Opening This Week

The West Coast premier of Rona Munro's thriller about a mother imprisoned for murder and the daughter who visits her. Directed by the always reliable Devan McCoy. Anthem Theatre, at Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 238-7680, Opens Fri, runs Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Sept 25, $15

Local hairdresser/musical theater performer Steven Nash presents a one-man show in which he will sing a bunch of showtunes. No tricks or gimmicks here; just soulful renditions of Stephen Sondheim's "Ladies Who Lunch," Burt Bacharach's "Wives and Lovers," and more. Wilf's Piano Bar, 800 NW 6th Ave, 223-0070, Tues 7:30 pm, through Sept 14, $10

One Week Only

* Andrew Ox
To celebrate their cool art show this month Blackfish Gallery is having the typical First Thursday reception, but with a twist: Andrew Ox from the marvelous House of Cunt performance group. We can only hope he does his twisted, hideous, utterly hilarious riff on The Breakfast Club. Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th Ave, 224-2634, Thurs 8 pm, free

Miss Saigon
We saw this musical years ago when it toured through Seattle and the only part we remember is when this big-ass helicopter flies onto the stage. It comes to take an American soldier away from the love of his life, who must stay behind in Saigon. The only reason we know that, though, is from reading the description of the play helpfully provided in this current production's press packet. In conclusion, for all its dramatic portent, Miss Saigon is a largely forgettable experience... but the big-ass helicopter is frickin' cool. Broadway in Portland, at the Keller Auditorium, SW Third and Clay, 790-ARTS, Sept 7-11 @ 7:30 pm, Sept 11 @ 2 pm, Sept 12 @ 1 & 6:30 pm, $23-64

Hira Ratan Manek
We had to list this because it's so ridiculous sounding. Manek is from India, and claims that since 1995 he has lived on nothing but sun energy and water!! "Occasionally," reads the press release, "for hospitality and social purposes, he drinks tea, coffee, and buttermilk." Coffee? On a stomach that hasn't held food for NINE years!? Call us cynics, but we ain't buying this horse-hooey for one second. But we're going to see Manek's lecture all the same, because this guys is going to be a performer, and we want to see how convincing his act is. HealthQwest classroom, 1330 SE 39th (off Hawthorne), 460-2623 for reservations, 7 pm, free but donations accepted

Closing This Week

Love's Labor Lost
The Portland Actors Ensemble's annual production comes to a close. Cerf Amphitheatre, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 467-6573, Sat-Mon 3 pm, free


* Summer In Brodavia
Just a good, reliable evening of hilarious improv, featuring excellent Brody standards like Brad Fortier, Tom Johnson, and Kerry Leek. The performance is billed as a double feature of long form improv, with half the cast performing a standard form called "Harold," and the other half performing a super secret NEW format that was developed deep inside the Brody's basement improv laboratory. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th Ave, 224-0688, Sat 9 pm, $10

* Original Comedy Acts
Standup comedy open mics are fun. You can get loaded and listen to comics--frequently loaded themselves-try out 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. And hell, even the bad shit is entertaining in an excruciating sort of way. Don't heckle these guys, though; this is an OPEN mic, which means they're trying out new jokes. Our minds and our hearts will be OPEN, not CLOSED. If it sucks, your cruel refusal to laugh will be more than enough to ensure they never try it again. The Wooden Chicken, 12500 NE Sandy, Wed 9 pm


* Holy Goats!
This month's edition of the rotating dance/improv hodgepodge (with bagels!) features dancers Elizabeth Ward and Molly Whedbee, movement artist Scott Smith, and drummer/movement artist Chris Cogburn. What's with all the "movement artists"? Whatever happened to just plain old dancers? Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th Ave, 777-1907, Sun 2 pm, $7

* OBT Exposed!
Like ballet but don't have money to pay for tickets once Oregon Ballet Theatre's season starts up in October? Get a partial, FREE fix now, at this fun, relaxing, annual outdoor rehearsal session. The OBT will set up a tented stage amidst the lovely Park Blocks for you to watch hot dancers in leotards practice their upcoming shows. It's not exactly Swan Lake, but it's bits and pieces. South Park Blocks, SW Park & Salmon, 227-0977, Thurs-Fri 11 am - 4 pm, Sat 10 am - 3 pm, free