Human Rights Film Festival

(FILM) Road to Return chronicles the uphill battles ex-cons must fight when they're thrown back out in society, unprepared and overwhelmed. Inside Pinochet's Prison was secretly filmed by East German journalists who infiltrated Chilean concentration camps back in 1973. Fifty Years of Silence traces a woman's history back to WWII, when she was forced to work in a military brothel. Are you squirming yet? Good. This ain't Sundance, kids. You sure you can handle the rest of this thought-provoking, compassion-rendering film fest? -- MIN LIAO

911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552, through Sun Oct 17, call theater for showtimes, $5.

Prince Paul

(HIPHOP) Prince Paul and Dan the Automator have teamed up as Handsome Boy Modeling School, and it's the smoothest release to date. From the liner notes on the album, So... How's Your Girl?: "Discover for yourself why the Handsome Boy Modeling School has ignited a worldwide handsome revolution as Chest [Rockwell, a.k.a. Prince Paul] and Nathaniel [Merriweather, a.k.a. Dan the Automator] wow you with a fascinating look into their unique step-by-step program (patent pending). In fact, you'll be feeling handsome before it's even over, as our skilled instructors guide you down the catwalk to a brighter tomorrow. Our program is so complete... even your toes will be handsome!" Prince Paul spins after the sets are finished, and the Showbox stays open late. -- ERIN FRANZMAN

Fall Hiphop Showcase featuring Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Prince Paul & Casual, and Source of Labor, Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $20.

FRIDAY 10/15

Lucinda Williams

(MUSIC) After inexplicably ditching out of her last two Northwest performances (the Gorge last month, and the King Cat last spring), America's finest songwriter comes to the 5th Avenue Theater to showcase tunes from her now-classic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. If you're looking for a reason to cry in public, get to this show and pray for "Metal Firecracker," the saddest breakup song ever. -- DAVID SCHMADER

5th Avenue Theater, 1308 Fifth Ave, 628-0888, 8 pm, $22.50-$27.50.

Seattle Ice Theater

(ICE THEATER) Ballet meets theater meets modern dance meets the Ice Capades in Myriad, the newest work by the Seattle Ice Theater. For the first time in history, the floor of the Paramount will be covered with ice to accommodate this one-weekend-only event, which features music from Gregorian chants to contemporary hits, and promises to be "an ice event like no other." Go stoned, and take a sweater. -- DAVID SCHMADER

The Paramount, 911 Pine St, 292-ARTS, Fri-Sat Oct 15-16 at 8 pm, tomorrow at 3 pm, $21-$101.


Kate Clinton

(COMEDY) With everyone in D.C. begging for a good slap in the kisser, now's the perfect time for a visit from Kate Clinton. America's preeminent lesbian political humorist will be slinging her intelligent barbs for one night only in Correct Me If I'm Right, over at the Meany Theater. She's bound to get in a few at Ms. Lewinsky's lack of presidential decorum ("She showed him her butt thong. Whatever happened to a little curtsy and 'hello?'"), and anyone who takes on a smug dinosaur like Henry Hyde is welcome to my town anytime. -- STEVE WIECKING

Meany Theater, University of Washington campus, through Ticketmaster outlets at 292-ARTS or TICKETLINE at 323-2992, 8 pm, $18/$22.

Ellington and Strayhorn

(JAZZ) As part of Town Hall's celebration of Duke Ellington's centennial, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of UW Ellington scholar Michael Brockman and Garfield High jazz director Clarence Acox, plays a concert of tunes by Ellington and his longtime composer Billy Strayhorn. Expect "Take the A Train," "Satin Doll," and "Lush Life," but hope they dig into less well-known gems like "Isfahan" and "Blood Count." -- ERIC FREDERICKSEN

Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255, 7:30 pm, $13-20.

SUNDAY 10/17

Techno Cosmic Mass

(HERESY) Matthew Fox, a defrocked Dominican priest who was booted out of the order for his unorthodox ideas, presents a "Techno Cosmic Mass" for those who need a little more spice in their religious rituals. A blending of the Catholic Eucharist, a pagan hippie festival, and a rave, this two-hour service promises a "postmodern worship experience" with multimedia projections, house music, Ecstasy-like "trance dancing," and a whole-wheat bread communion ceremony. As Fox notes, "The old forms of worship are boring." -- MELODY MOSS

Bellevue Community College Gymnasium, 6 pm, "free will donation." Contact the Seattle Unity Church, 622-8475, for more information about other Matthew Fox events this weekend.

