As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Wednesday, November 22

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Slowdown

October 2004

« September 2004 | Front Page | November 2004 »

Rhino Theater Fest: POWER brecht-down 2004

A new Bertolt Brecht revue, adapted by Stefan Brün. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly break down power for you in a new revue devoted to this, unfortunately, so timely poet and playwright. POWER brecht-down 2004 includes texts and songs never before translated into English as well as The Beggar or the Dead Dog, Money Medley and an excerpt from Brecht's Training Manual for War. Part of Curious’s Rhino ’04 look back at the masters who influenced us." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Spooky Music @ Ackerman Center

Come out this afternoon for a Spooky Halloween Concert beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Ackerman Center 2235 W. Irving Park Road the corner of Irving Park and Bell). Come hear conductor Matt Wolka and the Ravenswood Community Orchestra play spooky orchestral music! Selections include the "Danse Macabre" by Saint-Saens, "Pavane pour une infante defunte" by Ravel, "Funeral March of the Marionettes" by Gounod and "Symphony No. 5 in C minor" by Beethoven. There will be Trick or Treating at intermission, costumes are encouraged, and post-concert wine and cheese will also be served! Call (773) 501-2108 for more information.

Halloween Edition of TMLMTBGB

30 Spooky Plays in 60 Creepy Minutes at the NeoFuturarium. That’s 29 more surprise endings then "The Village." Come in costume. Win prizes! The Neo-Futurists turn their theater into a spooky-torium.  Roll! dice to determine your fate.  Jump! out of your seat for audience participation.  Scream! for numbers till you are hoarse, because no one will hear you.  Ok, they'll hear you and do the plays in the order you choose. At The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster Ave.) on Sunday, October 31 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 plus the roll of a single six-sided die. ($6 - $11). For more information call 773-275-5255 or visit their website.

Biggest book EVER @ W. Chicago Library

When are you going to get a chance to see the world's largest book (as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records)? Not too many times, I'll bet. "Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom" measures 5 feet by 7 feet when opened, and contains enough paper to cover a football field. It goes on display today at the West Chicago Public Library, and you can go see it! A reception to unveil the book starts today at noon, and the event is free and open to the public. West Chicago Public Library: 118 W. Washington, West Chicago.

Graceland Halloween Tour

Graceland Cemetery is one of the city's most beautiful; it's dotted with mausoleums by Louis Henri Sullivan and Laredo Taft for such luminaries as Daniel Burnham, the Palmers and Marshall Field. The Chicago Architecture Foundation conducts its last walking tour of the year today at 2pm, starting from the entrance at Clark and Irving Park. Since it's Halloween, reader Mike Hanline and friends will be dressing like zombies for the cemetery tour, then heading to McGee's Halloween Pub Crawl. If you care to join them, email michaelhanline at yahoo.com.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

Rhino Theater Fest: POWER brecht-down 2004

A new Bertolt Brecht revue, adapted by Stefan Brün. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly break down power for you in a new revue devoted to this, unfortunately, so timely poet and playwright. POWER brecht-down 2004 includes texts and songs never before translated into English as well as The Beggar or the Dead Dog, Money Medley and an excerpt from Brecht's Training Manual for War. Part of Curious’s Rhino ’04 look back at the masters who influenced us." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Chicago Humanities Festival Begins

The 15th annual Chicago Humanities Festival kicks off today, and runs through November 14th in locations all over town. Most readings, lectures, performances, etc. will only cost you $5 on average (or nothing, on occasion) which is a sweet deal on some good learnin'. This year's festival will focus on a theme of "Time" and "its ongoing impact on our endeavors, passions, and beliefs." Programs include everything from a free tour of a special exhibit at the Adler Planetarium to a discussion of Vermeer in Bosnia led by Ira Glass and Lawrence Weschler, to a presentation of the work of journalist Clive James. Check out the rather huge list of programs, the children's festival, and get your tickets before they sell out.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

Macbeth @ Newberry Library

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago presents two free readings of Macbeth today: this morning at 10:00 AM at the Newberry Library (60 W. Walton); and this afternoon at 2:00 PM at the Wilmette Public Library (at the corner of Park and Wilmette in Wilmette). There will also be a free reading tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 PM at the Duncan YMCA Chernin Center for the Arts (1001 W. Roosevelt Road). For more information, check out the Shakespeare Project's Website.

I Want a President Who @ Polvo Art Studio

As a part of a series of public artworks inviting people to share their thoughts regarding leadership and creating art in the process, the public art collaborative Anti Gravity Surprise has organized events every Saturday in October in Chicago. The fifth one is today from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Polvo Art Studio located at 1458 W. 18th Street in Pilsen. The afternoon will feature election-inspired artworks, street performances, and an open discussion. At 3 p.m. there will be a presentation by the Reverend Finley C. Campbell, an anti-racism activist. For more information, email AGS@anti-gravity.info.

Critical Mass

Chicago Critical Mass bike rides start from Daley Plaza, Dearborn & Washington at 5:30pm the last Friday of each month, regardless of season or weather. They are free and fun. All you have to do is show up with your bike.

Third Coast Festival presents Joe Frank

Chicago Public Radio's Third Coast International Audio Festival presents the first Chicago appearance by radio monologist Joe Frank. Mr. Frank will present an original program that he describes on his site as "a meditation on infidelity in love, fellowship, philosophy and faith." The performance takes place tonight from 7:30 to 9:00 at Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago. Admission is $15, and tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Art Institute of Chicago: 111 South Michigan Ave.

Rhino Theater Fest: POWER brecht-down 2004

A new Bertolt Brecht revue, adapted by Stefan Brün. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly break down power for you in a new revue devoted to this, unfortunately, so timely poet and playwright. POWER brecht-down 2004 includes texts and songs never before translated into English as well as The Beggar or the Dead Dog, Money Medley and an excerpt from Brecht's Training Manual for War. Part of Curious’s Rhino ’04 look back at the masters who influenced us." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Cornel West Book Signing

Author, scholar and frequent contributor to NPR's Tavis Smiley Show, Cornel West, will discuss his new book, Democracy Matters today at 12:30 p.m. at Borders downtown at 150 N. State Street. For more information, call (312) 606-0750 or read an excerpt here.

Billy Corgan Book Signing

Billy Corgan's book of poetry, Blinking with Fists is full of "the regretful melancholy of his music [and] the rhythmic, angular wordplay of his best Pumpkins lyrics" (Jeff Vrabel, Chicago Sun-Times). Corgan's sitting down at the Borders Bookstore at 830 N. Michigan Avenue to sign copies tonight. (Note: Borders says he will be signing copies of the new book only, so don't bring down your whole Smashing Pumpkins discography.) The line for this signing will start at 5 p.m., with the event beginning at 7 p.m. Call the events hotline for more information at 312-573-0564.

GB Get-Together

Gapers Block's monthly GB Get-Together is tonight at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark (just south of Foster). We'll be in the upstairs bar from 9pm till midnight-ish.

The Get-Together is an opportunity to hang out meet some of the GB staff in relaxed, somewhat hip environment. No pressure, just fun. And booze.

Vic Chesnutt @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Tonight at 8 p.m. WLUW and the Old Town School of Folk Music present Vic Chesnutt with special guest Carter Little at the American Airlines Concert Hall located at 4544 N Lincoln Ave. From the Old Town website: "There are few artists working today that have the poetic and melodic gift that Vic Chesnutt has and fewer still can approach his sheer originality. At the age of 18, he was in an automobile accident that left him a paraplegic, but that did not stop the talented singer-songwriter from performing his contemporary acoustic folk around Athens, Georgia. In the early nineties, he caught the attention of REM's Michael Stipe, who assisted Vic in getting out a couple of critically acclaimed albums. Since then, Chesnutt has continued to impress and win over listeners with a literate and somber brand of urban folk." Tickets are $20, $18 Old Town School members, $16 seniors and kids.

Bob Paisley and The Southern Grass @ Am. Legion

Tonight at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Music Hall in Evanston (1030 Central Street) Bob Paisley and The Southern Grass bring their traditional bluegrass stylings to the Chicago area. Bob Paisley and The Southern Grass are "a group of bluegrass musicians who have long-standing music and family connections that go back for decades to the mountains of southwest Virginia and northwestern North Carolina. Their distinctive brand of hard-driving bluegrass music combines soulful and powerful harmony singing with exciting instrumental work." Read about Bob in the September 2004 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited. For more information email concerts@chicagobluegrass.com or call Chip Covington 847-573-0443 or visit Chicago Bluegrass. Tickets are a $15 Donation Adults and $10 Kids under 16.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy

Next Theatre Company hosts an election-weekend reading of Tony Kushner's new play-in-progress, Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy. The play focuses on First Lady Laura Bush. In the first scene, Mrs. Bush reads "The Brothers Karamazov" to the ghosts of Iraqi children; in scene two, the First Lady argues with Kushner himself about the place of politics in art. Next's reading features an all-star cast of Chicago theatre types: Steppenwolf artistic director Martha Lavey plays Laura, Writers' Theatre artistic director Michael Halberstam plays Kushner, and the role of the Angel goes to Northlight Theatre artistic director BJ Jones. The reading will be followed by a discussion panel with the cast, moderated by Next artistic director Jason Loewith. 6pm, Next Theatre Company at the Noyes Cultural Center, 927 Noyes Street in Evanston (right next to the Noyes stop on the Purple Line). A $10 suggested entry donation goes to the League of Women Voters. Reservations are encouraged; call 847-475-1875, ext. 4.

Poetry Reading @ U of C

The University of Chicago's Emerging Writers Series presents Ben Doyle and Adam Weg, Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 pm in Classics 10 (1010 E. 59th Street), with a reception to follow.

Ben Doyle’s first collection of poetry, Radio, Radio, (Louisiana State University Press, 2001) was selected by Susan Howe for the 2000 Walt Whitman Award. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded a Teaching-Writing Fellowship. His poems have appeared in Colorado Review and Fence. He currently teaches at Oberlin College.

Adam Weg is a U of C student who will be presenting his original poems.

Train to be a Pollwatcher

The League of Women Voters of Chicago and the snappy website i am the government will be offering free training for people interested in being a pollwatcher on November 2nd. Training takes place tonight (the final night) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Center for Neighborhood Technology at 2125 W. North Avenue, Chicago. For more information, or to read True Pollwatcher Stories check here.

Windy City Rollers Derby Doll Debut

The Windy City Rollers, Chicago's new all-female roller derby league, is throwing a benefit party at the Liar's Club, 1655 W. Fullerton, tonight at 8pm. Arm wrestle, bid on dates with derby girls and other items in a silent auction, and more. $5 admission, 21 and over. Part of the proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood and the Chicago Abused Women Coalition.

Shock and Awe Hell Naw!!

NWJ presents SHOCK AND AWE HELL NAW!! Produced in association with the Second City Training Center.

The show features a series of sketches poking fun at politics, race and everything in between. No one is safe, not even Jesus!

Final performance October 28th at 10:30pm at Donny's Skybox (1608 N Wells St) Tickets are $8 ($5 for students). Call 312-337-3992 for tix.

Wrigley Field: The Unauthorized Biography

Tonight Author Stuart Shea will discuss his latest book, Wrigley Field: The Unauthorized Biography. Shea reads at the Chicago Public Library Northtown Branch at 6435 N. California Ave. from 7–8 p.m. For more information, call (312) 744-2292. This event is Free.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

Chicagoland Bicycle Federation's Annual Membership Meeting

The public is invited to attend the Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., 5th Floor. Join this open forum for an unveiling of the Top 10 list of initiatives and accomplishments desired for all bicyclists in the coming year. Last’s year list included upholding the rights of bicyclists in the legal system, increasing the organization's role outside Chicago and improving conditions on regional trails. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Halloween Party @ The Field

Check out Halloween “Play the Field” inside Stanley Field Hall @ The Field Museum on Thursday, October 28, from 6 p.m.-11p.m.

Get into the spirit of Halloween at the Field Museum, home to the scary movie “Relic” and countless ghost stories of spooks haunting the Field’s halls. This is a great way to enjoy the Field Museum and Chicago’s downtown culture. Join the monthly event “Play The Field!”  for a chance to mix culture with cocktails.  Experience some of the nation’s top live bands inside the magnificent Stanley Field Hall and explore the Field’s amazing exhibits.

Ticket price includes a complimentary beverage.  Advance Tickets $15 available through www.fieldmuseum.org or call 866-FIELD-03. $20 at the door.  21 & over only.  All proceeds benefit The Field Museum

Code Blue: Darfur Fundraiser

October 28, 2004, 6:30-9:30pm: Charity Auction and Reception to benefit Doctors Without Borders in Darfur, featuring items donated by local businesses, at Lake Street Church (courtyard entrance) of Evanston, 1458 Chicago Ave.

Thai Jones Reading @ 57th St Books

Hear journalist Thai Jones read from his recent book entitled "A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience" today at 7 pm at 57th St Books (301 E. 57th St) in Hyde Park.

"In this elegant family history, journalist Thai Jones traces the past century of American radical politics through the extraordinary exploits of his own family. Born in the late 1970s to fugitive leaders of the Weather Underground, grandson of Communists, spiritual pacifists, and civil rights agitators, Jones grew up an heir to an American tradition of resistance. A Radical Line outlines this tradition, but also tells the story of a family like any other, whose lives were filled with love honored and betrayed, tragic deaths, painful blunders, narrow escapes, and hope-filled births."

The Audible Picture Show

"The Audible Picture Show - Original Audio Works for Darkened Cinemas" is a presentation of the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State.

"Jaded with a world bombarded with image? Edinburgh artist Matt Hulse's Audible Picture Show will remind you of what cinema can really offer ... without any visuals.

"A diverse range of inventive and creative people-including some of the most interesting film makers and audio artists working today-responded to the challenge of creating short audio works for "a darkened cinema." The result of this experiment is a unique and entertaining experience giving the mind's eye a welcome stretch-from an aural exploration of Nature vs. Nokia to the ramblings of an Austrian social anthropologist who has somewhat puzzling ideas about the world."

