Opening This Week

A Lie of the Mind
Theatre Vertigo presents yet another Sam Shepard play to run this month, featuring the usual excellent regulars: Todd Van Voris, Julie and Neal Starbird, Camille Cettina, and plenty more. Theatre Vertigo at Theater! Theatre! , 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, through July 2, $13-15, Thursdays pay-what-you-can Johnny Stallings' Hamlet Stallings, who has been performing a quirky, one-man rendition of King Lear for decades, finally trots out a new one-man piece: Hamlet. He is not one to back down from a challenge. Brooklyn Bay , 1825 SE Franklin, Bay K, 231-7876, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm, through June 12, $10

One Week Only

Amber Martin
If you haven't been to the great, spacious Acme bar yet, please do so. If you haven't witnessed the insanely energetic, oddball musical personas of Amber Martin, please do so. And if you don't like reading the phrase "please do so" and want to tell us to stop using it, please do so. Acme , SE 8th & Main, 503-230-9020, Fri-Sat 9 pm, $10 Extra Medium The first Tuesday of every month features this eclectic evening of local standup comedy, digital video, and music. This month's show sports a Star Wars theme. Jasmine Tree , 401 SW Harrison St, 223-7956, Tues 8:30 pm, $3

Movin' Out
"Five life-long friends. Two turbulent decades. 24 classic Billy Joel songs." That's what the press release says and we really don't feel the need to extrapolate. Keller Auditorium , SW Third and Clay, 790-ARTS, June 7-11 @ 7:30 pm, June 11 @ 2 pm, June 12 @ 1 & 6:30 pm, $24-66

Closing This Week

Christopher is a young black man diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, temporarily institutionalized for doing something indelicate and unspecified with an orange. Is Christopher crazy, or just responding to the fucked up world he lives in? The outstanding performances in Blue/Orange highlight and deepen these ambiguities. AH Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center , 5340 N. Interstate, 241-1278, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 & 7 pm, extended through June 12, $15-35

Current Runs

Boy Gets Girl
After the first act of Rebecca Gilman's weak stalker play, we never see the stalker, Tony (David Burnett, excellent), in person again. Rather than showing us his actions, Gilman tells them, a proven method for sapping a play's potential tension. With complete neglect for its antagonist, Boy Gets Girl entirely fails to be a careful study of a truly troubled man and the troubled woman he haunts, turning instead into a simplistic moral debate between the male lunkheads in Theresa's life--her boss Howard (David Myers) and her coworker Mercer (Joe Healy)--whose good-naturedly warped perspectives on women in society demonstrate, I suppose, that even cool guys just don't get it. JWS Coho Theatre , 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-2646, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through June 12, $21

Fourteen Hundred Thousand & Mud
Pairing the high falutin' braininess of Sam Shepard's surreal bookshelf-as-metaphor drama Fourteen Hundred Thousand with Mud, Maria Irene Fornes' visceral tale of redneck desperation, was an inspired decision, but defunkt's execution doesn't quite do the concept justice. Ideally, the self-conscious intellectualism of Fourteen would highlight and reinforce Mud's simplicity, and vice versa. Instead, Fourteen feels strident and rushed, while the lighting technique used in Mud--flooding the stage with light as characters freeze between scenes, snapshot style--lends the whole piece a manipulative quality that undermines its potential gritty realism. While both casts are certainly competent, there's a slapdash quality to the production as a whole that suggests another week or two in rehearsal might've helped. There's not much room for error when it comes to one-acts--either you have your audience at hello, or you'll never have them. defunkt, unfortunately, never quite had me--twice. AH Back Door Theatre , 4319 SE Hawthorne, 481-2960, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm, through June 25, $8-15

The Resurrectory
Imagine what would happen if immaculate filmmaker Wes Anderson made a performance art installation about a 19th-century murder spree and subsequent black market cadaver sale in Scotland, and you'll have an idea of what it's like to walk through Liminal's The Resurrectory. A perfectly balanced array of live performance (both musical and theatrical), visual art, and video work from Jim Blashfield divides the story into its component parts. There's the Inquest, where actors reconstruct the murder scenes through a series of eerie, fluid movement sequences; the Operating Theater, where the fresh cadavers are dissected and lectured about by poet David Abel as a ghostly orchestra provides background music on what appear to be electronic saxophones; and the Collections, where records keeper Alex Reagan documents the crimes via tape recorder and keeps archives of photographic evidence. You can sit in any of these areas indefinitely and constantly find fresh things to observe. What makes The Resurrectory fun is, like Anderson's films, its attention to detail. The Collections is stocked with penlights you can cast on the wall, where a city map charts each new murder. The Inquest contains a metal operating table, where sexy/scary attendant Madeleine Sanford preps the corpses under a harsh light. Even the show's program is layered, packed with historical information and Gabriel Liston's amazing, scratchy sketches, which pop up all over the installation and provide a great stylistic through line. Come to The Resurrectory, and then come again. And again. JWS Portland Art Center , 2045 SE Belmont, 239-5481, Thurs-Sat 8-10 pm, through June 18, $6-10 pay-what-you-can