In this stylized adaptation of her 1988 off-Broadway show, singer/actress/comedian Sandra Bernhard explores celebrity, stereotypes, and her own childhood in a series of monologues and musical numbers.
Although much of the material comes straight from the original stage show, Bernhard and co-writer John Boskovich updated many of her pop-cultural musings and added several new production numbers.
They also turned a one-woman show into something of a mockumentary, staging interviews with Bernhard's fictional manager (Lu Leonard) and adding several additional characters.
Most of the action is staged in a theater full of well-heeled African American patrons who slowly leave in disgust at Bernhard's performance, which includes her deadpan fantasies about an imagined gentile childhood, a dalliance with Warren Beatty, and a trip to Studio 54. Originally given a limited release by New Line Cinema in 1990, Without You I'm Nothing was quickly pulled from theaters when the company that produced it went bankrupt.
Eventually, however, it made its was to home video and DVD.