Metro Weekly

Festive Best Bets

These five holiday shows are slightly off-the-beaten path

John Waters

John Waters – Photo: Todd Franson/Metro Weekly

One could easily overindulge on culture this holiday season, with multiple takes on The Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah and Charles Dickens on offer around town. Slightly off the beaten path, however, there are plenty of holiday shows and concerts worth seeking out, from the high-minded and serious to the lowbrow — or at least low-lying — and comical.

There couldn’t be a more glorious venue for a traditional celebration than the Washington National Cathedral, and the Cathedral Choral Society‘s Advent procession, the “Joy of Christmas,” takes full advantage of the Gothic edifice. J. Reilly Lewis leads the chorus in performances of beloved carols accompanied by the Washington Symphonic Brass as well as organist Todd Fickley. Saturday, Dec. 13, and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m., at the Washington National Cathedral. Tickets are $75. Call 202-537-2228.

Every year, the Folger Consort offers a more interesting, scholarly spin on the Christmas tradition, with this year’s program focusing on seasonal music from the imperial courts during the Italian Renaissance. Anna Marsh and Christa Patton join the Consort as guest artists playing the medieval wind instrument called the shawm, as well as the recorder. Mark Rimple also accompanies on lute for the concerts Tuesday, Dec. 16, through Tuesday, Dec. 23, at the Folger Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $50. Call 202-544-7077.

Few music genres capture the festive Christmas spirit better than jazz, and this year’s brassiest best comes courtesy of The Capitol Bones Big Band. This local, all-brass band stops by Blues Alley for two concerts featuring local jazz vocalist Lena Seikaly performing renditions of Christmas classics first popularized by the late big band jazz pioneer Stan Kenton. Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $22, plus $10 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141.

Of all the theatrical variations on Dickens, MetroStage offers what is no doubt the most entertaining, at least to musical theater queens. Kathy Feininger’s A Broadway Christmas Carol spins its Dickensian tale by adapting lyrics from familiar Broadway tunes, 30 or so in all, including The Music Man, Sweeney Todd and Annie. Peter Boyer is Chief Bah Humbugger in a cast that also includes director and choreographer Michael Sharp as The Man Who Isn’t Scrooge. Now to Sunday, Dec. 28, at MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $50. Call 800-494-8497.

Last but not least is the Birchmere‘s yuk-fest featuring a certain Baltimore filmmaker. In A John Waters Christmas, the “Pope of Trash” explores the gay and sexual possibilities of the holiday, posing questions you’ve probably never pondered before, such as whether there is a “Santa hag” or a “flue queen.” Monday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m., at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $49.50. Call 703-549-7500.

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Disney's Beauty and the Beast

at Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Building, Woodbridge
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
FULL PRICE: $18
OFFER PRICE: $9

Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a show for the whole family.... [more+]

Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a show for the whole family. [less-]

Pulitzer Winner's Thriller "The Invisible Hand"

at Olney Theatre Center - Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, Olney
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
+ 12 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Wed, May 30
Thu, May 31
Fri, June 01
Sat, June 02
Sat, June 02
Sun, June 03
Wed, June 06
Thu, June 07
Fri, June 08
Sat, June 09
Sat, June 09
Sun, June 10
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $64 - $74
OFFER PRICE: $32 - $37

If most people found themselves abducted by militant extremists, the stock market would probably not be at the front of their minds. But that's exactly what the American investment banker at the cente... [more+]

If most people found themselves abducted by militant extremists, the stock market would probably not be at the front of their minds. But that's exactly what the American investment banker at the center of Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar's "The Invisible Hand" is concerned with -- in fact, his life depends on it. In this taut and twisty thriller, Nick is forced to raise his own ransom -- $10 million -- and turns to Wall Street wheeling and dealing to do it. But his captors take to the lessons of the free market with terrifying results. Don't miss this timely drama at the Olney Theatre Center. [less-]

702 ("Where My Girls At?") Reunites

at Howard Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
FULL PRICE: $29.99
OFFER PRICE: $14.98

