Opening This Week

Diabolical Experiments
Improv with a mad scientist theme. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Jan 26, $8

One Week Only

Bassism 2 Step/House q/DJ S-Dub, Selecor E3, guests
The Algerian Tafsout brings to Portland an evening of North African Maghreb Dance. Fez, 316 SW 11th Ave, 287-1794, $5

Running With Scissors
A one-woman work in progress by stand-up comic Alex St. Andrews. U.S. Bank meeting room, Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave, 957-2137, Thurs 7 pm, FREE

Swing
Lots of foot-tapping and boot-shaking to be found here... and not much else. Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 222-5538, Thurs-Sun 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, $21-58

The Vagina Monologues
WOAH! DAMN! They said VAGINA! That is BAD-ASS! Newmark Theater, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, SW Broadway & Main, 224-4400, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Fri-Sat 5 pm, Sun 3 pm & 7 pm, $35.75-43.75

Closing This Week

* House of Cunt presents 21st Century Funhouse
The House of Cunt is not the most clever group in town, but they may be the most committed, and undoubtedly the most energetic. Somehow both manic and confident, they unveil a steady stream of of bizarre, often hilarious characters through skits, musical acts, and performance art pieces. Amber Martin's cracked-out pop diva rendition of "Sending All My Love" makes the most indelible and funniest impression of the evening. Other acts range from pretty funny to very strange, but all are at least compelling thanks to the cast's relentless passion for doing what they love. You will love it, too. They will give you no choice. Stark Raving Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Jan 5, $12

Money Shot
Two documentary filmmakers set out to find the true story behind a Pulitzer-Prize winning photo of a female citizen in a war-torn country, who seems to be on her knees to protect a small child from a soldier. The men are shocked to discover that the real story surrounding the photo is nothing like they imagined. The manipulative, deceptive power of photography is a fascinating subject, and is handled exceedingly well in this play, right up till the end of the first act, when the woman's true story finally comes forth. At this point, the playwright seems to run out of steam and so fills the remaining hour by making her characters go implausibly crazy from the shock of having their illusions of heroism shattered. Guns are waved, fights break out, screaming matches are endured, and though it all by no means ruins the quiet power of the first act, it certainly cheapens it. Stark Raving Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Jan 5, $10-20

Current Runs

Enter The Guardsman
A comedy about a famous acting couple with infidelity issues. Sylvia's Class Act Dinner Theater, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, 288-6828, Thurs-Sat 6:15 pm, Sun 5:15 pm, through March 2, $31.95 (includes dinner)

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 Jan 19, $23-25

Nunsense 'A Men'
The age-old story of men dressed up as nuns. Flying Rhinoceros Theater, 1440 NW Overton Street, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Feb 9, $15