OPENINGS & PREVIEWS
The Book of Mormon
"So good it makes me angry." Jon Stewart said that. If you haven't heard, this everything-busting musical from the creators of South Park is the pinnacle of our generation's theater, lauded by everyone from your grandmother to your bank teller. Go see it and start the praise yourself. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 800-273-1530. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Saturday; 2 pm & 7:30 pm Saturday; 1 pm & 6:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 12-24. $40-$154.
Violin and prizefighting are cousin crafts, at least for 1930s legend Joe Bonaparte. In this 1937 Broadway classic by Clifford Odets, Joe seems golden as a violin prodigy, until the glamour of the ring ropes him in. Lakewood—the little Oswego theater that could—might be playing it safe here, but they're planning a strong showing at the Fertile Ground Festival later this month, so this is a good chance for die-hard grounders to test the waters at their home base. Extra shows 7 pm Sunday, Jan.17 and 7:30 pm Wednesday, Jan. 20. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S State St., Lake Oswego, 635-3901. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, through Feb. 14. $32.
National Theatre Live: Jane Eyre
High schoolers rejoice—the unsinkable classic gets real life in National Theatre Live's screening of the London show. More effort than SparksNotes, yes, but more memorable too. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 235-1101. 2 & 7 pm Sunday, Jan. 10. $20.
National Theatre Live: The Beaux' Stratagem
National Theatre Live screens George Farquhar's comedy of Shakespearean tangles and Wilde-like foibles, where two reckless guys hunt for rich wives. Mr. Aimwell and Mr. Archer encounter all sort of characters when they flee London to look for love at a provincial inn. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 235-1101. 2 pm & 7 pm Saturday, Jan. 9. $20.
National Theatre Live: The Winter's Tale
Third Rail's first high-definition screening from London's Garrick Theatre is the tragicomic play The Winter's Tale, starring the nearly blameless Judi Dench as Paulina and Kenneth Branagh as a lusty king who can't be satisfied by riches. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 235-1101. 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 7. $20.
Portland Opera To Go: The Elixir of Love
This Elixir is the leftover from last July's full run, back for one 50-minute show of the 1832 opera that's rewritten as a Wild West romance. It follows country boy Nemorino as he buys a bogus love potion in the hopes of winning his beloved Adina. In the tradition of Blazing Saddles and Sergio Leone, it's a shoot-'em-up, madcap tangle, but with legato bel canto. Antoinette Hatfield Hall, 1111 SW Broadway, 241-1802. Noon Monday, Jan. 11. Free.
The Miracle Worker
Artistic director Dámaso Rodriguez knew what he was doing before the first casting call. 12-year-old Agatha Olson stuns as the deaf-blind lead in William Gibson's play, even though she's never taken a theater class, and this Miracle Worker grabs your insides long before Annie Sullivan (Val Landrum) cracks her tempestuous charge. The veteran cast riffs on Gibson's minimal dialogue, adding brawls and well-timed comedy for a surprisingly gripping ride. Flashbacks add a ghostly effect, staged behind a curtain that turns translucent when backlit. And just before the break we get a chase scene that rivals Bond, only this one involves a ceramic water pitcher and Sullivan wearing a bustle as she fields blows from the egg-spattered, explosive Helen. "You feel better about the world when the play is over," Rodriguez says. "They should install tissue boxes on every row," half-joked a millennial on opening night. "The Miracle Worker: brought to you by Kleenex." Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St., 241-1278. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday and 2 pm Sunday, through Jan. 17. $48.
COMEDY & VARIETY
Baron Vaughn: Saturdaze Tour
Co-host of the popular podcast Maltin on Movies, with movie review guru Leonard Maltin, and series regular on Netflix's Grace and Frankie, comedian Baron Vaughn is bringing his Saturdaze tour to Portland. Vaughn regularly performs comedy at festivals all over the country, has done sets on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan and for his Portland date, he's bringing up some of the city's top comedians: Amy Miller, Curtis Cook and Nariko Ott. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm Saturday, Jan. 9. $13-$15. 21+.
Curious Comedy Open Mic
Curious hosts a weekly open-mic night. Sign-ups begin at 7:15, and comics get three minutes of stage time apiece.Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 8 pm every Sunday. Free.