King County Dog Agility Trial

(DOG COMPETITION) And you were so proud of Rex just 'cause he could sit and roll over. Wait till you see what these purebred and mixed-breed pooches (over 100, from all over the U.S. and Canada) can do in this two-day event, sponsored by the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA)! Four-legged participants and their owners will work together as a team and compete in "agility contests," which are similar to equestrian jumping set-ups and military K-9 obstacle courses. You can watch, but no distractions or dog jokes, okay? This is a very serious athletic event. -- MIN LIAO

King County Fairgrounds, Enumclaw, Sat-Sun Oct 16-17, 8 am-late afternoon, free.

MONDAY 10/18

KUBE Haunted House

(SPOOK HOUSE) It's spook house season, and Seattle's biggest is the one run by KUBE 93 FM, which this year moves to the Seattle Center area. Ticket-line frustrations have been solved this year: Attendees will receive a ticket on arrival with a printed entry time, so instead of waiting an hour in line, you can spend the hour in a huge tent with all manner of food and drink, a costume store, and neo-pagan activities ranging from henna tattoos to an on-site numerologist. It's all one big fundamentalist protest waiting to happen! -- ERIC FREDERICKSEN

Fifth Ave and Mercer St, across from Seattle Center and Tower Records, 232-2982, Wed, Thurs, Sun, 7-10 pm; Fri-Sat 7 pm-midnight, through Oct 31, $10.


Circus Training

(FLYING CLASSES) So it's not really flying. But when will you ever get a chance to learn trapeze, cloud swing, and Spanish web skills? Get your well-toned ass off that yoga mat and join the UMO Ensemble (Millennium Circus) for their Aerial Theatre Workshop! The first class starts tonight (there are four three-hour classes in a session; session II starts in November), so leave your anxiety at home and just go for it -- it'll be the most exciting and romantic thing you do this season. Unless, of course, you break your neck. -- MIN LIAO

Old Vashon Elementary School Gym, 15920 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon Island, call UMO Ensemble at 463-2128 to register, $195 per session.


Olympia Film Fest

(FILM) Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker who is not afraid to throw anything he can imagine into a film to find out what works. Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1992) used found footage to create an alien conspiracy movie; O No Coronado (1992) mixed live-action and documentary footage to chart the exploits of Spanish conquistador Coronado in America, and Sonic Outlaws (1995) pushed the boundaries of "Fair Use" in its exploration of uses for copyrighted material, mainly through the legal trouble of the group Negativland. Now he's got a new movie, Spectres of the Spectrum, another montage of mixed media put together as a critique of the new high-tech robber barons. Everything Baldwin touches is insane and interesting, so this is an easy one to recommend. It's playing as part of the 16th Annual Olympia Film Festival, which runs October 15-24. -- ANDY SPLETZER

Capitol Theater, 206 E Fifth Ave, Olympia, 7:45 pm, call 360-754-6670 for details.


Sankai Juku

(DANCE) Hey, Buthoh fans! Get off your lazy, slow-moving butts and go see this one-night-only performance of Hibiki, the newest work by world-renowned, critically worshiped Butoh troupe Sankai Juku. Directed by and featuring the legendary Ushio Amagatsu, Hibiki should cement Sankai Juku's stature as one of the world's most accomplished and inventive dance companies. -- DAVID SCHMADER

Paramount Theater, 901 Pine St, 628-0888, 8 pm, $19.50-$40.


Dear Liar

(THEATER) If you're one of the suckers who fell for the chic sentiment of A. R. Gurney's Love Letters (and dammit, I have to include myself in that), you might want to take in Intiman's staging of Dear Liar. Jerome Kilty's play reflects on the romantic correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and the venerable actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, for whom he wrote Pygmalion. There should be at least some sizzle beneath the banquet of witticisms -- Mrs. Campbell was supposedly responsible for the oft-quoted remark, "I don't mind where people make love, so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses." -- STEVE WIECKING

Intiman Playhouse at Seattle Center, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900, Sun-Wed at 7 pm, Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sat-Sun matinees at 2 pm, Oct 20-Nov 20, $10-39.