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Five Capital Fringe shows happening tonight that the agents of our Action News & Commentary Squad have vetted and certified… Fringeworthy! Go.
I Füçkèd Your Country (Goethe Institut: Mainstage, 6:30 p.m.) — Veteran agent Rachel Manteuffel, rookie agent Jonelle Walker, and I all agreed: Sex writer Twanna A. Hines’ “#SexEd for adults” lecture is informative (even if you think you already know how to unwrap, apply, employ, and then safely dispose of a condom) and amusing, though we’d hoped she would tell a few more stories illustrating how sexual mores and attitudes vary around the world. When Twanna joined Jonelle and me on The FringeCasting Couch, she promised to do just that. You’ll have lots of opportunities to win condoms, cock rings, paperback erotica, and other prizes, but try not to be the person who wins a vibrator because your phone goes off during the show.
Isis & Vesco Investigate the Curious Death of Dr. Freud (Fort Fringe: Redrum, 7:45 p.m.) — Lindsey Boyle enjoyed the intellectual workout of trying to keep up with playwright Monique LaForce’s “Law & Order-style cop drama crossed with a psychoanalytic murder mystery in iambic pentameter, with an underlying confusion of the time-space continuum that brings Egyptian pharaohs and Freud together in modern times.”
You, or Whatever I Can Get (Baldacchino Gypsy Tent, 7:45 p.m.) — “This musical isn’t about dating, it’s about intimacy,” wrote talented rookie Agent Walker in her rave review of this original song cycle from Vaughn Irving and Steve Przybylski. Irving co-wrote last year’s Disco Jesus and the Apostles of Funk, which won the Director’s Award. So that’s a strong pedigree.
Dracula. A Love Story (Mountain, 8:15 p.m.) — DC Theatre Scene senior writer Tim Treanor has updated Bram Stoker’s oft-adapted tale of the undead teetotaler, adding weird punctuation to the title and set it in Washington, DC. Joshura Buursma says it that despite his reservations about the finale, it works, calling it “an enjoyable synthesis of self-conscious camp and genuinely engrossing supernatural drama.” I’ll second that, along with Joshua’s note that the conclusion feels a bit abrupt. The ratio of eroticism to (intentional) jocularity is about the same as in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, of which I am one of a small number of unapologetic defenders. But Lee Ordeman is one magnetic nosferatu, heading up a strong cast that includes Carolyn Kashner, Joe Brack, and Brian Crane.
Miss Emma’s Matchmaking Agency for Literary Characters (Atlas Performing Arts Center: Lang, 8 :15 p.m.) — Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri is even funnier and sharper as a playwright than she is when she’s on the hook for two or three blog posts every day. Why, just last night I attended a preview performance of Petri’s The Campsite Rule, a hilarious and insightful sex comedy starring our own Agent Manteuffel, opening July 30. Because it was a preview I’m obliged not to tell you how great it is. Petri wrote Tragedy Averted, the Shakespearean-heroines-go-to-camp comedy she discussed on the Fringe & PurgeCast last year. Miss Emma is every bit as fast an funny as that one was. If you’ve ever wondered how a date between Medea and Captain Ahab might go, you’ll want to check this out. “At its funniest when it fully embraces its bibliophile tendencies, jabbing at the difference between writing a character for a book and for the theater,” observed senior agent Rachel Kurzius in her review.
Photo from Isis & Vesco Investigate the Curious Death of Dr. Freud © Darian Glover; used with permission.