After spending several years away from the spotlight, 702 has finally answered the question posed in their smash hit "Where My Girls At?" -- they're back on the road after reuniting at the 2017 Soul T... [more+]

After spending several years away from the spotlight, 702 has finally answered the question posed in their smash hit "Where My Girls At?" -- they're back on the road after reuniting at the 2017 Soul Train Music Awards. The platinum-selling trio of Kameelah Williams and sisters Irish Grinstead and LeMisha Fields, who named themselves 702 after their home area code in Vegas, broke big in '96 with their debut album "No Doubt". After releasing hit singles like "Steelo," "All I Want" and "Get It Together," their follow-up disc featured the Missy Elliot-penned and produced "Where My Girls At?" Celebrate their return at the Howard Theater in DC. [less-]

Discover Dupont Circle & Embassy Row on Walking Tour

at DC Design Tours - Dupont Meeting Spot, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sat, June 02
Sat, June 09
+ 7 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sat, June 02
Sat, June 09
Sat, June 16
Sat, June 23
Sat, June 30
Sat, July 07
Sat, July 14
Sat, July 21
Sat, July 28
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

Some say that D.C. is America's Paris -- with similar urban layouts, the Capitol's streets were actually designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Experience this architectur... [more+]

Some say that D.C. is America's Paris -- with similar urban layouts, the Capitol's streets were actually designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Experience this architecture, along with grandiose mansions and embassies, on a walking tour of Embassy Row and Dupont Circle. On this two-hour adventure, you'll gaze at some of the most pristine properties in D.C. ranging in styles from Neoclassical to Beaux-Arts. At the same time, you'll learn how the events that took place inside these places contributed to the nation's development. Discussed sites include the Spanish Steps, the Woodrow Wilson House, the Sheridan Circle, Brewmaster's Castle and plenty more. [less-]

Explore History of U.S. Through Music: Guided Tour

at National Museum of American History, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
+ 3 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
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Wed, May 30
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[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

Travel through time and explore U.S. history with a musical twist at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Learn about the origins and controversies of America's national anthem,... [more+]

Travel through time and explore U.S. history with a musical twist at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Learn about the origins and controversies of America's national anthem, discover the evolution of spiritual music into blues, jazz, rock n' roll, hip-hop and R&B, and live out your dream of becoming a hip-hop DJ by learning a funky beat -- all with your local guide by your side! [less-]

"The Cherry Orchard" From DC's Favorite Fools

at Gallaudet University - Eastman Studio Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
+ 9 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Fri, June 01
Sat, June 02
Sat, June 02
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Sat, June 09
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[less-]
FULL PRICE: $12 - $22
OFFER PRICE: COMP - $11

This Spring, D.C.'s favorite Fools take their first foray into the works of Anton Chekhov, with "The Cherry Orchard". Complete with secret plots, wily servants, tortured lovers and a sprawling family ... [more+]

This Spring, D.C.'s favorite Fools take their first foray into the works of Anton Chekhov, with "The Cherry Orchard". Complete with secret plots, wily servants, tortured lovers and a sprawling family estate on the chopping block, you'll find out why Chekhov himself insisted he wrote comedies. For almost a decade, Faction of Fools has been celebrated as D.C.'s award-winning Commedia dell'Arte Theater Company. Come see this mix of high art and low comedy, as Faction's inimitable brand of physical comedy sheds new light on a classic, at Gallaudet University Elstad Auditorium. [less-]

Ghosts of Georgetown Walking Tour -- A Haunted Trek Through DC

at The Old Stone House, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Wed, May 30
+ 26 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Wed, May 30
Sat, June 02
Wed, June 06
Sat, June 09
Wed, June 13
Sat, June 16
Wed, June 20
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Sat, June 30
Sat, July 07
Wed, July 11
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Sat, September 01
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

DC By Foot presents a walking tour featuring the Ghosts of Georgetown. Among the historic streets, manicured gardens and Victorian row houses of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest neighborhoods lie deep... [more+]

