The Kinsey Sicks in Oy Vey in a Manger
The Kinsey Sicks have plenty to kvetch about this year. Their manger has been foreclosed upon. They can't get a reality TV show. They can't find a nice Jewish man. Still, they've managed to get into the spirit of the season through some rather unorthodox caroling – for these ladies, the lyric "Fall on your knees" in "O Holy Night" takes on a whole new meaning. The Kinsey Sicks are both clever and crude in their rewrites of popular holiday tunes: "Silver Bells" becomes an ode to doing Crystal Meth, and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" includes the lyric "Oh come ye, oh come ye, just not on my face." With jabs at Julian Assange and Helen Thomas, the Sicks, who take their name from the famous sex researcher's scale to measure homosexuality, are more up-to-date in their pop cultural references than another touring group that's come to D.C., Chicago's Second City. But most of their songs, like "Satan Baby," are timeless – and place them firmly on the naughty list.
The Kennedy Center
It's a compare-and-contrast opportunity for Rodgers and Hammerstein in D.C.: At Arena Stage, multiracial casting and an in-the-round stage change up an old classic, while at the Kennedy Center, a more traditional revival provides just as enchanting of an evening. South Pacific has a swoon-worthy score, beautifully sung by David Pittsinger as the lovelorn Emile de Becque and Carmen Cusack as the plucky Nellie Forbush. A nurse stationed in the South Pacific, Forbush falls for de Becque, but grapples with his colorful past. Likewise, Lt. Joseph Cable (Anderson Davis) falls in love with an island girl, but can't overcome his prejudices enough to actually pursue her. In the battle between tragedy and cockeyed optimism, the latter prevails, and where hearts are already open, minds follow.
Signature promises some "twisted holiday humor" for their holiday cabaret, this week only. I'm not sure holiday humor could get more twisted than the Kinsey Sicks singing about cannibalizing the baby Jesus, but I'm willing to let someone else try. Evan Casey and James Gardiner host, and are joined by Michael Barry, Priscilla Cuellar, Emily Levey, Matt Pearson, Bayla Whitten and Rachel Zampelli, none of whom, presumably, will be dressed in drag.
My So-Called Jewish Life
Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
Before she started dispensing advice as Slate's Prudence, Emily Yoffe had a brilliant column of stunt journalism called "Human Guinea Pig." When readers suggested something wacky for her to do, she did it – which led to her gigs as a nude model, Mrs. D.C. contestant, drag king, and devotee of The Secret. But in one memorable column, the petite Yoffe took on the world of competitive eating at a Matzoh ball competition – a contest for which she thought she might have an advantage, since she is Jewish. With a measly six balls eaten, she didn't, and lost to a food-athlete named "Crazy Legs." In this Speakeasy D.C., expect tales of Judiasm from Yoffe and other notable writers, including Wired Magazine's Spencer Ackerman and DC Magazine's Karen Sommer Shallett.
Matthew Barney: No Restraint
When City Paper's Matt Siblo live-tweeted the entire Cremaster Cycle earlier this year, he said, "This assignment's biggest challenge has been coming up with exciting new ways of saying 'what the fuck is going on?'" In Allison Chernik's film "Matthew Barney: No Restraint," screening at Artisphere, the filmmaker takes a look at Barney's Drawing Restraint and other works, and tells us what the fuck is going on.
Christmas at the National Gallery
The best nativity scenes aren't in our local churches – they're at the National Gallery, which will host a nativity tour of their collection at 11 a.m. on Dec. 23. Some of the gems of the collection include Duccio's 1308/1311 "The Nativity with the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel" and "The Adoration of the Magi" by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi. The gallery will also host carolers that afternoon, and will screen The Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece: The Annunciation, a BBC film about Jan van Eyck’s "The Annunciation," one of the great works in the National Gallery's collection. Screenings are at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 26 in the East Building Auditorium.