18

FRIDAY

For a play in which the cast spends most of its time naked, Cherry Red Productions’ Thumbsucker wears its influences like a red suit on a backward-dancing midget. Underneath his ordinary button-down shirt and khakis, Jack’s got some not-so-ordinary problems—including a Hitchcockian Oedipal complex and an unhealthy obsession with scalping half-dead women while he rapes them. Unable to cope with the discomforts of reality, this American psycho takes a one-way trip to the hotel room of his subconscious—where symbolism reigns, identities become interchangeable, and Frisk-y sexual fantasies safely repeat themselves in an indefinite loop. Sound confusing? It’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, Thumbsucker’s carelessly constructed dream world offers too many heavy-handed clues and doesn’t reward close examination. Either you get it, you don’t, or it all seems strangely familiar. Deja vu? No, Thumbsucker’s just pedestrian traffic on some lost highway. The play runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, to Saturday, Nov. 9, at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $15. (202) 298-9077. (Matthew Borlik)