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General Cho: Not Chicken

The fabulous Margaret Cho brings her one-woman wit-fest to the American Theater


If you had told comedy aficionados about 25 years ago that the second coming of their beloved Richard Pryor would arrive in the voluptuous body of an Asian-American California girl with a thing for kapow-colored lipstick, they probably would have asked you to repeat everything you said up through "lipstick." Yet here comes comic Margaret Cho with her third one-woman production, "Revolution," which hits the American Theater (416 North Ninth Street, 8 p.m., $29.50-$45, 314-241-1888) on Saturday, September 13. And it proves yet again (if early reviews from the tour's first leg are any indication) that she's earned every bit of that coronation with her endless wit and raunchy material.

Like her first two solo shows -- "I'm The One That I Want" and "Notorious C.H.O.," both of which were made into concert films -- "Revolution" meshes personal anecdotes with political commentary. Exhibit A: Cho's rants on the California recall election: "Well, that whole thing is just fucking stupid. It's just dumb. I don't know why Republicans can't just vote and win an election. Everything is about rigging shit and committing grand theft on every major political office."

In a way, though, Cho's career didn't kick into riding-high gear until she, too, stopped waiting around for the majority's acceptance (in Hollywood, at least) and turned on the chutzpah. Her short-lived ABC sitcom "All-American Girl" left her with substance abuse problems and a career in the gutter -- which didn't start soaring again until she documented her travails onstage in "I'm The One That I Want." Now her shows aren't just about exorcising personal demons; they're about doing the only kind of work she really wants to do. "Yeah, I get offered TV stuff, guest-starring roles, constantly," she says. "But unless it's a show I'm a big fan of, it's not interesting to me and I don't see the point of it. I don't want to be guest-starring on some show I've never seen. And really, I don't enjoy doing anything outside my own work."

Cho's fans -- ridiculously loyal, Ani DiFranco-style loyal -- couldn't be happier to hear it.

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