Comedian Cho bringing music, laughs to Rialto

2013-11-27T17:30:00Z Comedian Cho bringing music, laughs to RialtoBy Cathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The last time we saw comedian Margaret Cho in Tucson, she was riding in a convertible along North Fourth Avenue as the grand marshal of the 2009 Tucson Pride Parade.

There won’t be any parade this time around when Cho brings her critically acclaimed “Mother” tour to the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday.

“I’m really excited to be back,” she said. “That was really fun (riding in the parade), and I’m really looking forward to coming back.”

The tour has a warning: “Nothing is sacred, least of all this.” Expect to hear Cho go deeper and further than she has in past shows, all in the name of comedy.

We caught up with Cho, 44, last week as she was preparing to do a few American “Mother” dates before filming begins on the sixth season of the Lifetime comedy-drama “Drop Dead Diva.”

What is the “Mother” tour all about?

“The show is about the glory of aging and the glorious idea of wisdom. Not motherhood as being a mom, but being the creator of all things. I have gained a lot from experience and have a lot of insight. It’s a great time for comedy, and I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been around for 30 years, so this is like a real history of the art form, I think, and I’m really proud of it.”

Happy early birthday — (she turns 45 next Thursday) . So tell me a couple things about you that have changed with getting older?

“Well, I feel like I’m much more aware and easygoing about everything, and also not so afraid of revealing things. So this show’s a lot about painful things and sad things. Difficult things like drug problems and body issues. Also being very tattooed is kind of a taboo thing from my Korean background, so I address that. Being all about bisexuality is a major part of it. There’s stuff about guns in there, gay politics. There’s a lot of different things happening. And I talk about my mother and abortion and motherhood as it relates to me physically. It’s something I would like to do, but I don’t know how to go about that.”

This sounds like more of a one-woman show than stand-up comedy.

“Oh yeah, it’s one piece, but it’s very alive. When you do comedy, it also is about the audience, too.”

So do you want to have kids?

“Yes, I would like to, but I think now, everybody’s my kid. I’ve gotten to that age where you are very maternal toward all people.”

Since the last time we saw you, you’ve added more music to the mix.

“I am a musician; I have been for a while. I’ve always been around rock ‘n’ roll ever since I’ve been around comedy. I have a lot of friends who are very, very successful people, and they’ve helped me out. ... I love the art form, and I have been able to do it as a comedian, and I will be doing some in this show. I got a lot of confidence because I got a Grammy nomination for my first album (in 2010), so I want to go back and really try and do something great.”

How would you describe your music?

“It’s still stand-up comedy. There are songs that have a joke in them. They’re jokey, but they are also beautiful. I play guitar. I really want them to be really beautifully crafted songs. They go through all genres, like country and pop and hip-hop and a little bit of R&B. But for me it’s very much a way to be a comedian in another kind of venue.”

Contact Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4128.

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The Caliente and Features departments of the Star bring you the latest from the music, art, theater and dining world in Tucson.