ON STAGE

An occasional update of New York theater openings

* Three Viewings (Manhattan Theatre Club at City Center): Jeffrey Hatcher's play is composed of three monologues that take place in the parlor of a funeral home. The first stars Buck Henry as a mild-mannered funeral director helplessly in love with a married woman. The second features Margaret Whitton as a woman who attends funerals and robs the corpses. The third has Penny Fuller as a recent widow who finds herself deeply in debt and caught up in her late husband's shady business dealings. This work lacks the resonance or depth of such other monologue-driven plays as Brian Friel's ''Faith Healer'' or Jon Robin Baitz's ''Three Hotels,'' but the acting makes it worthwhile.

* Luck, Pluck & Virtue (Atlantic Theater Company): James Lapine wrote and directed this play, which had its premiere a couple of years ago at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. Inspired by Nathanael West's ''A Cool Million,'' it stars Neil Patrick Harris (TV's ''Doogie Howser'') as a young man who leaves his Ohio home to make his fame and fortune in the big city. He meets disaster and even dismemberment at every turn. This dark look at the American dream (like ''Forest Gump'' in reverse) is a one-note idea that gets hammered in over and over. Harris, though, gives an appealing and marvelously physical comic performance, and there are some wildly inventive sight gags.

* The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me (Actors' Playhouse): Before he went to Hollywood and landed the recurring role of the obnoxious, macho sportscaster ''Bulldog'' Briscoe on the hit TV series ''Frasier,'' Dan Butler was an outstanding character actor on New York stages. He returns with this sometimes-autobiographical, one-man show (which he also wrote), a panoramic examination of contemporary gay culture. Playing multiple roles in 14 monologues and vignettes, Butler covers a lot of ground and serves up an entertaining and thought-provoking evening that is both funny and moving.

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