Opening This Week

The Duck Variations

Two friends meet in a park and discuss everything from philosophy to ducks in this play by David Mamet. AASYLUM THEATRE, AT THE RUSSELL STREET THEATRE, 116 NE Russell, 775-4324, Fri-Sat, 10 pm, ends Oct. 14, $8

The Fantasticks
Jones and Schmidt's musical about young love that remembers that time in Septermber. OLD SLOCUM HOUSE, 605 Esther Street, 360-697-8383, Through Sept 30

Life is a Dream
Pedro Calderon de la Barca's play from the 1600s embraces magical realism as it tells of kings and imprisoned heirs. MIRACLE THEATER, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat, 8 pm, through Oct 14, $12-16

British comedian Ben Elton's play about a Tarantino-esque Hollywood director whose home is invaded by copycat killers mimicking one of his movies. THEATRE VERTIGO AT THE RUSSELL STREET THEATER, 116 N Russell, 306-0870, Fri-Sat, 8 pm, through Oct. 15, $8

Current Runs

Ain't Nothin' but a Bunch of Bull
Race relations in an Eastern Oregon town are explored in this play by Wil Sharp. SHARP THEATRICS AT THE WILSON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, YWCA, SW 10th and Main, 788-7390, Thur-Sun, 8 pm, $10-12

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Though the playwright has created interesting characters, the plot itself is so predictable, I figured out where it was going by 45 minutes into Act One. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Sun 7 pm, Tues-Thurs 7 pm, ends Sun, Oct 15, $13.50, 241-1ART

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery
A woman's club attempts to stage a murder in this farce. SYLVIA'S CLASS ACT DINNER THEATER, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, 288-6828, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Nov 18, $31.95

The Grass Harp
Musical adaptation of Truman Capote's autobiographical tale of two spinster sisters who serve as mentors to a youth. LAKEWOOD THEATRE COMPANY AT LAKEWOOD THEATER FOR THE ARTS, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thur-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Oct 15, $20

I Ought to Be in Pictures
Neil Simon's play about a teen who goes to Hollywood to break into pictures and meets her long-lost father. IRVING STREET PLAYERS, AT FIRST IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 1816 NW Irving, Fri-Sat, 7:30 pm, $3

The musical about nunly hijinks. HILLSBORO ACTORS REPERTORY THEATER, 230 East Main St, 693-7815, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $10

A comedy by Tom Griffin. PORTLAND ACCESSIBLE THEATRE AT THE INTERSTATE FIREHOUSE CULTURAL CENTER, 5340 North Interstate Ave, 236-7456, Fri-Sat, 8 pm, $10

* Suburban Motel Part 1
Clearly, the audience favorite of this double-barreled story is Phillie, spends most of his time on stage depreciating his own self-worth and getting needlessly worked up over concepts of justice. STARK RAVING THEATER, AT THEATER! THEATRE!, 3430 SE Belmont St, 232-7072, Thurs-Sun 7:30, Thurs-Sat 4 pm, ends Sept 30, $8-17

Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight
Mildly entertaining at moments, the play is middlebrow trash lacking only the pre-curtain steak and potatoes. TRIANGLE PRODUCTIONS! AT THEATER! THEATRE!, 3430 SE Belmont St, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, through Sept 30, $15-17

The woods
David Mamet's play about two lovers who use a weekend getaway to learn about each other. DEFUNKT THEATRE, AT THE BACK DOOR THEATER, 4319 SE Hawthrone Blvd, 235-8779, Thur-Sat, 8 pm, Sun, 4 pm, through Oct 21, $5-15