8:30pm tonight. Tickets are $9 general, $5 for Chicago Public Radio and Siskel Center members and students. More info here and here.

Karr and Dybek Read @ Newberry

Mary Karr and Stuart Dybek are poets best known for their work in other literary genres. They will read and discuss their poetry in relation to their own writing at the Newberry Library tonight beginning at 6 p.m. at a program titled "Jumping Genres." The library is located at 60 W. Walton St., Chicago. This event is Free and is sponsored by Poetry magazine's Off the Shelf series at the Newberry. Mary Karr is the bestselling author of two memoirs: "The Liars Club" (1996) and "Cherry" (2000). She first appeared in Poetry in 1981, and has been a regular contributor ever since. Her poems are collected in three volumes: "Abacus" (1987), "The Devil’s Tour" (1993), and Viper Rum (1998). Stuart Dybek has published three works of fiction: "Childhood and Other Neighborhoods" (1980), "The Coast of Chicago" (1990), and "I Sailed with Magellan" (2003). His first book of poetry, "Brass Knuckles," appeared in 1979 and his latest, Streets in Their Own Ink, is forthcoming next month from Farrar Straus & Giroux.

CTA Hearing: 2005 Budget

Your daily commute is threatened because public transit in the Chicagoland region is insufficiently funded. Twenty years of insufficient funding for public transit has consequences. Visit the Palmer House (downtown Chicago) @ 17 East Monroe at 4:00 p.m. to take part in this essential public hearing. See the entire schedule at Campaign for Better Transit.

HotHouse Town Hall Forum: The 2004 Election - The Last 7 Days and Beyond

With one week to go, where does the nation stand as it gets ready for the Big Day? Will there be any surprises before the nation goes out to vote? How do the two parties stack against each other in these final hours? Besides Kerry-Bush, what other elections are key this November? And what effects if any will these elections have for the future of the USA? Together with curator Larry Bennett, Political Science professor at DePaul University, HotHouse will be hosting a series of free discussions building up to election night. Guest panelists from media, universities, and the public at large will present all aspects related to the coming elections, with ample time for debate and discussion to follow. Voter registration will take place at all events. Panelists tonight include: Laura Washington, Ida B. Wells Professor, DePaul University; former editor of The Chicago Reporter, Alan Gitelson, Professor of Political Science, Loyola University; author of American Political Parties: Stability and Change (Houghton Mifflin) and American Elections: The Rules Matter (Longman), and Gil Gott, Assistant Professor of International Studies, DePaul University. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is free and is open to all ages. HotHouse is located at 31 East Balbo, Chicago, IL. Limited parking is available at meters on the street. Secure discounted, indoor parking is available at the 7th Street Garage at 710 S. Wabash Ave. for $8 with a coupon available at the Box Office.

And I Should Vote Because... @ Schubas

Tonight the Chicago Council On Foreign Relations and Schubas present: GOAt-- Globally Occupying The Attention Of Chicago's Untapped Audience featuring Jan Schakowsky (IL Rep., 9th Dis., U.S. House of Representatives) with Dan Brady (Rep., 88th Dis., IL General Assembly) and Moderators & Performers The Aluminum Group. Brought to you in part by: WLUW 88.7 FM. In October, GOAt brings you "And I Should Vote Because...?" once a month through the November election, CCFR and Schubas will bring to the Schubas' stage two diverse speakers, who will debate, discuss and take questions on various topics connected to one common theme. Schubas is located at 3159 N. Southport, call 773-525-2508 or 312-821-7529. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

The Bushy Plays @ The Hideout

The Bushy Plays, four short plays about a man, a woman, and the Leader of the Free World take place tonight at The Hideout, at 1354 W. Wabansia. This is the fourth installment from The Clowny Collective: a group of four leading Chicago playwrights (Lisa Dillman, Rebecca Gilman, Mark Guarino and Brett Neveu) who joined forces in 2002 to create hilarious short pieces surrounding a common theme. Tickets are only $5, doors open at 6:30 pm., 18 and over. Call (773) 227-4433 for more information.

The Choice 2004

WBEZ presents The Choice 2004, a two-hour biography of the two main candidates for President this year. Have a listen if you need more biographical information on these two men. The show runs from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Rhino Theater Fest: Hit Me Like a Flower

A new play by Beau O'Reilly for the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "Hit Me Like a Flower continues O'Reilly's “Big Play” experiment: large casts, lots of story line, expanse. Sarah Wallace has come to an East-Coast waspish town to start her therapy practice and cast a watchful eye over her long-estranged college daughter Terry, known to her friends as “Oddhead.” Sarah’s patients: Arthur Moore, a psychopath with a bear suit and a 2 by 4; William Coughlin, a sometime novelist of minor fame who is recovering from a stroke; and Mrs. Chester, a woman who has been living on the streets but now is ready for a bus ride. Terry’s friends are Saul and Hannah, and they are in their 20’s, skating tough, and worried about the war." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Chicago Symposium on Medicine, Ethics, and Society

Consider attending the next Chicago Symposium on Medicine, Ethics, and Society hosted by the American Medical Association and co-sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Medicine of Chicago, and the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago:

The Shadow of Libby Zion: How One Death Influenced the Way Doctors Practice Medicine

Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD

Angelica Berrie Gold Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons The symposium takes place October 25 from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago (450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive).

Admission is free and open to all members of the community. For more information, visit chicagosymposium.org.

Isabelle Allende Book Signing

Join world-renowned author Isabel Allende at The Field Museum as she recounts a life of love, writing and years spent in politically unstable South America. Allende's childhood–following her stepfather's diplomatic career through Chile, Bolivia, Europe and the Middle East–exposed her to a range of cultures and politics that shaped her extraordinary imagination. She will share memorable personal experiences, reflecting on family relationships and the larger societal and political forces that shape our lives. She now has numerous bestsellers to her credit, including The House of the Spirits, later made into a major motion picture, and Daughter of Fortune. The reading starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are necessary. Reserved Seats: $24, members $22, General Admission: $20, members $18, Students/Educators: $15 (limited supply). Monday, October 25, 2004

New Release Ping-Pong Party @ Schubas

To celebrate new music from Nick Cave, Cat Power, Elliott Smith, Mos Def, Richard Buckner, Le Tigre, and more, Reckless Records is throwing its third New Release Ping-Pong Party, a new monthly series at Schubas. Come out to Schubas (3159 N. Southport at Belmont) to play ping-pong, listen to new music, and enjoy drink specials. Reckless Records will be on hand to sell the new albums. Plus, there'll be plenty of prizes from participating sponsors. The Ping Pong gets cracking at 9 p.m.

CTA Hearing: Service Cuts

Your daily commute is threatened because public transit in the Chicagoland region is insufficiently funded. Twenty years of insufficient funding for public transit has consequences. Visit Evanston Township High School, Bacon Cafeteria, at 1600 Dodge Avenue (Evanston) at 6:30 p.m. to take part in this essential public hearing. See the entire schedule at Campaign for Better Transit.

The Bushy Plays @ Nevin's

The Bushy Plays, four short plays about a man, a woman, and the Leader of the Free World take place tonight at Nevin's Live, at 1450 Sherman Ave., Evanston, at 7:30 p.m. (and tomorrow night at The Hideout). This is the fourth installment from The Clowny Collective: a group of four leading Chicago playwrights (Lisa Dillman, Rebecca Gilman, Mark Guarino and Brett Neveu) who joined forces in 2002 to create hilarious short pieces surrounding a common theme. Tickets are only $5, doors open at 6:30 pm., 18 and over.

THE2NDHAND Release Party & Reading

THE2NDHAND celebrates the release of its 15th issue, "LE2EMEMAIN," tonight at the Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted. Editors Todd Dills and Jeb Gleason-Allured are joined by Joe Meno and Jonathan Messinger in some brief readings and prolonged debauchery. Free, 7:30pm, 21 and over. More info at the2ndhand.com.

Rhino Theater Fest: POWER brecht-down 2004

A new Bertolt Brecht revue, adapted by Stefan Brün. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly break down power for you in a new revue devoted to this, unfortunately, so timely poet and playwright. POWER brecht-down 2004 includes texts and songs never before translated into English as well as The Beggar or the Dead Dog, Money Medley and an excerpt from Brecht's Training Manual for War. Part of Curious’s Rhino ’04 look back at the masters who influenced us." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Train to be a Pollwatcher

The League of Women Voters of Chicago and the snappy website i am the government will be offering free training for people interested in being a pollwatcher on November 2nd. Training takes place tonight (as well as most nights througout October) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the League of Women Voters offices at 332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1050, Chicago. For more information, or to read True Pollwatcher Stories check here.

Movieside Halloween Spooktacular @ Darkroom

Get your Halloween on early this year tonight from 8 p.m.–2 a.m. @ the Movieside Halloween Spooktacular at The Darkroom located at 2210 W. Chicago Ave. The evening includes a costume contest, prizes, music by Mucus, Love Dictators, The Mayor Of Rock N' Roll, Naughty Nurses, and DJ Jump Cut. Also planned are a mini haunted house and "the juggling demons of death." Teri Danai Vrakas will read Edgar Allen Poe, there will be ghost stories by Shag as well as Scary/Funny Movies by Usama Alshaibi, Chris Brown, Matt Marsden, Noe Kidder, Rusty Nails and many more. Admission is Free. Call 773.907.8513 for more info.

The Lit Show on WNUR

Author John Keene reads on the Lit Show (89.3 FM/wnur.org), Sunday, October 24, from 3-3:30pm.

John Keene is the author of the novel ANNOTATIONS, and, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, of the art-text chapbook, SEISMOSIS. His work has appeared in such periodicals as AFRICAN AMERICAN REVIEW, BRIDGE, FENCE, HAMBONE, INDIANA REVIEW, KENYON REVIEW, NEW AMERICAN WRITING, and PLOUGHSHARES. Among his recent honors is a 2003 Fellowship in Poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He teaches creative writing and contemporary literature in the English Department at Northwestern.

The Lit Show is a weekly radio show on WNUR 89.3 FM that features writers reading their own creative work, whether poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, drama, or translation. The Lit Show airs from 3-3:30 pm Sundays on Northwestern University's WNUR 89.3 FM, with a live webcast at www.wnur.org, and hosts a new author reading every week.

Myopic Books Reading

Myopic Books (1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue) presents a poetry reading featuring Murat Nemet-Nejat and Peter O'Leary this Sunday, October 24th at 7 pm. This event is part of the Myopic Poetry Series, which takes place every Sunday at 7 pm. Check out the website for more information on this weeks featured authors, and what to look forward to at future events.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

The Lure and Lore of Spices

The Spice House is one of my favorite shops. The staff is always friendly and super-knowledgeable, always ready to answer questions. This Saturday and Sunday 10-11:30am, owners Patty and Tom Erd will be at the Chalet Nursery Education Center, 3132 Lake Ave. in Wilmette, presenting "The Lure and Lore of Spices," featuring the fascinating history of spices, interesting trivia and spice tastings. The first 50 people at each session get a goodie bag. Call the Chalet at 847/256-0561 for more info.

Printer's Row Loft Walk

More than a dozen South Loop private residences will be open for public viewing for one day only on Sunday, October 24, from noon to 5 p.m. during the 7th Annual South Loop Neighbors Loft Walk. This annual event showcases urban living in Printers' Row and the South Loop to local audiences and throughout Chicagoland. As many as 1,000 people have attended in recent years! Cost: $15 in advance (online or at select locations), $20 day of at the starting point Dearborn Station, 47 W. Polk St. Volunteer for half the walk (12–2:30 p.m. or 2:30–5 p.m.) and tour the walk for FREE the other half. Proceeds support South Loop Neighbors, a member-based neighborhood association, helping underwrite education, engagement and advocacy on local quality-of-life issues.

A Day of Political Satire @ Newberry Library

The Newberry Library and In These Times present "A Day of Political Satire." This day-long celebration of political satire, just in time for the upcoming elections, will examine how satirists have plagued American presidents and other politicians with fine wit and scathing comments about the state of the union and address why, even in this land of freedom, satirists are sometimes censored.

First, "Politics, Censorship, and Satire," a discussion presented in partnership with the Public Square and in conjunction with the Newberry’s exhibit, Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition. 10-11:30am at the library, 60 W. Walton St. Free.

Second, head to 2040 N. Milwaukee for "Cirque Du Politique and the Presidential Rogues Gallery." Lampooning or lambasting, the posters in A Presidential Rogues Gallery, curated by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, hold their subjects to account, make fun of their foibles, and serve as a call to action around a range of causes. Many of the posters mirror the pop culture of their time, appropriating the visual language of advertising and film promotion. The improv group Schadenfreude also performs. 7-10:30pm. $5 suggested donation.

More info here.

Fast Forward Film Festival

The Fast Forward Film Festival displays its latest batch of freshly-baked films tonight at 8:00 at Wesley Kimler's studio (2046 W. Carroll). These films are less than 24 hours old, having been started last night at 7:30 PM. Prizes will be awarded, so bring your movie-judging hat. $5 suggested donation for the screening. BYOB. More information at the Website.

Rhino Theater Fest: POWER brecht-down 2004

A new Bertolt Brecht revue, adapted by Stefan Brün. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly break down power for you in a new revue devoted to this, unfortunately, so timely poet and playwright. POWER brecht-down 2004 includes texts and songs never before translated into English as well as The Beggar or the Dead Dog, Money Medley and an excerpt from Brecht's Training Manual for War. Part of Curious’s Rhino ’04 look back at the masters who influenced us." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

43 Plays for 43 Presidents @ Neo-Futurarium

Tonight's the last night to catch a revival of "43 Plays for 43 Presidents" which returns to celebrate the upcoming election with a new ending and a few new plays in-between. The piece is a chronological, biographical survey of the lives and presidencies of each of the 42 men who have held the office to date, with a company of performers portraying both their mistakes and successes. The scenes shift frequently between the comic and the tragic, beginning with George Washington, continuing through the grim onset of the Civil War, moving through a Nixon dance number, and arriving at a WWF-style wrestling match of the 2000 election. Tickets are available at the door for $10, curtain time is 8 p.m. The Neo-Futurarium is located at 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster). For more information call 773-878-4557.

