Next Tuesday
WET at the Little Theatre
Through March 14.

Through Feb 26.

An original project from WET and Steve Pearson, Next Tuesday is an intriguing movement play set to metronomes, xylophones, and dopey jazz fusion. Members of the ensemble shuffle past a gray suggestion of a brownstone building, combining and recombining to represent couples, construction workers, herds of children, partygoers (it's a pretty rockin' party for a Tuesday night), and all manner of residents and passersby.

Marya Sea Kaminski's hypercompetitive hopscotch artist is so vividly familiar that the sketch's comedy feels completely unforced. But Darrick Clayton's traffic cop gets saddled with a booty-shaking shtick that's only barely funny the first time around. And the unfocused sentimentality of some closing scenes about aging seems a bit strained--especially considering the average age of the ensemble is less than 30. Complaints aside, I had a major headache going in to see the show, and when I left, I felt better.

Another experimental play with mixed but pleasing results goes by the brilliant title Delaware, and it closes this weekend. It's a sort of revue by the performance band Awesome!, studded with little scenelets starring Mark Boeker, Tracy Repep, and Montana von Fliss. The Stranger's own Brendan Kiley plays one of the minor roles, adding faux research items to the narrative (e.g., "FACT: In the ocean there are an average of seven things looking up at you").

Awesome! is a remarkable band, but the performances that go along with their songs are hit-and-miss. For every panting baby doll or lecture on waffles, there's a scene like the one in which von Fliss guts a fish onstage. (I'm all for live fish guttings, but this one's accompanied by a completely unaccomplished--and unnecessary--accent.) Luckily, there's always another musical number to distract you. And did I mention the play's about the state of Delaware? Genius.

Support The Stranger

Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.