Opening This Week

Lucia di Lammermoor
As usual, the Portland Opera will do a whopping three performances of a show their cast and crew probably spent months rehearsing, so get in line now as seating is very limited. Attention Gaetano Donizetti fans: Lucia is supposedly his most beautiful tragedy, the gothic tale of a man who tries to force his sister to marry a wealthy man so he can ride her coattails to success. Portland Opera Company, at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW 3rd, 241-1802, Feb. 7 12, and 14, $30-$125

The interesting-but-still-getting-there Radiant company presents a mishmash of masks, music, and acrobatics based on Bill Irwin's adaptation of a Moliere comedy. Radiant Theatre at Disjecta, 116 N. Russell, 502-8261, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sat 2:30 pm, through Feb 22, $10-15

Yemaya's Belly
The last play the Miracle Theater put on beginning with the letters "ye" was 2002's Yerma, one of the most god awful pieces of tripe to ever be put on by an allegedly significant Portland theater. In the name of all that is holy, we will pray that Yemaya's Belly, about a boy who leaves his native island village for America, fares better. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Feb 28, $14-17

One Week Only

The weird title refers to six 10-minute plays, for only 10 dollars, which isn't necessarily a great deal, though with selections like David Ives' exceedingly clever The Philadelphia, probably is. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N Interstate, 823-4322, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, $10

Closing This Week

* The Bad Seed
Most people know The Bad Seed from the 1956 cult film starring the pigtailed Patty McCormack as a homicidal schoolgirl. On film, the adaptation of William March's novel comes across kitschy, like a long episode of The Twilight Zone. J. Paccassi's new stage adaptation deprives the audience the distant luxury of a movie screen, forcing the viewer to share the same room with a 10-year-old psychopath. Paccassi's direction dampens the shock value of the murderer child genre into a beautifully woozy chamber drama, with long bits of silence where horror takes the stage. Ina Strauss is incredible as the dreamboat housewife faced with an unspeakable terror in her own home. TP e3 Productions at the Electric Company, 2512 SE Gladstone, Suite 200, 232-5955, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Feb 7, $12-15

Current Runs

Joe Orton's allegedly outrageous play about a bank heist gone all wonky. This production has an amazing cast, including Laura Faye Smith (haven't seen her in a while), Leif Norby, and Kevin-Michael Moore. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $18-20

* The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?
Our anti-hero is Martin, who would seem a very normal man. He's 50, smart, successful and loves his wife and teenage son. But Martin has also somehow fallen in love with a goat he calls Sylvia, and when his clandestine trips to the barnyard are revealed, his life begins crashing down around him. On the surface The Goat seems like a straight-up tale of suburban angst gone wrong, but as the play's bizarreness stealthily creeps over you it becomes decidedly absurdist. Allen Nause's performance as Martin, a bumbly, sweater-clad romantic desperately trying to explain to his family how he's inexplicably, hopelessly in love with a goat, is in turn titillating, repugnant, hilarious, woeful, and endearing. AS Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Feb 22, $15-32

Trickster Tells This Tale
A six-week workshop on experimental storytelling resulted in this new show, which features six actors playing different variations on "tricksters" from folklore. Said tricksters include Brer Rabbit and the Monkey King. Play Workshop Theatre, at the Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 232-5375, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through Feb 21, $10


Work For Brains
Comedian Rachel Parenta co-wrote this sketch-comedy show (with Mark Bridges) about bartenders, dead-end office jobs, and... zombies!? Cool. Portland Underground Showbiz Society, at the Back Door Theatre, 4321 SE Hawthorne, 274-7921, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Feb 21, $10

Kick the Squirrel
While the Brody's resident improvisers get ready for their next show, whet your appetite with a guest company, Kick the Squirrel, who will be using random business cards to inspire all sort of long-form improv fun. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $8-10


* Merce Cunningham Dance Co.
It doesn't get much bigger or better than the Merce Cunningham Co., which blows through town in celebration of its FIFTIETH anniversary. Damn girl! In honor of the occasion, White Bird has arranged a bunch of Merce-related workshops and other related arts events as well. Check for more details. White Bird, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 224-4400, Wed 7:30 pm, $18-39

Support The Portland Mercury

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