The Dwarves, Bars & Dutchmen @ Blue Note

The Dwarves. You may remember them from such classic recordings as "Blood, Guts, and Pussy," and "The Dwarves are Young and Good-Looking." Come reacquaint yourselves as they tour in support of their latest release, "The Dwarves Must Die," at the Blue Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee, along with supporting acts The Bars and The Dutchmen. Doors for this 21-and-over event open at 9pm. Admission is $12.

Undershorts Film Fest

The Undershorts Film Festival takes place this Saturday, Oct. 23, @ the Congress Theater from 2:30 pm to 2 am.

A parade down Milwaukee Ave. will kick off the festivities at 2:30 pm, followed by DJs, fire-spinners, welders, ice-carvers, johnny-rockers, roller derby girls, etc. from 5-7 pm outside the theater.

The film show starts at 7 pm.

Politics, Censorship, and Satire

On Saturday at 10 am, the Newberry Library (60 W. Walton St.), and The Public Square present "Politics, Censorship, and Satire," a program that examines the American tradition of political satire and its current uses in portraying today's political scene. How does satire function as a form of social dissent? How can we explain the popularity of The Daily Show, Ali G, The Borowitz Report, and the Onion?

With a countdown to the most hotly debated and inflammatory presidential election in recent history, join us to infuse much-needed humor into the election season with an event that discusses, displays and encourages political comedy.

The panel discussion, chaired by Lisa Lee of The Public Square, features comic artist Nicole Hollander, creator of Sylvia; Dave Mulcahey, the managing editor of The Baffler and an In These Times contributing editor; and Teresa Prados-Torreira, a cultural history specialist who teaches a course on political satire at Columbia College.

Sleaze Z Fest!

The Z Film Festival presents Sleaze Z Fest 2 at Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee, tonight from 9pm till around 2am. Totally not safe for work, and that's why it won' be held there. Check here for the full schedule. $10 to get in, $8 "if you dress ultra-sleazy!!!"

The Lure and Lore of Spices

The Spice House is one of my favorite shops. The staff is always friendly and super-knowledgeable, always ready to answer questions. This Saturday and Sunday 10-11:30am, owners Patty and Tom Erd will be at the Chalet Nursery Education Center, 3132 Lake Ave. in Wilmette, presenting "The Lure and Lore of Spices," featuring the fascinating history of spices, interesting trivia and spice tastings. The first 50 people at each session get a goodie bag. Call the Chalet at 847/256-0561 for more info.

Get Involved with Animal Assisted Programs @ Anti-Cruelty Society

Do you think that your dog would be the perfect therapy dog? This afternoon, you can learn how you can Get Involved with Animal Assisted Programs through a seminar at the Anti-Cruelty Society, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Find out about organizations with animal assisted programs and how you and your dog can get involved. Representatives from the "Chenny Troupe," "Sit, Stay, Read" and "The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Pet Visitation Program" will explain volunteer opportunities that are available in their programs and the training, evaluation and certification procedures that are needed for you and your dog in order to participate. Please do not bring your dog to this seminar! Pre-registration is required. To register call Tammie Bouschor at (312) 644-8338 ext. 344 or email tbouschor@anticruelty.org. Please include your name, daytime telephone number and the name of the program that you are registering for. The event will be held in the Education and Training Center. Enter from 169 W. Grand Avenue. Free parking is available in The Anti-Cruelty Society parking garage. Enter from Wells Street.

Dead Authors Party @ darkroom

Emily Dickinson in a thin white dress walks into a bar and puts her arm around Sylvia Path, her head still in the oven. Opening line to a bad joke?  Nope – it’s the Guild Complex’s Dead Authors Party! Come dressed as your favorite dead author, dead character from a novel or poem – heck, get some friends together and come as the play Our Town. It’s a great way to try out that Halloween costume and helps support Chicago’s premiere literary center. Individual and group costume competitions will be judged by celebrities for prizes. To reserve tickets, please call 773.227.6117 x16. Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! The party takes place at darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago Ave. from 6–9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

I Want a President Who @ BuddY

As a part of a series of public artworks inviting people to share their thoughts regarding leadership and creating art in the process, the public art collaborative Anti Gravity Surprise has organized events every Saturday in October in Chicago. The fourth one is today from 1 to 4 p.m. at BuddY located at 1542 N. Milwaukee Aveune in Wicker Park. The afternoon will feature election-inspired artworks, street performances, and an open discussion. At 3 p.m there will be a presentation by Tom Tresser, a pro-arts political organizer. For more information, email AGS@anti-gravity.info.

Nosferatu, More @ Culture of Fear

Tonight at the Open End Gallery, 2000 W. Fulton, Scary Bodega Productions and Tense Forms present a screening of the 1922 silent vampire classic Nosferatu with a new plunderphonic score comprised of audio sampled from more than a dozen other Dracula films by Chicago composer Chris Fuller.
The event will also feature:
The Lovecraft Syndrome, a short film by David Schmidt
Animation by Kate Raney
An exhibit of art and photography from the Tense Forms collective.
Doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:30pm sharp. $7 donation. Check here and here for more info.

Fast Forward Film Festival

The Fast Forward Film Festival kicks off its latest competition tonight at Atomix (1957 W. Chicago). Thirty film-making teams will converge at 7:30 PM to receive a topic for a film they have to complete by tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 PM (less than 24 hours!). Meet up with everyone tomorrow at Wesley Kimler's studio (2046 W. Carroll) at 8:00 PM to view the films. $5 suggested donation for the screening. BYOB. More information at the Website.

Rhino Theater Fest: POWER brecht-down 2004

A new Bertolt Brecht revue, adapted by Stefan Brün. Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly break down power for you in a new revue devoted to this, unfortunately, so timely poet and playwright. POWER brecht-down 2004 includes texts and songs never before translated into English as well as The Beggar or the Dead Dog, Money Medley and an excerpt from Brecht's Training Manual for War. Part of Curious’s Rhino ’04 look back at the masters who influenced us." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

The Manson Family @ Music Box

The big story at this year's Chicago Underground Film Festival was the premiere of The Manson Family, Jim Van Bebber's dramatic recreation of the Tate-LaBianca killings. The film had been in production for years and years, and only now has been screened in a completed form. The film finally gets an official run on a Chicago screen tonight, as it opens at the Music Box Theatre. The director will be at the premiere tonight; check local listings for showtimes. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

43 Plays for 43 Presidents @ Neo-Futurarium

For two nights only "43 Plays for 43 Presidents" returns to celebrate the upcoming election with a new ending and a few new plays in-between. The piece is a chronological, biographical survey of the lives and presidencies of each of the 42 men who have held the office to date, with a company of performers portraying both their mistakes and successes. The scenes shift frequently between the comic and the tragic, beginning with George Washington, continuing through the grim onset of the Civil War, moving through a Nixon dance number, and arriving at a WWF-style wrestling match of the 2000 election. Tickets are available at the door for $10, curtain time is 8 p.m. The Neo-Futurarium is located at 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster). For more information call 773-878-4557.

George Carlin Book Signing

What a great way to spend your lunch break! This afternoon, comedian George Carlin will discuss and sign his new book, When Will Jesus Bring the Porkchops? at 12:30 p.m. at Borders Books and Music at 150 N. State Street downtown. For more information call (312) 606-0750. This event is Free.

Registration closes for South Side Blues Class

The University of Chicago's Graham School of General Studies has begun a collaboration with the DuSable Museum of African-American History, part of which involves co-sponsoring adult education courses open to all who want to register. The class below "South Side Blues and Jazz" meets Oct. 30 thru Nov. 6 (10:30 a.m.--12:45 p.m.) and is a true bargain at $30. Registration closes on Oct. 22, so if you’re interested, act soon. The class is taught by David Ramey. According to the class listing: "The South Side of Chicago is world famous as home to some of the most innovative jazz and blues music in history. Join us for a discussion of this legacy that will bring together academics and musicians for a unique perspective on Sweet Home Chicago. Prospective guests will include the legendary Honey Boy Edwards, the last of the great Delta bluesmen." For more information, contact Bart Schultz at 773-702-8821.

Haunting History in Evanston

This Halloween, Evanston’s Charles Gates Dawes House will once again take on a spectacularly spooky atmosphere as magician and Halloween expert David Parr returns to lead visitors on eerie interactive tours of the historic mansion. From Oct. 22 through 31, at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, Parr will lead small groups on dramatic tours of the mansion during which each room offers an encounter with the uncanny and supernatural. Objects move on their own accord, cryptic messages are written by invisible hands, and shadowy forms lurk in hallways. Equal parts history and mystery, Parr’s spooky tours offer visitors a side of the historic home that few ever encounter. The Dawes House, built in 1896, is an essential part of the show. The three-story historic mansion, once the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, is distinguished by its dark oak woodwork and majestic stained glass. Chosen because of its massive, foreboding appearance to be the home of mob boss John Rooney (portrayed by Paul Newman) in the feature film Road to Perdition, the house’s vast spaces, dim lighting, and shadowy corridors make it the perfect setting for Parr’s type of eerie Halloween event. The Charles Gates Dawes House is located at 225 Greenwood St., Evanston. Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly, with additional performances at 9 p.m. Oct. 28–31 and at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Spectators attending performances at 8 p.m. or later should park only on Greenwood Street. Tickets are $20 per person. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410, email evanstonhs@northwestern.edu or visit Parr's website.

Neil Innes @ Abbey Pub

Neil Innes, who's mostly known these days for his collaborations with Monty Python and its individual members, plays at the Abbey Pub tonight at 8:00 (doors open at 7:00). Expect a good chunk of Rutles material, a few new songs, and a rousing rendition of "The Philosopher's Drinking Song" (or some other song that the whole pub can sing along to) at the end of the show. Also on the bill: Chicago's very own Neo-Futurists! They'll be performing 15 plays in 30 minutes, which should fit in quite well with Innes' surreal humor. Highly recommended event. Abbey Pub: 3420 W. Grace (at Elston). (773) 478-4408. Tickets are $15 before the show, and $18 at the door.

Trax Records 20th anniversary @ SoundBar

Chicago's seminal Trax Records celebrates its 20th anniversary as one of the original and most influential house music labels tonight at SoundBar. Marshall Jefferson, Farley JackMaster Funk, and Maurice Joshua ground the lineup. 226 W. Ontario, 21+, $10.

Perpetual Motion Roadshow @ Quimby's

Perpetual Motion Roadshow #17 rolls back into Quimby's Bookstore tonight, featuring the "punk rock Studs Terkel" Todd Taylor, end of the world idealist Darren O'Donnell, and transit tale-teller local Jonathan Messenger. Taylor is the co-editor, co-publisher of Razorcake Fanzine and Gorsky Books. Darren O'Donnell is a writer, director, performance artist, designer and artistic director of Mammalian Diving Reflex. Jonathan Messinger has written humor for McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Haypenny and Opium Magazine. He's also the proprietor of local transportation blog This is Grand. The store start's a-rockin' at 8 p.m. at 1854 West North Avenue, Chicago, in Wicker Park. For more information call 773/342-0910.

Incredible String Band @ Logan Square Auditorium

The legendary 1960s Scottish band The Incredible String Band plays at the Logan Square Auditorium tonight at 8:00 PM. That may well be enough for many of you to attend, but here's an added attraction: one of the opening acts is harpist Joanna Newsom, who has been hypnotizing audiences for quite some time now with her beguiling voice and effortless harp playing. Oh PLEASE go see this show. You will be so glad you did. Logan Square Auditorium: 2539 N. Kedzie. (773) 252-6179. Tickets can be bought online.

Train to be a Pollwatcher

The League of Women Voters of Chicago and the snappy website i am the government will be offering free training for people interested in being a pollwatcher on November 2nd. Training takes place tonight (as well as most nights througout October) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the League of Women Voters offices at 332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1050, Chicago. For more information, or to read True Pollwatcher Stories check here.

Vera Drake Free Screening

Gapers Block and Chicago NOW are inviting you to the movies. Well, one movie. Vera Drake will be showing for free at Webster Place tonight at 7pm. Download this PDF invite and bring it and a friend to the theater. Only the first 100 people get in free, so get there early. If you feel like it, Chicago NOW will be more than happy to take the $8.50 that you'd normally have spent.

Wicker Park Garden Club Lecture

On Wednesday, October 20, from 7-8:30 p.m. The Wicker Park Garden Club sponsors a lecture at the Wicker Park Fieldhouse, located at 1425 N. Damen "Urbs in horto: The City in a Garden" Jens Jensen, Introduction to his "Philosophies and Gardens" by Julia Sniderman Bachrach, Chicago Park District Historian and Preservationist for the Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago. $5, For lecture registration email wpgarden@aol.com or call (773) 278-9075 Doug Wood, or check out the website.

Barrel of Monkeys' Fancy Schmancy Benefit

Barrel of Monkeys’ Third Annual Fancy Schmancy Benefit Performance takes place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Theatre Building Chicago, located at 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago, 60657. The evening includes refreshments, performance and silent auction items. Call 773.281.0638 for tickets ($60 single ticket at the door, $45 single ticket in advance) and more information. Remember, it's all for the children!

CTA Hearing: Service Cuts

Your daily commute is threatened because public transit in the Chicagoland region is insufficiently funded. Twenty years of insufficient funding for public transit has consequences. Visit Chicago State University, the Jacoby Dickens Athletic Center @ 9501 South King Drive at 6:30 p.m. to take part in this essential public hearing. See the entire schedule at Campaign for Better Transit.

