Theatre du Grand Guignol
Outfitted in the trappings of doom, the Little Church - off Northeast Alberta Street - is the setting for ensanguined melodrama and sex farces that were the mainstay of the original Théâtre du Grand-Guignol (pronounced geen-YOL), a Paris theater (1897-1962) famous for its bloody special effects.
One-act plays - each with its own director - are winningly performed in the style of the period (1925) by the deliciously character full Tragedies Theatre Company.
Those weaned on the quick edits of film may feel like it's a long haul to the payoff, and the production runs a full three hours.
Beware, the plastic chairs are truly a horror and those in the front rows are apt to be sprayed with 'blood.'
- Randall Barton
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, Oct. 27-28, the Little Church, 5138 N.E. 23rd Ave., 503-367-2100, www.thetragedies.com/tickets.htm, $15
'Night of the Murder Ballad'
Friday is the 10th and final installment of Jen Bernard's 'Night of the Murder Ballad.'
Start celebrating Halloween early with the Stolen Sweets, Dirty Martini and a plethora of Portland's finest balladeers as they gleefully plunder centuries' worth of morbid folk songs about death, death and more death.
Hearing tales of murder, betrayal and ultimate demise as done by this group of Murder Night alumni makes for a wickedly good time.
- Barbara Mitchell
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave., 503-233-1994, $12, all ages
Portland Erotic Ball
Calling this annual blast an orgy of anything may be a bit of an exaggeration - founder Pepe Raphael actually describes the proceedings as 'mild' - but there is no bigger masquerade and fetish event in town.
Live sex is taboo and nudity is theoretically prohibited, but if you're feeling prudish, you probably ought to pass on this party. A crowd of more than 1,500 is expected.
Pepe and the Bottle Blondes and Jesus Presley will perform, but then, with more than $3,000 in prizes awaiting the night's best costumes, so will everybody else.
- Eric Bartels
8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-810-4380, $25-$35
'Night of the Living Dead'
Two years ago, when John Monteverde staged George Romero's gory, low-budget cult film classic at Northwest Children's Theater and School, he was out to create an enduring Portland institution.
It's not just enduring, it's multiplying.
Monteverde left Northwest Children's Theater last spring, but his new Blue Monkey Theater Company decided to make its debut with the 1968 zombiefest. He retained the services of most of the key adult players from previous productions, including costumer Deedee Remington and lead actor Shuhe Hawkins.
But Northwest Children's Theater isn't letting go either, launching a production of its own.
Blue Monkey Theater Company: 10 p.m. and midnight, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, Valley Cinema, 9360 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, 503-777-4506, $12, recommended for ages 13 and up
Northwest Children's Theater: 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center, 1819 N.W. Everett St., 503-222-4480, $12
Hilton Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular
Stage moms, start your 'tweens! This show combines Olympic-caliber gymnastics and ice skating, with the mat and gym equipment placed on the ice and the skaters circling around them.
Gymnasts include Paul Hamm, Shannon Miller and Dominique Moceanu, while skaters include Evgeni Plushenko and Brian Orser.
Gymnast Carly Patterson, 18, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, will be there, in her new role as a singer. Patterson's singing role models are pop rockers such as Kelly Clarkson, and she appeared on 'Celebrity Duets' with Jesse McCartney, Lee Ann Womack and James Ingram (the 'Ya Mo Be There' guy).
Last year the show was in Atlanta, and she says there was some interaction between the two groups of athletes: Gymnasts jumped on the backs of male ice skaters for a lap of honor.
'It's a really cool show with cool lights and cool music,' Patterson says.
It will air at 4 p.m. Jan. 14 on NBC.
- Joseph Gallivan
7:30 p.m. SATURDAY, Oct. 28, Rose Garden, 1 Center Court, 503-235-8771, $30-$100
Trick or Vote
Putting the party back into democracy (and we don't mean the political kind), volunteers from the Bus Project are organizing what aims to be the largest door knocking event in Oregon history.
This nonpartisan event encourages all eligible voters to be counted in the Nov. 7 election. Costumed volunteers of all ages are invited to gather at the Crystal Ballroom for a brief rally before they disperse to metro-area neighborhoods to meet prospective voters. After six hours of meet-and-greet, participants are invited to a free concert with Thomas Lauderdale, China Forbes, MarchFourth Marching Band and more.
- Audrey Van Buskirk
2 p.m. rally, 8 p.m. concert, Sunday, Oct, 29, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-233-3018, www.trickorvote.org, concert free for canvassers, $13 for others