NOVEMBER 20-23

There are still some people who refuse to watch the NBC/CBS/HBO show The Kids in the Hall because it features “that gay group.” In fact, only one member of the bright sketch comedy troupe was gay, Scott Thompson. And he still is. The group had more in common with ’70s Los Angeles improv group Ace Trucking Company than with ACT UP. When the Kids put on dresses, it wasn’t for Milton Berle-style cheap laughs or Monty Python silliness. Their cross-dressing was used to much fresher effect, designed to take a laughing look at the ways men and women act, alone, together, and separately. As usual, it was probably the reality underpinning their comedy that caused discomfort. Even with his most “out” character, dishy lounge lizard Buddy Cole, Thompson was hardly parading an agenda, other than to evoke laughter. One could argue that the openly gay character Thompson plays on The Larry Sanders Show isn’t openly gay enough. So expect winks and chuckles but no lectures during Thompson’s D.C. visit. And if you want, wear a dress. At 8:30 p.m. Thursday & Sunday and 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday at the Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. $15-17. (202) 296-7008. (Dave Nuttycombe)