Eleanor O'Brien's first gig at the Canadian Fringe Festival, in 2004, was a role in a children's theater production. The next year, she was back with a one-woman show based on her experience as a New York dominatrix.
She introduces the show to Portland audiences with three performances before heading back to Canada for another run. O'Brien, who grew up in Portland, promises graphic, adult-oriented laughs with an empowering twist.
- Eric Bartels
10:30 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 30-July 1, Theater Theatre, Arena Stage, 3430 S.E. Belmont St., 503-298-9042, $10
Anything goes at this freewheeling monthly event, where performers have up to eight and a half minutes to do pretty much whatever they like before the lights go out.
'The worst that can happen is that you have to sit through eight and a half minutes of bad theater,' says Don Kern, who produces the show the last Friday of every month at the Southeast Portland performance space Brooklyn Bay.
'You don't know when something magical happens.' Kern, a disciple of Brooklyn Bay founder Scott Kelman, says interest in the event has grown steadily. 'Every month there's a little bit more of a pool of performers.'
10 p.m. FRIDAY, June 30, Brooklyn Bay, 1825 S.E. Franklin St., Bay K, $7, performers $2-$5 sliding scale, performers call 971-219-8068, information at www.brooklynbay.org
'The Tragedy of Macbeth'
Portland Actors Ensemble launches its season of free classic theater in the great outdoors.
A production later in the summer will move about, traveling to various city parks, but this modern ensemble stays put for a one-month run.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, through July 15, Pettygrove Park, one block east of Southwest Fourth Avenue, south of Market Street, 503-806-6077, www.portlandactors.com, free
Artists Repertory Theatre closes its season with an edgy comedy by successful television writer Richard Kramer ('thirtysomething,' 'My So-called Life').
In his first effort for the stage, Kramer skillfully invents a collection of characters who populate the adrenaline-fueled upper reaches of Manhattan life, where a 15-year-old boy attempts to forge a relationship with his gay father.
Things move along crisply enough, but some of Kramer's key plot developments feel forced or unsupported, leaving it to a solid cast, led by Michael Mendelson and Morgan Lee, to carry the production.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. SUNDAY, June 30-July 2, Artists Repertory Theatre, Mainstage, 1516 S.W. Alder St., 503-231-1278, $15-$40
'The Odd Couple'
Integrity Productions sets its time machine for 1985, when Neil Simon rewrote his comedy classic for an all-female cast. Hence the Cyndi Lauper music, Patrick Nagel art, and garish hair and clothes.
But the laughs here tend to be vintage 1965, when Simon's original Broadway production broke his zingy, Gotham-centric comedy into the big time. Simon's stature is no accident: You can count on some hearty laughs. But don't be surprised if some of the antics feel a bit dated.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, SATURDAY and 4 p.m. SUNDAY, June 30-July 2, Theater Theatre, Arena Stage, 3430 S.E. Belmont St., 503-286-3456, $12-$15
Scott Kelman and his Drunken Monkeys of Brooklyn Bay keep tinkering with this intriguing piece of performance art-theater, which now has enjoyed several incarnations since its debut a year and a half ago.
The last time it was seen in Portland, it had come back from Los Angeles with former Doors drummer John Densmore attached to it.
8 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 30-July 1, the Brooklyn Bay, 1825 S.E. Franklin St., Bay K, 503-777-5879, scott@ brooklynbay.org, $10-$15
'Menopause the Musical'
This is one of those musicals that fits comic lyrics to pop songs you love: for example, 'I heard it through the grapevine, you'll no longer see 39.'
Four female stereotypes - ex-hippie, aging soap star, power woman and Iowa housewife - meet at a Bloomingdale's sale and bond in this coming-of-middle-age comedy that gets the audience on its feet and, often, on stage.
- Joseph Gallivan
8 p.m. Tuesday-FRIDAY, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. SATURDAY, 2 p.m. SUNDAY, open run, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Dolores Winningstad Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, $44.50, available through Ticketmaster (503-224-4400), subject to service charges
The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden
Curated by the Smithsonian Institution, this traveling exhibit hails the 43 chiefs and their families in a winning collection of ephemera, as thrilling in its own way as the crown jewels on display at the Tower of London.
Five audiovisual presentations are interspersed among the more than 350 artifacts. It's a potent display, from Nancy Reagan's infamous White House china to Amy Carter's dollhouse table with a blue Smurf seated, ready for tea.
- Randall Barton
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY, noon to 5 p.m. SUNDAY, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, through Sept. 17, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., 503-306-5198, $5-$10
She does one thing, but she does it very well: Dutch-style still lifes in front of images pinched from old masters. And why the hell not?
Also showing: small-scale Hilda Morris bronzes and drawings, to supplement her show at the Portland Art Museum.
11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. FRIDAY, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. SATURDAY, June 30-July 1, Laura Russo Gallery, 805 N.W. 21st Ave., 503-226-2754, free
Washington-based seasoned and influential glass blower David Schwarz gets the midcareer retrospective, this one curated by Margo Jacobsen Greeve.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-SATURDAY, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. SUNDAY, through July 30, Contemporary Crafts Museum and Gallery, 3934 S.W. Corbett Ave., 503-223-2654, free
Sculptural light boxes constructed from cast resin and steel, with imprints from found objects - it's far more mod than it sounds. And it's in the emptiest bar in Portland, too.
5 p.m. to 2 a.m. FRIDAY, June 30, Apotheke, 1314 N.W. Glisan St., Suite 2A, 503-241-7866, free
Morioka's debut show at Butters is of sweet and colorful stripes.
They are broken up with doodlelike pencil marks suggestive of household items - vases of flowers, sinks - such that the works look like cross sections of apartment buildings.
Also showing is new sculpture by Ming Fay. He did that thing that looks like a giant green olive in the Oregon Convention Center.
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. FRIDAY, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. SATURDAY, June 30-July 1, Butters Gallery, 520 N.W. Davis St., 503-248-9378, free
Artist-curator-blogger-flack T.J. Norris has curated grey|area, a West Coast show that is 'themeless and non-narrative, peppered in shades of conceptual and abstract minimalism.'
No, wait - it's good! With Portland artists Troy Briggs, Daniel Duford, David Eckard, Scott Wayne Indiana and Ellen George.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-SATURDAY, through July 29, Guestroom Gallery, 128 N.E. Russell St., 503-284-8378, free