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Classical heroines and damsels in distress, fairy-tale scholar Marina Warner observes, traditionally have golden tresses. In From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers, she examines this phenomenon, buttressing her written examples with an ebony-skinned, platinum-crowned portrait of the biblical Queen of Sheba (c. 1405) and an image of Disney’s Barbie-doll Cinderella (whose stepsisters are a troublemaking redhead and brunette). Warner explores how women may have ceded their storytelling roles to 17th- and 18th-century men, who committed fairy tales to print and cast flaxen-haired beauties either as passive romantic ideals or evil temptresses. This academic excursion balances literary theory with accessible childhood tales and current political trends. Warner discusses her work at 6 p.m. at the Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Nathalie op de Beeck)