Opening This Week

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

One Week Only

Cabaret Boris & Natasha
Performance Works Northwest celebrates their one-year anniversary with this hodgepodge of dance, music, film, and spoken word. Features audience participation in the form of Mexican Bingo. Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th Ave, 777-1907, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $12

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
Brown and co. blend African inflections with jazz, social dance, and gestural language. PSU Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave, 725-3307, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $12-24

Closing This Week

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

Current Runs

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

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

a 2 X 4
Two early one-acts from outstanding playwright, Sam Shepard: Cowboys #2, and Action. defunkt, at the Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 993-9062, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Oct 13, $8-15

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

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, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat 2 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 6, $10-20

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

The Crucible
A great play with a mediocre production. Director Allen Nause has taken the stripped-down, let's-get-back-to-the-text approach, with a set composed of a few wooden flats, and a little violin music. It all looks very stark and puritanical, which is certainly an accurate representation of Puritania, but the drawback is that there are no frills to distract from the acting, which is only sporadically good. 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