Not in the holiday spirit?
Catch these productions—
without a lighted tree in sight
BY ELIZABETH JOHNSON
This time of year, finding a show without a Rockette,
nutcracker or ghost of Christmas past, present or future
can be a challenge. So, for those who’d prefer to stay out
of the spirit of season, here are some alternatives.
CATCH THIS BUZZ
If the stress of the season has you feeling down, lift your
spirits with a triple espresso, er, make that Triple Espresso,
the vaudeville-style comedy playing at the Capitol Repertory
Theater in Albany, N. Y. The show follows three men—a musician, a magician and an entertainer, all of them comedians—from
their rise to fame to their infamous fall from grace on a national
TV show. (Spoiler alert: They perform a striptease on The Mike
Douglas Show.) The play began its run in a suburban church in
the Midwest and is so popular it’s been running in Minneapolis
since 1996, selling more than $30 million in tickets. It’s also
been performed in L. A., Mi lwaukee and Des Moines,
where it ran for 68 weeks. Capitol Repertory Theater,
111 N. Pearl St., Albany, N. Y. Box Office: 518-445-SHOW
(7469). capitalrep.org. Dec. 8-31. Tickets: $34-$42.
You don’t have to look far to find a production of The
Nutcracker. But leave it to a place called The Theater
Offensive to present David Parker and the Bang
Group’s spoof on it. Nut/Cracked, choreographed
by Parker, is a tricked-up, R-rated, modern take
so (from left) Michael
Group present Nut/
ly Tschiffely, Amber
on renditions of the Tchaikovsky score by Duke Ellington, Fred
Waring and Glenn Miller. Consider this: During the Chinese
dance number, Parker slurps a noodle out of a red takeout container. The New York Times called it “side-splittingly funny.”
And yes—there’s a fairy. The Theater Offensive, Calderwood
Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theater, 527
Tremont St., Boston, Mass. 617-933-8600. Nov. 3-11. Tickets: $39.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Talk about a play within a play. The inner workings of the theater
form the plot of Noises Off, a classic American comedy being performed in the Kreeger Theater at Arena Stage in Washington,
D.C. Follow the troupe in three acts—final dress rehearsal, matinee performance and evening performance of their touring show
Nothing On—as they engage each other in love triangles, angle
at each other in fistfights and forget props—or just throw them.
Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St., SW,
Washington, D.C. 202-488-3300.
arenastage.org. Dec. 15-Jan. 28.