DC By Foot presents a walking tour featuring the Ghosts of Georgetown. Among the historic streets, manicured gardens and Victorian row houses of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest neighborhoods lie deep, dark secrets about a forgotten past. Come along to hear about the ghosts and spirits that still haunt the nation's capital ... if you dare. You'll hear a historian's take on all of the curses, eerie coincidences and hauntings that make up the darker side of days gone by in this pre-Revolutionary town. [less-]

"Charlotte's Web": Kids' Classic Set to Music

at Creative Cauldron, Falls Church
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Thu, May 31
+ 1 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
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Fri, June 01
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

This beguiling new musical version of E.B. White's beloved classic tells the story of Wilbur, the little pig who becomes famous with the help of his clever spider friend Charlotte. With music and lyri... [more+]

This beguiling new musical version of E.B. White's beloved classic tells the story of Wilbur, the little pig who becomes famous with the help of his clever spider friend Charlotte. With music and lyrics by Broadway composer Charles Strouse ("Annie, 'Bye, 'Bye Birdie") and a book by national award-winning children's playwright Joseph Robinette, this show features songs like "Eating," Wilbur's humorous yet poignant song about growing up; "Who Says We Can't Be Friends," an enchanting duet between Wilbur and Charlotte; "Welcome to the Zuckerman Barn," with all the story's unforgettable animals in a hand-clapping, toe-tapping hoe-down; and "Summer," a haunting, nostalgic chorus number which evokes a time and place from everyone's childhood. With its lessons of friendship, loyalty and truth, "Charlotte's Web" is a gift for audiences of all ages. [less-]

"Legally Blonde The Musical"

at The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater, Hagerstown
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Fri, June 08
Sat, June 09
+ 3 more dates
Sat, May 26
Fri, June 08
Sat, June 09
Sun, June 10
Fri, June 15
Sat, June 16
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $48
OFFER PRICE: $32

Elle Woods appears to have it all. But her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend dumps her so he can start getting serious about his life and attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, El... [more+]

Elle Woods appears to have it all. But her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend dumps her so he can start getting serious about his life and attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle uses her charm to get into Harvard Law. At school, she struggles with peers, professors and Warner Huntington. With the help of Paulette and Emmett, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world. Based on the adored movie, "Legally Blonde The Musical" stays true to form with a peppy score and playful book. This musical with buffet dinner at Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater in Hagerstown is ridiculously enjoyable, from start to finish. [less-]

Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Walking Tour

at US Capitol Building, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
+ 3 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
Tue, May 29
Wed, May 30
Thu, May 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and le... [more+]

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and learning fascinating history on this two-hour walking tour. Cap it all off by grabbing a drink in the city's oldest commercial district. [less-]

Smithsonian American Art Adventures

at Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
+ 3 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
Tue, May 29
Wed, May 30
Thu, May 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

Take a quirky tour of one of the most historic -- and underrated --buildings and museums in Washington, D.C. with Smithsonian American Art Adventures. You'll dive into American history through art whi... [more+]

Take a quirky tour of one of the most historic -- and underrated --buildings and museums in Washington, D.C. with Smithsonian American Art Adventures. You'll dive into American history through art while your guide regales you with amazing tales of the power players who shaped the country. At the same time, you'll be taking in one of the world's largest collections of art. [less-]

Comedy "The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" Takes You Back to the '90s

at Keegan Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
FULL PRICE: $45
OFFER PRICE: $22.50

Picture Chicago in 1992. If you can't (or need a refresher), "The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" will take you back to that moment when Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love ruled and Moby was not too far beh... [more+]

Picture Chicago in 1992. If you can't (or need a refresher), "The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" will take you back to that moment when Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love ruled and Moby was not too far behind. The story follows Hank, a man struggling to keep his legendary rock club alive in the midst of changing times and musical tastes. As if that wasn't hard enough, his daughter Lena brings home her new DJ boyfriend. Will Hank learn to adapt or will he crumble under the destructive power of The Next Big Thing? Prepare for some outrageous comedy and major blasts from the past when "The Undeniable Sound of Right Now" makes its D.C. premiere at Keegan Theatre. [less-]

