Rock Bottom OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • VULTURE

  • VARIETY

  • DAILY NEWS

  • TIME OUT

Opening Night:
September 17, 2014
Closing:
February 20, 2015

Theater: Joe's Pub...at the / Public Theater, New York, NY, 10003

Synopsis: 

Originally commissioned as part of The Joe’s Pub 2013 New York Voices series, ROCK BOTTOM will have a full theatrical run as part of The Public’s 2014-15 season. Written by the ferociously talented Bridget Everett with Tony Award-winning songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Matt Ray, ROCK BOTTOM is the entertainer’s first major production since her 2007 musical At Least It’s PinkROCK BOTTOM is what happens when you’re too passionate to give up, and too big to fail. In it, Everett, who The New York Times has called a “pure id on the rampage,” barrels through life tip-toeing toward disaster, wine bottle by wine bottle and man by man. However, instead of succumbing to a chardonnay-induced stupor, Everett embraces a series of revelations that lead her and her voice of an angel to redemption. ROCK BOTTOM features new original songs written with Shaiman, Wittman, Ray and Horovitz, as well as familiar favorites heard in Everett’s monthly sold-out showcase with her band The Tender Moments at Joe’s Pub.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Rock Bottom

    Brace Yourself, She’s Going to Share ‘Rock Bottom,’ Bridget Everett’s Unbridled Show at Joe’s Pub

    Charles Isherwood

    September 18, 2014: You’ve heard it before. Maybe you’ve said it before. New York is so over. It’s just a big shopping mall for the hyper-rich. Luxury apartment towers are sprouting like crystalline fungi all over the formerly funky East Village. A vibrant street culture has given way to wall-to-wall carpeting by Duane Reade and Citibank and Starbucks. As a bracing antidote to this prevailing attitude, check out the raw and riotous new Bridget Everett show, Rock Bottom, a Public Theater production that opened at Joe’s Pub on Wednesday night in a blast of brash vulgarity and true rock ’n’ roll transgression. Who says the city no longer produces artists who challenge, provoke and even, on occasion, dare to disgust? Ms. Everett, a downtown cult figure, has a big voice, a big body and a mighty capacity for testing boundaries — both her own and the audience’s. Now she’s hitched herself to some more uptown folk: the songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, whose credits include Hairspray and the backstage-on-Broadway television series Smash.

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  • VULTURE REVIEW OF Rock Bottom

    The Vulnerability Beneath Bridget Everett's Raunchy Rock Bottom

    Jesse Green

    September 17, 2014: To judge from the grainy videos on YouTube, Bette Midler’s shows at the Continental Baths in 1971 were not especially vulgar. She mostly stuck to double entendres and generic ribaldry. What does seem shocking, even now, is the venue, that orgy palace of men in white towels — and the common cause Midler made with them as fellow outsiders. Bridget Everett delivers something of the same shock in her tornadic and polymorphously perverse cabaret act Rock Bottom, even though the polarities are reversed. The venue — Joe’s Pub — is more salubrious now, but the vulgarity, even accounting for inflation, is far greater. It amounts to the same thing, though: a complicated and often brilliant love offering to the emotionally dispossessed. The character Everett has been honing in alt-cabaret land over the past decade is a handful, and not just because she’s a proudly big gal. Her main interests are sex and Chardonnay, and you sense that it’s the latter that has helped her embrace the former. “Embrace” is too mild a word for her sex-positivity, though: She’s a one-woman liberation movement for anyone with genitals. Shame is not in the tunestack. She introduces one number by saying, with approximately the same breezy intonation as Florence Henderson introducing a salute to the American flag, “Every show I do, I like to dedicate a song to everyone with a pussy.”

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Rock Bottom

    'Rock Bottom’ with Bridgett Everett

    Marilyn Stasio

    September 17, 2014: This old town hasn’t seen a dame as bawdy as Bridget Everett since those big fat mamas who stripped for free drinks at Sammy’s Bowery Follies. But you’ll just have to take my word on that, since most of the song lyrics in Rock Bottom, Everett’s rollicking cabaret show currently playing at Joe’s Pub (and featuring tunes co-written by Broadway babies Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman as well as Beastie Boy Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz) are unprintable and her best comedy routines are obscene. The singer-songwriter-performer-provocateur broadened her audience base when she appeared on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, but there’s nothing quite like seeing her live and onstage, in the (considerable and barely covered) flesh. It’s not an act. That’s the big revelation in this slickly mounted 90-minute cabaret show commissioned by Joe’s Pub. Bridget Everett (who graciously acknowledges herself to be a “regionally recognizable cabaret singer”) is every bit as joyously uninhibited as the sexually liberated persona she presents on stage. Whatever you may think of the generously endowed body she displays with pride (“Eat It” is her cheerful directive in one song), this is one big girl who is happy in her skin — and falling out of the super-sized costumes that Larry Krone has cunningly designed for maximum exposure.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF Rock Bottom

    Bridget Everett is fearless, her new cabaret show is raunch-filled (but sometimes quite affecting), and you'd better be prepared for some unusual audience participation

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    September 17, 2014: Wardrobe malfunctions and nip slips are no shockers in a show by Bridget Everett, who performs without fear, boundaries or brassiere. Commissioned by Joe’s Pub, the new work is called Rock Bottom. It’s an ironic title, since this raunchy and raucous carnival ride of a cabaret leaves you on a dizzy high. The work is a collaboration with Hairspray and Smash songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, whose songs here are miles away from white-bread Broadway show tunes. Wittman also directs. Swilling from a bottle inside a brown paper bag, the self-confessed Chardonnay-loving Everett goes from rants about Facebook to a rousing duet of Pat Boone’s “Let Me Live” with an actor impersonating a fetus (if that offends, stay far away). There’s also a sincere and teary declaration about giving up a “slave job” to perform full-time.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Rock Bottom

    The astonishing, totally fearless Amazon of alt cabaret and raunchy comedy returns to Joe's with a new show commissioned for the venue

    David Cote

    September 17, 2014: I was a Bridget Everett virgin before Rock Bottom, so yes, there was some blood. There was also lots of spilled Chardonnay, sweat and a few other fluids I’d rather not name. In other words, it was all flavors of crazy, and I loved every second. How is it possible that for years I’ve missed Everett’s vaginocentric shock comedy and rafter-splitting rock belt? Fear, if we’re being truthful. I’d seen the pictures, heard the titles and assumed she was too much woman to handle. Still, her latest cabaret act—with songs cowritten by Broadway vets Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), as well as with Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz and Matt Ray­—is a nice way to ease, semi-lubed, into the Everett aesthetic. Between a ditty about sampling international dong, “Tell Me (Does This Dick Make My Ass Look Big?),” and a nearly scatological dalliance with a British film star, “A Man So Fine,” Everett works the room like a pro, making customers squirm in their seats as she draws attention to her fulsome attributes, which loll indolently under tissue-thin costumes.

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