Love Your Body Day Poetry Slam

Come celebrate Love Your Body Day this year with Chicago NOW's second annual Love Your Body Day poetry slam!  Some of Chicago's most talented female poets are coming together to share their writing throughout the evening. Last year was an amazing success so please come out to make this year even better! Featured poets include some of Chicago's greatest, such as: Tara Betts, Nikki Patin, Anita Loomis, Katherine Zwick, and Chicago's very own Radical Cheerleaders. So bring all your friends to Filter Coffee Shop, located at 1585 N. Milwaukee Avenue (near the Damen Blue line stop), on October 19th at 7 p.m. If you have questions, or would like to participate in the reading, please contact Rachel Durchslag at: 773-919-2081 or rdurchslag@gmail.com.

Beer & Brats & German Horns @ MCA

Join the MCA tonight as they celebrate Oktoberfest with german beer, brats, and some horns. Puck's will offer a traditional German buffet feast, dishing up delights such as chicken schnitzel, goulash soup, apple strudel, and of course, German bratwurst. Tickets to the event are just $18 per person ($16 for MCA members) and children under 12 eat for free. Rock out to the sounds of a German horn band as they play on the terrace from 5 to 7 p.m. Remember, viewing exhibits at the MCA is always free after 5 p.m. on Tuesdays! The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. The MCA is located one block east of the historic Water Tower.

Rhino Theater Fest: Hit Me Like a Flower

A new play by Beau O'Reilly for the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "Hit Me Like a Flower continues O'Reilly's “Big Play” experiment: large casts, lots of story line, expanse. Sarah Wallace has come to an East-Coast waspish town to start her therapy practice and cast a watchful eye over her long-estranged college daughter Terry, known to her friends as “Oddhead.” Sarah’s patients: Arthur Moore, a psychopath with a bear suit and a 2 by 4; William Coughlin, a sometime novelist of minor fame who is recovering from a stroke; and Mrs. Chester, a woman who has been living on the streets but now is ready for a bus ride. Terry’s friends are Saul and Hannah, and they are in their 20’s, skating tough, and worried about the war." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Train to be a Pollwatcher

The League of Women Voters of Chicago and the snappy website i am the government will be offering free training for people interested in being a pollwatcher on November 2nd. Training takes place tonight (as well as other nights in October) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Center for Neighborhood Technology at 2125 W. North Avenue, Chicago. For more information, or to read True Pollwatcher Stories check here.

101 Reykjavik @ Doc Films

Don't miss Baltasar Kormakur's widely acclaimed Icelandic slacker film 101 Reykjavik at the University of Chicago's Doc Films, Monday, October 18 at 7 pm. Tickets are $4.

Lazy FM @ Danny's

"As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired." David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross — a harsh, unforgiving cult classic — is usually praised for the actors and oft-quoted one-liners that have made it so famous. Rarely, it seems, does one think about the music from the film playing much of a role at all. Tonight, something completely different comes to the fore, as local DJ collective Lazy FM perform a live remix of the film's sparse soundtrack. Usual suspects Josh Werner, Hiroki, and Rob Hamilton play a range of tracks over top of the movie's audio, making for a relaxed, frequently entertaining, evening. At Danny's Tavern, 1951 W. Dickens, 21+. No cover, ever.

Karate @ Schubas

Catch Karate @ Schubas Sunday, October 17 at 9 pm. Tickets are $10.

Rhino Theater Fest: John Starrs

Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival: "John Starrs and Kristy Lockhart tell stories (and stories inside stories) about guns and jails and perhaps about stories themselves. Kristy is from a neighborhood in Birmingham where guns (for instance) are sometimes found. She tells the story of her early life in Alabama, one of the hottest places in the state of confusion. John is from Chicago, where guns have been seen on policemen who were able to protect a second-story man--see? story again--in his neighborhood. So! Who knows?" 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Young Women's Empowerment Project Benefit @ Martyr's

Tonight's the First Annual Benefit for The Young Women’s Empowerment Project featuring: FUNKADESI and DJ Matt Fields at Martyr's, 3855 N. Lincoln Avenue. Doors Open at 6 p.m. Suggested donation $10. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at Martyr's website. There will be raffle prizes including a weekend in the Wisconsin Dells, gifts from Urban Oasis, Early to Bed, By Choice, and more! For more information call 773-728-0127 or visit the website.

Andersonville Arts Walk Weekend

Join friendly Andersonvillians around their neighborhood this weekend for the annual Andersonville Arts Walk. Galleries, shops, and restaurants will be open special hours to display local art and performances. Highlights include the NeoFuturist production of "Alice" told via a walking tour of the neighborhood plus visual art from over 100 artists. Call 773-728-2995 for more information, or look for the great brochures in Andersonville businesses with the kinda creepy lady on the front.

Steve Brodner @ Quimby's

Steve Brodner is one of the most savage editorial cartoonist to work in the U.S., with work in The New Yorker, "Mother Jones," "Rolling Stone" and more.  He will be signing copies of his first book Freedom Fries and drawing the 2004 presidential candidates, live on the spot at 4 p.m. at Quimby's Bookstore, located at 1854 West North Avenue, Chicago. Call 773/342-0910 for some more info.

Rally for Kerry

Planned Parenthood Illinois is sponsoring a John Kerry rally this afternoon at 3:00 PM at the IBEW Local 134 Hall (600 W. Washington). Among the speakers scheduled to appear are Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and County Commissioner Bobbie Steele. Further information: (312) 832-0220.

2004 Chicago Wine and Food Festival

The second annual Chicago Wine & Food Festival will showcase and celebrate the excellence of Chicago’s wine and culinary community. Chicago’s top merchants will offer wines from around the world and some of our finest chefs will provide tastings of their beautiful cuisine. Tickets to the Festival and the Lecture Series may be purchased on-line by visiting www.cwff.net. Futher inquiries can be made by calling 312-752-2092. Net proceeds from the Festival benefit Chicago Gateway Green, Gallery 37, Our Common Threads and Kendall College.

Asian American Jazz Festival @ HotHouse

The HotHouse presents the 2004 Asian American Jazz Festival, a two-day showcase of jazz, blues, spoken word and much more. Tonight's program focuses onAsian American women, and features Ester Hanna, Yoko Noge and Jazz Me Blues, Sarwat Rumi and many more. The program begins tonight at 8:00 PM, and tickets are $15 ($12 for students). HotHouse: 31 E. Balbo. (312) 362-9707.

Rhino Theater Fest: Hit Me Like a Flower

A new play by Beau O'Reilly for the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "Hit Me Like a Flower continues O'Reilly's “Big Play” experiment: large casts, lots of story line, expanse. Sarah Wallace has come to an East-Coast waspish town to start her therapy practice and cast a watchful eye over her long-estranged college daughter Terry, known to her friends as “Oddhead.” Sarah’s patients: Arthur Moore, a psychopath with a bear suit and a 2 by 4; William Coughlin, a sometime novelist of minor fame who is recovering from a stroke; and Mrs. Chester, a woman who has been living on the streets but now is ready for a bus ride. Terry’s friends are Saul and Hannah, and they are in their 20’s, skating tough, and worried about the war." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: The Authentics

A new play by Paula Gilovich, as part of the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "At the center of The Authentics is a plane crash from which only awkward, perverse David Wise has been pulled. The crash brings him Sarah Sharp, the reporter who covers his disaster, and a lost father looking for money. With the father comes a charismatic sidekick, and with Sarah comes a successful mother in the business of everyone's business. A wry look at the inherently absurd forces that create what's real, strange, funny, unromantic, fast, and furious is the universe of The Authentics. Sex, gender, death, disappointment, dismemberment, semi-celebrity, Chinese food, editors, and bus stations: this is life authentic." 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Andersonville Arts Walk Weekend

Join friendly Andersonvillians around their neighborhood this weekend for the annual Andersonville Arts Walk. Galleries, shops, and restaurants will be open special hours to display local art and performances. Highlights include the NeoFuturist production of "Alice" told via a walking tour of the neighborhood plus visual art from over 100 artists. Call 773-728-2995 for more information, or look for the great brochures in Andersonville businesses with the kinda creepy lady on the front.

Defiant Theatre's Graverobbing Sale

Defiant Theatre closes its doors today after eleven years on the off-Loop theatre scene, and they're giving you a chance to pick up the detritus. The Graverobbing Sale offers up most of Defiant's inventory "to you, the filthy, bargain-hunting opportunist." With two weeks to go 'til Halloween, this would be a great place to find a unique costume—they promise a ton of costume pieces, "including vampires, witches, pirates, fairies, Popes, hats, wigs, masks, just about anything you could ever want!" In addition you'll find props, theatre equipment, office equipment, puppets, flats and platforms, multiple phalli, and much more. 10am to 4pm today at 3711 N. Ravenswood, just north of the Brown Line at Addison.

Halloween Chic-A-Go-Go taping

So you know Chic-a-Go-Go, right? The CAN-TV dance show for kids of all ages, hosted by Ratso the Rat (aka Jake Austen of Roctober) and Miss Mia (aka Mia Park of the Chicago band Kim)? They're taping their Halloween special this afternoon, and the special guest, for some weird reason, is designer and sock monkey enthusiast Paul Frank. So you KNOW you wanna go. The taping is from 3 to 6 PM at the CAN TV studios at 322 S. Green. Costumes are encouraged. For more information, see the Chic-a-Go-Go site.

Wander Indiana Ride

The 2004 Wander Indiana Ride takes place Saturday and Sunday October 16 & 17 (Rain date October 23 & 24). The ride consists of biking from Chicago to Indiana Dunes National Park (approx. 65 miles @ 10 m.p.h.). Ride Start Meet at Ronny's Steak House Corner Clark & Lake in the Thompson Center (312) 346-9488 at 9:00 a.m. Ride leaves at 10:00 a.m. On Saturday: Ride to Indiana Dunes National Park in Chesterton, IN via the Lakefront Path, Burnham Greenway, Erie Lackawanna Trail, Oak Savannah Trail, and Prairie Duneland Trail. Saturday Night: Camp at Dunewood Campground, IDNP ($15 for two tents). Optionally there is a Super 8 Motel just south of the park. On Sunday: Return to Chicago, reverse route, 10:00 a.m. If you only want to ride part of the way Saturday, they should arrive at the Oak Savannah trailhead inside Oak Ridge Prairie County Park in Griffith, IN at approx. 2 p.m. The ride is free. Pay for your own meals and camping expenses. RSVP Bob Matter at rjmatter@prodigy.net by October 10th. HELMETS REQUIRED and lights and mirrors strongly suggested.

Master Class with Stuart Dybek

There's a Master Class with Stuart Dybek today, Saturday, October 16, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Gleacher Center (U.Chicago downtown campus). Dybek is a four-time winner of the O. Henry Prize for the best short stories published that year in the U.S., as well as a PEN/Bernard Malumud Prize "for distinctive achievement in the short story form." His publications include "Brass Knuckles," "The Coast of Chicago," "Childhood and Other Neighborhoods," and "I Sailed with Magellan." Cost: $125. For more information, including how to register, go here

Dance basics for couples @ Old Town School

This afternoon, the Old Town School of Folk Music presents the latest in a series of one-day workshops designed to give people two hours of instruction on a specific topic, without fear of commitment after the workshop. Today's workshop: dance basics for couples. Learn to do the one-step, the fox-trot, and the six-count swing. Registration is very limited, so sign up ASAP! (And if you miss this workshop, it'll be offered a couple more times this year.) The workshop runs from 1:00 PM to 2:50 PM, and the cost is $45 per couple. Old Town School of Folk Music: 4544 N. Lincoln. (773) 728-6000.

I Want a President Who @ Links Hall

As a part of a series of public artworks inviting people to share their thoughts regarding leadership and creating art in the process, the public art collaborative Anti Gravity Surprise has organized events every Saturday in October in Chicago. The third one is today from 1 to 4 p.m. at Links Hall located at 3435 N. Sheffield Ave. in Lakeview. The afternoon will feature election-inspired artworks, street performances, and an open discussion. At 3 p.m there will be a presentation by Netron Howard-Bernal, a community health advocate. For more information, email AGS@anti-gravity.info.

Select Media Festival 3 Super Show

Tonight starting at 8pm, head to the buddY/High School/Heaven gallery complex, 2nd and 3rd floors of 1542-1550 N. Milwaukee, for the Select Media Festival 3 Super Show. The evening features: • Live music by The Latest, Terry Plumbing super group and others at buddY
• Select Shorts: Best of smf3 shorts program at High School (10pm)
• Little Utopias: Alterations of Everyday Life Exhibition at Heaven
Admission is $10; receive the new Select 8 compilation DVD and a syndrome/Lumpen t-shirt with admission. Complementary beverages and treats. Check here for more details.

Asian American Jazz Festival @ HotHouse

The HotHouse presents the 2004 Asian American Jazz Festival, a two-day showcase of jazz, blues, spoken word and much more. Tonight's program features jazz fusion pianist Frank Lucas, Simon Wu from Shanghai, Sumito Ariyoshi and his combo ARIYO-C, and at least one GB staffer. (You'll have to attend to see which one.) The program begins tonight at 8:00 PM, and tickets are $15 ($12 for students). HotHouse: 31 E. Balbo. (312) 362-9707.

CSO's Friday Night at the Movies

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents Charlie Chaplin's City Lights as part of their Friday Night at the Movies series. The orchestra will perform Chaplin's score for the film live, as the film plays on a screen above the orchestra stage. The concert happens tonight at 8:00 PM at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan). See the CSO Website for tickets and further information, or call (312) 294-3000.

