opening this week

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress
Alan Ball, the writer of this play, has somehow finagled a premise in which five women are all planning to get married in the same place, on the same day. The fun flies when all five bail out of their weddings and kick it in an upstairs bedroom. Magdelyn Theatre Company, 403 NW 5th, (971) 544-1736, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Mar 8, $12

J.O.C. (Journey Of Clown)
J.O.C. will almost certainly be visually titillating at the very least, as performer Michael O'Neill knows several pretty cool clown tricks. Vanity Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Mar 1, $10

Sounds like your standard pretentious intellectual bickering match, EXCEPT playwright Itamar Moses was only 23 when he finished writing it, AND PCS has put together their most elaborate set ever for the production. Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Opens Fri, runs Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs 12 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, through Mar 9, $12-47

This is a really, really good play that filters issues of race, sex, and gender through the epic story of a much-abused South African woman. PSU Theater Dept, at Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave, 725-3307, Opens Fri, runs Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Mar 1, $7-$9

closing this week

James Moore's feature-length dramatic writing debut tells the story of three squatters who shack up in a seemingly uninhabited house. defunkt theatre, at the Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 993-9062, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Feb 22, $8-15

current runs

Child of Pleasure
Writer William S. Gregory has loaded this chronicle of the 17th-century philosopher-courtesan Ninon L'Enclos with witty dialogue. The performances are nicely understated and the staging by director Angie Lawless simple, but elegant. The production is ultimately entertaining, even if the passionate and indulgent presence of L'Enclos herself is strangely absent. This is due partly to the professional, yet muted performance of L'Enclos by Emily Sahler Beleele, but also due to Gregory getting so caught up in his colorful side characters, he kind of forgets about her. JWS Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Mar 15, $16-$18

Sirena, Queen of the Tango
The Miracle chimes in on the stage-adaptation-of-film-noir movement with this spicy drag-queen/detective farce. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Mar 15, $13-$15

one week only

Annie Sprinkle
The prostitute/porn star turned performance artist/sexologist will perform her musical mixed-media performance art extravaganza about her life in the sex industry. Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 8:30 pm, $10


The Edjumuhcation Follies
The Edjumuhcation Follies is a collection of skits and improv satirizing the mess Portland public schools have landed in. Each skit takes one shameful and/or excessively pointless aspect of the school system (kids are selling acne medicine to buy textbooks; third graders spend six weeks learning how to fill out ovals for standardized tests; etc.) and plays it out to the most absurd conclusion possible. Uneven at first thanks to some ill-timed improv sequences, the written skits get progressively funnier and more poignant. AS Toad City Productions, at Itisness, 3016 NE Killingsworth, 736-1027, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Mar 1, $10-$12

ComedySportz--After Hours
The ultra-funny John Breen of Hoskins and Breen joins forces with the also very funny Joslin Larson of All Jane No Dick and the again very funny Brad Fortier of the Brody Theater for an event they like to call Lars Foreen. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney Street, 236-8888, Fri 10 pm, $5

Illegal Cock Fight
There's nothing fancy about the 3rd Floor. They make funny skits and they make them well. The 3rd Floor, at the Miracle Theatre, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through Mar 15, $10


Fifty Infants
As part of the Reed Arts Week, Oslund and Co. presents this relentless dance attack; a torpid stream of energetic choreography and mixed media that will leave you breathless. Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, 777-7708, 8 pm, $10-$15

FORK + New Work
The long-standing Eggshell company presents an evening of new choreography, video shorts, theatrical clowning, and Fork, a dance piece with a very disturbed character at its center. Eggshell at Performance Works Northwest, 4625 SE 67th, 232-9749, Tues 7:30 & 9 pm, $10

Grand Opening Fundraising Party
A new dance performance venue is always appreciated. Help ring this one in at this grand opening featuring appearances by Gregg Beielemeier, Linda Johnson, Miss. Murgatroid, and many more. The Water St. Project, 1010 SE Water Ave., 984-0961, 7 pm , $10 and up