Theater 

One Week Only

Hairspray
Yes, this is a musical based on the John Waters film about a fat girl who loves to dance. Yes, it's probably going to be a lot of fun. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 222-5538, Tues-Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, 7:20 pm, Sunday 1 pm, 6:30 pm, $25-75

The Chuck Mee Challenge
When local playwright Francesca Sanders wrote several pieces inspired by the work of renowned playwright Chuck Mee, she had no idea that her work would lead to a friendship with Mee himself. Mee encouraged Sanders to produce her work; the result, this unique night of theater, directed by a cadre of directors including Olga Sanchez, Kerry Sorci, and Andrew Golla. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, Mon 7:30 pm, free

Closing This Week

Kimberly Akimbo
The Portland Actors Conservatory presents a dark comedy about a teenaged girl who has a rare condition that causes her body to age faster than it should. Cue hilarity and soul-searching. Firehouse Theater, 1436 SW Montgomery, 774-0997, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $15-25

Silence
Julie Akers directs Moira Buffini's play, which is described in the press release thusly: "Amid the chaos of Viking raids and the end of the millennium panic, Silence, the young Lord of Cumbria, is forced to marry a feisty French princess at the behest of the King." Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 784-7316, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $15-18

The Centering
It's a simple, universally accepted maxim: Whenever possible, clowns should be brutally beaten. Some props, then, must go to The Centering—a one-man show about Davey, a repeatedly beaten prisoner who (the press release says it best) "escapes to the only refuge available: the circus clown within his mind." The play's repetitive formula: One minute, Davey's cowering on the floor, begging for pity from his silent captors and screaming "Oh, GOD!" over and over; the next, he's jumping about in a red rubber nose, talking in a goofy accent, and juggling scarves. EH Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 784-7316, Fri-Sat 11 pm, $7-10

Current Runs

The Odd Couple (Female Version)
See Review This Issue Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, $5-15

The Trial
From La Bodega Productions, an adaptation of Kafka's chilling story which finds parallels to our current judicial system. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 998-0034, Thurs-Sun, 8 pm, $12-15

Theater District
ART's new show has a compelling claim to fame, at least to anyone who was ever a teenager: it was penned by Richard Kramer, a television writer best known as the creator of My So-Called Life. It's unsurprising, then, that Theater District offers a world view which has more in common with TV than with most of the contemporary theater to grace Portland stages. The difference is that underneath Theater District's glossy veneer of clichés and glib one-liners is an undeniable warmth that makes up for the shortcoming of conventionality. AH Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, 241-1278, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, 7 pm, $15-40

Dance

Ten Tiny Dances
Ten Tiny Dances bills itself as a traveling performance party featuring original dances by 10 dancers from the Pacific Northwest. The gimmick? Each dance is composed on, and limited to, a four-by-four stage. Doug Fir, 830 E. Burnside, Sun 7:30 pm, $15

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