Performance Picks

BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL

Portland Center Stage has been in our headlights ever since it developed novelist Michael (The Hours) Cunningham's epic Flesh and Blood into a surpassingly eloquent original play a couple of years ago. The regional theater has since continued to display taste and a sense of adventure, without losing its ability to have fun. Case in point: Artistic director Chris Coleman staging this critically acclaimed cult musical about the notorious half-boy/half-bat that delirious supermarket rag Weekly World News claimed was living in a cave in West Virginia (he has since, according to sporadic updates from the tabloid, gone on to tangle with Saddam Hussein). Bat Boy is something we've been waiting to hit the Northwest ever since the L.A. sensation charmed Off-Broadway theatergoers, and it should be worth the road trip. Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, Portland, 503-274-6588. $16-$51. 7 p.m. Sun. and Tues.-Wed.; 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Also select matinees. Ends Sun. Nov. 23. STEVE WIECKING

I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

Forget the airport art versions you've seen on all those travel adsthe hula is as powerful as it is pretty. The stories of Pele that hula master Gloria Napua Fujii (pictured) performs are about a mighty and capricious goddess, and the dances match that intensity. Fujii and colleagues from her hula school will dance some of these stories as part of this evening envisioning artists as "newscasters," which also includes Guinean griot Naby Camara and hip hop poet Laura "Piece" Kelly. Town Hall, Eighth Ave. and Seneca St., 206-652-4255. $8-$10. 7:30 p.m. Tues. Nov. 4. SANDRA KURTZ

SEATTLE BAROQUE GEWANDHAUS-QUARTETT

They're billed as the oldest string quartet in the world; surely they must be the oldest still-extant chamber ensemble of any kind. When Leipzig's Gewandhaus Orchestra was founded in 1809, the first-chair string players formed a quartet, a tradition continued by Frank-Michael Erben, Conrad Suske, Volker Metz, and Jurnjakob Timm. They're playing three Austrian classics: Schubert's Quartettsatz, Brahms' Quartet in C Minor, and Mozart's "Dissonant" Quartet (that A-flat vs. A-natural in the first couple bars still delivers a lurid thrill, but the piece's subsequent 35 minutes are Wolfgang at his sunniest). Meany Hall, UW campus, 206-543-4880. $30. 8 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 30. $18-$29. GAVIN BORCHERT

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