Manhattan native Bridget Everett never expected to perform at Carnegie Hall.
In contrast to the classical acts that tend to grace the venerable Carnegie stage, Everett’s career had always veered toward the low-brow. Her long-running one-woman show at a downtown bar in the Big Apple has been described in the press as “ribald,” “raunchy” and “lewd.” She sashays around a stage, a voluptuous, plus-size figure with not much covering it.
“I think for the kind of performing I do, I just never thought I would be on the stage at Carnegie Hall,” Everett said. “It’s a little surreal.”
But her irreverent and unapologetic style of comedy is balanced by a serious set of pipes.
The New York Times, in a review published in March, called her voice “a towering, authoritative bluesy belt that means business and that can unexpectedly shade into a softer, semi-folk style.”
It’s that voice that earned her a place beside Patti LuPone, with whom she sang a duet of “Me and Bobby McGee” Thursday night.
LuPone, a Tony-award-winning singer and actress, took a liking to Everett when she saw her one-woman show. They hit it off, and LuPone suggestd they sing together sometime.
“I said, ‘Don’t say it if you don’t mean it,’” Everett said.
But LuPone did mean it, and she came on to sing David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” with Everett.
“It was just really exciting for me,” Everett said. “For me, she’s a really big deal — one of the biggest Broadway divas there are.”
And then LuPone asked Everett to join her for a number during her appearance at Carnegie Hall. It was a big career milestone even if the time on stage was relatively short.
“Patti’s like more of a Broadway person, but she has the heart of a rocker. She wanted to do something a little more outside of the box — or outside of what people consider her box,” Everett said, referring to Lupone’s invitation to Everett.
They performed Thursday in a show titled “Far Away Places” that is described as “a travelogue of styles and stories that traces the actress’s wanderlust.”
She said Lupone told her, “This is your moment. Just be Bridget. Do your thing, let loose.”
Everett grew up in Manhattan, and she said her mother, a music teacher, influenced her career the most.
“She just instilled a love of music, and I remember us always sitting around the piano singing, playing games,” she said. “Those are some of my happiest memories.”
Everett said her parents are also responsible for her sense of humor. And she said she always had a somewhat raunchy sense of humor.
“I always thought we had the normal house, but my friends always said they thought my house was fun and crazy,” she said.
Everett moved to New York City in 1997.
“I’ve been singing various incarnations of a solo show for probably the past 10 years,” she said. “I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride, getting a little more press. I have a pretty well-established folowing that comes to all my shows.”
She’s backed by a band called the Tender Moments that includes Adam Horovitz (aka Ad-Rock) of the Beastie Boys, on bass.
“I feel like I’ve been getting to do lots of different things,” she said. “In New York I have access to so many different kinds of people.”
Everett said she’s going on tour soon with comedian Amy Schumer. And Everett’s new album, Pound It, came out Oct. 1. She said it would be great for college keg parties.
“It definitely… uh… explores all sides of what it’s like to be a woman,” she said. “It has quite a few stories — mainly about my family but also growing up in Manhattan. I’m a purebred Little Apple-ite.”