Opening This Week

Celebrity Row
PCS presents a new work by Itamar Moses, a hypothesis of what might transpire were four of the world's most notorious death row inmates—Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Luis Felipe, and Ramzi Yousef—given one hour to talk with each other each day. Portland Center Stage, PCPA Building, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Opens Fri, runs Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Thurs 12 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm

Don't You Know Who I Think I Am?
Stephen Lisk presents a new one-man show directed by Victoria Parker. Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 230-2090, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, $10

Hit Me in the Stomach
A new one at Imago's always exciting; Carol Triffle's latest has a great title and is based on her observations of a gambling casino. Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th, 231-9581, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $10-16

Nixon in China
Portland Opera presents John Adams' modern opera about the week of February 21, 1972, when Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Mao Tse-Tung, and Chou En-Lai gathered in one room to try to work things out. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 241-1802, 7:30 pm Mar 25, 30, & Apr 1, $37-133

The Mark
Stark Raving, as they are wont to do, presents a new play: Gretchen Icenogle's The Mark, in which "three actors play multiple characters whose lives intertwine through three poetic dramas." CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8pm, Sun 7 pm, $10-20

Zaney
The Arts Equity company in the 'Couve presents the premiere of Quintessence honcho Connor Kerns' new play, Zaney, a backstage farce of "lust, need, melodrama, wit, passion, [and] humor." Main Street Theatre, 606 Main Street, (360) 695-3770, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm

Closing This Week

After School Girlfight! Kill! Kill!
Set in the campy '60s and '70s, the 3rd Floor sketch comedy troupe's (operating here under the moniker of Gunhappy Theatrical Ensemble) latest work is comprised of four one-acts, including "Deep Inside the Valley of the Girl Whores," a Russ Meyer-esque babe-fest with huge-breasted bad girls killing a pile of male hillbillies to get their hidden cash. There are very strong elements in After School... but it needs to be cut down. JWS The Miracle Theatre, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Fri-Sat 8 pm, ends Mar 25, $12

City of Gold
At best, City of Gold is hilarious, poignant, and surprising; at worst, muddled and confusing. As the prostitute Gussy L'Amour, Erin Leddy superbly embodies the spirit of the entire production during a scene when Gussy, onstage at a dance hall, acts out a conversation between a pickaxe and a hankie. The scene is funny, touching, and slightly baffling. This principle applies to the production as a whole: I'm not really sure why the orgy scene involving the fellatio of a golden banana and the ensuing fruit pulp come shot was necessary, but I'm glad it happened. Really glad. AH Goldsmith Building, 10 NW 5th, 235-5284, Thurs-Sun 8 pm, ends Mar 26, $8-15 sliding

Current Runs

Amber Martin
Once again, Amber Martin mounts the tiny stage at the Wild Abandon restaurant to dole out her incredible characterizations and musical stylings. Dinner and drinks aren't included, but they're mm mmm good, so come early and treat your date right. Wild Abandon, 2411 SE Belmont, 232-4458, Tues 9 pm, $15

Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai
So, after years and years of hearing about the legendary show that is Cirque Du Soleil, I finally got around to seeing the thing—and lo and behold, for once the hype is true. CDS isn't going to push many of your intellect buttons, but as far as sheer, jaw-dropping, visceral spectacle goes, you'll never see anything better. Colorful, fantastical costumes abound, filling out the seams of what amounts to basically a series of acrobatic stunts that will thrill you, delight you, and at times, terrify you. Like the amazing closing number, wherein a squadron of red warrior types mount giant swinging platforms that hurl them through the air at dizzying heights. Or the part where twin eagle-looking dudes soar over the audience, twisting and writhing as they grip bungee cords with one hand, and one hand only. JWS The Grand Chapiteau (a big blue and yellow tent), 2750 SW Moody Ave, 1-800-678-5440, Tues-Sat 8 pm, Fri-Sat 4 pm, Sun 1 & 5 pm, $35-129.50

Crowns
PCS presents Regina Taylor's popular gospel-infused musical, based on the book, Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. Portland Center Stage, PCPA Building, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, Thurs 12 pm, $15-56

The War Project
Sojourn and Michael Rohd present the company's latest endeavor, The War Project, an investigation of, well, war, culled from a year's worth of interviews and research. Sojourn Space, 215 SE 9th, 228-7231, Thurs-Fri 8 pm, Sat-Sun 7 pm, Sat 10 pm, $10-15

In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer
The NW Classical Theatre Company presents Heiner Kipphardt's play about the secret Atomic Energy Commission's investigation in 1954 that cleared the way for Oppenheimer to head up the Manhattan Project. Shoe Box Theater, 2110 SE 10th, 274-4771, Thurs-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm, $12-18

Dance

Leigh Warren & Dancers
White Bird presents a big-time Australian dance company that provides a "fascinating juxtaposition of high-energy dance and computer generated screen media." Lincoln Hall, PSU, SW Broadway & Market, 725-3307, 8 pm Mar 23-25, $14-25