Opening This Week

Double Play
Two acts of spontaneous theater and comedy by an expanded troupe of 16 performers. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Sat 9 pm, through Aug 31, $9

The Phantom of the Opera
Its characters are cardboard, its music is cloyingly sweet, but for some reason it's the most successful musical of all time. For an average of $43, you can find out why. Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 241-1802, Wed, Fri-Sun 7:30 pm, Thurs 1 pm, 6:30 pm, Sun 2 pm, through July 28, $17-69

Closing This Week

The Laramie Project
Story of the 1998 brutally homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard. Artists Repertory Theater, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-9807, Wed 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm & 7 pm, through July 7, $15-28

Current Runs

Cirque Du Soleil
Word on the street is it's the best circus in the world. The Grand Chapiteau (a big blue and yellow tent), 2750 SW Moody Ave, 1-800-678-5440, Tues-Wed 8 pm, Thurs-Fri 5 pm, 9 pm, Sat 4 pm, 8 pm, through July 21, $31.50-65

Improv improv improv, everybody loves improv... ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 9 pm, Sat 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm, $12. or $10 with can of food

Frogz is back for its 573rd Portland run. Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Wed-Fri 7:30 pm, Sat 1:30, 7:30 pm, Sun 1:30 & 5:30 pm, through July 28th, $13-23

* Head-Crazy Brain Girl
Tony St. Clair is drolly diabolical as Dr. Soapstone, a mad scientist who gets his wife decapitated in an accident involving a reanimated corpse, and then spends the rest of the play trying to find a body for her head. It's hardly an original storyline, but original storylines are not the point in this amusing ode to hackneyed 1950s-era television camp. What matters here are the hilarious characters and the period ambience, which Kevin-Michael Moore and his Gunhappy Theatrical Ensemble nail pretty well in this slick, fast-moving production. Look for Andy Buzan as the Wally Beaver-esque "Gig", and Michael-Moore himself as a cracked out drug addict. Both are brief crests in a sea of excellent performances. Blue Door Productions, at the Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through July 13, $10

* Hedwig and the Angry Inch
A delicious, cross-dressing rock musical. The stage version, if done properly, is actually tighter and more cohesive than the recent film version. Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through July 13, $22-28

Over the River and Through the Woods
A New Jersy man's parents set him up with a lady to keep him from moving to Seattle. Sylvia's Class Act Dinner Theater, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, 288-6828, Thurs-Sat 6:15 pm, Sun 5:15 pm, and 11:30 am, through Aug 24, $28.95-33.95 (includes dinner)

The Will Rogers Follies
Musical about Will Rogers' rise from unassuming okie to unparalleled stardom as an actor, newspaper columnist, and radio personality. Broadway Rose Theatre Company, at the Deb Fennel Auditorium, 9000 SW Durham Rd, 620-5262, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through July 14, $9-18