Opening This Week

Holiday Story
Cheer, cynicism, depression, consumerism... all the holiday traditions rolled into one happy bundle of improvisation. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 15, $10

One Week Only

Hoichi the Earless
Terror served up in the form of a Japanese ghost story. PLUS, it's called Hoichi the Earless... If that's not reason enough to see it, I don't know what is. B & O Warehouse, SE 2nd and Stark, 957-5245, Opens Wed, Nov 28, runs Wed-Mon, Dec 3 - call for show times, $7-10

Master Harold... and the Boys
Athol Fugard's study of a racially mixed friendship in the apartheid society of South Africa. PSU, Lincoln Hall, 1620 SW Park Avenue, 682-6765, Opens Tues, Nov 27, runs Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $4

Closing This Week

* Spinning Into Butter
Last chance to see this thoughtful attack on contemporary white America's self-congratulatory racial tolerance. Set at a mostly-white Vermont liberal arts college, Spinning focuses on the Dean of Students, Sarah Daniels, who finds her hands full when a black student suddenly becomes the target of racist threats. As the pressure builds, Daniels' true views on race come forth in such a convincing fashion that you won't know whether to be appalled or to agree. Along the way, Gilman also gets in some hilarious shots at the liberal arts college establishment, which you will find funny if you spent the dough necessary to become familiar with such an establishment. CoHo Productions , 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 24, $13-15

The Tell-Tale Heart
Puppets and Poe... a better combination 'twas never known. Winningstad Theater, 1111 SW Broadway, 224-TIXX, Sat 8 pm, $9-16.50

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, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 8, $8-14

Crumbs From the Table of Joy
Memory play about a 1950s African American family who has moved to the North and is trying to find a place for themselves in postwar America. Artists Repertory Theater, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 15, $24-28

Fen is quite an achievement: It is a mesmerizing play that revolves around English farmland. Sowelu Theater at the Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 230-2090, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Dec 15, $7-15

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
The I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change juggernaut rolls on... 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

Nunsense 'A Men'
The age-old story of men dressed up as nuns. Flying Rhinoceros Theater, 1440 NW Overton Street, 239-5919, Wed-Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 1 pm, $20-25

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

American Heritage Theater Project presents a musical adaptation of Studs Terkel's biography of the working man and woman. Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, 245-3642, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 9, $10 (suggested donation)