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30

Sunday

Hey world: America is your pal. We may drop explosives, atomic or otherwise, upon you, annihilating your homes, livelihoods, and loved ones, but certainly we don’t intend for anyone to get ugly in the process. In a highly publicized 1955 postwar goodwill gesture, Uncle Sam flew stateside 25 young Japanese women tragically marred by the previous decade’s nuclear atrocities. They would receive plastic surgery—and most, important, appear on network TV. However, in an era that failed to anticipate the Discovery Health Channel, the State Department, apparently subscribing to the same censorial ideology that cropped the King’s swiveling nether region from the tube’s eager viewfinder, deemed the women’s disfigurement a touch too real for television-watching delicates. The ladies appeared on the air in silhouette only. The exploit-o-meter reached true Nielsen-spiking heights when the women were asked to face the pilot whose mission left them mutilated. If this surreal scenario leaves you somewhat agog, let Dan Hurlin break it down for you. With puppets. Hiroshima Maiden re-enacts the midcentury scheme starring a cast of giant marionettes. Really, I’m not making this up. Leave the kids at home with Lambchop when the show starts at 3 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University Boulevard & Stadium Drive, College Park. $30. (301) 405-2787. (Kara McPhillips)