opening this week

La Chunga
In northern Peru, "Chunga" is a word used to describe a hard woman at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Thus the play is about a woman named La Chunga, who owns a seedy bar at the bottom of said ladder. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 19, $13-15

Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy in the middle of post-World War II Texas. Should be rootin' tootin'! Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Opens Fri, runs Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs 12 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Oct 20, $12-47

The Well of the Saints
Rollicking comedy that tells the story of two blind beggars who think they're really good looking, only to be given the gift of sight and find out they're actually pretty ugly. Paula Productions, at Jack Oakes Theater, 2820 NE Sandy Blvd, 775-3881, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 27, $10

closing this week

Dangerous Stages
A drama company, the Human Theatre Project, tries to adapt Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, to the stage and in the process, pursues their deepest, darkest sexual agendas. Vanity Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 230-9303, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Sept 28, $10

Il Trovatore
Tragic operatic melodrama about the troubadour Manrico and the powerful Count di Luna, who battle it out for the love of Leonora. Portland Opera Company, 1515 SW Morrison , 241-1802, Thurs, Sat 7:30 pm, $30-125

The Birds
Aristophanes' comedy about Athenians turning into birds and ruling the world from a kingdom in the clouds. Classic Greek Theater at the Cerf Amphitheater, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, 258-9313, Wed-Fri 12 pm, Sat-Sun 4 pm, through Sept 29, $10-15

The Seven Deadly Sins
Liminal's idea to shave an epic Brechtian opera down to a ludicrous 40 minutes, then stage it in a sleazy meat-market dance club, is one of those ideas that seems like it could only work on paper. Miraculously, it also works in real life. The story is simple: Two girls set out across the country to make money for their impoverished family and along the way, encounter the seven deadly sins in a variety of disturbing and promiscuous ways. JUSTIN SANDERS Liminal, 341 SW 10th, 890-2993, Thurs-Sat 8:30 pm, Thurs 10:30 pm, through Sept 28, $16 (includes one alcoholic beverage)

Current Runs

Chocolate Confessions
Local actress and playwright, Joan Freed, revives her one-woman musical about a chocolate shop owner named Coco Bliss and her slew of whacky customers. Chocolate Confessions, at the Portland Art Museum, North Wing, 226-0973, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 23, $19-$22

Divinity Bash/nine lives
Alien abductions, bizarre love triangles, and invisible blue dogs are the meat and potatoes of this phantasmagoric take on urban economics.Call in Sick Productions, at the Russell Street Theater, 4321 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 445-7425, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Oct 19, $12

Fuddy Meers
Comedy involving memory loss and a limping, lisping, half-deaf, half-blind man in a ski mask who kidnaps people. Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery St, 274-1717, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Oct 20, $13-$20

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
The trials and tribulations of romantic relationships, showtune style. Triangle Productions' hit production is back for its third year in a row. World Trade Center Auditorium, 121 SW Salmon, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 19, $24-30

The plot of David Todd's brand new play centers around Duane, a prodigal son who returns after a decade to his childhood home, only to find a janitor named Killer at the door instead of his parents. ANNA SIMON Stark Raving, at the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 5, $10-$20

Three improvised monologues based on true stories interweave with three fictional improvised monologues. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 5, $10

Night of the Iguana
A clergyman-turned-tour-guide finds himself on the coast of Mexico, emeshed in relationships with three very different women: a spinster, a sensualist, and a teenager. Tennessee Williams at his steamiest! Artists Repertory Theater, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-9807, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Oct 20, $15-30

The Late Summer Replacement Special
Cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt! God it's liberating! God bless House of Cunt for bringing that wonderful word to the masses. God bless 'em for their incredible late-night sketch comedy, too! Cunt! House of Cunt, at Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Oct 5, $12

Tijuana Picnic
This should be quite an evening of dance. Performance Works' current artist-in-residence, Sally Silvers, will debut new works, including a solo piece influenced by 1980s British bands like The Slits and Penis Envy. Also performing and presenting new works will be Linda Austin, Cydney Wilkes, and Mike Barber. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor, 777-1907, Fri-Sun 8:30 pm, $12-15

Greater Tuna
The plethora of characters that exist in this exploration of