Tarnation @ Music Box

The 2003 documentary Tarnation made a name for itself at this year's Sundance Film Festival, not only for its compelling story (the director, Jonathan Caouette, combines video footage, snapshots, and even dramatic re-enactments to tell the story of his family), but for the fact that it was completely edited with iMovie. It starts playing at the Music Box Theatre tonight; check local listings for showtimes. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Rhino Theater Fest: A Dangerous Ornithology

A piece by James Owens, part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "The lives of seeming strangers become interwoven during the pressure of war in a one party state. Amidst the rising violence surrounding him, a prison camp worker is gripped by an irresistible urge to defy the laws. After a chance encounter on a train with an accountant who seems to share his thoughts, the prison worker discovers he is caught in a circle of murder, sex, and ritual. The cycle must be broken before all is lost. The problem is that, when neither history nor your own senses can be trusted, reality becomes the enemy." 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Chicagoland Transportation and Air Quality Congress

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Chicagoland Transportation and Air Quality Commission, the group will hold its Regional Congress III Friday, October 15, 2004 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Loyola University Chicago, 25 E. Pearson, Kasbeer Hall, 15th Floor. To mark this momentous occasion, keynote addresses will be delivered by NBC 5 News Reporter, Carol Marin and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky. The Chicagoland Transportation and Air Quality Commission is a coalition of over 190 organizations that have worked together for the past ten years to bring about transportation, land use, and air quality improvements in the Chicagoland region. To register for this event, visit the Center for Neighborhood Technology. The $15 Registration includes lunch and meeting materials. For more information on worshops, check here.

Andersonville Arts Walk Weekend

Join friendly Andersonvillians around their neighborhood this weekend for the annual Andersonville Arts Walk. Galleries, shops, and restaurants will be open special hours to display local art and performances. Highlights include the NeoFuturist production of "Alice" told via a walking tour of the neighborhood plus visual art from over 100 artists. The kick-off party is tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. At Atmosphere, 5355 N. Clark. Meet participating artists, enjoy food provided by Angel’s Restaurant. Cash bar. The Kick-off party will feature a silent auction of works donated by participating artists. All proceeds will benefit the after-school programs of Peirce Elementary School. Call 773-728-2995 for more information, or look for the great brochures in Andersonville businesses with the kinda creepy lady on the front.

Rhino Theater Fest: Cant

The Curious Theatre Branch's 16th annual Rhinoceros Theater Fest features Jenny Magnus's solo piece. "CANT is not not being able to. CANT is an edge, a brink that one can teeter on. Jenny Magnus returns to her familiar niche of solo performance with CANT, a new meditation on inclines and their slants when it comes to comfort, responsibility, and the terror of love. In her first new work in 2 years, Magnus uses her whining manner of speaking and vulgar slang to explore the relationship she creates with her doppelganger, a bag of rice the exact weight of her only child. When one’s concerns turn to having children, aging parents, and the inexorable passage of time, one must be careful of sudden movements which result in turning over or tilting up. Or so Magnus finds in her unique language, implying the pretended assumption of goodness. CANT is not not being able to. CANT is doing, in spite of whether one is able." 7pm. $12 or pay what you can. At the Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. Call 773.274.6660 for reservations.

Lend Us Your Ears

The Third Coast International Audio Festival presents "Lend Us Your Ears," some of the most interesting and sound-rich work from the Festival's past four years, played in a continuos loop. The program includes competition winners, commissioned pieces and website features, and the gallery has been specially outfitted for optimal listening comfort. The exhibit runs until December 5, but there's an opening event tonight, 6-9pm on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph. Free.

Eggers and Haggis-On-Whey @ Millennium Park

Tonight at 7pm at Chicago Cultural Center located at 78 E. Washington Street The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Dave Eggers (of McSweeney's, among other cultural touchstones) will introduce Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey who will give a presentation on their new book, Your Disgusting Head, the follow up to Giraffes? Giraffes!. Free.

"License to Live" Opening @ Foundation Gallery

The Foundation Gallery opens a new solo show tonight featuring the work of local artist Dan Grzeca (see some of his older work, including gig posters, ads, etc. here). Titled "License To Live: Portraits and Oddities Painted, Drawn and Printed" this show is running in conjunction with Chicago Artists' Month and will be up through November 14. The exhibition features Grzeca's newest body of work exploring myth and storytelling in the form of head studies painted on wood panel in acrylic, metal leaf and enamel, mixed media drawings and limited edition silk-screened prints. The influences and inspiration for the imagery and style comes from such places as sideshow banner painting, Max Ernst, contemporary underground comics and screen printed posters, punk rock and free jazz. The opening celebration is tonight from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 312-860-0740 or email info@foundation-gallery.org or check out their online backroom. The Foundation Gallery is located at 700 N. Carpenter Street (just south of the intersection of Milwaukee and Chicago in River West).

Save Our Lakefront Benefit @ Red Line Tap

Save Our Lakefront is an organization fighting to prevent Lake Shore Drive from extending any further north than where it already runs. For more information, check out their website. If you're already convinced, come out tonight to their Benefit Concert at the Red Line Tap at 8 p.m., 7006 N. Glenwood. Hear blues by Jan James, folk-tinged rock by Paul Kotheimer, and others TBA. $10 gets you in the door and goes to a great cause. The Lakefront Action Network Save Our Lakefront Campaign can be reached as well at 1545 W. Morse, Chicago, IL 60626 or call 773-973-7888.

Paul Frank Appearance

Designer Paul Frank will be appearing at his namesake store at 851 W. Armitage tonight from 6pm to 8pm. The first 100 people in line will be entered to win an exclusive Frank-designed John Deere item. You've been warned.

Drag King Party

Another spectacular International Drag King Extravaganza 6 (IDKE 6) event! Rub elbows with more drag kings and friends of kings than you can imagine. Get on stage and do your own drag king act or just dance the night away this Friday, October 15 at the Dragon Room at 809 W. Evergreen. The event costs $8 before 11 p.m. and $10 after.

Tru Order at the Darkroom

Love the music of New Order? Then check out Tru Order tonight at The Darkroom. Djs Traxx, Jesse De La Pena, and Trancid will be spinning a set of "their personal favorites, plus their own remixes" of New Order, Joy Division, Warsaw, and other Factory-related music. 2210 W. Chicago Ave., 21+, free till 11p.m. $5 after.

Solex @ Empty Bottle

Solex, Dutch sound collage wizard Elisabeth Esselink, plays at the Empty Bottle tonight. Opening acts: On!Air!Library! and Worm is Green. The show starts at 9:30; tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. Empty Bottle: 1035 N. Western. (773) 276-3600.

Train to be a Pollwatcher

The League of Women Voters of Chicago and the snappy website i am the government will be offering free training for people interested in being a pollwatcher on November 2nd. Training takes place tonight (as well as most nights througout October) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the League of Women Voters offices at 332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1050, Chicago. For more information, or to read True Pollwatcher Stories check here.

CTA Hearing: 2005 Budget and Service Cuts

Your daily commute is threatened because public transit in the Chicagoland region is insufficiently funded. Twenty years of insufficient funding for public transit has consequences. Visit Roberto Clemente High School at 1147 North Western at 6:30 p.m. to take part in this essential public hearing. See the entire schedule at Campaign for Better Transit.

Bridge Magazine Reading

Tonight, a reading and reception jointly sponsored by Bridge Magazine and the Chicago Public Library from 8–9:30 p.m. at the Bridge space at 119 N. Peoria, minutes from downtown Chicago. This reading features students and faculty from Northwestern University's Masters in Creative Writing Program: Taffy Brokemond, Charles Fiori (NPR's Stories on Stage), Lisa Grayson (Publica), Christopher Ott (Canvas), Matt Pagano (ImprovOlympic Theater), Claire Zulkey (Chicago Magazine, Zulkey.com), myself, and Elizabeth Crane (When The Messenger is Hot). 

"Get Your War On 2" Book Signing

Tonight, creator of the comic My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable, David Rees, is on tour to promote his second book Get Your War On 2 (which, oddly enough, follows his book Get Your War On). Rees will be signing his book at the Chicago Center for Arts Policy in Hokin Hall, Columbia College, 623 South Wabash at 6 p.m. For more information call (312) 344-7985.

Drag King Art Exhibit

International Drag King Extravaganza 6 (IDKE6) kicks off at HotHouse with dis/locator, an art exhibit showcasing gender-bending art from some of the most talented artists within and friends of the drag king community. Meet the artists from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and enjoy special entertainment until midnight. The event is free.

Discrete Reading Series @ SpareRoom

The Discrete Series presents Jennifer Karmin and Sawako Nakayasu tonight at 6 p.m. at The SpareRoom located at 2416 W. North Ave. ($5 suggested donation). Please note that the SpareRoom is an alcohol-free space. Jennifer Karmin will be performing "Revolutionary Optimism," a multi-voiced text based upon sympathy cards, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and confessions from Iraqi prisoners. Jennifer is a poet, artist and educator who has published, performed, exhibited, taught and experimented with language throughout the U.S. And Japan. Sawako Nakayasu was born in Yokohama, Japan, and has lived mostly in the U.S. since the age of six. She writes poetry, prose, and performance text, and translates from Japanese to English. Nakayasu's first book, "So we have been given time, Or" was selected by Ann Lauterbach as winner of the fourth annual Verse Prize. It was published by Verse Press in September 2004. The Discrete Series presents an event of poetry/music/performance/something on the second Friday of each month. For more information about this or upcoming events, email j_seldess@hotmail.com or kerri@conundrumpoetry.com or call the space at 773-862-3616.

Debate Watch @ Chicago Historical Society

You can watch tonight's final Presidential Debate, at the Chicago Historical Society's Debate Watch. President Bush and Senator Kerry will debate domestic issues in their final showdown, in Tempe, Arizona. The CHS event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception and a discussion by Don Wycliff, public editor, Chicago Tribune and Alan Gitelson, professor, Loyola University with moderator Mark Jacob, editor, Chicago Tribune, followed by a viewing of the debate at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and students get in free with ID. The Historical Society is located at the intersection of Clark Street and North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614. Call them at 312-642-4600.

Rufus Wainwright @ The Vic

Sultry, sexy, and always beautiful Rufus Wainwright plays a solo show at The Vic Theater tonight! General Admission tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster for $29 and up or with cash at the box office. The Vic is located at 3145 North Sheffield, Chicago near Belmont Ave. David Berkeley opens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Emtpy Bottle Jazz Series: What We Live

Tonight, the Empty Bottle Jazz Series presents: What We Live featuring Saadet Turkoez (Turkey) with Donald Robinson, Lisle Ellis, Saadet Turkoez and Lawrence Ochs. What We Live is a trio that features former Cecil Taylor bassist Lisle Ellis, Rova Sax Quartet founder Lawrence Ochs and percussionist Don Robison. The three will be joined by Turkish free music vocalist Saadet Turkoez. This will be the first extended tour of the U.S. for Turkoez, and her first stateside performance with a jazz-based rhythm section. Tickets are $7 (by on Music Today or by calling 1-800-594-TIXX) and doors open at 9:30 p.m. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave. Call 773-276-3600 for more information.

Art Spiegelman @ Quimby's

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Art Spiegelman signs In the Shadow Of No Towers, his first new book of comics since the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Maus" at Qumby's Bookstore, located at 1854 W. North Avenue, Chicago. For more information, call 773/342-0910.

Poets from Slovenia & Poland @ Danny's

Tonight Primoz Cucnik, Gregor Podlogar and Adam Wiedemann read at 7:30 p.m. sharp (21 and over) @ Danny's Tavern located at 1951 W Dickens (in Bucktown, near Damen and Dickens). Cucnik was born in Ljubljana in 1971. His first collection of poetry, Two Winters, was published in 1999 and received Best First Collection Award. His most recent books are Rhythm in hands (2002), Chords (2004) and Ode on Manhattan Avenue (2003), which he co-wrote with Gregor Podlogar. Podlogar was born in 1974 in Ljubljana, where he currently lives. He has published three books of poetry, States (1997), Joy in Vertigo (2002), and Ode on Manhattan Avenue (2003, co-written with Primoz Cucnik); his poetry has also appeared widely in magazines in Slovenia and abroad. Wiedemann was born in 1967 in Krotoszyn, Poland, and has lived in Kraków since the mid-eighties. His first book of poetry appeared in 1996 and he has since published five others, most recently Calypso (2004). His two books of short stories, The Ubiquity of Order (1997) and Cinq Pièces Brèves (1998) were each nominated for the highly respected "Nike" award, and he received the coveted Koscielski Prize in 1999.

"Flirting for Nerds" workshop @ Early to Bed

Tonight Early to Bed sponsors a "Flirting for Nerds" workshop at 7:30 pm. "Most of us aren't born flirts. If you've ever felt like a nerd for fumbling through potential flirting situations then this class may be for you. When you flirt well you feel good about yourself and make others feel great! We'll break down the fundamentals of flirting, getting comfortable with yourself and putting others at ease, reading body language, how to flirt with folks of all genders, sexual and non-sexual flirting, non-cheesy ways to break the ice, and tips & techniques to continue flexing your flirting muscles long after the workshop is over." All workshops take place at Early to Bed, 5232 N Sheridan Rd. Workshops are open people of all genders & orientations (unless otherwise noted). Pre-registration is requested and there is a $10 fee. You can register by calling 773-271-1219 or email workshops@early2bed.com. You must be at least 18 years old to attend. Schedule subject to last minute changes.

HotHouse Town Hall Forum: The 2004 Election

The presidential elections on November 2nd, might very well be the most important ever, deciding which course the United States will take in the world for the foreseeable future. It is the goal of HotHouse to get as many people out to vote, as well as get them educated on the issues and knowledgeable about the candidates. Together with curator Larry Bennett, Political Science professor at DePaul University, HotHouse will be hosting a series of free discussions building up to election night. Guest panelists from media, universities, and the public at large will present all aspects related to the coming elections, with ample time for debate and discussion to follow. Voter registration will take place at all events. A cross-section of Chicago and national youth-based organization will present their methods of getting out the vote and turning the next generation on to the political process. Panelists include: Molly Andolina, Assistant Professor of Political Science, DePaul University, researcher on politics and Generation X. This event starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to all ages. HotHouse is located at 31 East Balbo, Chicago, IL. Limited parking is available at meters on the street. Secure discounted, indoor parking is available at the 7th Street Garage at 710 S. Wabash Ave. for $8 with a coupon available at the Box Office.

