There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In the age before video parlors, planeloads of Filipino hookers, and “no-pan” (Japlish for “no underpants”) waitresses arrived to entertain the Japanese salaryman, one of the country’s principal entertainments was rakugo, a kind of dramatized comic storytelling that today’s stand-up comedians and poetry slammers might recognize as a kindred form. This narrative style is still performed in Asakusa, an older neighborhood that was once one of Tokyo’s leading pleasure districts, by such masters as Katsura Harusame. This week, Harusame demonstrates his style, which emphasizes expressive gestures and accounts of ordinary life, in two D.C. performances. (Note: Only tomorrow’s performance features English interpretation.) Tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Japan Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St. NW. Free, but reservations required. (202) 238-6901. (Mark Jenkins)