Is Margaret Cho not getting it enough? Because she sure talks about it an awful lot. Sex that is.
When she walked on stage of the Swyer Theatre in The Egg on Saturday night in Albany, she got down on her knees to discuss — and demonstrate — the difficulty of maintaining proper ergonomics when pleasing a man. Intimate acts and private body parts continued to be the overarching theme of the night. For an anatomy lesson a loose and drooping microphone cord became a prop. It was often hysterical, especially when her malleable face punctuated the one-liners.
For the capacity crowd of devoted fans, none of it could have been shocking or unexpected. Cho built her reputation on being blatant, but her single-mindedness felt new. She’s been married since 2003 and in a recent interview said that it was an exclusive relationship. So one wonders if all that talk of messing around with men and women alike was distant memories, pure imagination or wishful thinking.
Cho’s routine only briefly touched on some other familiar themes — such as her Korean ethnicity and her clueless but loveable mother — that have given her acts more heft and poignancy in the past. She did speak of being mistaken for other semi-famous Asian women. Her response: “No I’m the one from Grey’s Anatomy.”
Actually, she’s the one from “Drop Dead Diva,” currently running on Lifetime. Explaining how each episode lately has a female guest star popular with gays, she boosted, “We’re the Gay Pride Edition of the Love Boat.”
Cho’s newest material is original songs, mostly ballads with sweet tunes and raunchy lyrics. Her singing voice is unexpectedly soft, even lovely. As for the guitar playing, it’s rudimentary strumming, but as she said, if Madonna can do it, how hard can it be?
Two opening acts were surprisingly good. Ian Harvey wasted no time in coming out as a female to male transsexual who likes girls and told of learning to deal with passes from gay men. Aided by an array of wigs, John Roberts gave a rapid-fire series of impersonations of familiar but annoying archetypes from contemporary life — the vegan lesbian, the gay pride mom, the coked-up comedian.
Harvey and Roberts joined Cho for some final songs, including a tender dialogue between a dog and his owner. And Cho finally gave one of her best bits, impersonating her mom and for the first time with a wig and granny glasses.