Opening This Week

Hoagy & Cole: An American Theatre Cabaret
This cabaret will feature the music of two Indiana natives: Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter, and their timeless classics with dueling pianos. American Heritage Theater Project, at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway, 245-3642, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2, through June 9, $10 suggested donation

Masterpieces
An exploration of pornography and the issues it confronts us with. Theatre Vertigo at the Russell Street Theater, 116 N Russell, 306-0870, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through June 29, $14

Othello
Jungle fever, Shakespeare style. PSU Theater Dept, at Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave, 725-3307, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 8, $6-8

One Week Only

David Cross
Fans of the TV show, Mr. Show, should not miss this stand-up act from the emmy-winning co-creator. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 225-0047, Sat 8 pm, $15

New Works, New Ways
Playwrights Jessica Hagedorn, Rhodessa Jones, and Paula Vogel read from works of their own choosing. Weiden & Kennedy Atrium, 224 NW 13th, 242-1419, Thurs 7:30 pm, FREE

Tears of Resin: A Logging Story
A staged reading of Ginny Foster's new play about the logging industry. Stark Raving, at the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Sun 2 pm, Donation

Current Runs

Cupid & Psyche
Cupid wants Psyche to love him for who he is, not for how handsome he is, so he devises a plan to win her heart without ever showing his face. Stark Raving, at the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through June 29, $10-20

Hey, Don't Grab Me There!
Crazy late night sketch comedy with one of the silliest titles in recent memory. Stark Raving, at the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through June 29, $12

Killer Joe
Uber redneck, Chris, and his father, Ansel, hire a hitman/cop named Killer Joe to kill Chris' mom so they can cash in on her life insurance policy. When Chris can't come up with the money to pay Joe for his services, Joe requests Chris' younger sister, Dottie, as a retainer...and Chris agrees. This story is standard potboiler material that is supposed to be given new life because it is happening in the bizarre confines of trailer park culture. Unfortunately, playwright Tracy Letts' portrayal of his hick family is so riddled with clichés that the story becomes nothing more than a skeleton supporting a series of bad redneck jokes. And as if Letts's unoriginal and base sense of humor weren't scary enough, he also throws in a few moments of sheer degradation (one involves the forcing of a female character to give oral sex to a drumstick) that add nothing to the advancement of the plot or to the development of the characters, and thus are nauseating in their pointlessness. IFCC, 5340 N Interstate Ave, 241-1ART, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 16

The Laramie Project
ART presents the story of the 1998 brutally homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard, which took place in Laramie, Wyoming. Artists Repertory Theater, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-9807, Tues-Thurs 7, Fri-Sat 8, Sun 2, through June 30

The Bad Infinity
Mac Wellman's portrayal of four people who gather one evening to endure a "bad infinity" (the meaning of this term will forever remain a mystery) exists outside the realm of linear storytelling. Lines of dialogue don't necessarily follow their preceding lines, tangents occur rampantly, entire conversations repeat themselves, dead santas appear on stretchers, and men in kangaroo costumes take messages for French chefs in the middle of the woods. Material this bizarre makes me feel distanced to the point of disconnection. I give these sentiments with a disclaimer: they may be a product of my inability to enter the world of this play and not a reflection of the play itself. Only you can be the judge of that... Defunkt Theatre, at the Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 993-9062, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through June 22, $8-15

The Birth of the Stick Figure Battery Baby
Chronicle of the birthing process of the half-human, half-robot stick figure battery baby and its role in the battle over the fate of humankind. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that plot synopsis... stillbeautymovement, at the Back Door Theatre, 4319 SE Hawthorne, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through June 22, By donation