Opening This Week

* Old Times
Defunkt, God bless 'em, is back after a lengthy absence. Old Times features the lovely Ina Strauss, and is written by Harold Pinter, the best playwright ever. We're very excited for this show. defunkt theatre, at the Back Door, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 993-9062, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through June 19, $8-15, half price for people of color

* The Barber of Seville
One of the most famous operas of all time. You know the one: "Figaro, Figaro, Fi-gaaa-ro!" Portland Opera Company, at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW 3rd, 241-1802, May 15, 20, 22 @ 7:30 pm, $30-125

One Week Only

Draggin' Out Gender
A panel with influential drag performers Max Voltage, Vince Vega Vond, and Eva Ning sounding off about drag performance and gender oppression. In Other Words, 3734 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 232-6003, Tues 7 pm, free

* Flash Gordon (1935), #3 and #4
Hey, Fun Guy McFunnerston. Like fun? Then check this shit: old time radio theater with a space travel theme in conjunction with this weekend's UFO Festival. Hear the incomparable Flash Gordon as he travels to the planet Mongo with Dale and Dr. Zarkov. The rest of the fest will be awesome as well. Mack Theater, McMinnville, Across from Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St,, Sat 2:30 pm, FREE

Closing This Week

The See-Saw Project
Heather Pearl and Sarah Liane Foster are clowns, but not the kind who blow up balloon animals at your birthday party. These clowns do sophisticated physical comedy, presenting a show that has both slapstick and character development, a rare combination. Nomadic Theatre Co. at Disjecta, 116 NE Russell St., 358-3441, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through May 16, $10

The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
The main character of Charles Busch's witty, upscale play is a woman on the brink of despair, up to her neck in an existential mid-life crisis. When the play begins we join her in her living room recovering from a recent suicide attempt and nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, Susannah Mars' performance lacks the energy and depth necessary to portray the self-hatred and dualistic irony at the heart of this role. Ultimately however, one must fault director Don Horn for the failure of this production. Time and again his cast members interpret their roles without irony. Without irony the character of the Iraqi doorman isn't clever social commentary, it's racist. Without irony the husband (the Allergist, in fact) isn't a mockery of his own charitable ideals, he's only a spineless wimp. Without irony this play isn't very funny. JMW Triangle Productions, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 239-5919, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 5 pm, through May 15, $17-23

To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday
Michael Brady's old standard about a dude coping with the loss of his wife and his family, who all want to shake him out of his grief. Pretty good cast here, including Julie Starbird, and Jared Roylance. Magdelyn Theatre Company, 403 NW 5th, (971) 544-1736, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through May 15, $12-14

Current Runs

* Frogz
Frogz returns with a new work, "Raccoons," and a largely new cast to perform it. You won't notice the new actors, though, because of all those delightful costumes. Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun 1:30 pm, Sun 5:30 pm, through June 6, $14-24

Jack and the Beanstalk
The story of a small boy's battle with a terrible giant, set to song and dance. Features puppetry from Tears of Joy. Northwest Children's Theater, 1819 NW Everett St, 222-4480, Fri-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm, through May 30, $18

* Lobby Hero
ART's production of Kenneth Lonergan's play about the differing worlds of security guards and policemen is wisely unobtrusive, letting the words and director Diane Englert's pitch-perfect casting carry the load. Neal Starbird has been doing great work in Portland for a while now, but his performance here as the amiable night watchman Jeff tops it all. His shambling, dorky charm is so effortless you forget he's even acting. JWS Artists Repertory Theatre, at the IFCC, 5340 N Interstate, 241-1278, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 & 7 pm, through May 30, $15-30

Who's Who
The Brody presents a new improv format they learned while performing in Berlin that involves true personal stories and artwork. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through May 22, $10


* Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water
Portland dance staple Tere Mathern teams up with other staples Jae Diego, Robyn Conroy, Jennifer Hong Berdine, Jim McGinn, and Minh Tran to present a new, original work. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor, 221-5857, Thurs-Sat 8:30 pm, through May 22, $12-14