Rhino Theater Fest: Hit Me Like a Flower

A new play by Beau O'Reilly for the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "Hit Me Like a Flower continues O'Reilly's “Big Play” experiment: large casts, lots of story line, expanse. Sarah Wallace has come to an East-Coast waspish town to start her therapy practice and cast a watchful eye over her long-estranged college daughter Terry, known to her friends as “Oddhead.” Sarah’s patients: Arthur Moore, a psychopath with a bear suit and a 2 by 4; William Coughlin, a sometime novelist of minor fame who is recovering from a stroke; and Mrs. Chester, a woman who has been living on the streets but now is ready for a bus ride. Terry’s friends are Saul and Hannah, and they are in their 20’s, skating tough, and worried about the war." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

"Bukowski: Born Into This" Film Screening

If you missed this movie the first time around, you can catch "Bukowski: Born Into This" tonight at 6:30 p.m. at 112 South Michigan Avenue, in the Ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From the Poetry Center of Chicago: "Bukowski: Born Into This is a film that traces Bukowski's life, from an abusive childhood through decades of poverty and alcoholism; numerous menial jobs and turbulent relationships; through 14 years as a postal employee; and his eventual international celebrity as a poet, novelist and cult icon. Director John Dullaghan spent seven years researching and shooting Bukowski: Born Into This. He conducted dozens of interviews with relatives, neighbors, teenage pals, fellow post office workers, girlfriends and other poets as well as better-known friends like Bono, Sean Penn and Harry Dean Stanton." Tickets are $5 General Admission, Free for Poetry Center Members.

Common Factor @ Danny's

Running for over six years now, Mondays @ Danny's is one of Chicago's most consistently name-checked electronic music nights, and for good reason. Playing host to a range of generally underrated local talent, tonight features a special DJ set from Chicago-based producer Common Factor. Opening duties will be shared by Equulei, Ray_Rod, m50, and Andrew Suprenant. Doors at 10 pm, with no cover, ever. Danny's Tavern, 1951 W Dickens.

Barrel of Monkeys "That's Weird Grandma" Opens

Barrel of Monkeys, that kooky group of actors/teachers opens up their standing Monday night show at the Neofuturarium (5153 N. Ashland Ave.), "That's Weird Grandma" tonight at 8 pm. Every Monday night, thru the end of July, the Monkeys present actual stories written by actual children in the Chicago City Schools. Each week, the Barrel of Monkeys ensemble visits kids and helps them to write stories, which the members, in turn, preform as they are written. Every week's show is different, so you can check them out often. Tickets to the show are $10 for adults, $5 for children and can be purchased at the door, or reserved over the phone. Call 312-409-1954 for more information.

West Fest & East Village Arts Walk

West Town, aka East Village, is holding its first-ever street festival, probably the last of the season. It features your typical range of vendors, plus a surprisingly good music line-up (see below). Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10pm on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood. $5 donation gets you in.

Simultaneously, the East Village Arts Walk features more than 50 artists' studios and galleries. Maps will be available at West Fest entry points; the Arts Walk is free. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 7pm.

More info on both events here.

Saturday, October 9th 2004
12-1pm: Loose Assembly
1:30-2:30pm: Jose Valdez Trio
3-4:30pm: Chi Town Reggae with Special Guest DJ Red Lox
5-6pm: Chocolate Covered Karma
6:30-8pm: Waco Brothers
8:30-10pm: Urge Overkill

Sunday, October 10th 2004 12-1pm: Indoor/Outdoor
1:30-2:30pm: Good Times
3-4:30pm: Emerging Light with Special Guest DJ Red Lox
5-6pm: Million Yen
6:30-8pm: Califone 8:30-10pm: Local H (Rock)

FOUND magazine @ The Hideout

FOUND magazine, the critically-acclaimed zine that publishes the findings of its readers, is back in town again, and they'll be at The Hideout tonight. Two shows to choose from! There's a 7:00 PM and a 10:00 PM show. Expect readings of found texts, music from found CDs and cassettes, performances of found plays, and so much more. The shows are 21+. The Hideout: 1354 W. Wabansia. (773) 227-4433.

Madison Zine Fest

Not really in Chicago, but close enough that people could go for a day, or a weekend. Madison Zine Fest will be taking place this weekend as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Join zinesters and hipsters and music-makers at Open Book Cafe and other locations in Madison.

Rhino Theater Fest: 16 Students

Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival: "16 students with stories about learning or teaching or failing to learn. Or failing to teach. A variety show of student pieces including improvisation, collaborative performance art, narrative, nonfiction, monologue, and electric cello, among other things, with pieces written or performed by Eric Blank, Alison Chesley, Olivia Cronk, James Dunn, Alex Jovanovich, Heidi Moore, Shannon Mullally, Erika Pahk, Christopher Piatt, Adam Pomajzl, Janie Porche, Andrea Rexilius, and Della Watson, among others." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Gay and Lesbian Alternative Wedding Expo

Heartland Gay & Lesbian Alternative (G.A.L.A.) Wedding Expo. Today from 2 until 6 p.m. this expo will bring together lesbian and gay couples with wedding industry professionals at the Allegro Hotel, 171 W. Randolph, in downtown Chicago. Tickets for the event are $10 per person, $15 per couple when purchased in advance, or $15 per person, $25 per couple at the door. Tickets are available online or by calling 866-468-3401. The event is a benefit for Equality Illinois, which will receive 100% of the event's proceeds.

UNIVERSES: Slanguage @ MCA

A fierce fusion of poetry, politics, blues, and boleros combine in "Slanguage," an original performance by poetry ensemble UNIVERSES presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, in association with the Guild Complex, on October 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Hailing from the South Bronx, UNIVERSES is an ensemble-based company of multi-disciplined writers and performers, weaving their own lives and language into a collage of stories, songs, scenes, and poetry. Following tonight's performance, there will be a First Night post-show talk with UNIVERSES. For more information please visit the MCA website.

Bike & Hike the Calumet

Starting at Lake Calumet at 9:30 a.m., this event will open your eyes to the region's ecological challenges, as well as showcase the triumphs of a strong local effort to rehabilitate the natural environment on Chicago's far south side. Participants will bike/hike from 2½ to 12 miles, depending on one's endurance, with interpretive stops along the way. See Chicago's landfills (past and present), heavy industries, lakes, rivers, bridges, wetlands, migrating birds, threatened species, and cultural attractions. A special tour through the Historic Pullman District is featured as part of this event. Water plus other refreshments and snacks provided; participants should pack a lunch. For more information, check out the website. Donations accepted: $5 and up. To register, call 773-646-0436; or send email to SETF setf@sbcglobal.net.

Chicago Botanic Garden Bulb Bazaar

This weekend, the Chicago Botanic Garden hosts it's annual Bulb Bazaar. The largest bulb sale in the Midwest, the Bulb Bazaar offers more than 300,000 bulbs of 250 varieties—everything from tulips to irises, alliums to daffodils. Members-only hours are 1 to 7 p.m. on October 8. The sale is also open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 9, 10 and 11. The sale will be held in the Education Center at the Botanic Garden. For more information, contact the garden or download the catalogue (PDF).

Lyric Opera Warehouse Sale

The Lyric Opera's warehouse at 2559 S. Dearborn is being sold for redevelopment, so this weekend the doors are being thrown open for a huge sale. Trunks for $50, costumes starting at $5 -- and all sorts of props, from swords to a giant Edgar Allen Poe face. It's free, and runs Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm. More info in this Tribune article.

West Fest & East Village Arts Walk

West Town, aka East Village, is holding its first-ever street festival, probably the last of the season. It features your typical range of vendors, plus a surprisingly good music line-up (see below). Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10pm on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood. $5 donation gets you in.

Simultaneously, the East Village Arts Walk features more than 50 artists' studios and galleries. Maps will be available at West Fest entry points; the Arts Walk is free. Saturday and Sunday, noon to 7pm.

More info on both events here.

Saturday, October 9th 2004
12-1pm: Loose Assembly
1:30-2:30pm: Jose Valdez Trio
3-4:30pm: Chi Town Reggae with Special Guest DJ Red Lox
5-6pm: Chocolate Covered Karma
6:30-8pm: Waco Brothers
8:30-10pm: Urge Overkill

Sunday, October 10th 2004 12-1pm: Indoor/Outdoor
1:30-2:30pm: Good Times
3-4:30pm: Emerging Light with Special Guest DJ Red Lox
5-6pm: Million Yen
6:30-8pm: Califone 8:30-10pm: Local H (Rock)

Burn This @ New World Rep

New World Repertory Theater presents “Burn This” by Lanford Wilson at The Masonic Temple 1st floor theater, 923 Curtiss Street in Downers Grove, IL.

“Burn This” opens on Saturday October 9, 2004, at 7:30 PM, and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3 PM until November 20, 2004.  Preview performance is on 10/8 at 7:30 PM.  Regular tickets are $20, $15 for students and seniors, and $12 each for groups of ten or more. Preview tickets are $12.  For tickets, directions, information and group rates, call 630.663.1489.

The Lord of the Rings Symphony

Tonight at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, film composer Howard Shore presents an evening of music from the three Lord of the Rings movies. The evening will also include performances by Chicago's very own Chicago Children's Choir, who will be singing songs in Elvish. Wow! The program begins at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $35-80; check the Auditorium Theatre Website for ticket options. Auditorium Theatre: 50 E. Congress Parkway. (312) 922-2110.

Madison Zine Fest

Not really in Chicago, but close enough that people could go for a day, or a weekend. Madison Zine Fest will be taking place this weekend as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Join zinesters and hipsters and music-makers at Open Book Cafe and other locations in Madison. Continues through Sunday.

Rhino Theater Fest: Hit Me Like a Flower

A new play by Beau O'Reilly for the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "Hit Me Like a Flower continues O'Reilly's “Big Play” experiment: large casts, lots of story line, expanse. Sarah Wallace has come to an East-Coast waspish town to start her therapy practice and cast a watchful eye over her long-estranged college daughter Terry, known to her friends as “Oddhead.” Sarah’s patients: Arthur Moore, a psychopath with a bear suit and a 2 by 4; William Coughlin, a sometime novelist of minor fame who is recovering from a stroke; and Mrs. Chester, a woman who has been living on the streets but now is ready for a bus ride. Terry’s friends are Saul and Hannah, and they are in their 20’s, skating tough, and worried about the war." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: The Authentics

A new play by Paula Gilovich, as part of the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "At the center of The Authentics is a plane crash from which only awkward, perverse David Wise has been pulled. The crash brings him Sarah Sharp, the reporter who covers his disaster, and a lost father looking for money. With the father comes a charismatic sidekick, and with Sarah comes a successful mother in the business of everyone's business. A wry look at the inherently absurd forces that create what's real, strange, funny, unromantic, fast, and furious is the universe of The Authentics. Sex, gender, death, disappointment, dismemberment, semi-celebrity, Chinese food, editors, and bus stations: this is life authentic." 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Hypocrites Party/Fundraiser Thing

Tonight, Chicago theater ensemble The Hypocrites will host a party in your honor to celebrate their 8th season. They invite you and your friends to come celebrate with them amidst a live DJ, stocked bar and buffet table and silent auction table. Tickets to this event are $40 and can be purchased over the web or from any of the Hypocrites company members. It's a small price to pay for a long night of fun and entertainment, and they hope you can join them. More information can be found online. The booty-shaking gets going at 2046 W. Carroll from 8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Electronics and Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Household hazardous waste and electronics recycling collection will be conducted this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at two Chicago locations: DeVry Chicago, 3300 N. Campbell and the Westside Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western. You've got household hazardous waste to dispose of if you're ready to throw out any of the following: oil-based paint, drain cleaners, solvents, wood strippers, insecticides, cleaning products, fluorescent light bulbs, weed killers, aerosols, used motor oil, photo chemicals, gasoline, antifreeze, propane and natural gas tanks, car batteries, household batteries. Also being collected are used eyeglasses and mercury thermometers. Also, you can recycle unwanted electronics such as old televisions and computer monitors. Drop off any unused or obsolete electronic equipment for recycling such as cell phones, stereos, PDAs, video games, pagers, etc. No large home appliances. Only residential waste will be accepted. Call 312-742-4805 or 311 for details or send e-mail toenvironment@cityofchicago.org. Recycling is FREE!

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

UNIVERSES: Slanguage @ MCA

A fierce fusion of poetry, politics, blues, and boleros combine in "Slanguage," an original performance by poetry ensemble UNIVERSES presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, in association with the Guild Complex, on October 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Hailing from the South Bronx, UNIVERSES is an ensemble-based company of multi-disciplined writers and performers, weaving their own lives and language into a collage of stories, songs, scenes, and poetry. For more information please visit the MCA website.

Rosehill Cemetery Walking Tour

Discover the secrets behind the headstones on a walking tour of Chicago’s Rosehill Cemetery that focuses the many former Evanston residents buried there. On Saturday, Oct. 9 at 2:30 p.m. (rain or shine), Evanston Historical Society Educator Leslie Goddard will lead a walking tour that visits the final resting spots of Evanstonians buried at Rosehill Cemetery. Tours leave from the east gate of the cemetery at 5800 N. Ravenwood Ave., Chicago. Rosehill Cemetery is not only Chicago’s oldest and largest non-sectarian cemetery, it is also the final resting place of many Evanstonians. The tour will pass by the graves of such local celebrities as former U.S. vice president Charles Gates Dawes, temperance crusader Frances Willard, preacher and educator John Dempster, and Civil War General Julius White. It will also visit the graves of lesser-known Evanstonians such as some victims from the 1903 Iroquois Theater disaster. The tour will also discuss common cemetery symbolism found at Rosehill and the evolution of cemetery customs over the decades. Tickets for the walking tour are $7 per person or $5 for EHS members. Reservations highly recommended. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. For reservations or more information, call 847-475-3410 or visit the Evanston Historical Society.