Tom Teasley & Chao Tian: Drum & Dulcimer

at Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
FULL PRICE: $15 - $20
OFFER PRICE: $7.50 - $10

Award-winning world percussionist Tom Teasley and Chinese hammered dulcimer virtuoso Chao Tian come together at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton to perform a mix of Chinese folk songs, classical mu... [more+]

Award-winning world percussionist Tom Teasley and Chinese hammered dulcimer virtuoso Chao Tian come together at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton to perform a mix of Chinese folk songs, classical music and jazz improvisation, featuring Teasley's unique brand of ancient futuristic drumming. [less-]

"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"

at Kensington Town Hall, Kensington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
FULL PRICE: n/a
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

A heartwarming, uplifting adventure of three friends, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is the story of Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show ... [more+]

A heartwarming, uplifting adventure of three friends, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is the story of Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. With a hit parade of dance floor favorites, including "It's Raining Men," "Hot Stuff," "Boogie Wonderland" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of fabulous. Challenge your comfort zone and visit the "Queen" at Kensington Town Hall. [less-]

Speakeasies & Craft Cocktail Tour of the Capitol

at Temperance Fountain, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
+ 63 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
Tue, May 29
Wed, May 30
Thu, May 31
Fri, June 01
Sat, June 02
Sun, June 03
Mon, June 04
Tue, June 05
Wed, June 06
Thu, June 07
Fri, June 08
Sat, June 09
Sun, June 10
Mon, June 11
Tue, June 12
Wed, June 13
Thu, June 14
Fri, June 15
Sat, June 16
Sun, June 17
Mon, June 18
Tue, June 19
Wed, June 20
Thu, June 21
Fri, June 22
Sat, June 23
Sun, June 24
Mon, June 25
Tue, June 26
Wed, June 27
Thu, June 28
Fri, June 29
Sat, June 30
Sun, July 01
Mon, July 02
Tue, July 03
Thu, July 05
Fri, July 06
Sat, July 07
Sun, July 08
Mon, July 09
Tue, July 10
Wed, July 11
Thu, July 12
Fri, July 13
Sat, July 14
Sun, July 15
Mon, July 16
Tue, July 17
Wed, July 18
Thu, July 19
Fri, July 20
Sat, July 21
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Mon, July 23
Tue, July 24
Wed, July 25
Thu, July 26
Fri, July 27
Sat, July 28
Sun, July 29
Mon, July 30
Tue, July 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $64
OFFER PRICE: $32

If there's one thing you'll immediately learn about the hardworking citizens of Washington, D.C., it's that they love a good happy hour! Urban Adventures helps you sip your way through the Capitol's v... [more+]

If there's one thing you'll immediately learn about the hardworking citizens of Washington, D.C., it's that they love a good happy hour! Urban Adventures helps you sip your way through the Capitol's vibing craft cocktail scene, where you'll sample sweet libations at hidden gems and even learn how to make your own drinks. Get a history lesson too on how prohibition shaped D.C., and discover the speakeasies that still thrive here today. [less-]

Comedian Matt Richards (MTV2's "Joking Off")

at Drafthouse Comedy Theater, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: COMP - $10

Born and raised on the gritty streets of Queens, Matt Richards used comedy as a means of defending himself from bullies and gangsters. It worked 62% of the time. A comedian, actor, magician and hypnot... [more+]

Born and raised on the gritty streets of Queens, Matt Richards used comedy as a means of defending himself from bullies and gangsters. It worked 62% of the time. A comedian, actor, magician and hypnotist, Richards has performed several thousand shows across the country. He's best known for his appearances on MTV2's new hit show "Joking Off". You can see him in the flesh at D.C.'s Drafthouse Comedy Theater, where he'll hold court on stage for a full weekend. [less-]

