Opening This Week

I love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
A musical paean to the joys of romance. TRIANGLE PRODUCTIONS! AT THEATER! THEATRE!, 3430 SE Belmont St, 239-5919, Fri-Sat, through Nov 10, call for ticket prices

Not About Heroes
The story of British poets Sigfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen during World War I. CYGNET PRODUCTIONS, 116 NE Russell Street, 230-8827, Thurs-Sun, through Nov 18, $12-15

* Up in the Air
Unpredictability is the key word with Do Jump's "extremely physical theater." DO JUMP, AT ECHO THEATRE, 1515 SE 37th, 224-8499, Fri-Sun, 7:30, ends Nov 12, $13-18

One Week Only

Experience the Sydney Dance Company, Australia's most prominent contemporary dance project, as they enact the story of Salome, the woman whose illustrious talents served up the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. Behold the biblical gore! SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY, WHITE BIRD/PSU DANCE SERIES, Keller Auditorium, 224-8499, Tues, 7:30 pm, $18-39

An evening of gay stand-up comedy featuring Jason Stuart, Karen Ripley, and former Fallen Angel Judith Rizzio. GAY LIFE, AT FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH, SW 12th and Main, Thurs, 7:30 pm, $15

Closing This Week

* Middlemove
The Brody Theater's fifth season opener, an improv evening in which audience suggestions are used to start scenes in media res. BRODY THEATER, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat , 8 pm, through Oct 21, $8

Pigs ... Three Short Plays about Men
Comic sketches about men and relationships by Frederick Stroppel and Peter Tolan. OUTSIDE THE BOX PRODUCTIONS, AT IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PIZZA, 3341 SE Belmont St, 232-9435, Fri-Sat 8 pm, ends Oct 21, $8-10

The Devils
Deeply disappointing debut production from the new artistic director Chris Coleman; a big, bloated, and incoherent production of a play. Though vast and beautiful, with an interesting set that made full use of the space, it is boring and incomprehensible-It's not just that the Russian names are unfamiliar to the audience (and the program even provides a helpful character guide in addition to the cast list). It's also that the relationships between and among characters are presented chaotically and sketchily. For a text of such breadth, the play feels both rushed and static at the same time, despite all the imposed excitement of physical brawls in stately rooms (that biting scene), and lots of running up and down stairs by the secret police. The play is already hard to follow, and the production just doesn't have a crisp, communicative feel. Information doesn't seem to extend far beyond the edge of the stage. Many of the characters are oddly passive, particularly the former leader of the revolutionaries, Nicholas Stavrogin (Atlanta import Michael Newcomer). D.K. HOLM PORTLAND CENTER STAGE, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, daily except Mondays, through Oct 22, $10-$17

The Woods
David Mamet's play about two lovers who use a weekend getaway to learn about each other. DEFUNKT THEATRE, AT THE BACK DOOR THEATER, 4319 SE Hawthrone Blvd, 938-1482, Thur-Sun, through Oct 21, $5-15

Current Runs

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery
Farce in which a woman's club attempts to stage a murder. SYLVIA'S CLASS ACT DINNER THEATER, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, 288-6828, Thurs-Sun, 7 pm, through Nov 18, $31.95

Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars
Children's play-for ages six and up-in which three members of the street gang the Baker Street Irregulars help the great consulting detective rescue a kidnapped princess. NORTHWEST CHILDREN'S THEATER, 1819 NW Everett St, 222-4480, Fri-Sun, through Oct 29, call for ticket prices

The Tinker's Wedding and In the Shadow of the Glen
Paula Productions commences its 14th season with two short plays by John Millington Synge, the first about a wedding day squabble among traveling gypsies, the second a Ryan's Daughter style tale of a May-September marriage. PAULA PRODUCTIONS, AT THE JACK OAKES THEATER, 2820 NE Sandy Blvd, 238-9692, Thur-Sat, 8 pm, through Oct 28, $10

* Variations on Measure for Measure
If Variations on "Measure for Measure" is successful, it's because the interested spectator is at least experiencing the full vision of an individual artist. Marowitz, artistic director of the Malibu Stage Company-and an important writer on the theater-directs his own play, which is a rewrite of Measure for Measure (itself adapted from several sources) tilting it toward tragedy and social protest. Familiarity with Shakespeare's original is required, and Tygres Heart helpfully provides a detailed synopsis in its program. In the Shakespeare version, the Duke of Venice leaves the city only to return in disguise and monitor the methods of his successor. Later he helps the novitiate Isabella to trick that successor, Angelo, who is blackmailing Isabella into having sex with him in order to spare the life of her brother Claudio, sentenced to death for "fornication." TYGRES HEART SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, 1111 SW Broadway, 288-8400, Thurs-Sun, call for prices