If the publishing world's bestseller lists are any indication, the erotic novels collectively known as the Fifty Shades Trilogy will be a popular stocking stuffer this holiday season. Though largely scorned by critics, the lusty tales of unleashed kinks have proven a guilty pleasure for a host of readers seeking steamy escapism that needn't be hidden under the sheets. The holiday season, of course, can mean more stress than even the most provocative literature can relieve. Those seeking stronger stuff to beat the Yuletide blues should look no further than Hennepin Avenue, where the satiric minds of the Brave New Workshop are presenting Fifty Shades of White: A Minnesota XXXMas. BNW's annual holiday show has amassed a loyal following over the years, thanks to reliably raucous sketches that riff on the mundane madness of the season. Whether dissecting dysfunctional office parties or envisioning estranged family reunions, lobbing grievances over lackluster gifts or voicing the invective of a disgruntled Santa, the BNW troupe can be counted on to derive sidesplitting humor from holiday hysteria. Promising a mixture of new sketches and returning audience favorites, Fifty Shades of White is certain to elicit enough laughter to subdue seasonal stress. And if BNW's irreverent comics fail to entirely eliminate the anxiety, well, alternate remedies can be sought next door at Fantasy Gifts. In previews through November 15. Times do vary throughout the season; check online for a complete schedule.
Fridays, 7 & 10 p.m.; Saturdays, 5 & 8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 16. Continues through Jan. 12, 2012