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NOTORIOUS C.H.O.

Margaret Cho may be notorious for her empowered, raunchy humor, defiantly full figure, and outspoken activism, but to a capacity crowd, shes seriously entertaining. In 1999, she hit the big screen in the frank, stand-up film Im the One That I Want. Directed by Lorene Machado, Chos new concert movie shot on DV in Seattle last November is more hardcore and less hard-hitting but every stitch as funny as her previous effort.

Cho spent Im the One searching for acceptance and identity in a mix of comedy and social critique; Notorious she spends searching for her G-spot ("I logged onto Mapquest and everything!"). Her comedy is physical, as she uses her expressive face and voice and her body to tackle sexual, racial, and self-esteem issues. She doesnt cover a lot of ground in an hour and half just from her backside to her tongue but she manages to unify her diverse audience in an assault on the taboo. Her broken-English impersonation of her Korean mother shines between dirty jokes. And her ideology does eventually surface: "We need to recognize that a government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a fascist state." Cho for president? (95 minutes)

BY TOM ISLER

Issue Date: August 1 - 8, 2002
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