Boston, MA- Kathy Griffin is set to perform The Wilbur Theatre on Friday October 25, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Two-time Emmy winner, NY Times bestselling author, Grammy nominee, 2009′s GLAAD Vanguard recipient and 2011 Trevor Project Life Award honoree Kathy Griffin is a multi-faceted performer with rapid fire wit. She has been making audiences laugh for years discussing Hollywood gossip and celebrity blunders.
After moving to California, from her native Chicago, and joining the famed Los Angeles Groundlings comedy improvisational troupe, Kathy began building her resume with guest starring roles on such series as “ER” and “Seinfeld” – where she created recurring character Sally Weaver. In 1996, Kathy’s dream of playing a sidekick on a sitcom came true when she landed the role of Vickie Groener, Brook Shields’ sharp tongued colleague, on the NBC show “Suddenly Susan.”
After her various TV guest spots, Kathy began gaining notice as a stand-up comedienne and landed her own “HBO Half Hour Comedy Special.” In 1998, HBO gave Kathy her own one-hour special, “A Hot Cup of Talk.” She participated in, and won “Celebrity Mole” on ABC, and then hosted the NBC reality series “Average Joe” as well as the MTV series, “Kathy’s So-Called Reality.” In 2010, Kathy took a dramatic turn on “Law and Order: SVU” where she riveted audiences with her portrayal of a lesbian activist with a secret.
In August 2005, Kathy’s reality show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” debuted on Bravo to rave reviews and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program and the second season of “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” won Kathy her first Emmy in that same category. The third season premiered in 2007 and again won Kathy an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program. The fourth and fifth season were nominated again for Outstanding Reality Program. The sixth and final season of “D-List” aired on Bravo during the summer of 2010.
Kathy has performed many successful stand-up specials for Bravo. The first in 2005 called “Kathy Griffin…Is Not Nicole Kidman,” the second in May of 2006 called “Strong Black Woman.” “Kathy Griffin-Straight to Hell” (November 2008) and “Kathy Griffin; She’ll Cut a Bitch” (April 2009) were both nominated for an Emmy in the category Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. Kathy’s second 2009 special “Kathy Griffin: Balls of Steal,” aired last year on Bravo receiving great reviews and her most recent special, “Kathy Does The Bible Belt,” aired on Bravo June 8, 2010. Kathy’s DVD stand up special “Allegedly” is available in stores now.
In June 2008, Griffin released her first comedy album “For Your Consideration” which featured tracks such as “Straight Guys Wake Up!” and “Hi Barbara Walters.” The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album and garnered Kathy the acclaim of being the first female comedian ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart. In 2009, Kathy released her first Christmas album called “Suckin’ It for the Holidays.” Kathy was again nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for Best Comedy Album for “Kathy Griffin Does the Bible Belt.”
Kathy has co-hosted The Billboard Music Awards three years in a row and hosted Bravo’s A-List Awards two years in a row. She has appeared on numerous talk shows including “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Howard Stern” and “The View” in addition to filling in for Larry King on “Larry King Live.” On the small screen she has guest starred on “Privileged,” “Days of Our Lives” and “Ugly Betty”. Other film credits include: “It’s Pat” and “Four Rooms,” and “Hall Pass” for Universal Pictures.
Kathy has supplied voices for characters on the animated series “Dilbert,” “The Simpsons” and “Crank Yankers.” Kathy also appeared on the “X-Files” as well as in Eminem’s video, “The Real Slim Shady,” which was co-directed by Dr. Dre. Kathy can currently be seen supplying the voice of the Dancing Witch in the wildly successful box office hit “Shrek Forever After. “
On September 8, 2009, Kathy added best-selling author to her list of many achievements. Her tell-all autobiography entitled, “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin,” topped the New York Times Best Sellers List as well as The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly lists.
