Photos by G.
When the incomparable talents of Sandra Bernhard and Justin Vivian Bond join forces, you know whatever they’ve got cooking up is going to be great. This was definitely the case when I saw a reading of their new musical comedy “Arts and Crafts” at Joe’s Pub on March 7, 2011. I cannot remember a time recently where I’ve laughed so much and each progressive scene kept making me laugh harder. The all star ensemble of “Arts and Crafts”features lyrics by Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters (who is currently on tour) and a cast that includes the amazing talents of Cole Escola, Anthony Holds, Jeremy Gender and Amber Martin.
I’m not going to lie, I snipped the synopsis off the press release. I have to admit, I was laughing so hard, at times I couldn’t even hear what was being said. So here’s what “Arts and Crafts” is about: Bernhard and Bond play country cousins whose lives have led them in very different directions. One went from being a rock chick to born again motherhood in the Midwest and the other from small town gay to urban art world sophisticate. When the two meet up again at a family wedding they set off on a journey rediscovering their authentic selves and learning that ideology doesn’t mean much when stacked up against art love and really good acid.
In between hilarious dialogue and insane situations, the cast broke out into song which included original songs as well as covers of Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” as well as Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” It’s unclear what the touring schedule for “Arts and Crafts” is going to be, but I recommend seeing it.
At the afterparty, I spotted Casey Spooner of Fischerspooner, director John Cameron Mitchell, singer Jay Brannan, singer/performer Bridget Everett and DJ Jon Jon Battles. I had the chance to talk to most everyone after the show and unanimously everyone back stage was buzzing about what a triumph “Arts and Crafts” is. Pictures from my encounters with Sandra Bernhard and Justin Vivian Bond will be coming soon, so for now enjoy another picture of Sandra and Justin as well as an afterparty photo featuring Jay Brannan, Cole Escola, Bridget Everett and Jon Jon Battles, after the jump.