When most people think of Sandra Bernhard, they think of the acerbic funny lady with the big mouth, not the versatile song stylist with the golden pipes. But that finally may be changing. Her performance at last season's Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS tribute to Elton John started Rosie O'Donnell singing her praises, and her appearance this month on O'Donnell's talk show may have opened even more doors for her music career.

"I have a new manager who's actually from the music world," she tells TV Guide Online. "And there's somebody out in L.A. — I'm not going to say who until everything's signed — who's seemingly pretty interested in doing a serious record with me. So hopefully that will come together."

Between acting gigs, such as her upcoming February-sweeps Will & Grace guest spot, the former Madonna galpal always has incorporated original tunes and carefully chosen covers into her stage productions — including her latest one-woman show, The Love Machine (which begins a limited run at Manhattan's Jane Street Theatre on December 27). However, she hasn't released a straight-up rock disc since 1994's Excuses for Bad Behavior, Part 1, and is eager to give pop tarts like Britney Spears an earful.

"What are you going to do — that's what sells records," she muses. "That's what kids want to hear. But I think if I get the opportunity to do another album, it's going to be something evocative and great. In this atmosphere, that's the best you can do."