Kathy is very involved with the gay and lesbian community and was presented with the prestigious Vanguard Award at the 2009 GLAAD Media Awards. The Trevor Project awarded Kathy with Lifetime Honoree at the 2011 gala for her tremendous work with the GLBTQ community. Kathy won the 2009 Gracie Award for Outstanding female lead in a Comedy Series. She was the 2007 GAVYN Awards Honorary Gay, the recipient of the 2006 Ladies Home Journal Funny Ladies We Love Award and in 2005 she received the Lambda Legal Liberty Award. Other honors include 2003 Toys for Tots Commander’s Award, Women’s Night Special Comedic Award, Lucie Award, 2005 Aid for AIDS Friend of the Year and in 2007 was voted one of the Top 100 Irish American’s in Irish American Magazine. Kathy has also been nominated four years in a row for the Television Producer of the Year in Non-Fiction Television PGA Award.
Bill Blumenreich presents Kathy Griffin
Friday October 25th, 2013 at 7:30pm and 10:00pm
The Wilbur is located at 246 Tremont St. in Boston’s Historic Theatre District
For more information on Kathy Griffin visit http://www.kathygriffin.net/
For more information about the Wilbur and other great events visit http://www.thewilbur.com
Boston, Ma – Margaret Cho is set to perform The Wilbur Theatre on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. “It was different than any other place on Earth,” she says. “I grew up and went to grammar school on Haight Street during the ’70s. There were old hippies, ex-druggies, burnouts from the ’60s, drag queens, and Chinese people. To say it was a melting pot – that’s the least of it. It was a really confusing, enlightening, wonderful time.”
Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret’s father who writes joke books – in Korean. “Books like 1001 Jokes for Public Speakers – real corny stuff,” Cho says. “I guess we’re in the same line of work. But we don’t understand each other that way. I don’t know why the things he says are funny and the same for him.”
What Margaret did know is that she didn’t love being a kid. Racing toward adulthood to escape bullying, she began writing jokes for stand up at 14 and professionally performing at age 16. Getting picked on, and feeling disenfranchised, is a subject that’s very near to Margaret’s heart. She has become a sort of “Patron Saint” for Outsiders, speaking for them when they are not able to speak for themselves. “Being bullied influenced my adult life because I grew up too fast. I was in such a hurry to escape that I cheated myself out of a childhood. I didn’t want to go to school any more, didn’t want to be around those people any more. I want to use what happened to me to help other kids.”
Soon after starting her Stand Up career, Margaret won a comedy contest where first prize was opening for Jerry Seinfeld. She moved to Los Angeles in the early ’90s and, still in her early twenties, hit the college circuit, where she immediately became the most booked act in the market and garnered a nomination for “Campus Comedian of The Year.” She performed over 300 concerts within two years. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a national celebrity.
Her groundbreaking, controversial, and short-lived ABC sitcom, All-American Girl (1994) soon followed. Oddly, while chosen because of who she was – a non-conformist Korean American woman with liberal views – the powers-that-be then decided they wanted her to “tone it down” for the show. Challenging Margaret’s feelings for both who she was and how she looked, she soon realized that though she was an Executive Producer, it was a battle she would not win. “For fear of being too “ethnic,” the show got so watered down for television that by the end, it was completely lacking in the essence of what I am and what I do.”
The experience was a traumatic one, bringing up unresolved feelings left over from childhood, and Margaret developed an eating disorder as a response to criticism about her body. She was so obsessive in her goal to try to be what she thought others wanted, she landed in the hospital with kidney failure. Through out a period of self-abuse, Margaret continued performing to sold-out audiences across the country in comedy clubs, theaters, and on college campuses, working to channel her anger in to something more positive.
In 1999, her groundbreaking, off Broadway one-woman show, I’m The One That I Want, toured the country to national acclaim and was made into a best-selling book and feature film of the same name. After her experience with All-American Girl, Margaret wanted to make sure she would only have to answer to herself, making sure she was responsible for the distribution and sales of her film, taking a page from what music artist Ani DiFranco did with her Righteous Babe Records. The concert film, which garnered incredible reviews, broke records for most money grossed per print in movie history. In 2001, after the success of her first tour, Cho launched Notorious C.H.O., a smash-hit 37-city national tour that culminated in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Notorious C.H.O. was recorded and released as a feature film, hailed by the New York Times as “Brilliant!” Both films were acquired by Showtime Cable Networks, and produced by Margaret’s production company, a testament to the success of Margaret’s bold business model.