Chicago Botanic Garden Bulb Bazaar

This weekend, the Chicago Botanic Garden hosts it's annual Bulb Bazaar. The largest bulb sale in the Midwest, the Bulb Bazaar offers more than 300,000 bulbs of 250 varieties—everything from tulips to irises, alliums to daffodils. Members-only hours are 1 to 7 p.m. on October 8. The sale is also open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 9, 10 and 11. The sale will be held in the Education Center at the Botanic Garden. For more information, contact the garden or download the catalogue (PDF).

Lyric Opera Warehouse Sale

The Lyric Opera's warehouse at 2559 S. Dearborn is being sold for redevelopment, so this weekend the doors are being thrown open for a huge sale. Trunks for $50, costumes starting at $5 -- and all sorts of props, from swords to a giant Edgar Allen Poe face. It's free, and runs Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm. More info in this Tribune article.

Words of Choice

WORDS OF CHOICE, dynamic pro-choice theater created by Cindy Cooper is performed by an ensemble of actors, who weave together the words of many writers including Gloria Feldt, Cindy Cooper, Kathy Najimy and The Onion. The group, on their Go Vote Tour, will perform in Chicago tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Las Manos Gallery located at 5220 N. Clark (in Andersonville). Tickets $15 (general admission), $25 (friend of Chicago NOW), and $50 (supporter of Chicago NOW). Learn more here or call the theater at (773) 728-8910.

I Want a President Who @ Mess Hall

As a part of a series of public artworks inviting people to share their thoughts regarding leadership and creating art in the process, the public art collaborative Anti Gravity Surprise has organized events every Saturday in October in Chicago. The second is today from 1 to 4 p.m. at Mess Hall located at 6932 N. Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park. The afternoon will feature election-inspired artworks, street performances, and an open discussion. At 3 p.m there will be a presentation by Elvira Arellano, an immigrant-rights activist. For more information, email AGS@anti-gravity.info.

Jerkstore Opening Party

The Jerkstore, a new electronic music venue by The Opaque Project, celebrates its grand opening tonight starting at 10pm. The show features Plastique de Reve from Geneva, Switzerland, Phon.o from Berlin, Atomly, Johnny Love and Marlon Montez. At 1550 N. Damen (above the Blue Line Cafe). Five bucks gets you in. More info at theopaqueproject.com

Jolie Holland @ Schubas

Jolie Holland plays at Schubas tonight, touring on her recent release Escondida. Holland's acoustic guitar music combines jazz and folk into a sound simple yet beguiling. Opening for Holland is Chicago's very own Edith Frost, who's warming up for a tour of her own. Head on over and send good vibes her way. Showtime is 10:00 PM; tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. Schubas: 3159 N. Southport. (773) 525-2500.

The Lord of the Rings Symphony

Tonight at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, film composer Howard Shore presents an evening of music from the three Lord of the Rings movies. The evening will also include performances by Chicago's very own Chicago Children's Choir, who will be singing songs in Elvish. Wow! The program begins at 8:00 PM, and runs tonight and tomorrow night. Tickets are $35-80; check the Auditorium Theatre Website for ticket options. Auditorium Theatre: 50 E. Congress Parkway. (312) 922-2110.

Madison Zine Fest

Not really in Chicago, but close enough that people could go for a day, or a weekend. Madison Zine Fest will be taking place this weekend as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Join zinesters and hipsters and music-makers at Open Book Cafe and other locations in Madison. Continues through Sunday.

Rhino Theater Fest: A Dangerous Ornithology

A piece by James Owens, part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "The lives of seeming strangers become interwoven during the pressure of war in a one party state. Amidst the rising violence surrounding him, a prison camp worker is gripped by an irresistible urge to defy the laws. After a chance encounter on a train with an accountant who seems to share his thoughts, the prison worker discovers he is caught in a circle of murder, sex, and ritual. The cycle must be broken before all is lost. The problem is that, when neither history nor your own senses can be trusted, reality becomes the enemy." 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Coming Out Ball

The Third Annual GLBTA Coming Out Ball will be held tonight from 8 p.m.–1 a.m. at Northeastetern Illinois University. This black tie affair is a celebration of Chicago’s diverse GLBT community and is for all ages and sexual orientations. Chicago celebrities Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen will be emceeing, DJ Marc Scott will be spinning most of the night, and drag performer Miss Am’beyonce Knowles will be performing. All proceeds from this dry event are benefiting Project Vida and Lesbian Community Cancer Project. The ball is co-sponsored by Northwestern University’s Rainbow Alliance, Depaul University’s Spectrum, and University of Illinois (Chicago) Office of GLBT Concerns as well as Northeastern. The event takes place at Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Hall, located at 5500 N. Saint Louis Ave Chicago, IL, Admission $5/student with valid ID, $10 community members. Contact Anne Mothkovich at 773-402-9333 or email a-mothkovich@neiu.edu for more information.

Rhino Theater Fest: Cant

The Curious Theatre Branch's 16th annual Rhinoceros Theater Fest features Jenny Magnus's solo piece. "CANT is not not being able to. CANT is an edge, a brink that one can teeter on. Jenny Magnus returns to her familiar niche of solo performance with CANT, a new meditation on inclines and their slants when it comes to comfort, responsibility, and the terror of love. In her first new work in 2 years, Magnus uses her whining manner of speaking and vulgar slang to explore the relationship she creates with her doppelganger, a bag of rice the exact weight of her only child. When one’s concerns turn to having children, aging parents, and the inexorable passage of time, one must be careful of sudden movements which result in turning over or tilting up. Or so Magnus finds in her unique language, implying the pretended assumption of goodness. CANT is not not being able to. CANT is doing, in spite of whether one is able." 7pm. $12 or pay what you can. At the Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. Call 773.274.6660 for reservations.

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

Pilobolus @ Chicago Theater

Internationally acclaimed dance company Pilobolus is finally returning to Chicago, after several years' absence, for two performances at the Chicago Theater on October 8 and 9. I'm always amazed at what these dancers are able to do with their bodies, and they do it with a sensibility, athleticism and humor unparalleled by any other dance company. This is a must-see performance. Tickets range from $34-52, and go on sale August 13 from Ticketmaster, or at the Chicago Theater box office.

UNIVERSES: Slanguage @ MCA

A fierce fusion of poetry, politics, blues, and boleros combine in "Slanguage," an original performance by poetry ensemble UNIVERSES presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, in association with the Guild Complex, on October 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Hailing from the South Bronx, UNIVERSES is an ensemble-based company of multi-disciplined writers and performers, weaving their own lives and language into a collage of stories, songs, scenes, and poetry. Following tonight's performance, there will be a First Night post-show talk with UNIVERSES. For more information please visit the MCA website.

Chicago International Film Festival

The 40th annual Chicago International Film Festival begins tonight with a screening of the movie Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson as Dr. Alfred Kinsey, the controversial researcher who studied Americans' sex lives. The film festival runs for two weeks at various movie theaters around the city; check the festival's Website for a complete schedule and ticket purchase.

Madison Zine Fest

Not really in Chicago, but close enough that people could go for a day, or a weekend. Madison Zine Fest will be taking place this weekend as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Join zinesters and hipsters and music-makers at Open Book Cafe and other locations in Madison. Continues through Sunday.

Poetry Reading and Open Mic @ Unicorn Cafe

Tonight at 7 p.m. at the Unicorn Cafe in Evanston (1723 Sherman Ave.), Rhino magazine will host a reading and Open Mic as a part of Illinois Arts Week. The reading will feature three recent Rhino contributors: Dawn Tefft, Katia Zalkind, and Kelli Kaufmann. They will read for a half hour and then they will open it up for anyone to read.

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

Forrest Gander Reading @ UofC

As a part of the Poem Present Reading and Lecture Series at the University of Chicago, Poet Forrest Gander reads today, Thursday, October 7 at 5:30 p.m. in Classics 10 on the University campus. For directions to and maps of the UofC campus visit here. For additional information and bios visit here.

The M's @ the Empty Bottle

Brilliante recording artists The M's play tonight at the Empty Bottle, located at 1035 N. Western Ave. Also playing: Natural History and The Dead Science. $10 Doors at 9:30 p.m.

Women Writers Series/Tia Chucha Press Chapbook Release

Lucy Anderton and Josie Raney read at the "Women Writers Series/Tia Chucha Press Chapbook Release" at The Guild Complex on October 6, at 7:30 p.m. Help celebrate the release of Guild Complex Fellow Josie Raney’s first chapbook and welcome Lucy Anderton back to Chicago. Both these young women are carving notable paths in poetry and are forces to keep an eye on now and in the future. Josie Raney holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia (1999). As a Fulbright Scholar in Budapest, Hungary, she translated a selection of contemporary Hungarian poetry. Her work has most recently appeared in Five Points and Water~Stone. Lucy Anderton holds an undergraduate degree in jazz composition from Berklee College of Music. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets and Writers, and was awarded the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award in 2000. She has represented Chicago at the National Poetry Slam in 2000 and 2001 as a member of the Mad Bar/Wicker Park Slam team. Her work has appeared in New York Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, Rhino, After Hours and several anthologies. The Guild Complex is located at the Chopin Theatre at 1543 W. Division, call 773.227.6117 for more information.

Unveiled! The Encyclopedia of Chicago

The University of Chicago Press will publicly unveil the Encyclopedia of Chicago at a pro-am city-wide trivia contest on Wednesday October 6. Hosted by NPR's Peter Sagal, with celebrity contestants Eric Zorn, Scott Simon, Carol Moseley Braun, and a few other surprise guests, the event will take place in the Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library and it will run from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

Presidential Wine Habits Lecture @ Newberry

On Wednesday, October 6, at 5:30 p.m., the Newberry Library's Wednesday Club hosts Ambria's award-winning sommelier, Robert Bansberg, for a spirited look at the drinking habits of U.S. Presidents. "Wine, Spirits, and the Oval Office" will feature an informed discussion and multimedia presentation of White House cocktail preferences throughout the ages, enhanced by a wine sampling. Admission is $12, or $7 for Newberry Associates, and includes light refreshments. Held at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago. For more information, call (312) 255-3778 or check out their website.

Dis/locater Opening @ HotHouse

Tonight at The HotHouse located at 31 E. Balbo, between State & Wabash from 6:30–9 p.m. is the grand opening of the exhibit Dis/locator. Dis/locator is an exhibition in conjunction with IDKE that includes work by artists within the gender queer community curated for the same population, with the intent of encouraging the voyeurism of outsiders. The exhibition's aim is to take the temperature of this sub-group while allowing the outlying society to view a sincere look into the compounded perspectives of an already radicalcommunity. Free admission, free wine, great art. 18 and over only, please.

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

Immediate Consumption @ Heaven Gallery

Immediate Consumption, a touring video rap show featuring rapper B-Lite, hits the Heaven Gallery, 1550 North Milwaukee, 2nd floor, tonight at 8pm. $6 gets you in the door. Call 773/342-4597 for more info.

Bitch Sings at W&CF

Bitch, formerly of Bitch and Animal, will be doing an in-store performance today at 1 pm. She'll be singing songs from and signing copies of her new solo album. You'll be able to see her at Abbey Pub on Saturday, but you'll be able to talk to her today.

Damien Jurado @ Schubas

In case you missed this lineup last night, here's a second chance as Damien Jurado and Richard Buckner with Dolorean play at Schubas tonight. From Schubas' site: "Damien Jurado is unassuming and captivating. And he writes very beautiful songs. He had us with his first couple releases. He was a gorgeous folk singer and the indie kids loved him. Then, Jurado employed a group of friends, named Gathered In Song, and they bust out this bold rock album, "I Break Chairs", (Sub Pop). They toured with him and we all saw this new, side of him. We knew he was passionate and a commanding performer, but who knew he could rock like that? Then, last year he left longtime label, Sup Pop, and released "Where Will You Take Me?" on Secretly Canadian. It's another installment of the dark and folky, but these pop hooks keep kicking in here & there." Tickets are $15.00 and this show is 18 And Over. Doors open at 8 p.m.

INFLUENCE. @ Sonotheque

Running since April of 2004, this relatively new Chicago monthly is dedicated to providing local DJs and producers with an alternative outlet for their musical interests. Disallowing traditional blending and mixing, INFLUENCE. encourages its guests to spin sets featuring multiple artists and genres, demonstrating the variety of styles that have inspired them artistically. Tonight features a performance from one of Chicago's most notable musicians, house legend Derrick Carter, who will likely shirk the regular dance duties in favor of a more diverse set. J-Dub, Dave Siska, and Karl Meier open. Doors at 9 PM, 21+, free. At Sonotheque, 1444 W Chicago.

Rhino Theater Fest: The Big Promise

As part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, "Bryn Magnus reads from his new novel, The Big Promise, the story of a morally disadvantaged father trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his teenage son. Specifically it's about a fringe playwright prone to tears and antisocial behavior whose son convinces him he might find redemption investigating the home invasion and robbery of a friend. Elmore Leonard meets Dave Eggers." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

David Rosengarten Booksigning @ The Spice House

Please join The Spice House in a customer appreciation event. The talented culinary staff will be preparing hors d' oeuvres served with wine from David's new book, David Rosengarten Entertains: Fabulous Parties for Food Lovers. David is a well known Cookbook author, travel writer and TV journalist; he will be on hand to sign copies of his new book. While the event is complimentary, please RSVP to (312) 274-0378 or spices@thespicehouse.com. Monday, October 4th, 2004 5:00 - 6:30 pm 1512 North Wells St, Chicago Il 60610

Richard Buckner @ Schubas

Richard Buckner and Damien Jurado play tonight with Dolorean at Schubas (3159 N. Southport at Belmont) From the Schubas website: "Richard Buckner makes country and folk that is at once dusty and timeless. Melodic, yet edgy with rock sensibility. Buckner returned to an indie label after recording two albums with MCA in search of creative latitude and long-term stability." This really will be a good show, and if you can't make it, or want a double-shot, try them again on Tuesday night. Tickets are $15. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Mountain Goats @ The Empty Bottle

For the second night in a row, go hear the Mountain Goats (with John Vanderslice) at the Empty Bottle. John Darnielle will rock your socks off, if you just give him the chance. Seriously, go.

