PLAY--Why is it that watching other people bumble through misery and misfortune can be so uplifting? Soul-searching hitmen, slapstick drunks, and prissy social workers populate this double-barreled on-stage sitcom. It's your last chance--closes the 30th of September. PB Suburban Motel, Stark Raving Theatre, 3430 SE Belmont, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat, 7:30 pm, $13.50-$17

DANCE--A potato prop here, a silent movement there, and buckets of dramedy. Profoundly original choreography has earned 33 Fainting Spells world-wide acclaim. Surrealism galore, with original music by Kyle Hanson and Joseph Zajonc. JS
Group 33 Fainting Spells, September September, $2 parking fee, PICA at PCC-Sylvania Performing Arts Center, 12000 SW 49th, 242-1419, $13-$16


FILM/MUSIC--Silent films are great, but they're so damn...quiet. Tonight,break the silence in the first of a monthly Red76 film scoring series, as John Fahey plays live to the Thief of Bagdad and Mome Raths scoreLuc Besson's Atlantis. JS
Medicine Hat Gallery,1834 NE Alberta, 778-7700, 9pm, $5

MUSIC--Bring some handi-wipes, because the wrought-from-the-gut, beautifully quivering music of Bright Eyes makes even the manliest, GTO-revving jocks bawl their faces off. (Compounded by the celestial mixing of Her Space Holiday and keyboard lovers The Prom.) JS
Meow Meow,527 SE Pine, 8 pm, all ages


SILENT FILM--How fucking cool is this? Elegant, silent films with live musicians tailoring their own music to the picture. Just like the good ole days. Tonight, Hockenkeit (can you say it?)--abstract and beautifully irreverent--will work with the classic 1929 film, Man with the MovieCamera. Later, 31 Knots will score Dog Star Man. KD
Medicine Hat Gallery, 1834 NE Alberta,282-4083 21 and over, $5


TUNES--Choose active over passive and get spastic fantastic. Flip your hair and shimmy shimmy to the snarly-smart personalities and super-sassed power surge of Le Tigre, The Bangs, and Tracy & the Plastics. JS
Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine St, 230-2111, 8pm, $7, all ages


CHIEF ROOSKIE--Wow! Former General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, is speaking Portland! And we only have three questions for him: A) Do the Russians love their children, too? B) Do you get free cases of Stoli? And C) What's up with the tattoo? WSH
Mikhail Gorbachev, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway and Main, 274-7488, 6:30 pm, $150 (And worth every ruble!)


--NPR mainstay/writer/all-around smart guy Andrei Codrescu becomes even more essential to society tonight, as he reads/speaks in a benefit for the Lovejoy Column Relocation. Ask him about Messiah! JS
First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave, 7:30 pm, $15-50, call Literary Arts, Inc. at 227-2583 for tickets

FILM NOIR--Crime doesn't get much creepier than with the 1961 classic Cape Fear. After six years in the slammer, badass Robert Mitchum returns with a menacing vengeance to harass the lawyer (Gregory Peck) who put him away, as well as his perfect little family.Take that, status quo! WSH
The Guild Theatre,SW 9th and Taylor, 221-1156. 7pm, $6


STRIP FLICKS--Get to know your local 'ho, with the Sex by Sex Worker Film and Video Festival.This two day event features flicks by and about sexworkers--the good, the bad, and the beautiful! Seethis week's feature for all the juicy details. KD
Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, 223-4515, call for showtimes, $6 (or $5 with a can of food), more info at Danzine, 234-9615