Opening This Week

Urinetown
A new local musical theater company, Stumptown Stages, presents a production of the fairly entertaining Broadway hit, Urinetown. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate, 381-8686, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 18, $25

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Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Live at Keller Auditorium March 4!
Jason Isbell has established himself as one of the most respected songwriters of his generation. Don’t miss Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, March 4th at Keller Auditorium!

One Week Only

Hand2Mouth Cake Walk
One of our favorite theater companies, Hand2Mouth, is turning five years old. Come celebrate at a birthday cake-walk and dance party featuring music from Koto y Soto and other fun bands, a chance to win cakes from Pix and other bakeries, and, at midnight, free cupcakes for all! Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Thurs 9 pm, $7-15

Let's Go! See A Show!
One-time Portlander Starr Ahrens returns with a one-woman show, described as an "Unaccompanied, Solo Exploration of her Original, One Act Musical." Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th, 224-0688, 8 pm Nov 22, $10

The Antic Arts Show
Tears of Joy presents a veteran of Cirque du Soleil, Patrick McGuire, and a veteran of Ringling Bros. Circus, Michael O'Neill, who will combine topnotch juggling, physical comedy, dance, stilt walking, and percussion for your entertainment pleasure. Winningstad Theater, PCPA Building, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-0557, 7 pm Nov 19, $10

Closing This Week

Bug
When Agnes meets Peter (Jeffrey Jason Gilpin), an eerie young homeless man who shares her taste for alcohol and cocaine, she lets him sleep on her floor. Soon they're sleeping together, a pairing of both Biblical and Oedipal subtext. The couple spends their days drinking, doing coke, and scouring the apartment for, well, bugs. Peter's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, and he tells Agnes he believes that the government implanted him with contagious tracking devices in the form of genetically modified aphids. Bug is bloody, vulgar, and full of balls-out nudity. It's also genuinely challenging, but ART's ensemble gets it all right, from the note-perfect sound design to the hallucinatory mind-fuck of the play's final moments. AH Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, 241-1278, Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $15-40

Current Runs

Nixon's Nixon
CoHo Theater's neatly timed Nixon's Nixon speculates about another beleaguered administration, envisioning the conversation between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger the night before Nixon's resignation. In a performance that seems calculated to show a different side of Nixon, Duffy Epstein overshoots and misses Nixon entirely. Epstein's unwillingness to simply do a Nixon impression is understandable, particularly given the script's thematic emphasis on the performance aspect of politics. But while forgoing the glower is one thing, a complete reinvention of the character is another. Epstein's Nixon seems histrionic and weak, rather than, as script and historical circumstance require, a strong man coming unhinged as his reputation and political legacy collapse. The resulting figure is impossible to reconcile with Nixon's weighty persona, and too insubstantial, unfortunately, to carry the production. AH Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Nov 26, $19-22

Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant
The stage adaptation of John Irving's bestselling book, A Prayer for Owen Meany, featuring Michael O'Connell, Maureen Porter, and many more. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, 241-1278, Tues-Thurs, Sun 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through Dec 18, $15-40

Dance

An Evening of Flamenco and Ballads
Sowelu presents performances of Lorca's epic Romance Sonambulo, paired with sexy flamenco dancer Juliet Cardinal, and sexy guitarist Stan Olmsted. Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 230-2090, Thurs-Fri 8 pm, $10-15

Support The Portland Mercury

Yesterday's Knot & Black Map
The Butoh dance company inkBoat presents a neat-sounding workshop at which you will "sharpen your sense of beauty, grotesqueness and the humor of your daily existence," followed by an evening performance. Conduit Studio, 918 SW Yamhill, Ste 401, nelablue@nexustudio.net, workshop 12-4 pm, performance 8 pm, Nov 20, workshop $48, performance $10-15 sliding

Comedy/Improv

Antiques Improv Show
The Brody Theater standard returns, in which a duo of "appraisers" do improvised riffs on objects brought in by the audience, while the rest of the cast enacts stories exploring their history and significance. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through Nov 26, $10

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