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Margaret Cho and Sandra Bernhard

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Outside of Ellen DeGeneres, probably no female stand-ups have done more in the past ten years to promote the cause of gay rights than Margaret Cho and Sandra Bernhard, performing in town this week in conjunction with Gay Games VII. Both are self-professed bisexuals specializing in a bawdy bitchiness and impassioned by their distaste for Republicans and antigay laws. But their appeal transcends gay issues: fueled by former insecurities--Bernhard's about her lips and height, Cho's about weight and ethnicity--they've long explored the condition of otherness. With each new megatour Cho has become increasingly political, but at this "greatest hits" show expect memorable autobiographical bits, including impersonations of her mother. And the outsize Bernhard--who recently ruffled feathers with her outspoken criticisms of Mariah Carey and Laura Bush on The View--is not to be missed at the intimate HotHouse. Also appearing this week is Cho's and Bernhard's obvious predecessor, the original self-described fumerist (feminist humorist) Kate Clinton. Cho: Sun 7/16, 8 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-902-1500, sold out. Bernhard: Mon 7/17, 8 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $65. Clinton: Mon 7/17, 7 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 312-559-1212, $35.

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