opening this week

A Christmas Twist
Dickens' Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol collide in this send-up to the great novelist starring the character, Tiny Twist. Ha! Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, through Dec 15, $17-$23

one week only

Under Milkwood
A reading of Dylan Thomas' lone play about a Welsh town named Llareggub. First Tuesday Readers Theatre, at the Old Church, 1422 SW 11 Ave, 233-1706, Tuesday 10:30 am, $5

closing this week

Fuddy Meers
Comedy involving memory loss and a limping, lisping, half-deaf, half-blind man in a ski mask. Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery St, 274-1717, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 1, $13-$20

A rehash of Do Jump's summer show, which had a lot of high-budget technical wizardry, and very little else. Do Jump! at the Echo Theatre, 1515 SE 37th, 224-8499, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 3 pm, through Dec 1, $15-22

current runs

A Tuna Christmas
I'd rather have hot acid dripped on my foreskin than endure another episode in Tuna, the fictitious Texan town that Triangle unload ed on unsuspecting audience members with the recent show, Greater Tuna. Tuna is a nauseating place full of the kind of Southern stereotypes that only the most poorly written trash is capable of generating. Supposedly it has a large fan base in Portland, which I guess is why some cruel god up above ever allowed for the sequel to be run. JWS Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Dec 21, $18-$23

Angry Housewives
A bunch of pissed-off housewives form a punk rock band as an act of rebellion. Hilarity ensues. World Trade Center Auditorium, 121 SW Salmon, 239-5919, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 1 pm, through Jan 18, $22-$28

Blithe Spirit
If there is a genre more generic than farce, I don't know what it is. And if there is a farce in the farce genre more generic than this tale of a British novelist haunted by ghosts, I don't know what it is. That said, farce fans will feel right at home. Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2pm, through Dec 8, $18-$20

The Comedysportz competitive improv juggernaut just keeps on rollin'. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 9 pm, Sat 7:30, 9:30 pm, $12 ($10 with can of food)

Curse of the Great Eleven
Part black comedy, part mystery, and all the way freaky, Eleven centers on the descendants of a 1920s Californian cult that committed mass murder. Nothing in their house is what it seems, and the past mingles with the present until the two are indiscernible. Another cast may not have been able to pull this show off, but the Sowelu Theater Ensemble has made the mystic very believable, very funny and very scary all at once. An organic energy works between the characters, pushing and pulling toward the bizarre climax, wherein the audience is left titillated by a host of questions. AS Sowelu Theater at the Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 230-2090, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Dec 15, $7-$15

Honey in the Horn
Oregon has a history full of horse-tradin', jail-breakin', and fortune-huntin'. Learn about it here. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-9807, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 22, $15-30

Steel Magnolias
Play about women who congregate at a salon. May or may not be as stomach-curdling as the film version with Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts. Magdelyn Theatre Company, 40 NW 5th, 310-1628, Thurs-Fri 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 14, $10-$12

Woody Guthrie's American Song
Musical depicting the Depression through the eyes, ears, and music of Woody Guthrie. Includes Guthrie classics "Grand Coulee Dam," "Bound For Glory," and "This Land is Your Land." Washington Park's Rose Garden Amphitheater, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, 245-3642, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 8, $10 donation