"The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs": A Mystery

at Spooky Action Theater, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Thu, May 31
+ 7 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Thu, May 31
Fri, June 01
Sat, June 02
Sun, June 03
Thu, June 07
Fri, June 08
Sat, June 09
Sun, June 10
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30 - $40
OFFER PRICE: $15 - $20

In "The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs", Grace finds herself irresistibly drawn to a mysterious and forbidden room. Ascend with her when this production from award-winning French Canadian playwri... [more+]

In "The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs", Grace finds herself irresistibly drawn to a mysterious and forbidden room. Ascend with her when this production from award-winning French Canadian playwright Carole Fréchette comes to D.C.'s Spooky Action Theater. [less-]

"Flood City" Blends Comedy & Historical Tragedy

at Theater Alliance at The Anacostia Playhouse, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Fri, June 01
Sat, June 02
+ 9 more dates
Sat, May 26
Fri, June 01
Sat, June 02
Sun, June 03
Thu, June 07
Fri, June 08
Sat, June 09
Sun, June 10
Thu, June 14
Fri, June 15
Sat, June 16
Sun, June 17
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

In Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889, the Great Flood has decimated the vibrant steel town, leaving behind a ragtag crew of survivors, aid workers and surveyors to assess the damage and speculate what, ... [more+]

In Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889, the Great Flood has decimated the vibrant steel town, leaving behind a ragtag crew of survivors, aid workers and surveyors to assess the damage and speculate what, or who, could be responsible. A century later, at a bar in Johnstown, recently laid off steelworkers ponder their uncertain futures in a town when industry and the world, seems to have left them behind. Traversing time and space, "Flood City" is a hopeful dark comedy about disasters, corporate irresponsibility and a community's resilience in the wake of the unimaginable. The play's regional premiere comes to D.C.'s Theater Alliance at The Anacostia Playhouse. [less-]

Tour the Capital Sites on the Washington D.C. Unveiled Electric Roadster Tour

at L'Enfant Plaza, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
+ 3 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Mon, May 28
Tue, May 29
Wed, May 30
Thu, May 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $56
OFFER PRICE: $28

If a full day of walking the National Mall and visiting the D.C. monuments sounds exhausting, skip the crowded sidewalks and cruise around in a slick electric roadster. You'll get to visit all the sit... [more+]

If a full day of walking the National Mall and visiting the D.C. monuments sounds exhausting, skip the crowded sidewalks and cruise around in a slick electric roadster. You'll get to visit all the sites on your list while getting first-class treatment as your Urban Adventures tour guide shuttles you between the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln memorials, while providing the inside scoop on the White House, Capitol Building and Smithsonian Museum. During your guided tour of just over two hours, you'll also get great tips on other things to see in D.C., plus suggestions for the best places to eat and drink in the capital. [less-]

"Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies" Returns to D.C.

at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
+ 4 more dates
Sat, May 26
Sat, May 26
Sun, May 27
Sun, May 27
Wed, May 30
Thu, May 31
Fri, June 01
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $45 - $65
OFFER PRICE: $22.50 - $32.50

Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm's "breathtakingly on-point" ("Washington Post") comedy "Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies" returns for a special encore remount after its sold-out run became one of the fir... [more+]

Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm's "breathtakingly on-point" ("Washington Post") comedy "Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies" returns for a special encore remount after its sold-out run became one of the first breakout D.C. hits of 2017. This irreverent examination of growing up Black in America features two unlikely allies -- Marquis and Tru. Suspecting that Marquis has lost his "blackness," Tru pens a manual entitled "Being Black for Dummies," which sends the two on a whirlwind journey through a world of cheerleaders, 2Pac, Nietzsche, Apollo and Dionysus. This searing satire, which just won the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play, is back to challenge notions, break boundaries and leave you questioning your own perceptions of race. Catch "Hooded" at the Atlas Performing Arts Center's Sprenger Theatre. [less-]

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.