Photo by: Courtney Sexton

Truth and Dare Variety Show: Ladies, Let Your Freak Flags Fly

Whoever said DC doesn’t know how to get freaky obviously never attended Church Night at Black Cat, any number of cabarets around town or the latest in the District’s sideshow offerings – Truth and Dare. The performance series is the lovechild of Michelle Carnes of the DC Weirdo Show and Tija Mittal of Charming the Destroyer. A combination variety show/live storytelling event, Truth and Dare is no subtle celebration of la femme: it’s a lot of vagina and a few extra boobs in just the right places.

Photo by: Courtney Sexton

Photo by: Courtney Sexton

This Monday’s rendition was set upstairs at The Passenger (newly reopened in Shaw), and along with Mittal, Carnes and Carnes’s alter-ego, Dr. Torcher, the show featured appearances from veteran storyteller Stephanie Garibaldi of Story District and sideshow hostess extraordinaire Mab just Mab. What set the show apart from others in the same realm was the balance between serious (even when comedic) storytelling, and traditional sideshow skits. Between fire-eating and straightjacket-stripping, we heard carefully woven tales about Garibaldi’s experience as a 21-year-old fertility goddess in Mexico and Mittal’s lesbian love story that wasn’t, all rounded out by a tastefully tassled tri-titty twirl from Dr. Torcher.

While there are a few kinks to be worked out and the show could benefit from a bit more structure, overall the content is thick and the characters are compelling. I’m curious to see how deep these ladies take their Truth and Dare.

Mittal has a free comedy show at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at The Carolina Kitchen, 2350 Washington Pl. NE, DC. She is also included in the Story Districts “Sucker for Love” lineup on Feb. 11. More information, and tickets, are available here. 


Courtney Sexton

Courtney Sexton is a New Jersey native who grew up between the Delaware River and the sandy Pine Barrens. She has called D.C. home for long enough to now be considered a “local”. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is the co-founder of D.C. literary reading series and writing community, The Inner Loop. She listens to a lot of music and sometimes even tries to make it. She writes a good deal about places and human relationships to them, constantly exploring the intersections of nature and culture. Her dog, Rembrandt, features prominently in her life and work.