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TO MAY 9
Angel Shit, Cherry Red Productions’ latest celebration of sleaze, begins with a white-trash invocation of the apocalypse: a commercial for a monster truck rally promising “a pillar of flame 100 feet in the air.” It ends with that invocation fulfilled: a heroin addict, arms outstretched, drenched in blood-red light, surrounded by the walking dead. In between, writer-director-producer Ian Allen crams in a leisurely staged, hilarious cat fight; a duo of depraved cops plucked, it seems, from Deliverance; a lurid, fully visible blowjob; a death’s-head pinata bursting with syringes; and more potty-talk than the movie Kids. The titular shit is a new, sublime kind of heroin that has been contaminated with a flesh-eating virus by Nebraska’s governor to exterminate Omaha’s junkie community. One by one, a circle of addicts—an overweight, depressed nurse, an enslaved hooker, and their friends Flounder and Rooster—sprout bleeding sores on their arms and faces, all the while planning for one final rage against the machine. Allen’s script—short scenes charged with sexualized violence and punched up by one genuinely surprising twist—is acted earnestly—if not expertly—by the cast, which includes local drag queen Lucrezia Blowjob. All of Angel Shit is crass, a lot is funny, and some is unforgivable (including an extended riff on miscarriages). Right now, Cherry Red is operating on a shoestring budget (here, a block of wood thrown against DCAC’s brick walls substitutes for a gunshot); eagerly and perversely, one wonders what they’d cook up if anyone gave them some money. Performances are at 10 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $10. (202) 462-7833. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)