Opening This Week

The Vespiary
Stark Raving's latest is a Texas blood curdler with missing husbands, preachers, and a demon child that seeks revenge. Cool... Stark Raving, at the Coho Theatre , 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through April 30, $10-18

One Week Only

Patti LuPone
Broadway junkies will know this one-time star of Evita and Les Miserables, among many other shows. She's touring her "critically acclaimed theatrical concert" Matters of the Heart. Keller Auditorium , SW Third and Clay, 790-ARTS, April 5-9 @ 7:30 pm, April 9 @ 2 pm, April 10 @ 1 & 6:30 pm, $10-46

Closing This Week

A Devil Inside
The convoluted plot of David Lindsay-Abaire's dark comedy goes something like this: Gene's mother charges him with the unwelcome task of avenging his father's murder 14 years before--and to do so, Gene must find out who was responsible. His quest involves a homicidal Russian literature professor, a pretty girl with an Anna Karenina complex, an earnest handyman who has hallucinatory conversations with a devil that lives in his eye, and a mountain climber who can't stop eating because she has "consumption." Each person holds some piece of the key to the murderer's identity, and as the truth emerges, so do strange connections between the characters. Theatre Vertigo's production is fueled by a combination of pathos, black humor, and blood. Lots of blood. AH Theater! Theatre! , 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $15

Street Scene
To understand why seeing Street Scene is what you might call a "cultural experience" (beyond the obvious answer that it's an opera), we turn to its origins. In brief: writer Kurt Weill immigrated to the United States in 1935 full of visions for a new form of theater. He wanted to free opera from its existing form, and free theater from its reliance on words alone. To that end, he saw Elmer Rice's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Street Scene as an opportunity to actualize his vision. Set during a sweltering Manhattan summer, the opera depicts a group of immigrants who live through a series of tragedies: a woman cheats on her authoritarian husband; he discovers her infidelity and murders her; their daughter struggles to escape her dead-end life in New York. The Portland Opera production communicates Weill's original vision with great precision. The music and singing contribute to the steady development of each character, and there's a live dog in it, too. EJ Keller Auditorium , SW Third and Clay, 790-ARTS, Thurs & Sat 7:30 pm, $35-127

Tape
Set in a seedy hotel room in a small town, Tape is a longish one-act that begins with the reunion of two old high school friends. Jon (Brian Adrian-Koch) is a pretentious filmmaker with just enough self-awareness to avoid being a complete prick. His old buddy Vince (Clay W. Smith) is an aimless, pot-addled drifter. The duo have met up before since graduating high school, but this time around, Vince has a bone to pick. Intelligent and manipulative despite his scruffy façade, he induces a confession from Jon of a rape he committed against Amy, a girl that Vince once dated. JWS Back Door Theatre , 4319 SE Hawthorne, 757-8077, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $10

Current Runs

No Exit
Imago's legendary production of Sartre's postmodern classic returns, with its innovative, centrally suspended set fully intact. The actors must move in perfect unity to counterbalance the stage and keep it from tipping them into the void. Pretty fucking cool. Imago Theater , 17 SE 8th Ave, 231-9581, Tues-Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sat 1:30 pm, Sun 7 pm, through April 9, $18-24

O Lovely Glowworm
Glowworm
is supposedly the play acclaimed playwright Glen Berger always dreamed of writing--and it's about a stuffed goat who looks out on the world from his perch on a trash heap in rural 1918 Ireland. And that's just awesome. Portland Center Stage , 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6588, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through April 24, $15-55

The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl! Installment 12: Lulu's Golden Shoes
Miracle's latest is about a young girl who fancies herself a sort of ghetto superhero and fantasizes about the hooker who lives next door. All good things. The Miracle Theatre , 525 SE Stark Street, 236-7253, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through April 9, $14-17

Dance

Australian Dance Theatre
White Bird presents the gravity-defying Australian Dance Theatre, whose Birdbrain is an exciting riff on Swan Lake replete with breakdance, funny T-shirts, and crazy aerial dance. Lincoln Hall, PSU , 1620 SW Park Ave, 790-ARTS, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $14-25

Support The Portland Mercury

Comedy/Improv

Extra Medium
This monthly evening of local standup comedy, digital video, and music continues with the very funny comic Dax Jordan, quirky filmmaker Phantom Hillbilly, and much more entertaining zaniness. Jasmine Tree , 401 SW Harrison St, 223-7956, Tues 8:30 pm, $3

That's Entertainment?
The highly hilarious 3rd Floor sketch comedy troupe presents an ambitious-sounding "hundred-year comedy revue," which pays homage to the stylings of comic legends like Abbot & Costello, Monty Python, and Kids in the Hall. The 3rd Floor at the Miracle Theater , 525 SE Stark, 258-1681, Thurs 8 pm, Fri-Sat 11 pm, through April 9, $10

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