Opening This Week

Oregon Ghosts
Lakewood presents the world premiere of local writer Donald Olson's new play, a series of one acts about haunted places in Oregon and the skeery spooks that haunt them. The Oregon Coast at Heceta Head, Baker City's Grand Hotel, and Portland's own White Eagle Tavern all represent. Lakewood Theatre Company, at Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd., 635-3901, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through July 27, $21-$23

* Prague-Nosis
The rapidly growing and improving (funny how the two seem to go hand in hand) Theatre Vertigo presents a fun summery kind of murder mystery comedy thing by Jeff Goode, who is still trying to top his hilarious Poona the Fuckdog. At the opening, Vertigo will also reveal the lineup for its upcoming season, and might even serve you free wine if you're lucky. Theatre Vertigo at the electric company, 2512 SE Gladstone, 306-0870, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 9 pm, through Aug 3, $12

One Week Only

* Emergence: First Annual Portland Women's Playwright Festival
Quality staged readings of new works by local females Francesca Saunders, Ravyn Jasper-Hawke, and Sandra de Helen. Brought to you by the good folks at Radiant Theatre, who put on a pretty fun rendition of Hair back in May. Radiant Theatre, at Artichoke Music, 4625 SE 67th, 502-8261, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2 pm, free

Closing This Week

Artist Descending A Staircase
Stoppard's witty dialogue is compromised in this reflective play about the Dada movement as the three principle actors (Jacob Coleman, Patrick Fooks and Kate Sanderson) struggle to find their initial chemistry while also portraying old people. The company also has not mastered the art of theatric conversation, and are most interesting when action preoccupies the stage, such as when a blind character pours a tea service. The group may want to reconsider collaborative directing, from which I've yet to witness overwhelmingly successful results. AS Fever Theater at the Liminal Space, 403 NW Fifth at Flanders St., 233-4420, Sun-Mon 8 pm, through July 21, $10

* Spiderheaddog
The Third Floor's brand of sketch comedy capitalizes on that Seinfeld-ian "isn't it funny when" or "don't you hate it when" brand of humor, which almost always works. When they make fun of cheesy WB shows, it's funny; when they make fun of post-game sports interviews, it's on point; when they mock cheesy horror flicks, it's pretty damn smart. KS The 3rd Floor, at the Miracle Theatre, 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through July 19, $12

Current Runs

Church Bizarre
Ah, hilarity at the expense of the sacred and profane; does it get any better than that? Big Belly presents an evening of church-themed sketch comedy developed through a series of improv sessions. Big Belly at the Back Door, 4321 SE Hawthorne, 233-5798, Fri-Sat 8 pm & 10:30 pm, through July 26, $10

* Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Triangle's initial production of this ubiquitous transgender glam musical was so popular they've brought it back, with a significant price increase. Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Wed, Fri, Sat 8 pm, through Aug 2, $30


* Conduit Summer Performance Festival Series
Three weekends, three different dance performances in Conduit's fabulous loft space. Tonight some old Portland reliables, Tiffany Mills and Tere Mathern sound off; Mills with an extended duet in progress, and Mathern with Water, a developing work in her series exploring the four elements. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor, 221-5857, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $12-$14

* Les Petit Rats
From Margery Fairchild and Elizabeth Ward, the creators of last summer's sultry movement/multimedia extravaganza, The Whipping Hand, comes a new dabbling in dance and musical theater. Disjecta Gallery, 116 NE Russell, 781-6499, Thurs-Sun 8 pm, through July 27, $10-$12