Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter

We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.

TO JAN. 20

Cherry Red Productions’ stripped-down staging of Will Kern’s Hellcab is as dark as a Chicago winter morning and as steamy as a Plymouth after, well…you know. The Cherry Red troupe—D.C.’s royal court of psychotronic gore-splat cabaret—turns in a series of energetic performances as seven cast members rotate through 31 roles in a series of slice-of-life vignettes that take place in the backseat of a taxicab. The characterizations mostly ring true and have a surprising amount of depth. A Jonestownesque portrayal of a born-again couple on their way to church sets the tone for a series of creepy ride-alongs that include fighting couples, a sluttish lawyer, and a rape victim. Craig Housenick (pictured) anchors the cast as the hangdog cabbie who lives in a netherworld between involvement and detachment from his fares. Raymond Harris’ roaring monologue as a black cab driver who won’t pick up black fares is one of the most powerful moments in the show, and his portrayal of a man planning to punish a used-car dealer turns B-boy stereotyping on its head. Diane Cooper also stands out in a spacey turn as a stoner who desperately needs a pair of pants. At 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, to Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 675-3071. (Elizabeth McGraw)