Opening This Week

* House of Cunt
The Nocturnal club presents its first extended theatrical run: three straight weekends of the fabulous House of Cunt, which features a nifty performative structure this time around. Friday will be devoted solely to solo works from individual members Angela Campbell, Andrew Ox, Kaetlin Kennedy, and Amber Martin. Then, on Saturday, it's back to a more typical full company effort, which is to say, a completely atypical lineup of luscious music, ridiculous characters, and general oddities from Portland's most fascinating performance art group. Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 27, $10 for one night, $18 for whole weekend

Anna in the Tropics
We have yet to be convinced that the intensely beloved playwright Nilo Cruz is deserving of the critical acclaim he's received. But the Pulitzer-winning Anna, a tender tragedy set in a Cuban cigar factory, is by far his most accessible work, and should at the very least, not be boring. Portland Center Stage, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Opens Fri, runs Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 28, $15-55

One Week Only

A Fig for Such a Life!
Tears of Joy presents a one-night-only performance of a screwball farce by the excellently named Willhelm Rattlesword. Features "European clowning and stunning masks." Winningstad Theater, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-0557, Sat 8 pm, $12-15

Closing This Week

Pure Gold Baby
A new play conceived by Michelle Keil and Sherry Okamura about the seedy world of exotic dancing. Milk & Honey Studio, 2512 SE Gladstone, 224-8499, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 13, $25-30

Portland Story Theater
In an era of colossal special effect and technological innovation, nothing continues to touch the human spirit like a good story, well told. Portland Story Theater celebrates the art of storytelling with three late-night creepy tales of murder and the supernatural: "The Moonlit Road," "The Two Tutus," and "Isabelle." Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through Nov 13, $8

Current Runs

Boston Marriage
Things are stirring again at Coho, which opens its 2004-05 season with David Mamet's play about two Victorian women of fashion who live together as if married. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 4, $21

Cornered in the Dark
The new company Insight Out, founded by local celeb Wade McCollum, presents a new play about sexual violence written and directed and starring Haitian-American Lenelle N. Moise, who, considering she's only 24 years old, has one of the most impressive theatrical resumes we've seen. That said, we've never heard of her. Firehouse Theater, 1436 SW Montgomery St, 234-0973, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 20, $15

Julius Caesar
See review this issue. Magdelyn Theatre, 403 NW 5th, 274-4771, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 2:30 pm, through Nov 28, $15

Keep Tightly Closed in a Cool Dry Place
The always interesting Sowelu ensemble presents their debut of a 2004-2005 season that will feature new one-act plays. Keep Tightly is a diatribe on misogyny by Megan Terry, features Sowelu's usual lineup of all star performers (Lorraine Bahr, Jared Roylance, etc.), and in a neat twist will be performed twice each night--once by an all-male cast, and once by an all-female cast. Back Door Theater, 4321 SE Hawthorne , 230-2090, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 18, $8-15

Vitriol and Violets: Tales From the Algonquin Round Table
This is a play about 1920s New York and the great creative forces like Dorothy Parker and Robert Sherwood who used to kick it at the city's famed Algonquin Hotel. It's been done before as a staged reading, and now receives a full production, not to mention an Oregon Book Award nomination for best dramatic work. Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S State St, 635-3901, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through Dec 12, $24

Dance

* Doug Varone and Dancers
The heralded New York choreographer Varone presents a new piece, "Deconstructing English," an intentionally disjointed departure from his normally fluid work. White Bird at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, 790-ARTS, Wed 7:30 pm, $19-43

Comedy/Improv

It's Not Fruit
Local sketch troupe Renob Control presents another evening of interconnected comedy vignettes, including the intriguing-sounding "Pregnancy!... The Musical." Also catch 'em Friday November 12, 10:30 pm, at the Brody Theater. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Sun 8 pm, through Nov 21, $7

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