Openings & Previews
Over a year after he took the PR reins at Third Rail Theatre, company member Isaac Lamb is directing a play. In Sharr White's tragicomic relationship drama, Emma returns to her ex-husband to pull him back from the brink of self-destruction. Ulysses is living in a trailer, alone, cooking while naked with only a dog for company. To really put audiences in this dingy world, the theater has been redesigned to create a more intimate space. Perfect for a date night with your ex, maybe achieving some catharsis as Emma and Ulysses bounce back and forth between their undeniable love and unbearable annoyance. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 503-235-1101. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday. Aug. 5-27. $24.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Broadway Rose Theatre continues their love for Sondheim, staging Forum right after their production of West Side Story. Broadway Rose founding-General-Manager Dan Murphy will make an appearance as Pseudolus alongside Ethan Crystal—who just finished up his run in Triangle Production's American Idiot—and Eugene native Kaitlyn Sage. This show follows a Greek slave trying to gain his freedom by helping his master get the girl of his dreams. The Deb Fennell Auditorium, 9000 SW Durham Road, Tigard. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sundays Aug. 4-21. Additional shows 2 pm Saturday Aug. 13 and 20. $20-$28.
Portland's newest theater company is jumping the gun, and we couldn't be more glad about it. In the middle of the dull summer theater season (mostly Shakespeare in the parks), Public Citizen Theatre debuts a dark, sadomasochistic work that you'd expect at the hight of the fall arts season. This black murder mystery by French poet and criminal extraordiairre Jean Ganet is based on the real-life murder of a Madame by her housemaids, two sisters who play out sadomasochistic fantasies in their down time. Staged in this industrial warehouse theater, The Maids is primed to deliver chills in spite of the season. Shaking the Tree Theater, 823 SE Grant St., 503-235-0635. 8 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Aug. 4-21. $15-$25.
Four year old Lucy has one fucked up imaginary friend. This is no children's show. Instead, Mr. Marmalade is an abusive cocaine addict with a dildo obsession and a porn problem. Adding to the fuckpile, Lucy has one friend, a depressed boy named Larry who's notorious for being the youngest kid to attempt suicide in the history of New Jersey. Twilight Theater might not be known for high-profile works or star power, but you can't argue its stomach for black comedy. No show Thursday, July 28. Twilight Theater Company, 7515 N Brandon Ave., 8 pm Thursday-Saturday, 3 pm Sunday, through Aug. 6. $15.
The Music Man
Clackamas Repertory Theatre produces the classic musical about a traveling salesman who cons the parents of a small Iowa town into buying his instruments by promising to start a marching band. He plans to skip town before making good on that promise, but when a feisty librarian catches his eye, he decides to stick around for awhile. Clackamas Repertory Theatre, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City, 503-594-6047. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2:30 pm Sundays, August 4-28. $10-$18.
By the Light of a Different Moon
Under the stars and trees of Mary S. Young Park, members of A-WOL Dance Collective will fly through the air on aerial apparatus, incorporating strength techniques, acrobatics and dance to an original soundtrack of Dirty Elegance's downtempo, emotional trance beats. Every year, A-WOL's Art in the Dark performance transforms a park into an evening of circus-like spectacle. Mary S. Young Park, 19900 Willamette Falls Drive, West Linn. 8:30 pm Friday-Sunday, August 5-14. $15-$28.
Your dream of tap dancing in Director Park is about to come true. Every August, Polaris dance company takes over this downtown square with free classes and contemporary performances from their own school and some of Portland's top companies, like A-WOL Dance Collective. The lineup looks more diverse and funky this year. Boyeurism, the all-male revue from Star Theater, and The Circus Project will perform. In between shows, anyone can join classes in disciplines like ballet, yoga, pilates or tap. Director Park, 815 SW Park Ave., 11 am-6:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 4-6. Free.
COMEDY & VARIETY
Al's Den Comedy Night
Mostly local stand-up comedians and Seattleites passing through combine for an hour long showcase. Sometimes the best part is watching Crystal Hotel guests awkwardly sidle by the stage, wearing only a swimsuit and towel, on their way to the pool behind this basement bar. Al's Den, 303 SW 12th Ave., 10:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Free. 21+
Barbara Holm Believes in You
Your life looks less shitty at stand-up shows in comparison to comedians' much shittier lives. But positive affirmation is the theme of Barbara Holm's monthly showcase, where audience members win prizes and get free comedy from local guests, including Bridgetown Comedy veterans. Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside St., 8 pm every First Wednesday. Free.
The Brody Open Mic
Twice-weekly, Portland's most prolific improv venue opens its stage to everyone for 3-minute bits. Sign up online day of before 1 pm. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 8:30 pm Tuesday-Wednesday. Free.
Control Yourself: A Showcase Of Funny
Joann Schinderle's weekly showcase of traveling national comedians an local up-and-comers is followed by an open mic, making it a crowd-pleaser that has won WW's Best of Portland readers poll twice. Alberta Streeet Pub, 1036 NE Alberta St., 9 pm Mondays. Free.
Curious Comedy Open Mic
Sign up start at 7:15, and every comic gets a tight three minutes onstage in this weekly show hosted by Andie Main. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 8 pm Sundays. Free.
Curious Comedy Playground
It's basically free time for comedians. Acts run the gamut, from improv to video and musical comedy, and you never know who's coming out to play. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 9:30 pm every first, third and fifth Thursday. Free.
Some of WW's favorite funny Portlanders showcase famous and not-so-famous, local and not-so-local comedians. Hosted by Curtis Cook, Alex Falcone, Anthony Lopez and Bri Pruett inside a pretty epic bike shop. Velo Cult, 1969 NE 42nd Ave., every Wednesday. Free, $5 suggested donation.
Friday Night Fights
Curious' twice-monthly improv competition pits teams that won last week's Thursday Night Throwdown against one another. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 9:30 pm every first and third Friday. Free.
Helium Open Mic
Sign-ups start at 6 for Helium's weekly Open Mic and the line-up drops at 7:30. No guarantees on stage time, but the bar's always open. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 8 pm every Tuesday. Free.
John Rudnitsky is a guy people call a rising star, a featured player on Saturday Night Live and one of the prestigious "New Faces of Comedy" at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. He also won something called The John Ritter Memorial Award for Outstanding Comic Performance. With five shows in three nights, he's giving Portland plenty of time to decide if he's our favorite new comedian. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, Aug. 4, 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday Aug. 5-6, $15-$25. 21+.
This weekly, long-form improv show combines performers from many Portland theaters and troupes. Newbies are welcome and teams are picked at random, then coached by an improv veteran before taking the stage. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Thursday. Free.
The Ranger Station Open Mic
Sign ups start at 8 pm for a weekly open mic night hosted by Victor Johnson, set in the whiskey-heavy bar WW once compared to "a Roosevelt-era public works cabin." The Ranger Station, 4260 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 8:30 pm every Wednesday. Free. 21+.
Workshop students, veteran crews and groups that pre-register online perform long form improv every Sunday. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 6 pm Sundays. Free.
Brody's students showcase their improv, sketch and standup skills—a different class each week. The Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 6 pm Thursdays. Free.
Another new comedy show is staring. Hosted by Portland's most recent Funniest person Nariko Ott, fellow Funniest finalist Caitlin Weierhauser, and newcomer Matt Monroe, You're Welcome is going to be once a week, and it's not to be missed. Kicking things off will be Portland's Funniest alums Adam Pasi and Chris Ettrick, along with Barbara Holm and Yogi Paliwal. Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi Ave., 9:30 pm Wednesday, Aug. 3. Free. 21+.