David Sedaris Which is the funniest voice in David Sedaris' Barrel Fever? Is it the man whose paramours include Charlton Heston, Bruce Springsteen ("No matter how much Bruce gives to charity, I still say he's one of the tightest men I've ever known"), and Mike Tyson (owner of a fluffy white kitten named Pitty Ting)? Is it the teen suicide whose funeral oration urges friends and family to stone her cheating boyfriend? Is it the suburban mom who breaks news of infanticide in a perky, exclamation-mark-riddled family newsletter? Or is it Sedaris himself, detailing the ultimate in retail hell: A job as an elf (name: Crumpet) at Macy's SantaLand in New York? Buy Barrel Fever and decide for yourself; then see Sedaris and fellow NPR storyteller Bailey White speak in the final installment of the "On Art and Politics" series. The program begins at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.
Terence Davies Trilogy In the superb, incredibly sad Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, British director Terence Davies ignores linear narrative for the flow of memory set to music. But before those two features, Davies spent seven years making three darker films -- if that's possible -- introducing his trademark themes and motifs: Violent fathers, lonely childhoods, and torturous fantasies. See the early visions of a truly unique director at 4 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Tickets are $7; call 621-6120.
Hellavision Change is possible when you take matters -- and the tools to document them -- into your own hands. That's the motivational idea behind Hellavision, a new public access show for, by, and about young people in the Bay Area. The pilot of the half-hour program deals with family issues; later episodes will be broadcast on the third Thursday of every month. Tune in and see if Hellavision is hellacool or hellacious: It shows at 7:30 p.m. on S.F. cable Channel 53. Call 647-0982.
On the Road, on the Screen Local director Teddi Dean Bennett's debut feature, A Holy Promise, sold out its first showing at the Exploratorium's McBean Theatre. Now the film -- a road comedy that takes the scenic route from Northern California to Nevada -- is making another one-night appearance. This time around, the screening is followed by a party with live music by soundtrack contributors Preacher Boy & the Natural Blues, Rev. Lee E. White, and others. The sights and sounds start at 8 p.m. at the Transmission Theater, 314 11th St, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 861-6906.
Psychotic Memories First, take a nice long shower; then dress in black and meet Janet Leigh, star of two of the most notorious scenes in movie history: the opening sequence in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil and the first murder in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Leigh is in town to talk about the latter, in conjunction with her new book, Psycho: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Thriller. She'll answer questions about her own illustrious career and -- we hope --the myths and truths surrounding Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins -- at a 1-3 p.m. signing at Books Inc., 140 Powell, S.F. Free; call 397-1555.
S.F. Butoh Festival The Japanese word butoh is a combination of the character "bu" (to dance) and "toh" (to step); pioneered in the '50s, it's one of the major developments in contemporary dance. Butoh's influence extends out of Japan to the U.S., Europe, Israel, and South America; here in S.F., d-net (a dance cooperative) is presenting the S.F. Butoh Festival, a five-day event with workshops and shows. Akira Kasai of Japan and Maureen Fleming of New York kick off the three-evening performance portion of the festival (other artists include Oguri of Los Angeles and Koichi Tamano) at 8 p.m. at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, S.F. Tickets are $12-16; call 392-4400.
Homo Hit Parade They say they aren't cabaret, but there is something comic and theatrical about Pansy Division's punky parody: On their latest reCR>lease, Pile-Up, the Bay Area trio covers V.U.'s "Femme Fatale" and Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom," changing the "she" of both songs to a "he." And as for their cover of Liz Phair's "Flower," well, it brings a whole new meaning to the line "I want to be your blow-job queen." Join Jon Ginoli and three other acts (the Hail Marys, Enrique, and Tribe 8) for a gay old time at 9 p.m. at the Transmission Lounge, 11th & Folsom, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-1911.
The Rosenbergs "In 1950, my brother Michael and I were forced into an orphanage," Robert Meeropol remembers. "Three years later, we were denied the right to attend public school, and in 1954 we were seized by police from our adoptive parents' homes." Meeropol was 6 at the time (1953) his parents -- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg -- were executed, maintaining their innocence even when a confession would have spared their lives. Established by Meeropol, the Rosenberg Fund for Children helps U.S. kids whose parents have been injured, jailed, or killed for political or progressive activities; help the fund and hear a speech by Meeropol and a reading of the Rosenbergs' prison correspondence at 7:30 p.m. at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez, S.F. A $10 donation is requested; call 824-8113.