Opening This Week

Love and Lust
See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, 238-8899, Fri-Sat 7 pm, through Oct 23, $10

Pure Gold Baby
A new play conceived by Michelle Keil and Sherry Okamura about the seedy world of exotic dancing. We don't think Elizabeth Berkley will be making an appearance, though at 30 bucks a crack, they could almost afford her. Milk & Honey Studio, 2512 SE Gladstone, 224-8499, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 13, $25-30

* Toxic Avenger: The Musikill
It's the theatrical event you've been waiting for: an original stage musical inspired by the classic Troma schlock-fest, The Toxic Avenger, about a nerdy janitor who falls in a vat of toxic waste and mutates into a monstrous defender of justice. Disjecta, 116 NE Russell, 335-6979, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat 4 pm, through Oct 30, $15

One Week Only

* Fever Theater Benefit
The rapidly up and coming Fever Theater raised eyebrows in March with their superbly intimate Sneaky Little Armageddons. Now they're raising money for the next endeavor with an evening of crazy fun from bands The Standard, Loch Lomond, Hurtbird, and Iretsu, as well as the company members themselves, who will be sneaking about, tickling your palate with various theatrical shenanigans. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Fri 9 pm, $5

* Little Shop of Horrors
Even with "Suddenly Seymour," one of the greatest showtunes in the history of the world, no stage rendition of Little Shop of Horrors can EVER top the fantastic film version with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. Sorry 'bout that. Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 790-ARTS, Oct 19-23 @ 7:30 pm, Oct 23 @ 2 pm, Oct 24 @ 1 & 6:30 pm, $23-64

* Miz Kitty's Parlour Vaudeville Revusical & Novelty Show
Miz Kitty's monthly evening of fun and revelry has returned for a third year, this time in a bigger venue. She's got a bang-up opening lineup, too, with tap dancer Shoehorn, weird film guy Dennis Nyback, and the oddball antics of Reuben Nisenfeld. Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi, 288-3231, Sat 8 pm, $12

Closing This Week

* A Murder of Crows
Set amid the bubbling primordial ooze of superfund America, Mac Wellman's Crows finds a family as its centerpiece, a split nucleus in the nuclear age. Susannah (Frances Binder) and Raymond (Ben Plont) are a daughter-father pair bound by a common curiosity, a craving for destruction, and a disregard for the materialist age of civilization. Both actors provide the play with a spooky charm, with Binder as the disarmingly cool poetess and Plont filling the stage with a furious, glacially impressive performance. TP Back Door Theater, 4321 SE Hawthorne, 993-9062, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $8-15

Lorca in a Green Dress
The first production in this fall's two-part "Cruz craze." Portland Center Stage will deliver the second Nilo Cruz play in November with their rendition of Anna in the Tropics. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $14-17

Current Runs

Below the Belt
The relatively new Tribe Theatre presents another one of those "modern day workplace" plays, written by Richard Dresser. Tribe Theatre, 403 NW 5th, 227-3976, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 30, $10-15

Duck Variations
It's hard to go wrong with early David Mamet works. The awkwardly named Little Bro Big Sista theater company presents this production of his play about two dudes kicking it on a bench. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate, 267-9475, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, through Oct 30, $12-15

King Lear
See review this issue. Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Oct 31, $15-55

The Mercy Seat
Ben (Leigh J. Guyer) is a Manhattan business-type, a husband, and a father who works in the World Trade Center and is having an affair with his boss, Abby (Karen Trumbo). The dawn of 9/12/01 finds the adulterous couple hiding out in Abby's apartment, saved from the 9/11 bombings the day before by a spontaneous break from work for a quickie blowjob. In the wake of terrible tragedy, Ben has a realization: Since nobody, including his family, knows if they're even alive, he and Abby have the perfect chance to run away to a new life, no strings attached. JWS Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Oct 24, $15-35

* W! The Musical
Kevin-Michael Moore plays our fearless leader in this musical send-up to arguably the worst president in American history. Triangle Productions, Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct. 30, $17-23

Dance

Movement as Metaphor
See review this issue. Oregon Ballet, at Keller Auditorium, SW 3rd & Clay, 222-5538, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, $7-90