opening this week

Porno Stars at Home
See porn stars make coffee and talk about stuff besides gang-banging each other. Paula Productions, at Jack Oakes Theater, 2820 NE Sandy Blvd., 775-3881, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through Apr 12, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Apr 17-26, $10

To Have and Have Had Hadley
A well-titled little play about a playwright turned theater critic who returns to writing plays and casts Hadley, an unrequited love, in the lead role. Dark Porch Productions, at Disjecta, 116 NE Russell, 781-6499, Thurs-Sun 8 pm, through Apr 20, $12

Playwright Joseph Fisher just won 10,000 smackers from the Kennedy Center for this little ditty on a composer living in an arctic wasteland and the journalist who seeks him out. Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through May 3, $10-$15

one week only

Paul Outlaw's one-man show features both Nat Turner and Jeffrey Dahmer. See My What a Busy Week, pg. 15. Vanity Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm & 10:30 pm, Sun 5 pm, $10

No Shame Theater Goes to War
This night of anti-war theater includes pieces written by the hilarious Jeff Goode (he of Poona the Fuckdog fame) and--get this--Lord of the Rings hunk Viggo Mortenson! Elephant Head Productions, at the Northwest Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett, 449-8077, Sun 7 pm, $2-$10 donation

closing this week

Forty Years in the Desert: A Bar Mitzvah Tale
Awkward and nasal, Rob Freedman definitely has the physical tools to embody the 13-year-old version of himself at the core of this one-man show. He's clearly not a trained actor, or even an actor at all, but his presence--topped off by a shiny, bald crown--is endearing, as is his earnest, if cheesy attempt to transition from confusion surrounding his Bar Mitzvah, to confusion surrounding his divorce years later. The show is way too sloppy and heavy-handed to recommend, but it's not boring either, and the largely Jewish audience that showed up the night I attended seemed to love it. JWS Dreams Well Studio, 2857 SE Stark Street, 241-9198, Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Apr 6, $10


Dysfunctional stories of Eastern seaboard denizens are a genre unto themselves, and Amy Freed's Freedomland, about three variously deranged adult children coming to terms with their messed up parents, is a textbook example. Theatre Vertigo at the Russell Street Theater, 2512 SE Gladstone, 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Apr 6, $15

current runs

Happy Days
An alternately hilarious and terrifying character study of a woman buried up to her waist in a completely unexplained mound of dirt, a fantastic symbolic device. As the doggedly cheerful Winnie, Gretchen Corbett reveals a deep well of repression, anxiety, and growing hopelessness and terror with heartbreaking grace and subtlety. When her screams come they are well-earned, and horrible to hear. JWS The Haven Project, at the Back Door Theatre, 4321 SE Hawthorne, 872-9635, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through April 13, $15

Two Sisters and a Piano
Two Cuban sisters are imprisoned in their own house for speaking out against Castro's regime. Their daily lives are monotonous and passionless, and they pine away for some good lovin'. Eventually a love affair begins between the older sis (Quigley Provost-Landrum) and an overeager soldier (Enrique M. Arias) assigned to watch the house. Provost-Landrum, with her resonant voice and sexy intellect, is strong as Maria, and Andrea White, as usual, is bright and alluring as younger sis Sofia. But both performances are wasted on a boring love story that belongs in a check-out line paperback rack. JWS Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-9807, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Apr 27, $15-30

Veronica's Room
Set in 1973, Room follows a cheerful Irish couple as they lure a young woman and her boyfriend back to the mansion they caretake to help a dying child who lives there. They want the woman to impersonate the dying girl's already-dead sister, to give her one last semblance of happiness before she goes. One of the creepiest, well-executed dramatic horror stories I've seen. AS The Cardboard Box Theatre Company, at the Electric Company, 2512 SE Gladstone, 232-7667, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through April 12, $10


Perpetual Motion
Interesting, if slightly random new dance pieces inspired by concepts ranging from the individual's place in the urban landscape, to sleep, to a close friend's journal entries. The show will incorporate visual art by local artists, and is scored by DJ Rundown. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor, 221-5857, Sat-Sun 8 pm, $8-$10


After Hours
Funny improv guys John Breen, Brad Fortier and Tom Johnson will do their funny thing while Patrick Short does a skit called Doors, in which he walks into a room not knowing what's on the other side and goes from there. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 10 pm, $5