Bridget Everett JFL42, Toronto ON, September 26
Published Sep 27, 2018Bridget Everett came onstage to a wildly energetic audience at the Winter Garden Theatre on Wednesday. Screams of "We love you, Bridget" demonstrated an enthusiastic, loyal fan base, and as a first timer, gave me a hint that I had gotten myself into something strange. What ensued was an hour of genuine hilarity beyond what I had imagined.
Everett's shtick is that she's sloppy, sexually adventurous, and drunk, and she doesn't give a fuck what anyone thinks about it. And while this persona is oft-overdone, and initially felt exasperating, over the course of her hour-long set she took it to extremes that were absurdist and laugh out loud funny.
As she moved from a raunchy tune about having "beavertail titties' to an anthem about her first love, a girl she knew in grade school whom she pretends is an audience member for the duration of the bit, it was her theatrics and her comfort making her audience uncomfortable that really made the evening.
Trying — and failing — to hoist herself onto the on the arms of an audience member's seat three times, chasing a viewer who left early up the aisle and out the back door of the theatre, and picking a middle-aged audience member up on her back and carrying him around stage while singing Miley Cyrus's "The Climb," Everett is batshit wild and displays a rare willingness to go absolutely nuts.
Between each of these ridiculous tunes, she'd tell out-of-breath tales of life in showbiz — managing all the dicks that fly her way as a single famous lady, and going years without seeing her family because she's too busy on the road "two, three days a month." Everett is a gifted storyteller, with a sense of irony that carried every joke.
She also underwent three costume changes over the course of the evening, during which time she turned her back to the audience and fully undressed, committing wholly to the bit. And each outfit became more ridiculous than the one before it — moving from a high-low blue sequined dress to a shirt-length zebra striped one-shoulder do, to a pink sequined "J-Lo" dress that she declared smelled extremely bad.
There was never a dull moment in Everett's riotous cabaret hour. Creative and committed to taking things to extremes, she's a joy to watch.