Girl You Want

Before comedian Kathy Griffin crowned herself queen BFF to “the gays,” there was Margaret Cho. Starting in the ’90s, Cho regaled audiences with childhood nuggets about the bookstore that her Korean-born parents ran in gay-friendly San Francisco. Aping her confused but well-meaning mother, Cho would squint her eyes and shriek, “What is Ass Mastah?” and “Is he the gayyyyy?” In 1994, Cho brought her childhood experience to television in ABC’s All-American Girl. She broke boundaries as the first Asian-American with her own sitcom, but ABC’s constant meddling — the network insisted first that the show was “too ethnic,” then that it was “not ethnic enough” — and pressure for Cho to lose weight almost broke her. Literally. A crash diet caused her kidneys to fail, and she almost died. The show watered down Cho’s brash wit, and it was canceled.Depressed, Cho wallowed in booze and drugs. But, as all real artists do, she turned her pain into triumph. I’m the One That I Want recounts the All-American Girl experience. It’s vulnerable, heart-wrenching and piss-your-pants funny, all at the same time. Cho first brought the one-woman show to Broadway in 1999, and a successful concert movie and book version followed.Since then, life’s been pretty peachy for Cho. The diva enjoys a career doing whatever she damn well pleases, including political activism, fashion design, acting and burlesque busking. Although Cho engages herself in many extracurricular activities these days, she still finds time to grace the stage as a comic. Catch her tonight at Improv at the Majestic (7430 Northwest 87th Street), where she’ll most likely mimic her mother, talk about celebs, hate on the president and give timesaving fellatio tips. Showtimes are 7 and 9:45 p.m., and tickets cost $30. Call 816-587-4500 or see themajestic

Fri., Jan. 4; Sat., Jan. 5, 2008