Potty-mouthed stand-up comic, actress, singer, author, and political activist Margaret Cho is a pistol. Fully loaded. Fully automatic. 15-shot magazine. Extra clips. The Friday, Nov. 19th, performance of Margaret Cho’s Cho Dependent Tour at The Carolina Theatre was killer, with its headliner rattling off more slang terms for female private parts than Eve Ensler crammed into the entire The Vagina Monologues.
America’s favorite raunchy raconteur-slash-slutty chanteuse gets much of her ammunition from her Korean-American ethnic origins, and especially her excitable, easily flustered mom’s heavily accented English. But the lion’s share her laughs come from quips and lyrics and song titles (“My Puss” is maybe the mildest) that cannot be reprinted here. Indeed, the divinely decadent routines of Margaret Cho’s Cho Dependent Tour were only a couple of nipples short of an NC-17 rating (i.e., no one 17 and under admitted). Which is too bad, because older teenaged scions of strait-laced moms and dads would bust a gut while their parents grew greener and greener around the gills.
Margaret Cho’s warm-up act was John Roberts, a caffeinated gay comedian whose trademark shtick is channeling his feminine side while briefly wearing and then discarding a whole wig warehouse full of hideous hairpieces. Roberts’ thankfully brief 20-minute set was followed by almost 90 minutes of vintage Margaret Cho, with a giant rear projection screen ensuring that Cho fans in the cheap seats could savor every delightful double-take and other funny facial expressions.
Most of the highlights Cho’s filthy but funny freewheeling commentary is unprintable in a PG-13-rated theater newsletter, but those that made it through the euphemizer include:
— On her three-week stint on “Dancing with the Stars”: “[My mother] thought that if I got voted off, we’d get deported. Her face was like when you’re effing a girl and she’s not into it. I’ve seen it, because I’ve made that face.”
— On flying into Provincetown, MA on a weight-sensitive puddle-jumper last August: “I was on a flight with seven other queens. We’d all lied about our weight; and we all looked at each other like, ‘Bitch, we are going down!”
— Gaydar: “There’s no lesbian equivalent [to gaydar]. The thing we have is animal rescue. You want to get effed? Help the huskies first!”
— Living Peachtree City, GA in when she’s not on the road: “… I’m the blackest person there. It’s really weird when your apartment is the ghetto and Chinatown.”
— White people, part 1: “I love white people; but when there’s a lot of white people together, they start playing bagpipes and I get scared, because I’m afraid I’ll be sold.”
— White people, part 2: “When white people get really rich, they have Asian servants, because they can [iron] shirts and provide technical support, too.”
— Asian girls: “How come there’s no ‘Asian Girls Gone Wild’? She’s not studying, and she’s wearing shoes in the house.”
— Anal sex: “I used to not like it, but I turned myself around.”
SECOND OPINION: Nov. 19th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Josh Shaffer: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/11/19/812216/margaret-cho-is-now-a-singer-of.html. (To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the Nov. 24th Triangle Theater Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2010/11/margaret-chos-cho-dependent-tour-features-raunchy-socially-relevant-and-politically-charged-comedy/.)
VIDEO PREVIEW: Margaret Cho: http://www.youtube.com/user/mcho88 (YouTube channel). John Roberts: http://www.youtube.com/user/JohnRoberts?blend=2&ob=1 (YouTube channel).
The Tour: http://www.margaretcho.com/content/tour/ (official web page).
Margaret Cho: http://www.margaretcho.com/ (official website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Cho (Wikipedia), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0158632/ (Internet Movie Database).
John Roberts: http://www.thejohnroberts.com/ (official website).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.