Bed Snake

Created by Washington Ensemble Theatre's Noah Benezra and Hannah Victoria Franklin, Bed Snake takes just 70 minutes to work its malevolent magic, all revolving around a slacker who sells his soul for mad microphone skillz and finds himself sucked into the underworld as if via pneumatic tube. Swirling at the center of the maelstrom is the love/hate dynamic between fanboy Wolf (Benezra) and the devilish rap goddess Kry$tal (Franklin), who has collected many souls before his. Starting as a hopeless dweeb, for Wolf to sell his soul like Robert Johnson seems like more than a fair bargain. Though once he becomes her rap equal, Wolf finds it hard to win Kry$tal's love. Melody may creep in occasionally, but most of the soundtrack is a Satanic roar of energy, braggadocio, and violence, augmented by grainy film clips and bloody vidgames. Elissa Eskridge's smoldering, stuttering choreography is executed with the precision of a Lady Gaga show. Amiya Brown's spray-paint designs and lighting make good use of WET's shoebox theater; the supporting cast dances their asses off (at one point, they're undulating on the walls); and Benezra holds his own against Franklin, who commands a stage like few others. After seeing Bed Snake, you just may want to sell her your soul, too. KEVIN PHINNEY

Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: May 11. Continues through June 2, 2012

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