Seattle Fringe Festival

(THEATER) By rearranging both its priorities and its scheduling, the Seattle Fringe Festival looks to be transforming itself from the deeply hit-or-miss affair of yesteryear--when the fest's all-are-equal ideology frequently made for happy novice theater-makers and miserable audience members--into a big, bustling theater-bash worth leaving the house for. This year's Fringe Fest boasts 97 productions in nine Capitol Hill venues over 11 days. (And for my best guesses at 12 shows worth seeing, check out page 29.) (Fringe Fest runs through Sept 29. For specifics and details, see Tickets available online, at the Broadway Performance Hall box office, and at the individual venues a half hour before showtime.) DAVID SCHMADER


'What Are You Going to Do for Toilet Paper?'

(DOCUMENTARY) Genius documentary about a pair of late-middle-age, deep South hippies who dropped out of society in 1969 and live on squirrels, porn, and pot, which they grow and sell, and smoke endlessly (about 20 joints a day). Far more than a wink-fest, the film captures the couple's eloquence on the matter of living free, but doesn't shy away from their hypocrisies either. Amazing work. (911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552, 8 pm, $6/$4 members.) SEAN NELSON

Sarah Vowell

(READING) The queen of This American Life comes to town to read from her magnificent new book of essays, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, in which she tackles subjects both sublime (Abraham Lincoln, the anti-Gore movement, 9/11) and ridiculous (the snack bar at the bottom of Carlsbad Caverns, German cinema snobbery) with equal eloquence and alacrity. (Meany Hall, the University of Washington campus, 8 pm, tickets available through Ticketmaster.) SEAN NELSON


Battle of the Boat XV

(BOXING) If the idea of shirtless, beefy men beating the crap out of each other is your idea of fun (and why shouldn't it be?), then you'll definitely want to take yourself to the Emerald Queen Casino's Battle of the Boat XV. On the card for the evening: Neil Stephens (featured on page 18 of this issue) fighting a massive Canadian 20 lbs. his larger! (Emerald Queen Casino, 2102 Alexander Ave, Tacoma, 888-831-7655, 7 pm, $20-$75.) BRADLEY STEINBACHER


Moonlight Mile

(FILM) I know it looks like a sappy weeper, and it kind of is, but this story of bereavement, commitment, and coming of age (and finding the limits of each) is also funny, smart, and exquisitely well acted by Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, and Jake Gyllenhaal. The characters act out of their grief (a daughter dies, her fiancé hangs around just long enough for the parents to become addicted to his presence), but the emotions remain real and affecting. (Check Stranger Movie Times, page 87, for info.) SEAN NELSON


Alex Borstein

(COMEDY) To tell you the truth, I don't know much about this Alex Borstein comedy lady. I know she's on Mad TV, where she plays a Korean manicurist who frequently says, "He look like a man." From the sample videotape, I know she can be really funny--she even makes fun of Calista Flockhart to her face outside the Emmys. But what forces me to give props to Ms. Borstein is the fact that she bothered to give her recurring, catchphrase-spewing character a name--Ms. Swan--handily bucking the idiotic SNL trend of brain-dead monikers (e.g., Opera Man, Goat Boy). Anyway, in her new show (premiering here tonight on its way to NY), Borstein "explores her childhood search for female role models on TV." (The Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 8 pm, 325-6500, $25.) DAVID SCHMADER


Salman Rushdie

(READING) On the morning of September 11, 2001, I read and adjusted this eerie blurb I had written just days earlier for Salman Rushdie's then-upcoming reading: "What makes Salman Rushdie worthwhile is not his fame, his good looks, or sophistication, but the ground-zero fact that he is a responsive reader. He works hard to entertain his audience. Also, go to this reading because you might have the honor of actually dying for literature in a news-breaking terrorist attack." (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, $5.) CHARLES MUDEDE


Audio Hors D'oeuvres

(MUSIC) Slender Means Society and K Records present a lovely show tonight starring the Blow (it's their CD release party), Karl Blau, Calvin Johnson, Little Wings, the Badger King, Wolf Colonel, and more. They're also giving you the chance to get $2 off the measly $6 admission. All you have to do to get the discount is bring a plate of delicious hors d'oeuvres! Deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, pigs in a blanket--whatever your hungry little heart desires. (Secluded Alley Works, 113 12th Ave, 839-0880, 6:30 pm, all ages, $6/$4 with hors d'oeuvres.) MEGAN SELING