Opening This Week

D.O.A.: A Primer for the Afterlife
The Box Ensemble, a new physical theater company, presents a new musical about the afterlife, with vaudeville, dance, commedia, and clown performance leading the charge. Tribe Theatre, 403 NW 5th, 227-3976, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Sept. 17, $10-12, Thursdays pay-what-you-can

One Week Only

San Francisco Poets' Theater
Led by experimental gay author/poet Kevin Killian, the San Francisco Poets' Theater produces collaborations between writers and visual artists. The writers write the plays; the visual artists stick stuff in to spice up the background. Rehearsals are nonexistent, with people just reading right off the scripts, most of whom aren't even actors. Tonight's work, The Red and the Green, was written by Killian and Bay Area videographer Karla Milosevich. Pulliam Deffenbaugh, 522 NW 12th, 228-6665, Fri 7:30 pm, $5

Closing This Week

As You Like It
The Portland Actors Ensemble concludes its summer outdoor production 'midst the leafy brick walls of Academia. Eliot Hall Chapel at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 467-6573, Sat-Mon 3 pm, free

Current Runs

Pure Gold Baby 2005
After a successful run in the fall of 2004, playwright Michelle Keil has rewritten this play about strippers, which contains nudity and other stripper-related nuances, or lack thereof. Milk & Honey Studio, 2512 SE Gladstone, 224-8499, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Sept 17, $25-30

The Flu Season
See review this issue. Theatre Vertigo at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Sept 24, $15

Roxanne Butterfly w/Shoehorn VonTap Trio
A special cross-national tap jam with Portland's own saxophone-toodling tapper Shoehorn, and New York's Roxanne Butterfly, once described by the New York Times as "the Coltrane of dancers." We have no idea what that means. Vine Leaves, 2221 SE Hawthorne, 231-6612, Tues 8 pm, $10


Bright Colors and Comfy Couches
The upstart all-female sketch comedy troupe XXX Chromosome are all about the punchlines; their style is to present a bizarre situation that is suddenly explained in a quick, comic twist of a finale. In one, a young lady (Bri Pruett) struggles to fill out a ludicrous SAT-style test with questions involving baffling leaps in knowledge and logic. In the end we learn it's all part of the hiring process for a certain lame grocery store chain. This idea, in and of itself, isn't so bad, but stretched out to the length it is by XXX, needs some pretty dazzling filler to rise above the level of what it ends up being: an extended joke. XXX fails to provide such filler; Pruett's fellow test-takers pursue comedy by behaving like drugged monkeys and the questions themselves are just plain confusing. In another scene we learn that a boss' strangely sexually tense firing of her employee is actually a phone-sex commercial advertising "sexy women pretending to be businessmen." Again, a decent joke, but the meat of the sketch, the "business interaction," is painfully unfunny—a rushed, bumpy ride to a punchline that isn't worth the discomfort. JWS Fez Ballroom, 316 SW 11th, 313-6224, Fri 9 pm, through Sept. 2, $7

Summer In Brodavia
The Brody concludes its usual summertime fare: a weekly evening of generally good improv with veterans Tom Johnson, Brad Fortier, Marilyn Divine, and more. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th, 224-0688, Sat 9 pm, $6-9

British Invasion
Tonight's competitive improv event at ComedySportz features two limeys itchin' to take on the Portlanders: Brainne Edge and Steven Catterall. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney, 236-8888, Fri 8 pm, $10


OBT Exposed!
Once again the Oregon Ballet Theater presents its series of nifty, free, outdoor rehearsals beneath a nifty tent set up in downtown Portland. Grab your nifty lunch to go, and stop on niftily by. Plus! Friday evening, 7:30 pm, OBT artistic director Christopher Stowell hosts a FREE screening of the film Broadway Melody of 1940, starring Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. South Park Blocks, SW Park & Salmon, 227-0977, Thurs-Fri 11 am-5 pm, Sun 10 am-3 pm; film screening Fri 7:30 pm, free