Opening This Week

Amber Martin Having snared a primo three-week September run in New York of her excellent solo piece Hi!, the incomparable Amber Martin is doing a couple more of her signature variety shows in the cozy confines of the Wild Abandon restaurant to raise money for the trip. Expect anything, most of all to be profoundly entertained. Wild Abandon , 2411 SE Belmont, 232-4458, Thurs 9 pm, through April 28, $13

Blue/Orange We like Artist Repertory's Second Stage productions, the latest being Joe Penhall's award-winning play about a mental patient in a London hospital who claims to be the son of Muhammad Ali. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center , 5340 N. Interstate, 241-1278, Opens Fri, runs Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 & 7 pm, through May 29, $15-35

Frogz Imago's surefire cashcow has run successfully for five billion straight seasons for good reason: it's really fun to watch. Imago Theater , 17 SE 8th Ave, 221-5857, ex. 3, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, through May 29 , $21-24

Fuente Ovejuna The Miracle's been on a much-needed roll lately, and will try to keep things going with this production of Lope de Vega's play about a 15th-Century Spanish farming town thrown into uproar by an evil ruler. The Miracle Theatre , 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through May 14, $14-17

Closing This Week

O Lovely Glowworm Blind and pain-riddled, the protagonist of Glen Berger's new play is a nameless stuffed goat (a hilariously rudimentary puppet operated and voiced with obvious glee by Ebbe Roe Smith) who knows not what it is or where it is. To understand the mystery of its existence, it enters its own brain. JWS Portland Center Stage , 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $15-55

The Writer's Nightmare A strange but cool-sounding event in which a crew of writers (Matthew B. Zrebski, Francesca Sanders, more) attempt to, with the help of comedic prompts from improvisers, write a play at breakneck speed in front of the audience's very eyes. Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre , 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through April 23, $8

Current Runs

Break, Then Open Newcomer Jessica Wallenfels presents a theater/dance piece based on the writings of Joseph Campbell, and featuring the influences of Anne Bogart, Commedia D'ell Arte, and Afro-Brazilian martial arts. Tribe Theatre , 403 NW 5th, 227-3976, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through April 30, $10

Humble Boy Humble Boy is a sharp, metaphysical comedy of manners. Call it a soap opera for the Sunday crossword puzzle set. Artists Repertory Theatre , 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through May 1, $15-35

Picnic on the Battlefield A "humorous, short, war play by Spanish theater artist, Fernando Arrabal," put on by the usually pretty good Sowelu company. Back Door Theatre , 4319 SE Hawthorne, 230-2090, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through April 30, $8-15

Sordid Lives Sordid Lives is a comedy about a Texas family, replete with dysfunctional daughters, a two-timing husband, and, sure enough, a "cross-dressing Tammy Wynette wanna-be." Triangle Productions , Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through May 7, $17-19

The Vespiary Stark Raving's production of this rare addition to the horror play genre relies heavily on time-tested technical tricks to enhance the goosebump-factor. Elias Foley's ambient sound design is oppressive and seamless and the classic blood-curdling scream is used, but not overused. The result is an orderly, well-sculpted array of familiar gimmicks as entertaining and pleasing as any old-fashioned, scary matinee movie. JWS Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre , 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through April 30, $10-18


Samuel L. Jackson's International Cuisine The sketch comedy troupe Renob Control has been presenting us with progressively larger pieces of delicious fruit every week in an attempt to get us to review this new show. Yesterday we received a watermelon. Will it be enough to get us to review the show...? Tune in next week to find out. Back Door , 4321 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 750-5363, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through April 30, $7


First Impressions, Vol. 4 BodyVox presents the fourth installment in its ongoing, and rarely seen, showcase of work from some of Portland's best choreographers. This go-around features dances from Minh Tran, Eric Skinner, and Jamey Hampton, plus a "hilarious new zombie flick" called Dawn of the Dance, PLUS the BodyVox dancers are HOT. BodyVox , 1300 NW Northrup, 229-0627, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, $25

¡Entusiasmo! If you like the circus, you'll love the spectacle that is Do Jump!, a dance company that specializes in trapeze and other forms of aerial acrobatics. Newmark Theater, Portland Center for the Performing Arts , SW Broadway & Main, 231-1232, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 3 pm, $20-26