If predictability is your bag. Brazil probably isn't for you - and neither is "Tamos Ai (Right on, Rio!)," an hour's visit to the land of Carnival that starts near 18th and Columbia and wends its way backstage, onstage and into the cabaret scene of Rio de Janeiro, a city where, we're told, you can get a hello from a stranger.
Along the way, the show - more a series of blackouts than a play - takes you through questions of identity ("In what mirror was my face lost?"), pure exuberance (a dancer sambas her way down flat on the floor and back again, without letting a champagne bottle slip off her head), poetry, infectious Brazilian music and opportunities to get to know each member of the small company.
A celebration of celebration, as well as a demonstration of why Carnival is an essential part of Brazil, the show was written, choreographed and directed by Silvia Martins, who's just five months away from Rio. But it's impossible, for the most part, to pict k out which are the non-Brazilians: Pierrot, Juan Valentin, is Perto Rican, and dancers Eric Vives and Brian Walker are from the United States and Trinidad, respectively. Helen Oney is clearly an American, and Delmario and Lucia Eloi, of course, could be from nowhere but Rio.
The intimate setting (cabaret tables, cups of wine) adds to the infectious fun of the evening, which, at $4, costs no more than a first-run movie and offers at least doubel the excitement. By the end of the show strangers were dancing with strangers, and everyone was grinning - even the staff, faced with the problem of getting everyone out before the next show began.
If you get to Gala (213 18th St. NW) before the revue closes - it's on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays, two shows a night, through Oct. 8 - you'll see why clearing the house might be a bigger task than putting on the show.