Opening This Week

Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights
defunkt theatre brings to life Gertrude Stein's wicked take on the Faust legend, which marries music and poetry with Stein's own unique, challenging voice. Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 230-2090, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $10-15

The Fantasticks
Portland Center Stage hearkens back to a time of starry-eyed American innocence, with this musical tale of young love just prior to the Great White Disillusionment of the 1960s. Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 12 pm, 8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, 7 pm, Tues-Wed 7 pm, $15-56

The Love of the Nightingale
With this retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Philomele, Theatre Vertigo addresses the weighty themes of violence, repression, and the importance of language. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 286-3456, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $15

Closing This Week

The Cold Comedy Concoction
Though there are a few moments of hilarity, most of the material in Comedy falls flat—and the sight of skilled actors struggling to make the best of half-assed material never fails to leave me cold. AH Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thu-Sat 8 pm through Jan 14, $10-20

Dance

Conjunto di NERO
With this acclaimed production, Emio Greco|PC explores the boundaries between light and darkness, in a blend of classical and tribal dance that promises to explore the limits of the human body. Lincoln Hall, PSU, SW Broadway & Market, 725-3307, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $14-15

Comedy/Improv

Resolution Revolution!
Next Best Thing rings in the new year with an all-improv'd show inspired by an audience member's New Year's resolution. Bring on the fat jokes! Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th