We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Contemporary audiences may find the simultaneously naturalistic and acutely campy Grand Guignol style a little hard to swallow. Still, Molotov Theatre Group’s “Blood, Sweat, and Fears”—a presentation of three one-act plays that found favor in the first half of the 20th century—is authentically shocking and representative of the psychological terrors, randy sex farces, and morality plays on the menu at the original Theatre du Grand Guignol in Paris. The genre’s definition of “horror” is more ironic and subdued than your average pornographic slasher flick, but low lighting ratchets up the anxiety levels, and the fight choreography is exceptional. Lucas Maloney’s staging features a handful of stomach-churning moments, too—and that’s not even counting the rank smell of fryer grease from the kitchen that wafts into the theater as bandages removed from one character’s head reveal his horribly scarred face. Barf bags are included with the price of admission; you’ll want to keep yours handy. The performance starts at 8 p.m. at the 1409 Playbill Café, 1409 14th St. NW. $10–$15. (202) 265-3055; see CityList for a complete schedule.