One Week Only

Portland Theatre Works presents a staged reading of a new work by emerging local playwright Francesca Sanders. Artists Repertory Theatre , 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Mon 7 pm, $5-8

The Wonderful World of One
Wade McCollum performs excerpts from his upcoming play One, and MarchFourth, Kaosmosis' Dahoo Chorus, and the Auracle Dance company all throw down to celebrate the new Wonder Ballroom's grand opening. See feature story, pg. 13. Wonder Ballroom , 128 NE Russell, Sat 9 pm, $12-15

Closing This Week

Fourteen Hundred Thousand & Mud
Pairing the high falutin' braininess of Sam Shepard's surreal bookshelf-as-metaphor drama Fourteen Hundred Thousand with Mud, Maria Irene Fornes' visceral tale of redneck desperation, was an inspired decision, but defunkt's execution doesn't quite do the concept justice. AH Back Door Theatre , 4319 SE Hawthorne, 481-2960, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $8-15

Current Runs

A Lie of the Mind
Love. Hate. Sex. Violence. Familiar enough themes to anyone with a pulse, they're explored with relish in Theatre Vertigo's production of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind. The play opens on a darkened stage, with a phone call between two brothers: Jake (Todd Van Voris) needs help from Frankie (Tom Moorman) after beating his wife so badly that he thinks he's killed her. It turns out his wife, Beth (Julie Starbird), is not actually dead--but Jake's beating has left her brain-damaged. Both Beth and Jake return to their childhood homes, Beth to recover from her injuries, and Jake to brood over the murder he believes he has committed. Enter some pretty disturbed parents and three well-intentioned siblings, and you have a framework within which to explore love's endlessly fucked-up permutations. Vertigo's cast, as per usual, has impressive chemistry. In particular, April Magnusson and Camille Cettina give nuanced performances as Jake and Beth's two very different, though similarly put-upon, mothers, while Chris Porter steals every scene he's in with an oddly endearing performance as the redneck dad who goes hunting to avoid speaking to his wife. Pete Bogh's music, too, is noteworthy: eerie and appropriate, fleshing out the minimal set and heightening the emotional impact of each scene. AH Theatre Vertigo at Theater! Theatre! , 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through July 2, $13-15, Thursdays pay-what-you-can

The always fun Portland Actors Ensemble presents Othello starring Paul Susi as Othello, and Jason Maniccia as Iago. Lovejoy Fountain Park , 4th & SW Lincoln, 467-6573, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through July 9, FREE

Take Me Out
The gay baseball player in Take Me Out, Darren Lemming (Dennis Mosley), isn't just any gay baseball player, he's the BEST gay baseball player, a young, brash, future Hall of Famer who announces his sexuality to the world without a trace of doubt or shame. Bafflingly, the protagonist in this play isn't the gay baseball player in question, but a wizened old veteran, Kippy Sunderstrom (Scott Coopwood), who also serves as narrator to the story, and who comments on the proceedings with witty aplomb. As the liberal, well-read Kippy, the intelligent and wiry Scott Coopwood is typically stellar, upstaging the already neglected predicament of Lemming, which is not abetted by Seattle import Mosley's bland, uninspired performance. Take Me Out calls for many nude shower scenes, which director M. Burke Walker eagerly employs. These moments are obviously intended to show the awkwardness that would occur when a bunch of naked alpha-males suddenly find a naked homo in their midst, but, in a serious flub, Greenberg begins the play with Lemming already out of the closet, and so the audience never gets to see what it was like when everything was nice and hetero and okay. Deprived of the should-have-been fascinating before-and-after comparison, the ubiquitous naked men feel superfluous--shock value tactics tacked on to truss up an already trussed up situation. JWS Artists Repertory Theatre , 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through July 3, $15-35

The Rocky Horror Show
Before The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a cult film classic, it was a cult play classic by Richard O'Brien. Frankly, we're pretty tired of the whole Rocky Horror deal, but this thing has Wade McCollum as Frank-n-furter, so we'll stay positive. Triangle Productions , Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 224-8499, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through July 9, $30-35


Improv vets Marilyn Divine and Stephanie Wichmann present another installment of their "two-woman sketch comedy extravaganza." Brody Theater , 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, June 24-25, July 1 & 8 @ 9 pm, $8