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A Clown's Birthday
Clowns are often terrifying creatures, but Soderberg's clown is a sympathetic creature who seems to be all alone on its birthday. Radiant Theatre, at Artichoke Music, 3130 SE Hawthorne, 502-8261, Thurs, Fri 8 pm, $5

Vaudeville Revusical and Novelty Show
The monthly eclectic variety show continues with Ben Bonham the one man band, and the velvety-voiced Ruby Ruth Oliver. Miz Kitty's Parlour, at Artichoke Music Backstage Gate, 3130 SE Hawthorne, 232-8845, Sat 8 pm, $10

closing this week

A Tuna Christmas
I'd rather have hot acid dripped on my foreskin than endure another episode in Tuna, the fictitious Texan town that Triangle unloaded on unsuspecting audience members with the recent show, Greater Tuna. Tuna is a nauseating place full of the kind of southern stereotypes that only the most poorly written trash is capable of generating. Supposedly it has a large fan base in Portland, which I guess is why some cruel god up above ever allowed for this sequel to be run. JWS Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 21, $18-$23

Ajua! Un guerco va a nacer
An angel and the Devil race to the border for the soul of a child. Entirely in Spanish! The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Tues-Wed 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, through Dec 21, $7

Antiques Improv Show
Just like Antiques Road Show, the audience members at Improv Show bring objects to be "appraised" by the two "experts." The two "appraisers" do exactly like real life appraisers, except that they're obviously not actually experts and have to make up the information for each object on the spot. It's fun! JWS Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 21, $10, $9 with item to be "appraised" during the show

Honey in the Horn
Director/playwright/set designer Michael Lasswell is clearly in love with the source material for his latest production, a stage adaptation of H.L. Davis' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the Old West, Honey in the Horn. Lasswell seems to have adapted almost every word of the original text to the stage. The result is a frantic barrage of story as Lasswell and his talented cast try their best to squeeze every last plot turn, character, and scene change into the three-hour running time. JWS Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-9807, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 22, $15-30

Milagro on Calle 401k
Miracle on 34th Street gets a face lift in the Miracle's version, which takes place in Silicon Valley and features Santa Claus on trial for fraud. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 21, $12

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
It's easy to see why Someone to Watch Over Me would appeal to a young director. 1. A show about three hostages in a Beirut prison requires minimal staging accouterments. 2. A director gets to orchestrate heavy-duty emotional drama as the prisoners combat boredom and madness, and, 3. As the captors are Arab and the prisoners American, Irish and English, the show is politically relevant to boot. But do you really want to watch some men chained to the stage and loudly fighting insanity for over two-and-a-half hours? No, not until Frank McGuinness's script is cut down at least 45 minutes and the actors get rid of all those melodramatic pauses. AS Lightbox Studios, at Ohm, 1800 E Burnside, 231-0839, Fri-Sun 8 pm, through Dec 22, $10

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Lakewood presents its annual production of this old standard about a family of hooligans who decide to take part in the town's Christmas pageant. Lakewood Theatre Company , 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Dec 22, $9-$11

The SantaLand Diaries and A Christmas Memory
It is David Sedaris' voice that makes his now-famous short story, The SantaLand Diaries, so very, very funny. It is the voice of a jaded 33-year-old man observing with dry incredulity the chaos of the Macy's department store SantaLand, where he is forced to work as a Christmas elf. It is this voice that results in the downfall of Portland Center Stage's one-man stage adaptation. As the elf, Steve Wilkerson stops observing the characters around him and becomes a character himself, a man who no longer thinks, "Look at these fools around me," but, "Look at me looking at these fools around me!" Wilkerson does voices, dances, prances, and in the process carves Sedaris' brilliant work to pieces like a Christmas ham. JWS Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs 12 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Dec 23, $12-47

current runs

Angry Housewives
A bunch of pissed-off housewives form a punk rock band as an act of rebellion. Hilarity ensues. World Trade Center Auditorium, 121 SW Salmon, 239-5919, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 1 pm, through Jan 18, $22-$28

Biglittlethings
Following in the tradition of the utterly famous Frogz, here comes a brand new smorgasbord of mask, illusion, spacemen, and hungry anteaters. Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, through Dec 29, $14-$24

Darkstep and Dawning
Fresh off his stint in ART's marvelous The Shape of Things, Neil Starbird stars in this new play about a surgeon, a young man, and a girl named Fanny. Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Jan 11, $10-$15

Hi!
Hot damn! Amber Martin, the cofounder of the House of Cunt, the weirdest sketch comedy troupe in Portland, is back with a brand new solo show! Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Jan 11, $12

dance/other

Now!
This hodge-podge of high-budget technical wizardry has been extended. Do Jump! at the Echo Theatre, 1515 SE 37th, 224-8499, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 3 pm, through Dec 29, $15-22

The Nutcracker
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who go to The Nutcracker every stinking year, and those who hate it with a passion they can't convey. This listing is for the former. Oregon Ballet Theatre, 818 SE 6th, 222-5538, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Mon & Sat 2 pm, Sun 1 pm, 5 pm, through Dec 26, $9-$90

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