One Week Only

The Gypsy Caravan
An eclectic showcase of American Tribal Bellydance, Middle Eastern, African, and Spanish influenced dancers, and musicians from around the country and beyond. Tribal Quest, at the Hollywood Theater, 41st and NE Sandy, 287-1794, Sat 7:30 pm, $15-18

Poona the Fuckdog & The Magnificent Welles
Local company StageDirect films fringe theater on high-quality digital video, then sell the product on the internet. Here, they screen some of their work. Poona is a hilarious riff on fairy tales, and Welles is a one-man show about Orson Welles struggling in the wake of Citizen Kane. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, Thurs 7 pm & 9 pm, $3-6

Closing This Week

Flaming Idiots
Two postal workers open a restaurant, then hire a hit-man to kill somebody in it so it will gain recognition. Broadway Rose Theatre Company, at the Deb Fennel Auditorium, 9000 SW Durham Rd, 620-5262, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Aug 4, $9-18

* Hedwig and the Angry Inch
At its core, Hedwig is a full-on, rock n' roll show with an incredibly charismatic lead singer. For this reason, it even touches those soulless drones who tend to hate showtunes. With its concert-within-a-play structure and its ultra-hip David Bowie glam-style roots, Hedwig is a musical for people who love AND hate musicals. JUSTIN SANDERS Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat @ midnight (special showing), $22-28

The Whipping Hand
The talents of Margery Fairchild, Jeff Brown, Nathaniel Freeman, and Elizabeth Ward combine in this darkly humorous, cabaret-style exploration of history and myth against the landscape of one man's dreaming mind. Disjecta, 116 NE Russell, 781-6499, Fri-Sun 8 pm, $8-12

Current Runs

Improv improv improv, everybody loves improv... ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 9 pm, Sat 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm, $12 or $10 with can of food

Fellatio Rodriguez and the Daughters of the Revolution
A Reed College-based improv group with a pretty cool name struts its stuff. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri 9 pm, through Aug 16, $7

Greater Tuna
A sprawling, meandering mess that moves around the small town of Tuna, Texas, showing one quirky character after another. Triangle Productions, at the Flying Rhinoceros Theatre, 1440 NW Overton, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Aug 10 (extended), $17-23

Separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry cat, Ugly must find his way home in this British musical. Washington Park's Rose Garden Amphitheater, 245-3642, Thurs-Sun 6:30 pm, through Aug 4, By donation

* Important People
It's easy to get people to laugh at somebody (any grade school punk can do it). It is extremely difficult to get people to laugh with somebody. John Breen is a master of the latter. He seems incapable of indulging in the former. He takes the characters that populate his one-man show seriously; they do not exist to be made fun of, but to be held up and appreciated. Breen masters every nuance and idiocyncracy of his characters, from the scout leader who gets his troupe lost in the woods to Mother Theresa, and then shares them with the sheer unadulterated joy of a child at his first show-and-tell. There is no cynicism here. No pretention. Just a loving tribute to Breen's personal collection of "important people" who have touched his life. And of course Breen makes us laugh, and laugh, and laugh, but not sarcastically or mockingly, or even patronizingly. No, we laugh sincerely, because Breen has touched out deepesr empathies with plights and problems that we can relate to, and with people that we recognize. We laugh because we understand. JUSTIN SANDERS Goat Company, at the Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 242-0202, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Aug 17, $10

* Spinning Into Butter
Coho put on this excellent play about racial hypocrisy in the academic world last fall and it was so popular they've brought it back. If you saw it then, see it again, and if you haven't seen it, please do. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Aug 17, $13-15

The 3rd Floor: The Musical!
The 3rd Floor takes its "maximum capacity sketch comedy" to the highest level possible: showtunes!! Blue Door Productions, at the Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Aug 24, $12

A new dark comedy that treats themes of deceit, greed, and beauty. Quintessence, at the Mago Hunt Theatre, University of Portland, 5000 N Willamette, 943-7287, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Aug 10, $8-10

Twelfth Night
The Portland Actors Ensemble presents their annual Shakespeare in the park production. Each week a different park! For instance, this week's park is Fernhill Park. Wow! Portland State Park Blocks, 321-0710, Sat-Sun 3 pm, through Sept 2, free