In March of 2003, Margaret embarked on her third sold-out national tour, Revolution. It was heralded by the Chicago Sun Times as “Her strongest show yet!” and the CD recording was nominated for a Grammy for Comedy Album of the Year. In 2005, Cho released Assassin, which The Chicago Tribune crowed “Packs passion in to each punch.” The concert film premiered in select theatres and on the gay and lesbian premium channel Here! TV in late 2005.
In 2007, Margaret hit the road with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure, along with indie faves The Dresden Dolls and The Cliks, to host the True Colors Tour, benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. A true entertainment pioneer, Margaret also created and starred in The Sensuous Woman, a live variety show featuring vaudevillian burlesque and comedy, which she took for an extended off-Broadway run in the fall.
Margaret returned to TV in 2008 on the VH1 series, The Cho Show. Describing it as a ‘reality sitcom,’ Margaret said at the time, “It’s the closest I’ve been able to come on television to what I do as a comic.” The Cho Show followed Margaret, her real parents, and her eccentric entourage through a series of irreverent and outrageous experiences, shaped by Margaret’s ‘anything goes’ brand of stand-up. It was beloved for the audience it was intended for, the ones who maybe don’t quite fit in, who knew Margaret is one of them.
The aptly titled Beautiful came next, exploring the good, bad and ugly in beauty, and the unattractive politicians and marketers who shape our world. The concert premiered in Australia at The Sydney Theater, marking the first time Margaret debuted a tour abroad. While touring through the US, the concert was filmed at the Long Beach theatre, aired as a special on Showtime in 2009, and then released as both a DVD and a book. Venus Zine hailed Margaret, and the show, saying “her fierce activism, which addresses bigger issues such as what it’s like to be demoralized by your country and culture…(left) no subject too taboo for the fearless stand-up queen.”
In 2009 Margaret nabbed a starring role in the comedy/drama series Drop Dead Diva, airing on Lifetime. Margaret enjoys being part of a team, and not necessarily having the sole responsibility for keeping things afloat. “(Drop Dead Diva) is very fulfilling. It’s a lot about the things I talk about, like body image, and women feeling good about themselves, and learning to be visible. It’s very powerful. I also feel relaxed because I am hired to play a role, and it almost feels like a luxury to have a project I care about so much but not have to lead or control anything.”
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Margaret stepped right up to the proverbial plate when asked to do Season 11 of the #1 rated Dancing with the Stars. Paired with pro Louie Van Amstel, Margaret was on one of the show’s most controversial seasons, dancing alongside Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, David Hasselhoff, Jennifer Grey and Bristol Palin among others. “I really wanted to do DWTS so much. I love the show and I love dancing. It seemed like it would be very exciting, which it was. It was also very difficult because I was touring as well. Louie and I would travel all week, rehearse during the day, drive back on Sunday nights and sleep in the parking lot of CBS where they filmed the show! It was a very stressful experience but I’d love to do it again.”
Margaret got a very strong reaction to her Rainbow Dancing Dress during a time when the issue of bullying, especially among gay teens, was all over the media. “I am very proud to have been able to wear a gay pride dress on a show that is so conservative. It is a wonderful thing to have every one remember me by, that I took time to acknowledge people who matter to me. I wanted to send an urgent message to gay teenagers to make them feel included and loved. That dress was my statement to them about pride.”
2010 culminated with another high honor, a second Grammy Award nomination for Comedy Album of the Year for Cho Dependent, her incredibly funny collection of music featuring collaborations with Fiona Apple, Andrew Bird, Grant Lee Phillips, Tegan & Sarah, Ben Lee and more. The album received critical acclaim, with The Oregonian stating, “This was a chance to see and hear an already drop-dead funny diva growing, flexing new musical muscle, and fearlessly mature.” The album is funny, yes, but also quite musical, featuring not only her surprisingly strong singing voice, but her skill on the guitar, banjo and dulcimer. “I was inspired to make beautiful music with a comic edge. Growing up, music was an escape, but also something I was always curious about as an art form. I had a decent amount of musical ability, but also have great musician friends who were very willing to help me. I took this very seriously, taking vocal and guitar lessons while I was touring. I was very devoted to learning and understanding how I could accompany myself.”
