A Conversation with Bridget Everett

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You never know quite what Bridget Everett will do when she hits a stage.

But you can bet it will involve passionate singing and a bawdy, edge-skirting performance that may or may not involve clothing that is not quite adequate to the task of containing Ms. Everett’s ample body – or spirit.

Everett shines when unrestrained, when she can just follow her nose and do things that she would never have done living back home in Kansas. Well, maybe not NEVER…

“I’ve always been a little wild,” she admitted to me in our conversation last week at her apartment on the Upper West Side.

But Everett has taken that inner wildness and made it more “outer” than nearly anyone currently on a live stage, especially in the rather more respectable venues she has recently graced, from Joe’s Pub to Carnegie Hall.

Everett’s wildness has been freed by the New York stage, and bringing together equal parts cabaret entertainer, blues diva and rock ‘n’ roll chick, Everett has found a fearless and indelible persona, one which is both shocking and immensely likable.

Everett and her band will be returning to one of her regular venues, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, for shows this Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Dec. 12. Tickets are still available.

With a new album, Pound It, co-produced by Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, and having just introduced an entirely new cabaret show, Rock Bottom, written especially for her by Broadway giants Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and a duet with Broadway diva (and new Everett fan) Patti Lupone at Carnegie Hall last month, Everett is a rising star by any measure.

So it was a great pleasure when she agreed to sit down to talk a bit about everything that is happening to her. Part of the fun was meeting Everett off-stage, at home, when she was not being what Flavorwire.com recently dubbed her as “New York’s sexiest, most-terrifying alt-cabaret sensation.” Instead, she appeared at the door of her small Upper West Side apartment in gray sweatpants and white Moonboots emblazoned with rainbows – very Kansas, circa 1984.

As soft-spoken and modest in person as she is brash and aggressive with a microphone and an audience, what was striking about spending time with Everett is that it was clear that she is actually BOTH of those women, reflective about what she is doing, and appreciative of all the support she is getting for doing it.

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