Opening This Week

Cygnet Theatre presents Bloody Poetry
Cygnet assumes that you are smart--their latest depicts the sexually charged friendship that existed between those illustrious 19th century poets, Percy Bysshe Shelly, and Lord Byron. Russell Street Theater, 116 NE Russell , 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 13, $12-15

Defunkt Theatre presents a 2 X 4
An evening of two short plays from Sam Shepard, Cowboys #2 and Action. Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 230-2090, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Oct 13, $8-15

Euripedes' Bacchae
The Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon stages the timeless story of chicks tearing dudes apart in the throes of religious fervor. Reed College, Cerf Amphitheatre, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, 522-9453, Wed-Fri 12 pm, Sat-Sun 4 pm, through Sept 30, $10-15

Three scenes written by the very fucked-up Neil La Bute, who has brought to the screen such classics as In the Company of Men, and Your Friends and Neighbors. Theatre! Theater!, 3430 SE Belmont Ave, 239-5919, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Sept 29, $12-16

Count Time Count Time
A new play written in collaboration with prison inmates. Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 230-2090, Fri-Sat 10 pm, Wed 8 pm, through Oct 13, $8

Welcome to a world in which Hollywood's leading lady is a frog. Ribbit! HA HA HA! Stark Raving Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Opens Sept 14, Previews Sept 6-8, 11-13 @ 7 pm, Sept 9 @ 8 pm, Sliding scale

The story of a paraplegic and his deformed sister, who are hiding from the world at a vacant beach house. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 736-1027, Thurs 7 :30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 13, $15-17

Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music
A divorcee meets a Houston bar owner in one of the most lamely-titled productions of the year. Jack Oakes Theater, 2820 NE Sandy Blvd, 238-9692, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 13, $7-10

Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Some insane person has converted the old TV show, Schoolhouse Rock--which taught the basics of grammar, math, history, and other subjects--into a full-length musical. Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Sept 23, $8-10

One Week Only

Big Belly
This new improv troupe debuts its first full season of improv with a special one-night only performance. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, 233-5798, Sat 9 pm, $6-$10

Brooks Ashmanskas
Ashmanskas is an Oregon-native-turned-Broadway star, who is charging an outrageous fee for a night of singing in order to raise money for the Profile Theater Project. Tiffany Center, 1410 SW Morrison, 242-0080, Fri 7 pm, $60

Citizen Reno
One-woman "investigative standup" that takes on everything from global politics to pop culture. Echo Theater, 1515 SE 37th, 203-3305, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $15-18

Dada Ball est mort
PICA's 6th and final Dada Ball presents musical acts, "performance interruptions," raffles, and general Dada stuff in an attempt to raise money for future programming. Port of Portland Terminal #1 warehouse 2, Under the Fremont Bridge, 2050 NW Front Ave, 242-1419, Sat 5:30 pm-2 am, FREE, unless you pay for food or raffle tickets

Current Runs

A Little Night Music
Based on Ingmar Bergman's film, Smiles of a Summer Night, this Sondheim classic tells a lightly mocking tale of tangled romances among the guests at a sumptuous house party. Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 14, $19-$21

* As Bees in Honey Drown
This is by no means a perfect play, but the performance of Daria O' Neil as the scheming Alexa Vere de Vere comes pretty damn close. Manipulative, ruthless, and ever so sexy (not to mention hilarious) she works her way into the heart of up and coming gay writer, Evan Wyler, earning his trust, love, and yes, lust before stealing shitloads of money from him and leaving him broken and craving vengeance. That's Act 1. Act 2 is not nearly as entertaining because the stunning O'Neil has far less stage time. It still has its moments, though, helped greatly by the performances of Scott Weimer and CW Jensen, who play a wide range of different and funny characters. Theatre! Theater!, 3430 SE Belmont Ave, 239-5919, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, through Sept 29, $15-19

The Crucible
The classic play about witches by that guy who diddled Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller. Artists Repertory Theater, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Oct 14, $15-$28

Three veteran improvisers, Brian Kameoka, Kerry Leek, and Tom Johnson, create an entire world of different stories and characters. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 13, $8