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October 18, 2017

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Margaret Cho talks ‘Mother’ tour, married life and ex-cons


Edison Graff/Stardust Fallout

Margaret Cho at The Pearl in the Palms on Sept. 17, 2010.

Comedienne extraordinaire Margaret Cho returns to Las Vegas with her “Mother” tour at the Mirage this Friday. We spoke with the “Drop Dead Diva” star about the upcoming show, married life and her new web series about female ex-cons.

You first brought your “Mother” tour to Las Vegas about a year ago. How has it evolved in that time?

You know, it’s funny, it’s really moved around and become so different. But I think there’s just so much material that I’ve amassed over the last year, and then I haven’t been able to really tour that much. Just here and there. I’ve spent a lot of time working on “Drop Dead Diva,” so now it’s kind of a relaunch, going back and doing shows. It’s really fun.

For fans who caught you last time around, what are some of the new things they can look forward to?

This show will be more stuff about what’s happening with gay rights, kind of what’s happened in the last several months with DOMA and with the idea of lifting a federal ban off gay marriage, but then what does it mean for people — like I live part time in Georgia, part time just kind of everywhere, so what does it mean for everybody in different places. So how to feel out what’s going on. Definitely much more in-depth about the gay man’s need for a mother figure, whether it’s my own experience with being a mother figure or people who we look at like rock stars. You know, like how gay men have always been drawn to Judy Garland as a mother figure or Joan Crawford or even Madonna or Lady Gaga to some extent, too.

What was the inspiration behind your new web series, “In Transition”?

It’s something that I wanted to do that was easy and a way to hang out with my friends. There are a lot of people in this show who I really love and who I want to hang out with, and we never see each other unless we’re working. So that was a nice thing to be able to do with them. It’s really great. Also, it’s just really irreverent and ridiculous and very raw and fun. And I love the idea of doing a really short series that’s just really raunchy and funny.

What inspired the concept, specifically?

I wanted to do something where I showed my tattoos, and I wanted to do something that was kind of dangerous, kind of different in tone from what I had had from other experiences. I never got to play a drug addict before, which is something that never actually happened, so I wanted to try that, too.

It’s funny that it came out around the same time as “Orange Is the New Black,” though yours is kind of a bizarro, cracked-out version of that.

Yeah. Though mine is focused on their time after prison. So this is a little bit more like them getting back into real life. I love that book; I think it’s a really cool series. I’d love to be on it. That’d be exciting.

You recently revealed that you’ve been in an open marriage [with artist Al Ridenour] for 10 years. Why now?

I think I had sort of talked about it before, but I think it’s maybe reached a larger audience. People are always really shocked about it. I think it’s more shocking to try to be in a marriage and then break it up. To me, marriage is really important and what we build families on. That’s why gay marriage is really important. My own personality ... it doesn’t really make sense to try to be monogamous when I wouldn’t be. I think it would be difficult to try to do that. I would hate to get in the other situation of having to get out of marriage because of the idea that I don’t want to be monogamous. I think it’s something that’s received attention now more than ever maybe because we’ve been together for such a long time? I don’t know.

Are you frustrated when people and the media make a fuss about it, or do you enjoy talking about it and making people more comfortable with it that way?

Yeah, I think it’s great because it shows that there are other ways of having a relationship other than what’s kind of socially mandated. It’s kind of weird because people do make it out to seem a lot more exciting and outlaw than it really is.

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