so you’re not just falling back on the same thing you always fall back on. It kind of forces you to go into new areas of your imagination. It’s a good thing because you have to keep recreating your work as the years go by. 

It’s true what they say…reinvention is the key to life. Absolutely. It keeps it interesting. 

So, here we are, right in the kick off of Pride month! What words of wisdom would you say to all of those fabulous kids out there who are just finding their true selves and are ready to celebrate? I think the most important thing is to stay educated and go to college and experience everything that anybody would experience and not limit and define yourself to your sexuality. I think that’s what’s kept my life interesting is that I stayed open and got to spend time and meet people from all different walks of life and cultures. I think that when everything’s defined by your religion, gender or sexual preference, you sometimes cut off a lot of experiences that can really enrich you and help [you] become a more complete person. That’s always my best advice is to just keep things very open and throw yourself into a lot of conversations and different ways of seeing the world. 

Moving on to your fabulous stage show. How would you personally best describe it? My work is always very personal so [the show] is like taking a little road trip with Sandy through my day-to-day life! Some things are sort of fictionalized and I just kind of bounce all over the place. It’s kind of hard to describe because my shows are never like one idea. It’s very stream of consciousness–I go from one kind of thought and woven insights [mixed in with] music and songs that are very eclectic. It’s fast paced and at times its introspective. You get to know me and see the world through my lens. 

So, let’s talk music. Who’s rockin’ your world these days? A lot of the stuff that I’m listening to was recommended to me by my daughter who’s a sophomore in college. I don’t really listen to albums anymore because the way of listening to music is so different–I just pick up a song here and there–Childish Gambino, Fleet Foxes. I certainly try to stay on top of it! There’s a thousand new performers and so many great songs out there. 

I guess it certainly helps having a teenage daughter around! It is good because otherwise I end up listening to a lot of stuff I’ve been listening to for years. It’s kinda cool because she likes a lot of that stuff too, so we go back-and-forth. It’s a nice bonding experience. 

One last sip…what does the word “pride” mean to you? It’s having your own identity and being clear who you are as an individual. I think it’s always great to have the support of the crowd behind you and be part of a group. But I also think that you also have to break away and walk through life and navigate your way around wherever you are. Be able to stand on your own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Philly Event Spotlight:Code Red

What happens when you take forty ridiculously fucking fierce and sickening drag queens from Philly and the surrounding tri-state area and serve them ALL up on one Red-hot Philly stage for one hell of a grand cause?

You get the most anticipated and absolutely incredible gay entertainment event of the year, gurrrrl.

Tomorrow night, you MUST chantay, vogue, twerk, walk and death drop your way over to the TLA (7 pm, 334 South St.) where the always scrumptious Cherry Pop and the always dashing Brandon Robert will be serving up the fifth anniversary gala their shimmering annual affair, Code Red

Besides being a truly drag-licious evening that you definitely do want to miss (by the way…may you always support local drag…werk, ladies) this annual event is also in proud honor of World Aids Day(which was yesterday, December 1st, but it’s basically everyday), in which ALL proceeds from the event will be donated to Philly Aids Fund and Mazzoni Center, two outstanding Philly organizations who’re making incredible strides to support the research and dive into the truth of those pesky rumors that constantly surrounds AIDS and the HIV virus…and it’s all up to us to continue the fight and spread…that…knowledge, kween. 

Also along for this love-filled local entertainment ride will be RuPaul’s Drag Race scene stealing divas Mimi Imfurst and Ongina, local dance extraordinaires Gunnar Montana and Kelly Trevlyn, and the ever so fucking fierce Candi Stratton who’s about to bring it with her always yaaas Cher impersonation.

Your hostess for the evening, Ms. Cherry Pop, will also be slaying the TLA stage for a few numbers, but before she and Mr. Brandon guide Philadelphia into the Code Red night, Cherry stopped by Philly Mixtape for a touch of tea, spilling about what this event means not just for the community but for all of us, and also shares her wisdom for those who are just simply ready to get 2017 over with..which indeed is..everyone. 

For your tickets for Code Red, shimmy on over here right now and then werk your way to the TLA tomorrow night because this about-to-be spectacular event is what it’s all about, kids. 

Let’s spill. 

Kicking off our little spill, what does doing this event each year mean to you personally? I’m so excited that our event gets bigger each year. The community is really reacting to Code Red in a positive way. The attendance keeps rising and so does the money raised. We are seeing great impact on Breaking the Silence surrounding HiV and more people are getting tested and know their status.

Why is Code Red important for not just the gay community, but for god damn everybody in Philly and beyond? This event is not just for the LGBT, it’s for everyone, because HIV has no bias. It effects everyone. The show has a lot of information about hiv prevention and treatment options available in the community which everyone can use to better their sexual health. 

One last order of business…..20 fucking 17. What are some ways that you’ve personally made it through the fire these past twelve months? And what words of encouragement would you say for everyone to just keep pushing’ on as we close out this fucking year2017 May have been rough for a lot of people. A lot of drama in politics, the media, in our community… my advice to anyone who may feel down or stressed, come to Code Red and unwind and have fun. The event is full of laughter, and that’s what the doctor always orders! It’s the best medicine.

Slay. 

And for much, much more Code Red tea, sashay here right now...and then…go. 

*Cover photo courtesy of Mr. Mikel Pop*

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Kiesza and Betty Who Owned the TLA Stage Last Night

Last night, Philly Mixtape had the absolute pleasure of seeing both Betty Who and Kiesza destroy the stage at the TLA. First up was saucy diva-from-down under, Ms. Betty, whose set was laced with a healthy serving of the music goodies from her amazing, ‘Take Me When You Go,’ record. Among the tracks she delightfully performed were “Runaways,” “Glory Days,’ and also “All Of You,” which she kicked off with as mid-tempo piano version, then eventually launching into its explosive pop rock form, which certainly put the crowd to work. However, the highlight of the Ms. Who portion of the evening was when she closed her dazzling set and rocked out with her LGBT anthem, “Somebody Loves You,” and we certainly loved Betty Who in all of her blonde-bob Aussie pop glory last night.

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After a short break, it was time to have a dance party with deep house diva, Kiesza-and that’s just what we did for her entire set. Performing pretty much every track from her wonderfully brilliant (and vastly overlooked), ‘Sound of a Woman,’ record, Ms. Kiesza danced, bopped, grooved, and absolutely sung her little music heart out. Personal highlights include her sex-bedroom laced version of Hideaway’s ’93 hit, “What is Love,” and her live take on “So Deep” took us all to the deepest levels of the music sea. Another highlight, the high kicking, “No Enemiesz,” is a tantalizing treat to see live because that choreography is just on point, honey. Throw in a jacked up live version of her Jack Ü banger, “Take Ü There,” and Kiesza proved once again that she’s a force to be reckoned with on that coveted stage.

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When it came to end the evening(sigh…), it was on a bit of a somber note as Kiesza announced that Philly would be the last stop for her and Ms. Who on their tour. You can tell that the flame-haired groove goddess was a bit emotional delivering the news, which really says that she–along with Betty–are really in it to continually bring us that music love–and that’s exactly what both bright-haired divas did at the TLA last night.

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