Opening This Week

* Time-Based Art Festival
PICA's press release description of this seminal event: "What is time-based art? A way to encapsulate the variety of art forms that utilize and manipulate the passage of time." That sounds like an overblown, artsy fartsy excuse to get a bunch of arts and culture events in one place, at one time... which is fine with us. You don't need to give us a reason to go see the nationally recognized puppet opera Love's Fowl, or a world premiere dance piece from incredible choreographer Donna Uchizno, or new works from Linda Austin, House of Cunt, Minh Tran, Amos Latteier, and a slew of other rad local and national performers and artists. Time-based art, Shmime-based art; we're just down some for a truly dope week-and-a-half in the Portland art scene! Various venues, see page 11 for full schedule and info, 248-4335, Through Sept 21

A Piece of My Heart
PAC opens its season with a revival of a show it put on last year: Shirley Lauro's play about six women who served in Vietnam. Four were nurses, one was a Red Cross volunteer, and you guessed it, the sixth woman was a country western singer. Chock full of heartache, desperation, and the ugliness of war. Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery St, 274-1717, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 18, $13-$20

Les Femmes Brodia & Diabolical Experiments
The Brody opens its season with an old standard, Diabolical Experiments, in which the improv style and form are switched up each week, and a new show, Les Femmes Brodia, an all-women improvisational showcase. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Experiments Fri 8 pm, Les Femmes Sat 8 pm, through Oct 4, $10

* Medea
What could be better than the story of a woman who murders her kids to get back at her husband, told under the serene beauty of a September sky in Portland? Well, maybe a lot of things, but still, companies in this town don't do epic tragedy very often. Check this one while it lasts. Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon, at Reed College, Cerf Amphitheater, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, 1-800-922-TIXX, Sat-Sun 4 pm, Thurs-Fri noon, through Sept 28, $10-$15

The Women
The 1939 film adaptation of this lovely little play featured over 130 different roles, all played by women. Chances are Triangle won't be able to squeeze quite that many ladies onto its stage, but The Women, a campy send-up to catty socialites, should still be fun for all. Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, through Oct 5, $19-$23

You can always count on Artists Repertory to show us whatever was hot in New York, last year. They open the 2003 season with last year's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Topdog/Underdog, the story of an African American brother/hustler duo living in a seedy boardinghouse. It's written by the intensely imaginative Suzan-Lori Parks. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Opens Fri, call for showtimes, $15-30

Weeping Woman
In the glut of season openers this week, Stark Raving presents the lone psychological horror piece. Amy Wheeler's Weeping Woman depicts an imprisoned woman's hallucinatory journey through the dark corners of her mind. Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 11, $18

One Week Only

A Bowl of Soup, What She Found There & Hit and Run
Readers Theatre is back for a third season, with a show themed simply as "Connections." Pretty open, but interpreted here through stories of a man in mourning, some weird Alice In Wonderland-obsessed woman, and a baseball player looking to play one last game. These are READINGS of plays; not full-blown performances. Readers Theatre Repertory, at the Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th Ave, 295-4997, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $8

Closing This Week

The Full Monty
For those who didn't get enough jiggling man flesh in the film, here comes the stage version of the heartwarming tale of six fat, pasty steelworkers who become exotic male dancers. Broadway in Portland, at Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 241-1407, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, Sun 1 pm & 6:30 pm, $23-$63

Current Runs

Cloud 9
See review this issue. defunkt theatre, at the Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 993-9062, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Oct 11, $8-$15

Waiting For Godot
See review this issue. Radiant Theatre, at Artichoke Music, 5340 N. Interstate, 502-8261, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Sept 27, $10-$12