With four films and an Amazon pilot due this year, New York alt-cabaret star Bridget Everett looks to be 2017’s breakout comedy star and Adelaideans will be able to witness her raucous stage show as part of Cabaret Festival.
Best known to Australian audiences via her many appearances on Amy Schumer vehicles, Bridget Everett was called the “queen of wine-soaked cabaret” by The New York Times. Her boisterous mix of cabaret and comedy sees Everett straddle various audience members in loose fitting outfits while belting out mischievous original cabaret songs with her powerful classically trained voice.
“It’s different every night based on who’s there, because it’s interactive to some degree,” she says about her show Pound It! “Depending on who’s in the audience, that really sets the tone. It’s like you’re going on a date, sometimes you’re with someone who’s coy and sweet and just wants to holds hand and sometimes you’re at last call with somebody and you know where things are going – and they’re both delightful. You just have to buckle up and enjoy whatever ride you’re getting.”
Everett moved to New York from the mid-west in the ‘90s and worked as a waitress for many years while singing karaoke and developing her live show at Joe’s Pub (her house band includes former Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz). Soon after she moved to New York she met drag king Murray Hill, who will be joining Everett at Cabaret Festival.
“Murray was one of the first shows that I went to see,” she says. “I came from Kansas, I went to school in Arizona, and both are really conservative places. I wasn’t conservative but I got to New York and I was like, ‘holy shit!’ I didn’t understand there was a whole different world of performance. I grew up loving Bette Midler and she’s definitely in that vein, but I saw drag queens Kiki and Herb and my favourite Sweetie, who just passed away, and Murray. They were just these electric downtown wild cabaret style performers who I was in awe of. It was an awakening. Murray was someone who welcomed me right away and, as I was learning the ropes of cabaret, he invited me to perform on his shows.”
Given her show is quite risqué did it take a while for those more daring elements to be part of her performance?
“Yes and no. I have always been really wild even when I was on the swim team when I was eight years old. I just used to go around and do wildly inappropriate shit to other kids and I always had a really blue sense of humour, and that hasn’t changed. I’ve found a way to take my love of rock music, and all different kinds of music, comedy and body talk and put them into a show and make a living out of it.”
Now, Everett is making a living on the small and big screens. She stole the show many times with her energetic performances on Inside Amy Schumer and appeared in Schumer’s film Trainwreck. This year, she stars in a few hype films including Patti Cake$ and Fun Mom Dinner with Toni Collette.
“Patti Cake$ also stars an Australian, her name’s Danielle Macdonald and she plays a New Jersey rapper. She’s incredible. The movie was a huge success at Sundance and she was a real breakout star. I play her mother. There is another called Little Evil, starring Adam Scott, and he produced Fun Mom Dinner and thought I’d be right for a role as the best friend.
“I’ve been performing live in some degree for five nights a week or something for the last 10 years, so I needed a break and doing something like film and TV is a challenge. It’s something new and different and it makes coming back to performing live a treat.”
Before she lands in Australia, Everett is shooting a pilot for Amazon, Love You More, which will be directed by comedy legend Bobcat Goldthwaite, with whom she wrote the pilot alongside Michael Patrick King of Sex and the City fame.
“It’s a dream come true,” Everett says of the pilot. “We’ll see how it goes, but I’m excited to get the opportunity and I’m really proud with what we’ve come up with.”
Everett calls Love You More a serial comedy.
“There’s definitely a musical element and we couldn’t really make a version of my stage show because it’s like ‘pound it, pound it, pound it, boobs, boobs, boobs’. We had to figure out a way to balance that, so Michael is a master of television comedy and Bobcat’s really smart and I think we figured out a way to put the music in [to make it work].”
Cabaret Festival, Dunstan Playhouse
Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10