Breaking Up

The sketches in Train of Thought's newest comedy show are a lot like chips in a bag of Doritos: every one is pretty

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Train Gang

The comic threesome Train of Thought sketches out a fun evening. Plus: William Chapman Nyaho and Warabiza.

Breaking Up

The sketches in Train of Thought's newest comedy show are a lot like chips in a bag of Doritos: every one is pretty tasty, and one or two has some extra spice that leaves you licking your fingers wanting more. Breaking Up bills itself as a look at "love, dating, and getting rid of that very special someone"—and somehow it combines vegans, penguins, Republicans, and a spelling bee into a hilarious Valentine's-Day-be-damned tribute. My biggest belly laugh came when MC American Greetings got served by MC Hallmark, who spit out the best inspirational birthday-card verse in a trash-talking rap-off, a la 8 Mile ("Happy f*#!-ing bar mitzvah, mother-f*#!-er!"). The funny threesome on stage (John Boyle, Ryan Miller, and Matt Owens, from Jet City Improv) are sure to be costumed in jeans and hipster T-shirts; so take their cue and come ready for a laid-back, comfy evening in an intimate theater, where you can buy a beer and sit on an old plaid couch. Northwest Actors Studio at The Cabaret Theater, 1100 E. Pike St., www.trainofthought.info. $8-$10. 10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; ends Feb. 25. SARA NIEGOWSKI

William Chapman Nyaho

OK, the Mozart orgy seems to be winding down—but if you want something to celebrate, how about Black History Month? Two concerts this week include piano music by African-American (or African-British) composers, taking spirituals, jazz, or folk dance as inspiration. On Friday, Nyaho plays music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Nathaniel Dett on "I'll Love You Always," a something-for-everyone concert (brass quintet, R&B vocals, classical guitar) at Benaroya Hall to benefit Lifelong AIDS Alliance, while Leon Bates plays George Walker's 1953 Sonata and three arrangements of Billy Strayhorn tunes (alongside Brahms and Chopin) next Wednesday at Meany Hall. (And for the cutting edge of classical-pop hybridization, check out violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain's two appearances—a Composer Spotlight at Jack Straw on Wednesday and a performance Friday at Town Hall.) GAVIN BORCHERT

Warabiza

Alongside the formal beauty of Noh and Kabuki, Japan has a rich folk dance tradition, linked to its agrarian past. Warabiza brings the village to the stage in its performances, but also brings technology to the village, using motion-capture techniques to record and archive traditional work. The group started in 1951—two dancers and a guy with an accordion, performing folk music and dance for people digging out from the rubble of WWII bombing raids. Now they tour internationally, sharing old traditions with a 21st-century world. Meany Theater, UW campus, 206-543-4880, www.uwworldseries.org. $20-$29. 8 p.m. Sat. Feb. 11. SANDRA KURTZ

 
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