opening this week

Orlando Eats Children With whine
Vanity and Triangle Productions are putting out new solo productions at a frantic rate as part of their Voices in the Wilderness project: a series of solo alternative performances. This latest one by mask artist Alyssa Ravenwood has a disturbing title made more disturbing by the fact it's a coming-of-sexual-age comedy. Vanity Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Mar 15, $10

The Laramie Project
Seems like this play about the murder of Matthew Shepard has been done about 10 times in Portland. It's issue driven (gay prejudice) and gimmick driven (its structure stems from real-life interviews), which are two sketchy premises for a play. Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, 768-7495, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, $8

one week only

Victoria: Three Intimate Acts of Love
In honor of International Women's Day, three women perform three monologues about sexuality, loss, and healing. One monologue focuses on an aging woman who still has a burnin' in her loins. Portland State University, Smith Center, 1825 SW Broadway, 254-8334, 2 pm, by donation

closing this week

Lilly, the Felon's Daughter
American Heritage revives the Victorian American melodrama, in which feisty villains twirl their mustaches and cackle maniacally, damsels in distress scream prettily, and a live piano bangs out accompaniment. Washington Park's Rose Garden Amphitheater, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, 245-3642, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $10 donation

Outrage
Extremely young playwright Itamar Moses is very pleased with the education he received at prestigious Yale university, and is very eager to share what he learned there. His new play romps recklessly throughout time, touching on Socrates, Gallileo, Aristotle, and Bertolt Brecht. The excessive historical and philosophical padding is intended to shine light on a modern story of hypocrisy at a liberal arts institution, and it kind of does, but most of the time feels sort of arbitrary. Still, there's no questioning Moses' ambition, or his razor-sharp wit. Now that he's done jizzing out everything he knows, he may be able to pump out something great. PCS' production of his debut is huge, but far too glossy. There is no place for a movie-style soundtrack in the middle of a dialogue-heavy play. Bringing violins and organs in during the sad parts can make something smart and edgy seem as manipulative as Patch Adams. JWS Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs 12 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Mar 9, $12-47

current runs

Child of Pleasure
Writer William S. Gregory has loaded this chronicle of the 17th-century philosopher-courtesan Ninon L'Enclos with witty dialogue. The performances are nicely understated and the staging by director Angie Lawless simple, but elegant. An entertaining production, even if the passionate and indulgent presence of L'Enclos herself is strangely absent. JWS Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Mar 15, $16-$18

Between Two Worlds
Nothing expresses the power of love to transcend life and death like a stage full of puppets, and nobody does puppets better 'round these parts than Tears of Joy. Tears of Joy Theatre, PCPA, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-0557, Sat 8 pm, through Mar 22, $10-$14

Collage: "True Stories from the Inside"
Marguerite Scott unveils a slew of surreal characters both tragic and darkly comic in this one-woman show. Play Workshop Theatre at Coho Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh, 274-6838, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Mar 15, $6-$10

Sirena, Queen of the Tango
The Miracle chimes in on the stage-adaptation-of-film-noir movement with this spicy drag-queen/detective farce. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Mar 15, $13-$15

dance

Holy Goats!
More improvisational movement, sound, and bagels featuring, this month, the contact improv of Nat Newburger, the digital vocal cords of Jim Altieri, and the danceliciousness of Emily Stone. Plus... more! Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th Ave, 777-1907, Sun 2 pm, $7 (includes coffee and bagel)

comedy/improv

Illegal Cock Fight
There's nothing fancy about the 3rd Floor. They make funny skits and they make them well. The 3rd Floor, at the Miracle Theatre, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through Mar 15, $10

ComedySportz-After Hours
The improv group known as Your Other Left presents an entire musical, made up on the spot and based on a single audience suggestion. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 10 pm, through Mar 14, $5