Opening This Week

Alice In Bed
The feminist-themed Integrity Productions presents the kickoff to its 2005/2006 season with Susan Sontag's riff on the sickly but brilliant Alice James, sister of Henry and William. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 286-3456, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Dec 11, $5-15

This sounds like a premise for a Wes Anderson flick, in which a cast and crew of earnest high schoolers try to stage Mary Zimmerman's Tony Award-winning riff on Ovid's ancient tale. Oh, and the action takes place in a swimming pool. Grant High School, 2245 NE 36th, 916-5160, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, through Nov 19, $8

One Week Only

Wear Your Wings
The Nomadic physical theater company presents a fundraiser that'll be fun for both young and old. From 6:30 to 7:30 kids can catch a show called How to Fly, which incorporates stilts, masks, acrobatics, and puppets made by Mudeye's Bruce Orr. Then the party really begins as performers like Adam the Great, Tamara Walker, and Toby Lawrence hit the stage. Liberty Hall, 311 N Ivy, 358-3441, 6:30 - 10 pm, $7-25

Current Runs

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

Nixon's Nixon
CoHo Theater envisions the conversation between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger the night before Nixon's resignation. In a performance that seems calculated to show a different side of Nixon, Duffy Epstein overshoots and misses Nixon entirely. Epstein's unwillingness to simply do a Nixon impression is understandable, particularly given the script's thematic emphasis on the performance aspect of politics. But while forgoing the glower is one thing, a complete reinvention of the character is another. Epstein's Nixon seems histrionic and weak, rather than, as script and historical circumstance require, a strong man coming unhinged as his reputation and political legacy collapse. The resulting figure is impossible to reconcile with Nixon's weighty persona, and too insubstantial, unfortunately, to carry the production. AH Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 26, $19-22

Not... Not... Not... Not... Not... Enough Oxygen
This 1971 Caryl Churchill short is set in a post-apocalyptic 2010 London. Citizens of "the Londons" pen themselves inside their minuscule cubby-flats for fear of the outdoors. Not...Not..., with its bleak sets and breathless dialogue, is designed to convey tension. Indeed, I felt tense, though it was mainly from the discomfort in watching the actors overacting, underacting, and continually missing the mark. Much more rewarding is the second act opener, Heart's Desire. The actors here get a better handle on Churchill's playlet about a couple waiting for the return of their grown daughter from Australia. About 20 lines in, the play rewinds to the beginning. Each time it begins, we get a little further toward their daughter's arrival. As the rewinding of the play (and occasional fast forwarding) becomes regular, one can imagine a playwright agonizing over the many dramatic possibilities and ultimately incorporating them all. WG Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th, 231-9581, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Nov 13, $10-16

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, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Tues-Thurs noon, Sat - Sun, 2 pm matinees, through Nov 20, $15-56

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, through Nov 27, $12-18


Keith Goodman's One
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 11-12, 19, $15

Oslund + Co./Dance
Mary Oslund's generally terrific ensemble presents an evening of repertory works (60 Seconds, Fog, more), plus a sneak preview of their brand new full-length piece Gitanjali, to be performed in April. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 221-5857 x3, Fri-Sun 8 pm, $10-14