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Vijai Nathan is a seasoned comic and storyteller, so her solo Fringe show is extremely unlikely to suck.

If you can feel the hairs standing up on the back of your neck, it must be because the Capital Fringe Festival’s Diamonds Are Forever installment—-that’d be the seventh—-starts tonight. There are about 130 shows in the unjuried festival’s lineup, and 35 on offer this evening alone, so of course you’re feeling the need for some guidance because FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. Herewith, a selected, chronologically arranged list of offerings on tonight’s Fringe slate that we have specific reason to believe are unlikely to disappoint.
Young Republicans (Goethe Instituit Mainstage, 6 p.m.)
—-I saw a staged reading of this play by Washington Post ComPost blogger Alexandra Petri a couple of months ago, and I laughed a lot. It’s smart about the group dynamics of campus organizations, and about the social awkwardness that sometimes afflicts very smart people.

Colony (Chaos on F, 6:30 p.m.)—-What do I know from dance? Well, I can tell you that Kelly Bond and Melissa Krodman gave an arresting, committed performance at last Friday’s Fringe preview that strongly suggests their intriguing contributions to festivals past were no fluke.

McGoddess (Studio Theatre – Milton Theatre, 7 p.m.)—-The excerpt of this autobiographical solo show that stand-up comic Vijai Nathan performed at the Fringe preview was the rare monologue that worked in the rowdy confines of the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent. Nathan’s been a presence in D.C.’s storytelling scene for years. If this piece, inspired be her Indian and Hindu heritage, is as funny as her prior explorations of her romantic travails have been, you won’t come away disappointed.

Beertown (Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, 7:30 p.m.)
—-This remount of Dog & Pony DC‘s 2011 much-discussed conceptual play about the way a fictional community collectively builds and preserves its memory is on my must-see list following an excerpt from it I saw at a Dog & Pony fundraiser last month. I wasn’t always sure what I was watching, but I was never bored.

Mitzi’s Abortion (Warehouse, 8 p.m.)—-This one makes my list on strength of The Washington Rogues‘ work in prior festivals: Director (and Fringe & Purge alumnus) Ryan S. Taylor‘s production of Ella Hickson‘s EIGHT in the 2010 Fringe stands out in my memory two years later for its emotional force and the strength of its ensemble.

If you’ve got other shows you’re excited to see tonight, tell us why in the comments. Be seeing you!