She was going nowhere in smalltown Kansas – until she unleashed her voice and became a raucous, liquor-swilling cabaret colossus. Now she’s the star of a hard-rocking, emotionally charged HBO drama

‘It’s a little like Sliding Doors,” says the actor and cabaret artist Bridget Everett, speaking from Manhattan, New York. She’s talking about her new dramedy Somebody Somewhere, which is set in Manhattan, Kansas. “Basically, what life might be like if I had stayed in Kansas and never moved to New York and found my voice.”

I feel I ought to point out that Somebody Somewhere is nothing like Sliding Doors. Everett plays Sam, a subdued, laconic woman, sometimes depressed, sometimes just not feeling it. She has a quiet life and a gigantic voice, which she slowly comes around to unleashing in the drab community centres and church halls where thwarted, flamboyant people find one another. The drama doesn’t so much centre on Sam as move stealthily from one understated struggle to another: Sam and her sister’s grief at losing their other sister; their mother’s alcoholism, which, like bankruptcy, moves first slowly and then very fast.

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