By MANUEL MENDOZA
Almost 40 now, Ms. Cho was less strident, less out to shock for the sake of it, and more outwardly happy than in the past….She was most at home when engaging the body, especially from the angle of identity politics…Ms. Cho seemed more comfortable in her skin than ever.”
GRAND PRAIRIE – For Margaret Cho, the body is political. She never met an orifice she wasn’t eager to explore for social meaning.
On her first tour in three years, comedian Margaret Cho entertained the Nokia Theatre crowd with her frank observations.
On her first tour in three years, called Beautiful, the foulmouthed comedian brought her frank observations to Nokia Theatre on Sunday night. Almost 40 now, Ms. Cho was less strident, less out to shock for the sake of it, and more outwardly happy than in the past.
That didn’t stop her from boring into her usual topics from the liberal, sexually open-minded point of view that has become her trademark and creates her audience demographic, the gay men and lesbians who were out in force in Grand Prairie.
She started gently, with polygamy, a reference to a local news story just to let the crowd know she was hip to the goings-on around here. Soon she turned to the many ways she and others deal with their body parts. “I’m Asian,” Ms. Cho said. “If there’s extra credit, I’m doing it.”
But she wasn’t in favor of anything and everything. Not anymore. Her gay-centric shtick led to the assumption that she is lesbian or bisexual, and she continues to talk about her omnivorous history. “I wish I had thought to charge,” she said after mentioning Eliot Spitzer and her respect for prostitutes.
But while she still labels herself “queer,” Ms. Cho revealed that she’s been married to a man for a long time, though not necessarily faithfully. That kind of nuanced confession would not have squared with the righteous anger of I’m the One That I Want, her first stage show.
Now, she’s more measured, using heady, indirect associations in place of pinpoint daggers. She advised Britney and Paris to slow down, blaming their downfall on the moment they revealed too much flesh. “I don’t think we understand Paris Hilton, but we will in the future. She’s like a crop circle.”
Some of Ms. Cho’s hour-plus set returned to the subject of Asian stereotypes. She’s driven crazy by people who try to employ her help with Sudoku, clothing alterations and tech support, or who confuse her with actresses Lucy Liu or Sandra Oh.
But she was most at home when engaging the body, especially from the angle of identity politics. Whether tweaking Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (“He’s a sorry old queen without a piano bar to go to”) or Heidi Klum (in one of her exaggerated impersonations), Ms. Cho seemed more comfortable in her skin than ever.
By MANUEL MENDOZA