Opening This Week

Festival Primaveral
The annual celebration of Latino arts and culture is a three-weekend affair with a rotating mishmash of theater, poetry, music, and dance events. This week it's Fuente Ovejuna, a play written in 1614 by Lope de Vega, and performed by Teatro Español, the only Spanish-speaking acting ensemble in the Northwest. Tune in next week for the next round. The Miracle Theater, 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 12, $15

Stones In His Pockets
An Irish comedy about a Hollywood movie shoot in rural Ireland. The play contains 15 characters, all played by just two actors: Andrew Hickman, and Peter Handy, who was really damn good in e3 Productions' recent showing of Disappeared. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 26, $18-20

The Bald Soprano & The Lesson
Eugene Ionesco is always fun. Tonight two of his plays are put on by a new company, directed by the talented Julie Akers. WillieWorks Productions, at Disjecta, 116 NE Russell, 223-9118, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 6, $15

The New House
Local boy Joseph Fisher graduates from Stark Raving Theatre (where he was playwright-in-residence for four years) to the big time (for Portland): A commissioned work from ART. The result is The New House, a modern update of Carlo Goldoni's La Casa Nova, a 1761 commedia dell'arte piece about a gentleman's marriage to a succubus wife. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Opens Fri, runs Sun 2 & 7 pm, Tues-Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through June 27, $15-32

Closing This Week

* Masters and Moderns
The most outstanding piece in the final show of new OBT artistic director Christopher Stowell's debut season comes in act II: il nodo, an original by Julia Adam. Dancers dressed like Italian dolls in their underclothes and painted mimes twirl and jerk to Renaissance string music. The style is unlike anything else in the program; the movements fresh, strange, evocative, and scintillating. Each movement incorporates a different intriguing prop: a yo-yo time piece, a helium balloon, or streamers from the ceiling. This piece alone makes Masters and Moderns worth attending. AS Oregon Ballet, at Keller Auditorium, SW 3rd & Clay, 222-5538, Thurs-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, $10-85

* 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, Thurs & Sat 7:30 pm, $30-125

Current Runs

* Fully Committed
Mark Setlock plays Sam, a restaurant phone operator who sits in the basement of a fancy restaurant, fielding an onslaught of calls from uppity patrons. Every word of dialogue in Fully Committed is spoken over the phone, with Setlock playing... everyone. The image of him transitioning back and forth between Sam and the annoying customer/family member/boss on the other end of the line, is initially jarring. But Setlock's impressional shifts are so sharp and smooth, the unorthodox style quickly grows commonplace. Terrifically entertaining. JWS Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat 10 pm, Sun 2 pm, Thurs 12 pm, through May 30, $16-51

* 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. 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

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, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through June 19, $8-15, half price for people of color


* Original Comedy Acts
Stand-up comedy open mics are fun. You can get loaded and listen to comics--frequently loaded themselves--try out new material, most of which is awful. A few of them are always entertaining, though, so you're at least guaranteed something, which is pretty good considering you pay nothing to get in. The Wooden Chicken, 12500 NE Sandy, Wed 9 pm

The Grapefruit Simpson Show
Fans of the improv troupe Kick the Squirrel may enjoy this new sketch comedy team, which features some of its members. Back Door Theater, 4321 SE Hawthorne , Fri-Sat 10 pm, through May 29, $6


* Leg & Pants Daans Theatrrr
Don't miss this energetic, fascinating modern dance company, once called the Janet Pants Dans Theeatre (and don't forget: it is very hip to misspell words in your title). They're performing with the musical acts The Formless and Joe Haege, as well, in case you're one of those people who like to "rock out." Disjecta, 116 NE Russell , 335-6979, Wed 9 pm, $6

Support The Portland Mercury

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