"ALL THE SHOES I buy today are mine," says choreographer/singer/writer/performer Laurie Carlos, a bit cryptically. What she means, it seems, is this: After raising a daughter, losing one parent, and caring for another one, Carlos's life is finally her own. Her new work, a "text-based tone song" called "Inside the Mirage," is "very, very, very" experimental, and probes midlife transitions through a mishmash of disciplines, including dance, song, and text, and a performance from Robbie McCaulley that is literally phoned in. Carlos (a frequent actor, director, and collaborator with Penumbra Theatre), joined by actor/singer Carolyn Goelzer and composer Mary Ellen Childs, represents the local component of Out There in Three Women at the Fore (along with Balls cabaret, Saturdays at midnight, January 10-31).

Like the rest of this year's series, the Three Women sampler is mostly a musical journey: Goelzer's Peas integrates music to tell a horror story set in a pink bedroom where telekinesis and wild hormones rule; and Childs's CRASH group performs a series of new drumming pieces, including one in which drummers wheel around between drums on stools. The show rolls on.

Three Women at the Fore plays January 15-17 at 8 p.m. at the Southern Theater; call 375-7622.

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