Opening This Week

* Mister Murdery
A killer is on the loose and two nurses sit alone at Citytown General Hospital waiting to see if they're the killer's next victims. An absurd comedy by Stephen Karam. The Cardboard Box Theatre Company, at the Electric Company, 2512 SE Gladstone, 232-7667

One Week Only

* Don Brown and Dan Reynold, Jim Altieri/Joel Taylor/Jonathan Sielaff
Performance art, music, and mixed media from artists like Pecos B and Joshua Camozzi Milligan. 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts, at Polyp and Fury, 3974 N. Mississippi #1, 8 pm, $3

San Francisco Mime Troupe
A political satire showing the US Government turning their terrorist suspicions on none other than Canada. And don't worry, these mimes speak. A benefit for the Portland Alliance. Call 239-4991 or email for tickets. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 233-5798, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, $15-22

Vaudeville Revusical and Novelty Show
Miz Kitty's monthly series keeps on chuggin'. Tonight's lineup includes the sultry belly dancing of Banaz Al Fet, some cheesy accordion madness from Samsonite & Delight-Ya (HA!), and plenty more. Miz Kitty's Parlour, at Artichoke Music Backstage Gate, 3130 SE Hawthorne, 232-8845, Sat 8 pm, $12

Closing This Week

The story of an African American brother/hustler duo living in a seedy boardinghouse. Written by the intensely imaginative Suzan-Lori Parks. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Times vary, call theater for full schedule and info, through Oct 19, $15-30

Current Runs

A Number
With a harshly lit set of a couple chairs and a table, Imago treats A Number almost like an interview, with the protagonist Salter (Tobias Andersen) as the host. It seems at some point in his life, Salter lost his son in a car crash, and so used technology to create a clone. Everything worked fine, except the people who made the clone kept the genetic information and proceeded to make about 20 more versions of the same boy. Imago's production of this is so well staged and acted, it might actually overwhelm Churchill's tricky text, which is extremely plot-driven, yet also strives for ambiguity--a hodgepodge of Usual Suspects-style mystery and social commentary that doesn't quite add up. JWS Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 26, $24

* Another Fine Mess
Another Fine Mess begins in a backstage dressing room before a performance of Waiting for Godot, the actors and stage manager speaking into and staring at a vanity mirror, which in this case happens to be the plane between stage and audience. The mirror device is one of the play's more ingenious conceits, inviting the audience into the actors' own self-scrutiny and paranoia. Yes, Another Fine Mess is "post-9/11" as much as it is postmodern, which may be a hard pill to swallow for those wearied or frustrated by the steady, often scrappy parade of "artists' reactions" to the terrorist attacks of 2001. Luckily, Drukman's play retains Beckett's reciprocal tone of tragedy and comedy, and Portland Center Stage ably humanizes Drukman's self-described "love letter to the theater." TP Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Thurs noon, Sat-Sun 2 pm, Sun, Tues-Wed 7 pm, through Nov 8 , $16-$25

* Faust (Faust)
See review this issue. Liminal Space, 403 NW 5th, 890-2993, Thurs-Sat 9- 11 pm (visitors can come and go) through Nov 1, $6-$8

* Nickel and Dimed
So far, Artists Repertory has a perfect record with these second-stage works, what with last year's excellent Shape of Things and Touch. Now they present Nickel and Dimed, based on Barbara Ehrenreich's hugely popular book, for which she went under cover to work a series of minimum wage jobs. Artists Repertory Theatre, at the IFCC, 5340 N Interstate, 241-1278, Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, 7 pm, through Nov 16, $26-$30

Night Run
Night Run isn't quite a play, just as it isn't really a game--it's both, with the result feeling like a cross between interactive theater and a scavenger hunt. It begins with you receiving an email that informs you of a downtown meeting place and a code phrase. Just like in old spy films, someone approaches you and says something (like, "The moon is shining bright this evening"), to which you respond (with, say, "Indeed, but the wise eagle flies only at midnight"). You're then given an envelope with instructions, and within a few minutes, you've met up with other Night Run participants. Your group is soon hitting spots all over downtown, trying to track down "agents" and put together clues in order to save a hostage. EH Northwest Mystery Theater, 1-800-820-NWMT, Thurs Oct 16, $33

* Scary Movie
Back for its fifth consecutive year, it's the Brody's Halloween "horrorfest," featuring improvised monster movies (extremely fun), hilarious hosts (always a bonus), and prizes (not necessary, but we'll take it). Plus! This year there's a huge display of vintage horror and sci-fi movie memorabilia! Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 1, $12