opening this week

Ajua! Un guerco va a nacer
An angel and the Devil race to the border for the soul of a child. Entirely in Spanish! The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Tues-Wed 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, through Dec 21, $7

Following in the tradition of the utterly famous Frogz, here comes a brand new smorgasbord of mask, illusion, spacemen, and hungry anteaters. Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, through Dec 29, $14-$24

Milagro on Calle 401k
Miracle on 34th Street gets a face lift in the Miracle's version, which takes place in Silicon Valley and features Santa Claus on trial for fraud. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 21, $12

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
The pretty much always interesting Lightbox Studio presents a play by Frank McGuinness about three Western prisoners trapped in a Beirut prison. Lightbox Studios, at Ohm, 1800 E Burnside, 231-0839, Fri-Sun 8 pm, through Dec 22, $10

The SantaLand Diaries and A Christmas Memory
David Sedaris' short story, "The SantaLand Diaries," is one of the funniest stories ever written. It's hard to imagine anything topping it in terms of pure hilarity, but a stage adaptation should still be a lot of fun. Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Opens Fri, runs Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs 12 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Dec 23, $12-47

closing this week

Woody Guthrie's American Song
Musical depicting the Depression through the eyes, ears, and music of Woody Guthrie. Includes Guthrie classics "Grand Coulee Dam," "Bound For Glory," and "This Land is Your Land." Washington Park's Rose Garden Amphitheater, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, 245-3642, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 8, $10 donation

current runs

A Christmas Twist
Dickens' Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol collide in this send-up to the great novelist. Stars the character, Tiny Twist. Ha! Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, through Dec 15, $17-$23

Antiques Improv Show
Antiques Improv Show is a good time, thanks in large part to the dramatic structure of its source material, which translates perfectly to the improv stage. Just like Antique Road Show, the audience members at Improv Show bring objects to be "appraised" by the two "experts." The two "appraisers" do exactly like real life appraisers, except that they're obviously not actually experts and have to make up the information for each object on the spot. It's a compelling premise in terms of audience participation and also in terms of the improvised "mixed media" tricks that the appraisers utilize to get the rest of the cast involved. Historical reenactments and slide shows are just a couple of examples of what might take place on any given night. JWS Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 2, $10, $9 with item to be "appraised" during the show

Steel Magnolias
Play about women who congregate at a salon. May or may not be as stomach curdling as the film version with Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts. Magdelyn Theatre Company, 40 NW 5th, 310-1628, Thurs-Fri 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 14, $10-$12


Tracy Broyles brings lounge-themed dance works to this cool wine bar. Crush, 1412 SE Morrison, 235-8150, Sun 8 pm, free

Sixth Annual Dance Extravaganza
You'd be amazed at how compelling student choreography can be. The Lewis and Clark dance contingent always puts on a good show. Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, 768-7491, Fri-Sun 7:30 pm, $5-8