Opening This Week

Triangle Productions presents Nunsense 'A Men'
Men in nun suits... It's been done. Flying Rhinocerous Theater, 1440 NW Overton, 239-5919, Wed-Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 1 pm, through Dec 15, $20-25

One Week Only

This weekend, ComedySportz presents Your Other Left, a classic long-form Harold improvisational group. Comedysportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 9 pm, Sat 7:30, 9:30 pm, $10 ($9 with a can of food for the Oregon Food Bank)

Communicating Doors
The story of Ms. Poopay Dayseer, a 21st century Specialist Sex Consultant. Clackamas Community College, 19600 S Molalla Ave, 657-6958, x2356, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $4-7

Disastrous Paris (Black Box Theater)
Theatrical vignettes exploring violence and transcendence of love, and the relevance of Greek tragedy. Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, 522-9453, Thurs-Sun 8 pm, $1-5

The Brody Theater's Fifth Anniversary Show
The Brody brings back some of its favorite company members for an evening of improvised celebration. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $8-10

Closing This Week

A Flea In Her Ear
The antics fly when Mrs. Chandebise sets a clever trap to catch her husband at a seedy hotel, where he is up to no good. PSU Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave, 725-3307, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 17, $6-8

Flesh and Blood
A new play by terrific playwright, Peter Gaiteus, based on the book by terrific novelist, Michael Cunningham. Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, Thurs 12 pm, through Nov 18, $12-44

Mother Courage and Her Children (Fir Acres Theatre)
Bertolt Brecht's not-performed-enough portrayal of a woman's struggle during the Thirty Years' War. Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, 768-7495, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, through Nov 17, $5-8

Sounding Hekate
Christine Calfas' new solo work presents HEKATE...QUEEN of the UNDERWORLD, brought to life through the power of dance. See review this issue. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor, 221-5857, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Nov 18, $15

The Birthday Party
The hardest thing about doing Pinter plays in this country is trying to duplicate his heavy, working-class Britishness. Smart productions either ignore the accent, or do it without worrying if it's good or not. Other productions let it consume them. Such is the fate of Paula Productions' current rendition of Party, an amazing play about a derelict named Stanley, who is forced to examine his inner demons at the hands of two mysterious galoots. The play opens itself to all kinds of fascinating interpretations, all of which are lost here in the fray of the battle between the actors and their godawful accents. They should have accepted they weren't working and retreated. Instead they bravely fight them till the bitter end, unsure, knowing deep down how wrong they sound and afraid to make energetic choices for fear they won't be British enough. The result is an awkward, flat, quiet showing of one the English language's greatest plays. Jack Oakes Theater, 2820 NE Sandy Blvd, 238-9692, Thurs-Fri 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Nov 18, $10

The Haint
A Southern Gothic ghost story with 13 characters and a cast of one. Stage Direct, at CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 295-3565, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Nov 17, $10

The Schemes of Scapino
Moliere's classic comedy. PCC Sylvania Theatre, 12000 SW 49th Ave, 977-4949, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, through Nov 17, $5-7

The Time Between
Collage play stemming from the MEDIARITES Grief Project, which involved meeting with more than 50 youths, adults, and families to get their stories on how they have dealt with loss in their lives. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N Interstate Ave, 750-1439, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 17, $11-14

* Profile Theatre Project presents The Homecoming
A somber production of Pinter's contemporary classic, which chronicles a man's return from America to England, to visit his bickering, miserable brothers, uncles, and father. The problems begin when the man introduces his demented wife, Teddy (Linda Hayden), to his equally demented clan. The resulting chemical reactions are lewd, depressing, incestuous, and fucked up. Pinter has never aimed to create comfort in his work, and the cast here, partially composed of soap and commercial actors, does justice to his relentlessly twisted dynamics. By the end, you will long for your own, slightly less dysfunctional family, which--in Pinter's case--is exactly what's supposed to happen. Theatre! Theater!, 3430 SE Belmont Ave, 242-0080, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 18, $12-20

Current Runs

Call In Sick presents Theatre of the Film Noir
Paris...war...fog...criminals...morality...1944...noir. Raindog Theatre, 8638 N Lombard St, 335-3297, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 8, $8-14

Footlight Frenzy
A desperate PTA group mounts a benefit play to save their kids' school--with calamitous results... Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Dec 9, $18-20

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Seems folks didn't get enough of this overpriced musical the first time around. It's back for one more go at it. World Trade Center Auditorium, 121 SW Salmon, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 22, $23-25

Natural Born Castaways
A one-act musical that parodies pop culture icons such as Gilligan's Island and the Beatles. Russell Street Theater, 116 NE Russell , 806-1526, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Dec 1, $10

* Spinning Into Butter
This play is about intellectual white people. A black student receives hate mail, but that student is only talked about, and never actually appears onstage. The drama centers around Sarah Daniels (Laura Faye Smith), the new Dean of Students at Belmont College in Vermont, who must deal with the situation. Daniels is white, well-educated, and thanks to a recent stint working with students at a mostly-black college, supposedly the epitome of Caucasian awareness and tolerance.

Right from the start, however, she appears out of place, as she botches an attempt to recommend a Hispanic student, Patrick Chibas (Francisco Garcia), for a scholarship by making him check the box for Puerto Rican, when in reality he is Neurican. "But I've never even been to Puerto Rico," he says. "It's a 12,000 dollar scholarship," she replies. Later, the student returns, angry about having to fudge his ethnicity in the name of money. His indignance surprises her, and forces her to examine the way she truly sees races different from her own.

Gilman's script is an eye-opener and also, very humorous. She takes marvelous shots at the liberal arts college establishment, surrounding Daniels with uppity, over-sensitive, intellectual faculty buffoons that could be lifted from any humanities department in the nation. Bob McKeehen, as the nauseatingly earnest and open-minded Prof. Collins, is especially strong. Karin Magaldi-Unger's direction handles the humor with the same skill it handles the serious moments: unobtrusively. You can tell a play is well-directed when you forget, while watching it, that someone had to direct it at all. CoHo Productions , 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 24, $13-15

The Physicists
Theatre Vertigo presents The Physicists, which is a story about some actual physicists who're slightly batty. Theatre Vertigo at the Russell Street Theater, 116 N Russell, 306-0870, Opens Friday, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Dec 1., $10-14

Jazz pianist, Robert Hicks, plays Truman Capote in this one-man show about one of the most flamboyant voices ever! Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, $15-19

* The Third Floor in Pinata Full of Blood
The Third Floor is a talented, confident, and very funny sketch comedy troupe, and this current show, for the most part, reflects that. The skits at best are hilarious---a guerilla roller skating team trying to make the line-up at the Clark County Fair--and at worst, are at least interesting---a young woman's crazy parents start a food fight in the restaurant where they are meeting her fiancee. The show opens with two, terrible mock renditions of popular music videos. Why this clever group thought cheap Weird Al rip-offs would be a good way to begin an otherwise entertaining evening will never be known, but if you can make it through them, you will be glad you did. Blue Door Productions, at the Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through Nov 17, $8