Opening This Week

4 N 1

The brand new Butterfly Productions presents four new shows by four local, female playwrights. Temple Ballroom, basement level, 6401 SE Foster, 493-4203, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Sept 1, $5-8

Beauty and the Beast
Beautiful, courageous, and intelligent Belle gets it on with an ugly-ass monster. Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 790-ARTS, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, Thurs, Sat 2 pm, Sun 1, 6:30 pm, through Aug 26, $22-60

OBT Exposed!
A behind-the-scenes peek at a dancer's day as they take class, rehearse, restage, and create works for the 2001/02 season. South Park Blocks, SW Park & Salmon, 222-5538, Starts Mon, 10 am-4 pm daily, through Sept 2, free

Closing This Week

* Delusions of Darkness
You don't need to read Naked Lunch to enjoy this mish mash of Burroughs-inspired set pieces. All you really need to do is open your mind to a world in which plot and character development take second stage to mood and lasting images. Director Lisa L. Abbot does much with the Back Door's limited space, utilizing smoke, lights, and jazz to create the sort of seedy underbelly that fans of the beat generation will feel righ at home it. The events that actually occur in this underbelly are somewhat arbitrary. There's a strung out writer, a voluptionous bartender, some carzy hick paramedics, and several other wacky wacks. The rest is up to you... Asylum Theater at the Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 777-2771, Fri-Sat 10:30, through Aug 18, $10

Ernest In Love
A musical based on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. Lakewood Theatre Company at Lakewood Theater for the Arts, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Aug 19, $18-20

Full Metal Pantsuit
Maximum capacity sketch comedy. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 3rd Floor: 258-1681, Toad City: 736-1027, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $8

Night Baseball
The follow-up to Theatre Vertigo's, The Baptism, this similarly-themed play about racial violence portrays five men who play poker every month to see who gets first crack at kicking a random black man's ass. It's actually a pretty disturbing premise, and the show cruises along for a good while despite an avalanche of hackneyed racist diatribes from its blue-collar cast. It's helped greatly by the performance of Don Sky, who is touching, hilarious, and creepy as the crotchety old father of one of the buddies. Once his character goes quiet, and the play gets serious about its issue, things get a whole lot less subtly powerful, and a whole lot more melodramatic. Russell Street Theater, 116 NE Russell, 306-0870, Fri-Sat 10 pm, through Aug 18th, $8

Stupid Kids
The kids in this play try to survive the harsh realities of high school with little more than drugs and Led Zeppelin to sustain them. Hey, that sounds like MY high school experience! You callin' me stupid!? Theater! Theater!, 3430 SE Belmont Ave, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Aug 18, $5-$12

The Baptism
A religious debate filtered through the plot of a young boy seeking salvation in a Baptist church after getting caught jerking off during his daily prayer sessions. Playwright Amiri Baraka's challenging script is lyrical, and often ambiguous, but still contains a carefully structured sequence of dramatic action. Theatre Vertigo seems to have forgotten this fact in their eagerness to give sweaty, shouting power to every word of the poetic dialogue. The result is an unending stream of hyperactive mania. EVERY moment feels like it's supposed to be powerful, which means that the moments that actually are powerful seem less powerful, or in this case, not powerful at all. Russell Street Theater, 116 NE Russell , 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 9 pm, through Aug 18, $10

Current Runs

* Come, Pee Your Pants
It's not pee-your-pants funny, as promised in the title, but it's definitely not boring either. It's really nothing but lighthearted sketch comedy. Most of the sketches are a bit too long to be called sketches--and as a result, invariably fall flat. Fortunately the writing/acting team composed of Sean Nelson and Josh Thorpe has excellent comic timing and radiates a lot of good energy. The duo brings life to some material that deserves to be dead and buried. Six on Shakespeare, at the Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 3rd Floor: 258-1681, Toad City: 736-1027, Fri-Sat 10:15 pm, through Aug 25, $7-9

Harold and Game Piece
An evening of improv divided into two parts. Of the two, Game Piece sounds more intriguing, with the rules for improv depending on whatever board game in suggested by the audience. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Sat 9 pm, through Sept 1, $8

I Ought To Be In Pictures
Neil Simon's poignant look at a has-been Hollywood screenwriter whose long-lost teenage daughter reenters his life. Sylvia's Class Act Dinner Theater, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, 288-6828, Thur-Sat 6:15 pm, Sun 5:15 pm, through Aug 25, $31.95

The Foursome
Four men shoot the shit while playing golf. Jack Oakes Theater, 2820 NE Sandy Blvd, 238-9692, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Sept 1, $10

The Posture Queen
The relatively new Portland company, Hand 2 Mouth, presents the story of Tommy "Issan" Dorsey, a sailor-turned-drag-queen-turned-junkie-turned-commune-leader-turned-Zen-Buddhist-master. See Review this issue. Rose City Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum, 283-3311, Thurs-Sun 8:30 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Sept 2, $8-10