Dan Savage

(READING) Because all I read is Marxist philosophy or critical theory, it is the area of ideas and concepts in Dan Savage's Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America that most interests me. Skipping is a book of ideas, a book of ethics, a book, as Michel Foucault once put it, about the care and conduct of the self. But even more than that, Skipping is about deepening and extending the uses (indeed, very personal uses) of American democracy. (Bailey/Coy Books, 414 Broadway E, 323-8842, 7 pm, free.) CHARLES MUDEDE

Out of Site

(ART) It seems peculiar-funny to give a name ("fictional architecture") to something artists have always, in some manner, done. That is, exploring space and the things that dwell within it. But it does reflect the particular convergence of architecture and art, and the way the artist's imagination itself has become a kind of public space. This show, which traveled here from the New Museum in New York, includes work by the phenomenally and quietly weird Aziz + Cucher (who create computer-generated rooms lined with human skin), with Adam Ross, Victoria Haven (yay!), Shirley Tse, and others. (Opening party Fri Nov 8, 8-10:30 pm, Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, 543-2281. Through Feb 2.) EMILY HALL

'Gilgamesh Iowa'

(THEATER) After the large-scale triumph of his shadow-puppet epic Why? Why? Why?, local playwright Scot Augustson takes things down a bit with his latest work. Gilgamesh Iowa reunites two childhood friends to explore, through Augustsonian whimsy and simple theatricality, the issues of geography, mortality, and time. With the combined talents of Augustson, actors Jonah Von Spreecken and Tim Gouran, and director Keri Healey, this Gilgamesh should be something to see. (Union Garage Performance Center, 1418 10th Ave, 352-1777. $12. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm. Through Nov 23.) DAVID SCHMADER

'Singin' in the Rain'

(BRILLIANCE) The best movie musical, and maybe the most completely satisfying, purely pleasing movie period, returns to the big screen in a brand-new 70mm print to commemorate its 40th anniversary. If you've seen it, you needn't be reminded that the film offers Gene Kelly at his nattiest and Donald O'Connor at his sidekickiest, in addition to great tunes by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, and cinematic self-awareness at its most pleasing. If you haven't seen it, you really really should. (Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave, 441-3080. Call for showtimes.) SEAN NELSON

The Distillers

(MUSIC) I'm always gonna be reluctant to recommend a stadium concert over a bar/club/record-store show, but I take exception because of the opening act at KeyArena tonight: The Distillers. Their singer, Brody Armstrong, is a tough, take-no-shit frontwoman whose street punk sensibility steers her toward singsong anthems about social ills and broken homes. It's taken the media too long to notice a real punk chick among the attack of the clones dyeing their hair crazy colors and rehashing Debbie Gibson, but I hope this tour helps the talented Armstrong (wife of Rancid's Tim Armstrong) get all the respect that's due her way. (KeyArena, 705 Harrison St, 628-0888, $35.) JENNIFER MAERZ

Zadie Smith

(READING) I was surprised to enjoy Zadie Smith's White Teeth, which was published two years ago and caused a literary stir because it was smart and authored by a 24-year-old. In all of Europe, only two cities could have given birth to Smith's genius--Paris and London. Like Salman Rushdie's London novels or Claire Denis' Paris movies, Smith's primary subject is the condition of being multiethnic. (Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 621-2230, 7:30 pm, $9-$23.) CHARLES MUDEDE

Black Heart Procession

(MUSIC) In concert form, the Black Heart Procession is as much a production as it is a band performance. Sometimes costumed, others not, the San Diego trio (if you don't count the numerous studio contributors) makes some of the most doleful, soul-shatteringly melancholic music you'll ever hear. Atmospheric and packed with creaks and slithers surrounding organs and singer/guitarist Pall Jenkins' ragged vocals, the band's latest release, Amore del Tropico (Touch and Go), is their best yet. It almost makes you want to sabotage your perfectly content relationship in order to lie down and wallow in the deep beauty of Black Heart Procession's newest soundtrack to self-inflicted pain. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $10 adv/$12 door.) KATHLEEN WILSON