Opening This Week

* Night of the Living Dead
See My! What a Busy Week!, pg 19. Northwest Children's Theater, 1819 NW Everett St, 222-4480, Fri-Sat 10 pm, through Oct 30, $12-15

One Week Only

* Amber Martin
Her Wild Abandon show completely sold out last week, so Amber Martin is back for another round, once again to benefit Basic Rights Oregon and No on 36. Wild Abandon, 2411 SE Belmont, 232-4458, Tues 9 pm, $15

* Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
This year's Reed College Women's Committee Lecture Forum has a performance theme. Tonight catch an exclusive dialogue with Lopez and Marx, the New York-based creators of the amazing musical puppet show Avenue Q. Moderated by Chris Coleman. Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 777-7755, Thurs 7 pm, $15

Closing This Week

The Mercy Seat
Ben (Leigh J. Guyer) is a Manhattan business type, a husband, and a father who works in the World Trade Center and is having an affair with his boss, Abby (Karen Trumbo). In the wake of terrible tragedy, Ben has a realization: Since nobody, including his family, knows if they're even alive, he and Abby have the perfect chance to run away to a new life, no strings attached. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St, 241-1278, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $15-35

Current Runs

Below the Belt
See review this issue. Tribe Theatre, 403 NW 5th, 227-3976, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 30, $10-15

Duck Variations
It's hard to go wrong with early David Mamet works. The awkwardly named Little Bro Big Sista theater company presents this production of his play about two dudes kicking it on a bench. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate, 267-9475, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat 2 pm, $12-15

King Lear
In Portland Center Stage's King Lear, NYC import Thom Christopher's Lear isn't disappointing as much as he is... negligible. Not particularly old or powerful seeming, Christopher chimes in a bafflingly presence-less performance. JWS Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Oct 31, $15-55

Love and Lust
Loosely inspired by classic vaudeville, the Portland Performance Party has stitched together a two-hour show in which five one-act plays are paired with live music and punctuated by quasi-emcee Daniel Knighten's meandering monologues. Pulling from plays by Billy Aronson, Linda Eisenstein, Christopher Durang and David Ives, there are plenty of clever turns of phrase and ridiculous situations populating Love and Lust. But the cast's execution comes off a little dull. The irony of a camp-saturated vaudeville show seems to be completely lost here, as the troupe runs through scenes with the kind of oblivious earnestness you've come to expect from Old Navy commercials. JM Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, 238-8899, Fri-Sat 7 pm, through Oct 23, $10

Toxic Avenger: The Musikill
See review this issue. Disjecta, 116 NE Russell , 335-6979, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat 4 pm, through Oct 31, $15


* Movement as Metaphor
Act I, season II of the Oregon Ballet Theatre's resuscitation, Movement as Metaphor, has three fine dances in its program, but many audience members won't even remember the first two, for the last dance is the third act from Swan Lake, featuring the evil black swan Odile, who seduces and tempts the prince, then repeatedly leaves him high and dry via a breathlessly difficult 32 successive fouettes (fast, whipped turns on point). Act III is cliffhanging, ovation material. Let's hope OBT continues to follow up this story. AS Oregon Ballet, at Keller Auditorium, SW 3rd & Clay, 222-5538, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, $7-90

...He Was Costuming Angels
Tracy Broyles, the dance organizer behind the Busted@Crush series, has a dark spirit within her. Her last show at Holocene, Blood Bath, celebrated vampires, and now she has a new dance company, Theory 1:Dance, which unveils their debut show this week, Costuming, inspired by various serial killers. It has, according to Broyles herself, "a car wreck feeling." We can only hope she means that literally. The Water St. Project, 1010 SE Water Ave., 730-3176, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Oct 30, $12

* Ballet Biarritz
This new French company has been making waves with their erotic twists on classical dance forms. We call this new genre "Sex Ballet." Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 790-2787, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $14-25

Erik Kaiel & Archeopteryx 8
Kaiel and his collaborator Erik van Duijvenbode have created a choreographed Utopia of traditional Dutch architecture and trailer parks. Okaay. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor, 221-5857, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $10

* Martha Graham Dance Company
The legendary Graham's long dead, but her company lives on, performing a smattering of different works from throughout her illustrious career. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 790-2787, Wed 7:30 pm, $19-43