ACTION GUIDE: THEATER 

Ready for a reprieve from the ocean of consumeristic chaos that is the Christmas season? Then let go of your shopping bags for a minute and let yourself drift on over to one of the many islands of fringe theater magic that dot the horizon of this holiday season.

Stark Raving, which specializes in new plays, presents a new piece by Carole Dane called MoneyShot. The story follows two documentary filmmakers who set out to uncover the true story of a woman who was the subject for a Pulitzer prize-winning war photo. Stark's director of publicity, Jim Wilhite, refused to tell me more when I prodded him for details, for fear of spoiling the many surprises that this show holds.

Defunkt's new work is actually a collection of new works written by members of the company. It's called Purely Funktional, and runs for one night only, but you should try to see it because a.) defunkt rules, and this play should be entertaining, and b.) it's a fundraiser for the company, and you should WANT to support companies that consistently produce bold, challenging works.

Brody Theater's Queen of the Universe I know nothing about, and I know nothing about its new show, Forgetting the Last Kiss. But the creator of and lone actor in Kiss, Michael McClafferty, sent me a bottle of Jim Beam as a press release, so I'm recommending the show. That's a little hint for all you fledgling companies out there: Gifts consisting of alcohol and/or other intoxicating substances will get you in this paper.

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