Margaret self released Cho Dependent on her own Clownery Records, and was encouraged by the acclaim, as there are only a handful of people putting out albums of comedy music – “Weird” Al Yankovic, Flight of the Conchords, The Lonely Island, to name a few – but no women. While thrilled that her hard work was rewarded with the nomination, Margaret isn’t finished with musical comedy yet, claiming to have more music in her. (remove line) “Writing lyrics is a different process for me than writing Stand Up. It utilizes the same elements, but it’s a more demanding discipline. You have more freedom with comedy writing than with lyrics, where mathematics comes in to play so the lyrics go with the music.”
In 2011, Margaret released the live concert film of Cho Dependent, which also had its cable network debut on Showtime. Audiences who caught these performances live can attest that Cho hasn’t lost any of her edge on Cho Dependent, her sixth live concert DVD. Shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, Cho remains uncensored, but never unhinged, taking aim at the Palin family, her stint on Dancing With the Stars, smoking pot and living in a world with ‘sexting.’ The DVD is characteristically no-holds-barred Margaret and instantly a classic.
Margaret has also finished her fourth season on Drop Dead Diva. Cho returns as “Teri” Girl Friday to Brooke Elliott’s “Jane Bingham,” whose body is inhabited by the soul of a vapid model sent back to earth after Heaven judges her as a “zero-zero” for having committed no good and no bad deeds. Drop Dead Diva is not only beloved on Lifetime, but by the many stars who have queued up to guest on the show, including Paula Abdul, Wanda Sykes, Rosie O’Donnell, Vivica Fox and Kim Kardashian.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Margaret spent whatever free time she had crafting her all new standup show, the uproariously and aptly named MOTHER, which kicked off in September, 2012, including a five-night stint at London’s Leicester Square Theatre in October. According to Margaret, “MOTHER offers up an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture. It’s probably my edgiest show to date, filled with riotous observations on race, drugs, sexuality – gay-straight-everything in between, celebrity, culture, politics – nothing is sacred – least of all this MOTHER.”
Paradox not lost, Margaret had to re-schedule some of the shows she had booked mid-September so she could attend the Emmy Awards with her mother. Nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her hilarious stint on 30 Rock as gender-bending North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Margaret was thrilled with the role and the nomination: “I’m so excited to have been nominated for an Emmy, especially for 30 Rock, which is an incredible show, and also for playing a deranged and deceased world dictator who has divided the small country of my origin in two. That’s the best part. I think that’s what I’d call iron curtain irony”
While thrilled with her two Grammy and recent Emmy nod, Margaret has never turned away from the causes that are important to her. She is incredibly active in anti-racism, anti-bullying and gay rights campaigns, and has been recognized for her unwavering dedication. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund’s 2008 Leadership Award and the first ever Best Comedy Performance Award at the 2007 Asian Excellence Awards. She also received the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California, and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW). Throughout her career, she has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and PFLAG for making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for all, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity. In June of 2011, Margaret was honored by LA Pride, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing an individual whose lifetime body of work has left a lasting major imprint on the LGBT community.
Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field. She takes none of it for granted. “It’s a wonderful thing to be known as a ‘safe haven’ for people. A lot people who come to my shows don’t necessarily consider themselves traditional comedy fans. I seem to be a safe alternative for people who don’t think they’re being represented in society. They come because my point of view satisfies a lot of what needs to be said out there, and that makes me really proud.
Bill Blumenreich presents Margaret Cho
Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 8:00pm
The Wilbur Theatre is located at 246 Tremont St. in Boston’s Historic Theatre District
For more information on Margaret Cho visit http://www.margaretcho.com
For more information about the Wilbur and other great events visit http://thewilbur.com
[From a News Release]