By JACKIE BERG
“There are few comedians who can get away with what Cho easily captures. Her rough-around-the-edges attitude is adorably contrasted by her ability to relate to every audience member with ease.”
“It’s Margaret, bitch!”
Armed, dangerous and flanked by sleeve tattoos, Margaret Cho comes prepared for another battle of the C.H.O. Revolution at The Zipper Factory in her outrageous burlesque-style variety show, The Sensuous Woman.
This particular round of jabs at society’s view of beauty is not a hard-fought victory for Cho in her off-Broadway debut. Her progressive following at the fittingly industrial and raw Chelsea theater is ride or die for Cho. She has the ability to pull an ovation both an undeniably funny rant on Britney Spears’ VMA performance and a theatrical exposure of her bare you-know-what in the finale.
The provocative show integrates squeaky-clean comedy with stripper interludes and proud displays of bodies of all shapes and sizes, which is the show’s ultimate goal.
“I have suffered from eating disorders and a horrendously distorted body image for my entire life, and I think the biggest reason is a lack of images of real women’s bodies,” Cho said of the event.
“When we see dancers who enjoy their bodies, who are sexy and having fun, it gives us permission to enjoy our bodies and to enjoy ourselves in the process,” she said.
While the show certainly does make a statement with its emphasis on celebrating all types of women, its comedic bits give it an unstructured feeling. The show would be incomplete without intertwined bits from the standout Latina housekeeper/”funky fag hag”/rapping lesbian trifecta played by Diana Yanez.
Also appearing in the wave of bizarre performances is Liam Sullivan, who you may know better as Kelly via YouTube and VH-11. The simple hits “Shoes” and “Let me Borrow that Top” are hilarious only for the classic expression on Sullivan’s face while doing his thing as a trendy blonde teenager.
Even so, the extremely interesting and funny cast can’t compete with the headliner’s stage presence. Thankfully, she blesses the audience with a long opening bit of stand-up and laces some of her classic comedy throughout the show. Cho’s impression of her Korean mother still draws the loudest laughs from the fans.
There are few comedians who can get away with what Cho easily captures. Her rough-around-the-edges attitude is adorably contrasted by her ability to relate to every audience member with ease. A friend of mine caught her at Chelsea hotspot G-Bar the night before the Friday performance. Although she certainly brought an entourage, she still casually chatted it up with G-bar hoppers without pretense, which is precisely what makes Cho so damn charming.
Although Cho says the show is not designed specifically for the gay community, it unsurprisingly has a large gay following.
She is rounding out the show fresh from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
Fans of Cho’s edgy stand-up specials haven’t seen anything yet. The Sensuous Woman has recently extended its run through Nov. 3, so there is still time to catch rhythmic dancing, the Gay Mafia Comedy Troupe of West Hollywood, Princess Farhana, transgendered comic Ian Harvie and the entire crew at The Zipper Factory.
October 17th, 2007
Comic Gives a lot More Than a Lesson on Body Image Margaret Cho’s New Variety Show Celebrates Bodies of all Shapes and Sizes
By JACKIE BERG