Margaret Cho takes to The Pearl (and DWTS) stages
By Don Chareunsy
Las Vegas Sun
There’s not a lot to say about a Margaret Cho standup show when the majority of the content focuses on male genitalia and fecal matter, clinical terms that aren’t used in Cho’s live show, and one works for a company in which profanity is verboten, except sparingly in Las Vegas Weekly.
The Korean American comedienne, a longtime favorite since I’m the One That I Want and seeing her live for the first time in Long Beach, Calif., in the late 1990s, took to the stage with her Cho Independent Tour stop at The Pearl in the Palms on Friday night, three nights before her debut in the cast of 12 celebrities on Season 11 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.
Cho’s first topic was DWTS, in which she praised her professional dance partner Louis Van Amstel and talked about her strategy for winning. She’s said it’s OK if she goes home the first week, but she’s going to showcase her showgirl style and stripper moves (“I’m magic on the pole.”) And if that doesn’t work? “I’m going to cannibalize the others! I’m going to go all G.I. Jane and shave my head!” (Many pundits had Bristol Palin or her getting the ax first, but they were safe in last night’s results show.)
Other topics included olive oil, for vocal chords, that eventually exits the body; Grinder (Google it if you must); Prop. 8 in California outlawing gay marriage; living part time in the Atlanta area; combating homophobia with The Advocate, Italian Men’s Vogue and gay porn; sending sexy messages via texting (sexting) that inadvertently are delivered to Mom; Asian Girls Gone Wild (“They aren’t studying, and they are wearing shoes in the house!”); stoners as the true Christians and Good Samaritans; and, of course, her mother, an impression in broken English that fans love and that Cho does out of love and admiration for her mother.
What was different from previous standup performances was the incorporation of songs from Cho Dependent, her first album of comedy and music released last month. Cho has a strong and clear voice, and it worked well with her acoustic guitar work and topics about killing someone, female genitalia (see the paragraph below) and male genitalia in the three songs she performed Friday night. The Las Vegas Men’s Chorus accompanied her in the final song, her finale before an encore, which was another song from the album.
John Roberts served as the evening’s 15-minute opening act consisting mostly of impressions in various wigs. His impression of a female porn star received the biggest laughs, and he returned to sing, in arguably the evening’s highlight, a song about female genitalia with Cho as Mrs. Cho and he as his Jewish mother Margie.
Check out my family friendly interview with Cho posted last week, in which she discusses her new album, Drop Dead Diva, gay marriage and living in L.A. and Atlanta.
Cho competes in Week 2 of DWTS with Van Amstel on Monday.