When asked what the audience can expect from her new show, Revolution, Margaret Cho replies, "What, you want me to tell you the jokes?" Cho, the world's most famous Asian-American, sexually diverse comedian who swears like a Russian sailor in a drag bar and (thankfully) isn't a size 0, is using her latest foray on the stage to sound off about the state of the world. But never fear – she is still the Notorious C.H.O., even when being political. "It has to be entertaining to some degree. At least I have some charm to pull it off," says Cho, refreshingly unrepentant. "I wish I could be a pundit and run my mouth about whatever, but I don't have that luxury," she says.For those who have seen Cho or her films, her Revolutionwill still feature the All-American Girl you love, with all of her trademark bluntness and the smoldering delivery that merits a "NOT recommended for children" warning on the Dodge Theatre Web site. Cho is admittedly a stickler with her new material. "I can't try a new routine out on an audience that is paying a lot of money to see me," she states emphatically. "That would just be rude."
Cho says she is "honored" when people come back to her show because "it takes a fucking hell of a lot to get my ass out of the house for anything. If I go to a show, they'd better be good, and it better be easy to park."
In addition to being a comedian and an actress, Cho is also a veritable poster child for everything from ethnic equality to gay and lesbian issues. "If you're a minority artist, you can't avoid being political," says Cho. "It's different for a guy who can go on the Tonight Show and talk about his wife and airplane food with no responsibility to any group," she adds.
Cho will be making two films, a theatrical release and a documentary, during the tour. The documentary has Cho especially excited. "A lot of the show happens off-stage with the traveling crew. Like I have an entourage – that's so ridiculous," she says, laughing. She will also be taking the show off-Broadway in the summer. Then, says Cho, "I need a vacation."
Revolution is at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, at Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Tickets, $26.50 and $42, are available at the Dodge Theatre box office, 602-379-2888, or through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444. - Quetta Capenter
Unfortunately, the phrase "dance performance" often conjures images of glittery outfits and bad '80s music. In contrast, the ASU Department of Dance's New Danceworks II offers two incredibly moving pieces from highly credentialed graduate students.
The first piece, "Plenty: Surviving Fear and Depression," is choreographed by Kimberly Karpanty and seeks to illuminate through dance the reality of mental illness. A photography/text exhibition titled "Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family" accompanies her work.
The second piece, "Crash," is choreographed by Brad Garner, who describes his piece as an "energetic panorama of video and sculpture." His work examines the brief moments "right before and just after a life-altering event."
Whatever your level of appreciation for dance and technology, New Danceworks IIprovides a rare chance to see modern issues tackled in a fresh, exhilarating way.
Performances take place at the ASU Dance Theatre in Physical Education Building East 132, located at 551 East Orange in Tempe. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, through Saturday, March 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9. Admission is $14 for the public; $12 for faculty, staff and seniors; and $5 for students. For more information, call 480-965-6447. – Maidi Terry
Play With Your Food
Lunch Time Theater gets into the act
Prefer to keep the day's drama confined to tidy time periods? Check out Lunch Time Theater, a series of one-act plays showcasing the Valley's emerging theater companies. On the menu: From March 11 to 13, JBL Productions presents Three for the Road, a cabaret chronicling a cross-country road trip. Doors open at 11:40 a.m. at the Herberger Theater Center's Performance Outreach Theater, 222 East Monroe. Shows start at 12:10 p.m. and run 30 to 45 minutes; tickets, $5, are available at the door. Call 602-254-7843 to reserve a lunch from Paisley Violin – or bring your own burger to the 'Berger. Call 602-254-7399, extension 106, for details.- Jill Koch