Wonderful Life: the Holidays in Capitol Hill and Baroque Public Salon

Wonderful Life: the Holidays in Capitol Hill

The cult of youth that is Capitol Hill gets its own Christmas fix in this pleasant holiday ethnography, a postmodern pastiche of ripped-jeaned revelry inspired more by Cameron Crowe than the Capra classic. Director Rebecca Boyce has deftly organized interviews with various Hill denizens, whose reminiscences range from nostalgic to hilarious, into a patchwork of intertwining stories. Mostly, it's Dickens lite—a kind of soft-focus social realism portraying Capitol Hill as the soulful nexus of 20-something identity politics—but in its own romanticizing way it does capture something of the neighborhood's vibe and character. Fast-paced, well acted, and smartly done, it's hard to beat a show that eulogizes the bygone dive bar Ernie Steele's or supports "community building through casseroles." Washington Ensemble Theatre (WET) at the Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave. E., 800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com. $10-$15. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Mon. Ends Fri. Dec. 23. RICHARD MORIN

Baroque Public Salon

The baroque is one of those periods where everything seems interconnected: architectural curves mirrored in hand gestures, the nimble footwork of the minuet translated into the dodging and feinting of swordplay. It all came together in the salon, where people displayed their skills and showed off their attributes—a chance to see and be seen. So spend an evening like Louis XV, with demonstrations of baroque dance by Seattle Early Dance and French small sword fencing by members of the Academia della Spada and the Association for Historical Fencing. "Appropriate costumes" are encouraged—wear it if you have it, but it's not required. Creative Dance Center, 12577 Densmore Ave. N., 206-363-7281 or www.academiadellaspada.com. $15. 7 p.m. Sat. Dec. 10. SANDRA KURTZ

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