Opening This Week

A Devil Inside Theatre Vertigo presents a comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire, who, despite the fact he's agreed to write the books for upcoming musical adaptations of both Betty Boop and Shrek, is a stellar playwright. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Apr 2, $15

Illusions Tony Kushner is receiving all sorts of Portland love these days. Illusions is one of his more obscure works, telling the tale of a father who enlists a magician to help him find his estranged son. Directed by Stephen Weeks. Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, 768-7495, March 4-5, 10-12 @ 7:30 pm, $8

No Exit See "My, What A Busy Week!" Pg. 17. Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Opens Wed Mar 8, runs Tues-Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sat 1:30 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Apr 9, $18-24

One Week Only

Cabaret Boris & Natasha This time around, Performance Works' ongoing cabaret event features ViewMaster filmmaker Vladimir, choreographer Tracy Broyles, the strange music of the Portland Bike Ensemble, and vintage Super 8 footage from Linda Austin. Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th Ave, 777-1907, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $8-12

Current Runs

Recent Tragic Events Written by Six Feet Under scribe Craig Wright, Recent Tragic Events occurs on 9/12/01, in the apartment of Waverly, who readies herself in her Minneapolis apartment for, of all things, a blind date. Her TV blares carnage from the streets of downtown New York, and her mother calls with frantic updates regarding the search for her twin sister, a NYC resident. But Waverly is committed to seeing this date through, if only for the distraction value. Put on by the brand new all-star theater company Third Rail Repertory, which juggles Wright's blend of realistic dialogue and surrealistic tricks with masterful nonchalance. JWS Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Mar 12, $21

Beijing Modern Dance Certain segments of the Beijing Modern Dance company's touring show Rear Light feel like organic extensions of its alleged inspiration, Pink Floyd's The Wall (both the album and the film)--synchronized, fluid stretches of movement that fit the meandering music as if both were developed simultaneously, and not at the far ends of a 25-year gap. Other segments are fascinating examples of choreography and technical virtuosity... that could have any music as a backdrop and achieve the same effect. Theatrical, hip as hell, and endlessly inventive, Beijing Modern Dance features a dozen stunningly athletic, trench coat-clad Chinese dancers engaging each other in all manners of quirky physical interaction. In one scene a spotlight descends from the ceiling and gets swung around in menacing loops like an illuminated tether ball of death, the dancers whirling and twirling to dodge it. In another scene, a single dancer is surrounded, crowded by the others, who, in unison, remove their coats, and throw them up in the air, setting him free. The moments that seem to most parallel the rather tedious, self-indulgent music are the ones that stress isolation; a lone figure flailing on an empty stage; an individual left still standing as everyone else collapses. Rear Light never seems like an essential byproduct of The Wall's ever-lingering influence, but as a showcase of dance artistry and technical virtuosity on its own terms, it's sensational. JWS Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 790-ARTS, Wed 7:30 pm, $19-43 Body, Mind, Spirit The Oregon Ballet Theatre presents its newest concoction, an evening of three modern ballets, including a world premiere from artistic director Christopher Stowell entitled "The Impending Hour," a tribute to his relatively new home of Oregon and what makes it so darn special: rain. Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 222-5538, March 5, 11-12 @ 7:30 pm, March 6 @ 2 pm, $7-90