opening this week

Bang. Curtain. End of Show.
A 1797 melodrama adapted into a meta-theatrical adventure replete with disguises, secret passages and sword fights. Ahh, defunkt...defunkt theatre, at the Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 993-9062, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through June 21, $8-15

For some reason, this comedy by John Murrell has warranted a 25th-anniversary production. I guess we'll find out why at the show. This production does feature the splendid JoAnn Johnson, which is always a treat. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 21, $18

one week only

Late Nite Therapy
The getting-progressively-more-interesting Play Workshop Theatre presents this work-in-progress, in which the audience receives improvised therapy for psychiatric conditions. NW Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett, 274-6838, Tues-Wed 8 pm, $5

Vaudeville Revusical and Novelty Show
Another entertainment extravaganza in Miz Kitty's monthly series. Tonight's lineup includes the Vagabond Opera, the political satire of Reuben Nisenfeld, and the 1930s-era Butterboys. Miz Kitty's Parlour, at Artichoke Music Backstage Gate, 3130 SE Hawthorne, 232-8845, Sat 8 pm, $10

closing this week

Three Plays, Five Lives
Three ramps, strikingly white against the Liminal Space's dark, vast walls, provide a brilliantly simple platform for a merciless, exhilarating blend of movement and text experimentation. JWS Liminal Space, 403 NW 5th, 890-2993, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through May 17, $6-$12

current runs

Frogz is as fun and innovative as it ever was, though it could benefit from some fresh writing. A new work, "Rabbits," is possibly the best of the lot, featuring movement skill as sophisticated as any of the other acts, and a clever, witty story to bring it all to the next level. JWS Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Wed-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, through June 1, $14-$24

It's clear from the opening number, "Aquarius" that despite a light and sound system from the stone ages, the cast of Radiant Theatre's production is ready to rock. They vamp, they strut, they grind, they hump, they remove clothing with reckless abandon (you won't see another show this year with more flopping male genitalia), and best of all, they sing with unrestrained gusto. The production severely neglect the play's distinct sense of place, on the streets of New York. The result feels like Portlanders pretending to be hippies, and singing cool songs in somebody's basement, which isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's just not really a musical. It's more a fun revue with plenty of boobs and scrotums. JWS Radiant Theatre, at Artichoke Music, 2315 NE Alberta, 502-8261, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through May 25, $14

Portland's Underground Showbiz Society, Y'All!
With acts like the Famous Mysterious Actor Players and Rachel Parenta, this night is bound to at least not be boring. Obsidian Gallery, 420 SW Washington, 6th Floor, 249-3742, Sun 7 pm, through May 25, $3

Three Tall Women
Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning riff on an elderly woman looking back on her turbulent past. The Profile Theatre Project at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 242-0080, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through May 25, $12-$25

Touch draws on the classic rational scientist-in-irrational-love motif-and yet it escapes the predictable clichés by wholeheartedly and convincingly devoting itself to the process the protagonist, Kyle, undergoes, from ecstatic love, to a grief that shuts out the world, to the cold comfort found in strangers. AS Artists Repertory Theatre, at the IFCC, 5340 N Interstate, 241-1278, Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Jun 1, $22


Disabled performers have put together this energetic movement performance. Wheelchairs will twirl, crutches will shimmy, fun will ensue. The Peter Stott Center at PSU, 930 SW Hall, 725-5664, 4:15 pm, free

Garth Fagan Dance
Fagan's company is exuberant and silly, having choreographed for the Broadway version of The Lion King. White Bird, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 224-4400, Wed 7:30 pm, $18-$39

The Cockatoo Cotillion: A Bird Ball 2003
With performances from the Mexican Elvis impersonator El Vez, dance companies BodyVox and Oslund & Co., and the band Pink Martini, this benefit for White Bird's New Works Fund is sure to be a treat. And to top things off, the Guinness World Record for the longest can-can line will be achieved at some point during the night! Lola's Room at the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 245-1600, 8 pm, $25

Report on the Body
Presented by the Living Dance Studio, China's first independent dance company, and exploring female subjugation in modern China through dance, video and narrative. Wieden + Kennedy Building, 224 NW 13th Ave, 242-1419, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $16

Support The Portland Mercury

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30