The Candid Voice of Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho is coming Nov. 13 to the Folly Theater in Kansas City for a fun night of comedy that will benefit the LIKEME Lighthouse. Cho will be joined by John Fugelsang, Judy Gold and Jim Short, with a special appearance by Chely Wright. The 18-and-up show will start at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $20 to $100.

In her standup act, Cho speaks candidly about her sexuality and LGBT themes in general. In a phone interview that she gave Camp right after she landed in Denver for a show, she spoke about the upcoming benefit and why she identifies with the gay community.

“I really probably identify as queer, although bisexual is probably another term I can use, too. But in general, queer is probably more appropriate for me,” Cho said.

To her, including gay and lesbian content in her comedy act is natural because she grew up around gay-welcoming people. “To me, it’s just talking about my life and the things that I’ve experienced,” she said. “… My existence is very LGBT. Everybody in my life is gay, my family and my friends – that’s just part of who I am.”

Cho, who has done TV shows, comedy tours, books and DVDs, is now working on many projects. “I’m just doing a lot of different things. I’m on tour, I’m still on the TV show called Drop Dead Diva, which is airing right now on Lifetime. I have an Internet series that just finished that’s called In Transition.”

Cho is mostly recognized for comedy, but she is also known for being a huge music fan and often combines the two. “I do music, too. That’s sort of like another form of comedy, so that’s kind of in the works.”

She says she just finished an album. “I’m not sure when I’ll be able to put it out because I’m touring so much,” she said. She admires a variety of musicians, among them Joan Jett and the band Wilco, “I love great music and all different kinds of performers,” she said.

Kansas and Missouri are no strangers to hosting LGBT-centered events that get random visits from Westboro Baptist Church protesters, including Fred Phelps and his clan. Many of Cho’s past shows received threats of protest from Westboro Baptist, but she says they have never actually showed up to any.

“It’s weird because they promote me as well. They talk about it a lot and then say that they are going to come and protest, but what ends up happening is that people see that and they go ‘Oh, I didn’t know she was going to be here today.’ It’s like they advertise for me. It’s like a weird media outlet in a way.”

She says Westboro Baptist also provides a common cause for people to rally against. “The thing about it is that people are universally against it. It brings people together, too, in a lot of ways — just our hatred of that and that kind of homophobia.”

Cho is now on her “Mother Tour,” so the Kansas City event will be in between those shows. She may change it up a bit for this event — the show’s content is still up in the air.

“I never plan about shows in general. They’re always different. I’m just really excited to be there.” Of the show, including all the guest stars, she said, “I think it’s going to be great!”

Tickets are available online at www.follytheater.org (under Upcoming Events).

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