Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Margaret Cho: The Sensuous Woman (The SOB Review)

Margaret Cho: The Sensuous Woman (The SOB Review) - The Zipper Factory, New York, NY

**1/2 (out of ****)

The Sensuous Woman, Margaret Cho's new ode to women (and men) of all shapes and sizes and gender identities, bills itself as a "sin-sational new show."

This modern-day variety extravaganza actually harkens back in spirit to the "good old days" when vaudeville acts crossed over the line toward burlesque. Pert with tassled pasties galore -- not only on Cho, but also on such performers as the magnificent Miss Dirty Martini and the diminutive Selene Luna -- the body beautiful takes on a new shakin' and swingin' meaning.

At its best, this truly gay risqué romp is laced with Cho's signature humor that's at once biting yet curiously compassionate, particularly over weighty issues. In fact, in delivering an opening monologue, the comedian delivers some of her best material to date. She takes a swipe at those who pick on poor Britney Spears because of her added pounds, but ultimately zings her for her pitiful choices and behavior.

She takes on Larry Craig and other pols with gusto, yet saves her best double entendre for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "First he said that there were no gays in Iran, but now he says all gays in Iran are hung."

Cho's show begins promisingly enough, but loses steam with each successive act. The funniest bits, aside from Cho herself, include the inherently ironic gay rappers Diana Yanez and Kurt Hall, as well as cult favorite Liam Sullivan as Kelly performing "Shoes" -- one of the most popular online videos. Missing the mark ever so slightly is the earnest enough transgendered comedian Ian Harvie.

Through it all, Margaret's Chomanship includes dancing in everything from a rubber suit to nothing but fans to show off her vast array of body art. While the program notes promise a "finale that will have everyone talking," it results in a surprising rubber appendage exhibited in a Cho full frontal. Hardly shocking, and less than sensuous, but you have to hand it to this woman for not being afraid to be herself or anyone else.

We should all be so fortunate.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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