Opening This Week

The Balcony
It's hard to find noteworthy college productions in this town, but this production of Jean Genet's classic is directed by Lewis & Clark prof Stepan Simek, whose rendition of Angels in America a couple years back was pretty spectacular—this time around he has a cast of 20 and a crew of 50 at his disposal. Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill, 768-7495, Nov 4-5, 10-12, 7:30 pm, $3-8

Kicking off its 41st season, Portland Opera presents Puccini's massively passionate thriller about a famous diva who sacrifices herself to the lustful Scarpia so he won't torture her lover. Keller Auditorium, SW 3rd and Clay, 790-ARTS, Nov 5, 8, 10, 12, 7:30 pm, $35-127

Romeo and Juliet
The ever-spunky NW Classical Theatre Company presents a stripped down rendition of the Shakespeare standard. Shoe Box Theater, 2110 SE 10th, 274-4771, Fri-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm, $12-18

One Week Only

24 Hour Plays
Always a fun time, Tribe Theatre presents another installment of the 24 Hour Plays, in which actors, writers, and directors create new plays overnight, then perform them riding high on the fumes of exhaustion. Tribe Theatre & Art Gallery, 403 NW 5th, 227-3976, Sat 8 pm, $10

Language of the Nightmare
This year's avant-approved Enteractive Language Festival is in full effect, presenting tonight Societas Insomnia, a "Nightmare Company" that uses "fire and pain and sex and horror" to (to put it mildly) scare the living Christ out of you. Sabala's Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne, 238-1646, Sun 9:30 pm, $13

Current Runs

Bug takes place in a motel room outside of Oklahoma City, inhabited by Agnes (an endearingly haggard Valerie Stevens), a lonely woman who has never gotten over the loss of her child. When Agnes meets Peter (Jeffrey Jason Gilpin), an eerie young homeless man who shares her taste for alcohol and cocaine, she lets him sleep on her floor. Soon they're sleeping together, a pairing of both Biblical and Oedipal subtext. The couple spends their days drinking, doing coke, and scouring the apartment for, well, bugs. Peter's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, and he tells Agnes he believes that the government implanted him with contagious tracking devices in the form of genetically modified aphids. Agnes is drawn into his web of paranoia, and the two of them grow increasingly frantic in their attempts to find and destroy the bugs. Bug is bloody, vulgar, and full of balls-out nudity. It's also genuinely challenging, but ART's ensemble gets it all right, from the note-perfect sound design to the hallucinatory mind-fuck of the play's final moments. AH Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 20, $15-40

La Noche Eterna (The Night Eternal
Miracle salutes Mexico's Day of the Dead with a play about a dead dude who can't get into the Aztec underworld because no living person will build an altar for him. The Miracle Theatre, 525 SE Stark, 236-7253, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 13, $10-18

Pride and Prejudice
PCS kicks off its mainstage season with Marcus Goodwin's lively stage adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the whimsical tale of Elizabeth Bennet, a fiery young lass who... who... ZZZZZZ... Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed & Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Thurs noon, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Nov 20, $15-56

Tao Soup
After a successful run in L.A., Scott Kelman returns home with this "matchless opportunity for creative spiritual nourishment." Brooklyn Bay, 1825 SE Franklin, Bay K, 777-5879, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Nov 13, $12-15


First Annual Food + Shelter Festival
Local choreographer Kathleen Keogh plays festival director, having culled together a nice little weekend package of improvised dance and music. Friday finds us with the always engaging Linda Austin pairing off with Seattle pianist/vocalist Cristin Miller, plus work from Carolyn Stuart, Patrick Gracewood, Delisa Myles, Butoh practitioner Mizu Desierto, and Portland guitarist Jean Paul Jenkins. Saturday brings Karen Nelson, a collaboration between electronic musician Zachary Reno and Claire Barratt, plus Janice McKeachern, Tim DuRoche, and Doug Theriault. There are cool workshops offered all weekend as well—check for the full skinny. Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th, 249-0989, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $10-12

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
White Bird presents the Portland return of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, with guest choreography by the awesomely named Nacho Duato and Irish artist Maguerite Donlon. White Bird at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 790-2787, 7:30 pm, Nov 9, $19-43

Keith Goodman
Continuing their diversion into "cross-pollinating arts experiences," Sowelu presents local Afro-Caribbean-themed choreographer and Dance Gatherer honcho Keith Goodman's first new work in years. Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 230-2090, 8 pm Nov 4-5, 11-12, 19, $15