Partying with Margaret Cho

There is always so much to do on a Saturday night in Calgary. The Saturday night activity seekers know this. They go find a rad DJ playing sick tunes and dance the night away, or they head to one of the many bars in the city with their pals, and have a drink or two, or maybe they want to take in live music, theatre, or comedy show at one of the many venues in the city. But I ask those people this: why, fair Saturday night activity seekers, choose only one activity, when you could go somewhere and do all three?!

On Saturday, November 19, Calgary welcomed, with open arms and legs, the hilariously vulgar, and borderline offensive comedian, Margaret Cho, and the fine folks at Arts Commons threw a wild pre-show party to whet the appetites of the audience. What you are about to read contains stories of female musicians singing about scissoring, drag queens and their ‘tucks,’ the funky fresh stylings of a funky DJ, and a whole bunch of dick jokes. Please be advised that this blog post, much like the live show, contains mature content. Audience discretion is advised.


The Wrong Kind of Girls opened the pre-show. They are “Canada’s preeminent queer-feminist-ukulele comedy band” (Check out their website). The songs they sang were hilarious, poking fun at tropes and stereotypes surrounding sexuality, making fun of awkward moments in and out of the bedroom, and even had scissors to demonstrate with! I bought another glass of wine when their set was over. On my way to the bar, I passed Lyndon Navalta, an artist currently in residence at Arts Commons, making buttons for people. ‘Cheeky Buttons’ they were called, and cheeky they were! Folks walked away from his table proudly sporting buttons on their lapels— “saucy bitch” and “power bottom.”


The music became louder and I turned my attention back to the stage. The Imperial Sovereign Court of the Chinook Arch was introduced. Four drag queens, who towered over the audience in their 6-inch stilettos, took turns on stage, lip syncing for their lives, dancing, posing, even cartwheeling. I stood there in awe, just marvelling at the quality and persistence of their master tucks.


Last, but not least, DJ Donna Dada brought the pre-party to a funky close with some tunes that were impossible NOT to dance to. The queens came back out and danced with the audience, people were bumping and grinding on each other: it was a party.


Selene Luna opened for Margaret Cho. She marched out on stage, and immediately had the audience laughing. She talked about politics, she talked about trying to have sex on a memory foam mattress, and she talked about Mexico, where she is from. My sides were splitting. Margaret Cho came out and I think my mouth was gaping open for her entire set. The jokes this woman made were racy, vulgar, and deliciously provocative. There is nothing I love more than a Korean-American woman regaling me with stories about the biggest penis she has ever seen. My face hurt from smiling and my sides hurt from laughing.

Thanks for the pre-show party Arts Commons, and thanks for the delightfully vulgar evening, Calgary!

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