Sacred Bowl Blessing Blasts Bernhardt Out
BERNHARD-BITTEN A few critics, reviewing Sandra Bern hard's recent off-Broadway show "Everything Bad & Beautiful," com plained that the usually ferocious stand-up comic had lost some of her edge.
Maybe they should have checked out her behavior offstage, where, production sources claim, Bernhard was her old public self - snarly, vulgar, insulting and a gigantic pain in the neck.
So unpleasant was she to be around that the staff of the Daryl Roth Theatre, where Bernhard played her final performance Sunday, is going to hold a "sacred smoke bowl blessing" - a sort of New Age ceremony, using herbs - to rid the theater of Bernhard's "trail of toxicity," says a source.
The atmosphere at "Everything Bad & Beautiful" wasn't always so poisonous.
At first, Bernhard was easygoing and fun to be around, sources say.
But her behavior changed once ticket sales started to fall off.
She blamed her producers - including Daryl Roth (who owns the theater that bears her name) - for not spending enough money to promote the show, telling everyone within earshot that they were "cheap."
But the producers, sources say, spent plenty of money advertising the show, and have been absorbing losses for weeks.
At times, Bernhard was playing to houses that were only a quarter full.
She also berated production assistants, telling one, "I'm going to hand you your ass on a plate, and you're going to have to eat it."
Bernhard often skewers celebrity egos and celebrity culture in her act. And so production staffers were slack-jawed when she would refer to herself as "the star."
She would say things like: "A star is not treated this way," and, "A star always gets this."
By the end of the run, "the star" was barely speaking to anyone involved in the show.
Roth was so upset that she didn't attend Sunday's closing performance.
The producer is planning to be at the ritual cleansing ceremony later this week, however.
Even the ushers will be there.
Says a source: "Sandra was snarly to them, too."
Bernhard, via e-mail, responded: "I had an amazing time. The audience was always rocking, and, for me, every night was a party. And, as always, New York is the bomb."