Curious Comedy Showdown
Curious Comedy's improvisers duke it out, in hopes of winning audience votes and advancing to the next round of competition. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 7:30 pm every Friday and Saturday. $12-$15.
The Dirty Dozen
It's time to test your comedic limits. The Dirty Dozen showcase features some of the best local talent telling their raunchiest, naughtiest and dirtiest material coming straight out of the comedy gutter. Bring a friend, bring your mother and see how far some hilarious folks are willing to push the comedy envelope. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Wednesday, Jan. 6. $12-$20. 21+.
Helium Open Mic
Generally regarded as the best open-mic night in town, Helium's sign-ups fill quickly. Show up between 6 and 7 pm to snag some stage time. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm every Tuesday. Free with a two-item minimum. 21+.
Winner of the second season of Last Comic Standing, John Heffron creates humor from his personal life. With stories ranging from bar hopping in his twenties to being married in his thirties, Heffron has made appearances on Chelsea Lately and The Tonight Show, and in 2013 published the bestselling comedy advice book I Come to You From the Future: Everything You'll Need to Know Before You Know It!. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 7, 7:30 pm & 10 pm Friday-Saturday, Jan. 8-9. $15-$32. 21+
Lez Stand Up feat. Deep Lez
Two of the Pacific Northwest's most hilarious lesbian comedy troupes are coming together for a show that features standup, storytelling and sketch to let you know about the all-new Siren Theater and support and promote queer and feminist art. Hosted by Kirsten Kuppenbender, Lez Stand Up regulars Diane Gasperin, Mel Heywood, Laura Anne Whitley and Rebecca Waits welcome very special guests Seattle's Deep Lez. The Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis St. 8 pm Friday, Jan. 8. $10-$12.
The Liberators 10th Anniversary Celebration
Formed way back in 2006, the Liberators have flexed their collective improvisation comedy muscles in almost every venue in the city. Now, to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Tony, Nicholas, Shelley, and John are performing a special show in their new home, the Siren Theater. The Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis St. 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 9. $12-$15.
Naked Comedy Open Mic
The Brody hosts a thrice-weekly open-mic night. Comics get four-minute standup slots and can sign up online.Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 9:30 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Free with one-item minimum purchase.
Team-based, long-form improv open to audience members and performers of all stripes.. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 7:30 pm every Thursday. $5.
Random Acts of Comedy
Curious Comedy puts on a freewheeling show that brings together sketch, standup and improv. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 9:30 pm every Saturday. $7-$10.
If you've ever experienced the artistry and wonder of a Cirque du Soleil performance, you are in no way prepared for the mindfuck that is Spiegelworld. Alternately astounding, hilarious and truly fucking bizarre, the Spiegelworld cast will push you to the absolute limit of what you're comfortable with—and well fucking beyond. The performance really begins well before showtime, when the performers wander through the crowd catching projectiles in their pants, taking photos with patrons' faces pressed to their asses and softening the thresholds of humiliation before things get really vulgar. This is all possible—and effective—thanks to the intimate venue. The acrobatics and contortion acts become jaw-droppingly real, with every quivering muscle, hyper-extended rib cage and sweat-slicked pectoral on full display. It's every bit as erotic as it sounds and the performers are undeniably world-class. Empire will leave you titillated, amazed and horrified beyond all reason—in the best possible way. PENELOPE BASS. Rose Quarter Benton Lot, 542 N Broadway, 800-745-3000. 7 pm Tuesday-Sunday and 9 pm Friday-Saturday, through Jan. 17. $25-$99.
Miz Kitty's Parlour: Enchantment by the Sea
Miz Kitty's recurring parlor mashes song-and-dance, acrobats and comedy into a dark vaudeville show. This Enchantment brings Brazilian jazz from Pérola, comedians Curt Carlyle and Erin O'Regan and the 1920s-inspired dancers the Charleens. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 9. $20-$23. 21+.
Pacific Dance Makers
Eowyn Emerald may be Portland's closest thing to a dance matriarch, putting on short-run shows with Third Rail and curating this annual show from top Northwest choreographers. For 2016, it's Emerald and six others, including Portland Ballet co-artistic director Anne Mueller and Seattle's Anna Conner. Reed College Massee Performance Lab, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., eowynbarrett.com. 7:30 pm Friday and 5 and 7:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 8-9. $20.