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FEB. 17 & 18

The British have a fine and long-standing tradition of cross-dressing comedy. The sight of burly men in dresses is a sure-fire laugh-getter, even when the material is lacking. Or, as with American Milton Berle, even when there’s no material at all. But while Monty Python’s screeching “pepperpots” are grotesque caricatures, when Canadians the Kids in the Hall put on skirts they’re, well…hot. The boys don’t just fling on some ill-fitting dowdy frocks and mince about. They go all the way: The hair is perfect; the shoes match the bags. Likewise, their transgendered skits are studiously reality-based. These men slip into women’s pantyhose as a means of better understanding a man’s role in the world—or to unmercifully mock it. Like Python—to whom all sketch groups get unfairly compared—once the Kids’ TV show ended, the members’ individual careers faltered as well. Scott Thompson was good but not challenged in his supporting role on HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show. Dave Foley rented his deceptively clean-cut looks to the obsequious sitcom NewsRadio. Bruce McCulloch co-wrote and directed the ill-received feature Dog Park; Kevin McDonald provided some spark with minuscule bit-parts in direct-to-video and second-line features; Mark McKinney spent a short time on Saturday Night Live, then disappeared. Now that they’ve come to their senses and reunited for a new tour, let’s insist that the Kids stay together—for the good of their family of insane characters. At 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, and 8 and 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the Warner Theatre, 13th and E Streets NW. $29-$35.50. (202) 783-4000. (Dave Nuttycombe)