Opening This Week

Going All The Way: A Very Special Night of Theatre
A new company with the cute title of Club Posse presents this "multimedia collaboration based on the after-school specials that ruled the 3 pm network timeslot from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s." It starts at the ungodly hour of 11:30 pm—sorry, our kids will be in bed. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 358-8646, Thurs-Fri 11:30 pm, $7

Tao Soup
Local theater guru Scott Kelman's play with the hippie-dippy title returns. According to the press materials, a recent Los Angeles run of the show impressed Doors drummer John Densmore so much, he came up to play percussion at some subsequent Portland performances. Brooklyn Bay, 1825 SE Franklin, Bay K, 777-5879, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $12-15 ($10 for second timers)

Closing This Week

An Experiment With an Air Pump
Maureen Porter directs this "scientific thriller" that criss-crosses in time between 1999 and 1799, addressing medical ethics, genetic engineering, and other weighty topics as it goes. Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery, 274-1717, Thurs 7 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, ends Apr 30, $10

Zaney
The Arts Equity company in the 'Couve presents the premiere of Quintessence honcho Connor Kerns' new play, Zaney, a backstage farce of "lust, need, melodrama, wit, passion, [and] humor." Nothing better than a little need to get you through the week. Main Street Theatre, 606 Main Street, Vancouver, (360) 695-3770, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, ends Apr 30, $10-16

Current Runs

Frozen
With Frozen, Artists Repertory Theatre (ART) has gotten its hands on a great play. British playwright Bryony Lavery tells the story of a child serial killer, Ralph (Keith Scales); an American psychologist, Agnetha (Karen Trumbo); and the mother of one of Ralph's victims who believes she has the strength to forgive him, Nancy (Linda Williams Janke). Lavery's writing is smart and brave—almost the entire first act is composed of monologues, a precarious dramatic device handled with exquisite grace. But having acquired the rights to this text, ART Artistic Director Allen Nause and Co. must have thought their job was done. JWS Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, 241-1278, Tues-Wed, Sun 7 pm, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sat-Sun 2 pm, $15-40

Like I Say
As directed by defunkt's James Moore, Like I Say is a dreary, ambient, morbidly reflective affair set in the Hotel Splendide, where the inhabitants find respite from the outside world that has treated them shabbily. Here, the married duo of ambiguously European puppeteers, Leon and Tanya Vole (Neal Starbird and Camille Cettina) can construct an elaborate puppet stage in the main room without resistance, and here, the struggling writer Isaiah Sandoval (a perfectly cast Gary Norman) can spin his kooky tales of Coconut Joe to a captive audience. "It's a lot of work, this kind of misery," says Isaiah, and it is. From the exquisite detail of the puppets (with help from Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre) to Schwarzberg's amazingly detailed paintings that adorn one side of the stage, "deftigo" (defunkt + Theatre Vertigo) has lingered (and lingered) on every possible, brooding, physical detail. It's impressive, and depressing. Blessed relief comes in Isaiah's story-within-a-play about Coconut Joe (Keith Cable), a hapless coconut buyer whose trip to peruse a particularly high-quality crop launches him into a crazy pulp adventure on the high seas. Here, the Coconut Joe chorus of Nathan Gale, Amy Newman, Darius Pierce, and Jesse Young have a ball racing through the endless slew of wacky characters Joe meets on his journey. Their infectious energy and good cheer sharply contrasts with the ponderous tedium of the hotel's main action. JWS Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont, 306-0870, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $15, Thurs pay-what-you-can

Tartuffe
The PSU opera department presents Kirke Mechem's adaptation of Moliere's most enduring comedy; Metropolitan Opera's Steven Crawford conducts as part of a special five-week residency working with the students. Lincoln Hall, PSU, SW Broadway & Market, 725-3307, 7:30 pm Apr 28, May 3 & 6, $20.50

Comedy/Improv

The End
Saturday night live at Comedysportz finds us with The End, the improv team-up of John Breen and Kent McCarty, who will set the entire made-up show in one location. ComedySportz Arena, 1963 NW Kearney, 236-8888, Sat 10:45 pm, $5

The Liberators
Mississippi Studios continues to rule with a night of great improv from the Liberators, at a rock-bottom price. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 288-3895, 8 pm May 3, $5

Support The Portland Mercury

Dance

Inbal Pinto Dance Company
White Bird concludes another stellar dance season with Tel Aviv's Inbal Pinto company, a surreal blend of "grotesque clowns, muted ballerinas with stools attached to their tutus, and Siamese twins." The work they'll present, "Oyster," is based on a story by Tim Burton. Schnitzer Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 790-ARTS, 7:30 pm May 3, $19-43

Spring Program
Oregon Ballet Theatre presents their Spring Program, a trilogy of works set to Mozart. There's a brand new work by James Kudelka; an old work by George Balanchine accompanied by Mozart's "Divertimento No. 15"; and a kind of old work (premiered in 1986) by Lars Lubovitch, set to "Concerto Six Twenty-Two," a clarinet piece the composer concocted within two months of his death. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 222-5538, 7:30 pm April 28-29, $13-96

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