Opening This Week

Silence
Julie Akers directs Moira Buffini's play, which is described in the press release thusly: "Amid the chaos of Viking raids and the end of the millennium panic, Silence, the young Lord of Cumbria, is forced to marry a feisty French princess at the behest of the King." Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 784-7316, opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $15-18

The Lonesome West
With the amazing Recent Tragic Events and the flawed but still interesting Dirty Story already under their belt, Third Rail Repertory remains the company to watch in Portland. Their latest is British playwright Martin McDonagh's play about two brothers in a squalid Irish town. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate, 235-1101, opens Fri, runs Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $15-20

One Week Only

Night of 100 Stars
Live On Stage presents "Portland's hottest performers," as they sing and dance a review of Broadway hits, plus rock, pop, and disco tunes "as you've never seen them performed before." Rent fans will jizz all over The Friday show, when original Broadway cast member Anthony Rapp drops by to perform and sign his new memoir, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent. He'll also be signing for free at 5:30 pm, so come then if you don't want to pay 25 smackers for this gooey bucket of truculent tripe. WTC Auditorium, 121 SW Salmon, www.liveonstage.us, 8 pm May 18-20, $25-50

Closing This Week

Don Giovanni
The Portland Opera continues the city-wide celebration of Mozart month with his tale of the famed seducer of women. Though not PO's best production this year, Don Giovanni is as recommended as ever for its clever sets and flawless (it is Mozart, after all) score. Standouts among this production include Daniel Mobbs as Giovanni's manservant and the splendid Laquita Mitchell as one of Giovanni's objects of affection. WILL GARDNER Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 222-5538, 7:30 pm May 18, 20, $37-133

Current Runs

Bog of Cats
Coho presents a very welcome production of Irish playwright Marina Carr's darkly comic modern riff on the Greek legend of Medea. Coho Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh, 220-COHO, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $22

Clean
Olga Sanchez directs Edwin Sanchez's play about a Bronx boy who turns to the church to escape his troubled family. The Miracle Theatre, 525 SE Stark, 236-7253, Thurs 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, $16-20

Hamlet
The NW Classical Theatre presents this little play you might have heard of. It's directed by Fred Ward, who, interestingly enough, once directed Hollywood films, including When A Stranger Calls. Shoe Box Theater, 2110 SE 10th, 274-4771, Thurs-Sat 7 pm, Sun 2 pm, $12-18

Mitlaufer
Fever Theater's new show presents an advertising agency known as the Pandemonium Institute, which pays for artists to live in a controlled environment where their behavior is monitored and outside influence is restricted. During the audience's introduction to the Pandemonium Institute, a manic and hilarious biography of Leni Riefenstahl is presented, with the inspired assistance of local band Iretsu. Riefenstahl, the innovative filmmaker who made the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, is identified as a good candidate for the Institute, which would have protected her talents from corrupting influences. This thought-provoking, entirely engaging production moves beyond pure spectacle into the realm of genuine experience. AH Goldsmith Building, 20 NW 5th, 233-4420, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Fri-Sat 10 pm, $10-15, Thurs pay-what-you-can

Tao Soup
The title of Scott Kelman's current offering at Brooklyn Bay, Tao Soup, was cause for concern: I was worried I was in for an evening of haphazard performance art combined with a casual appropriation of Eastern religious systems. What I actually got was a refreshingly disciplined, self-aware exploration of the relationship between Eastern and Western thought, rendered humorously and clearly by a talented, hard-working ensemble. AH Brooklyn Bay, 1825 SE Franklin, Bay K, 777-5879, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $12-15

The Who's Tommy
Radiant Theatre presents the Who's ridiculous musical about disability, celebrity, and pinball. Liberty Hall, 311 N Ivy, 502-8261, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, $20, Thurs pay-what-you-can

Support The Portland Mercury

Dance

The Big Room
The popular Bodyvox ensemble returns with a revamped version of an old smash hit: The Big Room, a series of interconnected dances showcasing movement styles ranging from smooth ballet to jittery, Zappa-inspired physical neuroticism. Newmark Theater, the PCPA Building, 1111 SW Broadway, 229-0627, 7:30 pm May 17-20, $15-36

Comedy/Improv

2nd Annual Portland Comedy Showcase
This is just an assload of sketch comedy and improv from some of Portland's best groups. Hit brodytheater.com for the full schedule, but highlights include work from the Liberators (Fri 8 pm), Extra Medium (Fri 10:30 pm), John Breen (Sat 8 pm), The 3rd Floor (Sat 10:30 pm), and an "improv and sketch jam" to conclude the thing on Sun, 7:30 pm. Brody Theater, 1904 NW 27th, 224-0688, Fri-Sat 8 & 10:30 pm, Sun 7:30 pm, $10, or $16 for both nightly shows, $5 Sunday

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