Rhino Theater Fest: John Starrs

Part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival: "John Starrs and Kristy Lockhart tell stories (and stories inside stories) about guns and jails and perhaps about stories themselves. Kristy is from a neighborhood in Birmingham where guns (for instance) are sometimes found. She tells the story of her early life in Alabama, one of the hottest places in the state of confusion. John is from Chicago, where guns have been seen on policemen who were able to protect a second-story man--see? story again--in his neighborhood. So! Who knows?" 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

"Playing French" Festival Opens

"Playing French: Chicago’s First Festival of Contemporary Plays From France," is the first event of its kind in the U.S. and it hits Chicago starting this weekend. The festival features full productions and staged readings (in English translation, unless otherwise noted) presented by Chicago area theater ensembles and runs from October 1–November 28. Details at the official website. Tickets can be purchased at individual venues and companies.

Illinois Arts Week

This year, October 3–9 is Illinois Arts Week. Check out the vast Arts Week brochure (PDF) for a full schedule of events all around the state. Events in Chicago include a walking tour of Roger’s Park galleries, an experimental Chinese photography and film exhibit at the University of Chicago Film Studies Center and the MCA, and a performance of "A View from the Bridge" at the American Theater Company. Check the Illinois Arts Council website for more information about other Arts Week programs.

Break the Gridlock Conference

The 6th annual Break the Gridlock Conference at Garfield Park Conservatory today. The half-day (12:00–4:00 p.m.) event will focus on ways to organize and sustain local energy to improve Chicago’s conditions for bikers, walkers, and transit riders and reduce the dominant role of cars in our transportation system. Local experts, whose organizations have engaged and empowered citizens to play an active role in making positive change, will share knowledge from their own careers. Keynote speaker: Mildred Wiley (Bethel New Life, Neighborhood Capital Budget Group). Panel Discussion, "Harnessing and Sustaining Activism" with Rick Martin & Sharon Feigon (Evanston's Transportation Future) Gin Kilgore (Logan Square Walks) Matt McDermott (United Power for Action and Justice) Brandon Zagorski (Working Bikes Cooperative). The conference will include a light lunch, a panel/audience discussion on grassroots activism, some lively entertainment, and dynamic break-out sessions for specific interest areas. They request advanced registration as space is limited and the cost is only $10 per person. Register online at Break the Gridlock or contact Nate Hutcheson at (773)325-1909 or natehutcheson@hotmail.com.

Pilsen East Artists' Open House

The 34th annual Pilsen East Artists' Open House takes place this weekend. Open house hours are Saturday & Sunday, October 2 and 3, from 12 to 7 p.m. For more information and a map (PDF) check out the Chicago Arts District website, or call Cynthia West at 312-738-8000, ex. 108, or email cwest@chicagoartsdistrict.org or info@chicagoartsdistrict.org.

Notebaert Nature Museum Celebration

The Notebaert Nature Museum is holding a Celebration Weekend Oct. 2–3 this year. Opening permanent exhibits include "Mysteries of the Marsh" which highlights one of the Midwest’s most unique ecosystems through hands-on, interactive activities; "Rooftop Stop" which showcases the Museum’s expanded rooftop gardens and gives visitors an opportunity to design their own green roof at a computer kiosk; and "RiverWorks" (formerly the Water Lab, an interactive water play exhibit with hands-on activities showing the importance of river ecology. The Notebaert Nature Museum is located at 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. Admission is free Oct. 2–3, 2004 and every Thursday. General admission to the Nature Museum is $7 for adults, $4 for children ages 3 –12, $5 for seniors age 60+ and college students. Chicago residents receive a $1 discount off the price of general admission. For more information, call (773) 755-5100 or visit the museum’s website.  

"Complete Idiot's Guide to Slam Poetry" Release Party @ Green Mill

This afternoon, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., the Green Mill will host the official book release party for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slam Poetry (Penguin / Alpha Press), written by Marc K. Smith. Smith's new book is a "how-to" bible, accompanied by two audio CDs. The book and CDs cover the roots of Slam poetry, the impact the Slam has had on modern day poetry, the future of the Slam, tips on how to Slam, inspirations to help you write and perform Slam poetry, and tools for organizing your own Poetry Slam. The afternoon party is free and open to the public, and there will be refreshments provided by Susan O'Connell Catering and music by Strange Brothers plus One. The evening Slam that will follow starts at 7 p.m.; there will be the standard $6 cover for that one. The Green Mill is located at 4802 N. Broadway near Lawrence.

Will Travel: New Paintings by Russ Pope

From the Foundation Gallery website: "Russ Pope has made a career of integrating his art and dedication to skateboarding for the past twenty years. From start-up skateboard ventures to his current position as director of operations for Black Label Skateboards, Russ creates an aesthetic that reiterates the energy of skateboard culture...The exhibition will feature acrylic works on both canvas and paper, as well as a new 2 dimensional, 5 foot tall pop-up character standing guard of the exhibition." Foundation Gallery is located at 700 N Carpenter, near the intersection of Milwaukee and Chicago. Open Sunday, October 3rd from 1-5 pm or by appointment.

Outsider Art sale

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art presents a two-day sale of folk and outsider art from all across the country. The sale runs today at 847 W. Jackson, 2nd floor. Hours are 11:00 - 6:00. In addition to the sale, there will be an open house this morning at Intuit (756 N. Milwaukee) from 9:00 to 11:00. For more details, see the Intuit Website, or call them at (312) 243-9088.

The Mountain Goats @ The OpenEnd Gallery

Don't miss the brilliant Mountain Goats in a rare all-ages performance tonight presented by the Empty Bottle at the OpenEnd Gallery - 2000 W Fulton. Tickets are $12.

Rhino Theater Fest: Hit Me Like a Flower

A new play by Beau O'Reilly for the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "Hit Me Like a Flower continues O'Reilly's “Big Play” experiment: large casts, lots of story line, expanse. Sarah Wallace has come to an East-Coast waspish town to start her therapy practice and cast a watchful eye over her long-estranged college daughter Terry, known to her friends as “Oddhead.” Sarah’s patients: Arthur Moore, a psychopath with a bear suit and a 2 by 4; William Coughlin, a sometime novelist of minor fame who is recovering from a stroke; and Mrs. Chester, a woman who has been living on the streets but now is ready for a bus ride. Terry’s friends are Saul and Hannah, and they are in their 20’s, skating tough, and worried about the war." 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: The Authentics

A new play by Paula Gilovich, as part of the Rhinoceros Theater Fest. "At the center of The Authentics is a plane crash from which only awkward, perverse David Wise has been pulled. The crash brings him Sarah Sharp, the reporter who covers his disaster, and a lost father looking for money. With the father comes a charismatic sidekick, and with Sarah comes a successful mother in the business of everyone's business. A wry look at the inherently absurd forces that create what's real, strange, funny, unromantic, fast, and furious is the universe of The Authentics. Sex, gender, death, disappointment, dismemberment, semi-celebrity, Chinese food, editors, and bus stations: this is life authentic." 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

"Playing French" Festival Opens

"Playing French: Chicago’s First Festival of Contemporary Plays From France," is the first event of its kind in the U.S. and it hits Chicago starting this weekend. The festival features full productions and staged readings (in English translation, unless otherwise noted) presented by Chicago area theater ensembles and runs from October 1–November 28. Details at the official website. Tickets can be purchased at individual venues and companies.

Pilsen East Artists' Open House

The 34th annual Pilsen East Artists' Open House takes place this weekend. Open house hours are Saturday & Sunday, October 2 and 3, from 12 to 7 p.m. For more information and a map (PDF) check out the Chicago Arts District website, or call Cynthia West at 312-738-8000, ex. 108, or email cwest@chicagoartsdistrict.org or info@chicagoartsdistrict.org.

Environ vs. Balihu @ Smart Bar

Taking a break from the usual Metro Area residency, Environ label head Morgan Geist and Daniel Wang of Balihu hit Smart Bar for a night of quality disco and seriously quirky house music. Starting at 10 PM and running until (!!) 5 AM, expect to shake it to your fair share of both classic cuts and guilty pleasures. $10 gets those of age in for the long haul. Smart Bar, 3730 N Clark St, underneath Metro.

Notebaert Nature Museum Celebration Weekend

The Notebaert Nature Museum is holding a Celebration Weekend Oct. 2–3 this year. Opening permanent exhibits include "Mysteries of the Marsh" which highlights one of the Midwest’s most unique ecosystems through hands-on, interactive activities; "Rooftop Stop" which showcases the Museum’s expanded rooftop gardens and gives visitors an opportunity to design their own green roof at a computer kiosk; and "RiverWorks" (formerly the Water Lab, an interactive water play exhibit with hands-on activities showing the importance of river ecology. The Notebaert Nature Museum is located at 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. Admission is free Oct. 2–3, 2004 and every Thursday. General admission to the Nature Museum is $7 for adults, $4 for children ages 3 –12, $5 for seniors age 60+ and college students. Chicago residents receive a $1 discount off the price of general admission. For more information, call (773) 755-5100 or visit the museum’s website.  

Book Fair @ Roosevelt University

Puddin'head Press and Roosevelt University's Actos de Inconsciencia are sponsoring a Book Fair at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago on today from 2 to 6 p.m. It will be held in the Congress Lounge on the second floor of Roosevelt University at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway. Admission to the fair is free. (There's a $10.00 fee to be a participating vendor. Each vendor will have a table to sell their books.) For more information visit the Puddin'head website or contact Dave Gecic at PHBooks@compuserve.com.

Bringing Up Baby @ Music Box

The 1938 Howard Hawks comedy Bringing Up Baby was one of the best films that starred Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The film is being shown as part of an extended Cary Grant tribute happening at the Music Box. Showtimes: Saturday and Sunday at 11:30. Music Box Theatre: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Outsider Art sale

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art presents a two-day sale of folk and outsider art from all across the country. The sale runs today and tomorrow at 847 W. Jackson, 2nd floor. Hours are 11:00 - 7:00 today, 11:00 - 6:00 tomorrow. In addition to the sale, there will be a Sunday morning open house at Intuit (756 N. Milwaukee) tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 11:00. For more details, see the Intuit Website, or call them at (312) 243-9088.

Whitney Young Fall Festival

On October 2, 2004, from noon to 5 p.m., the Friends of Whitney Young Magnet High School will conduct its first annual Whitney Young Fall Festival. There will be food vendors, music, games and other entertainment. The event will be held on the East Campus of the school located at Jackson and Loomis and all are welcome to attend. For more information, call 312-791-0087.

Wild Scallion Urban Adventure Race

The Wild Scallion Urban Adventure Race happens today. A 6-hour combination of a triathlon, stair climb, in-line skating, orienteering, and a few more surprises, the race had 120 teams last year, and looks to be just as big this year. Registration closes September 21, so hurry hurry hurry and sign up for this unique race experience! See the Urban Adventure Website for registration and further information.

Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival

The 3rd Annual Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival happens today, from noon to 6 p.m. in Roger's Park. Along with food from local restaurants, a studio walk/open house, and a Kidfest, there will be three bands: Taniq, jazz ensemble D.Bayne Septet along with music from local rockability favorite, the Git Gone Boys. For more information about this free event, check out the Roger's Park website.

I Want a President Who @ SpareRoom

As a part of a series of public artworks inviting people to share their thoughts regarding leadership and creating art in the process, the public art collaborative Anti Gravity Surprise has organized events every Saturday in October in Chicago. The first is today from 1 to 4 p.m. at SpareRoom located at 2416 W. North Avenue in Humboldt Park. The afternoon will feature election-inspired artworks, street performances, and an open discussion. At 3 p.m there will be a presentation by Earl Silbar, a union organizer. For more information, email AGS@anti-gravity.info.

First Fridays @ MCA

At First Fridays at the Museum of Contemporary Art, visitors can unwind after work and enjoy an intriguing mix of culture, ranging from live music and performance art to experimental films and hands-on art stations. Not to mention see and be seen by all kinds of young, hip, arty singles looking for love.

First Fridays tickets, which include Museum admission, live entertainment, and complimentary Wolfgang Puck hors d’oeuvres, are $14. Doors are open 6–10 pm. A cash bar is available until 9:30 pm. Guests must be 21 or older to enter.

Rhino Theater Fest: A Dangerous Ornithology

A piece by James Owens, part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival. "The lives of seeming strangers become interwoven during the pressure of war in a one party state. Amidst the rising violence surrounding him, a prison camp worker is gripped by an irresistible urge to defy the laws. After a chance encounter on a train with an accountant who seems to share his thoughts, the prison worker discovers he is caught in a circle of murder, sex, and ritual. The cycle must be broken before all is lost. The problem is that, when neither history nor your own senses can be trusted, reality becomes the enemy." 9pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Rhino Theater Fest: White Suit Science

A new piece written and directed by Shawn Reddy for the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival. "From the mind that brought you last year’s Rhino and PAC/Edge hit, My Name is Mudd, comes a super-scientific-y investigation into one of America’s great literary mysteries. Why did Mark Twain wear a white suit out of season? Complete with Mark Twain impersonators, Kentucky Fried Chicken conspiracies, dry cleaning techniques, God’s experiments on little animals, Silas Phelps’s penis, and much, much more in the way of irrelevant supporting material, White Suit Science finally reveals the greatest ancient Chinese secret this side of the Mississippi!" 7pm, Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. $12 or pay what you can. Call 773-274-6660 for reservations.

Voter Registration Party @ Metropolis Coffee

Metropolis Coffee Co. proudly invites you to "Brewing Beginnings: Voter Registration Party & Art Opening" tonight 6–9 p.m. Featuring Chris Knight, photography, Josh Hight, Singer/Songwriter (Formerly of "Detachment Kit"), a video installation, spoken word performances, and Discussion on "Why Your Vote Matters" at Left of Center Bookstore (next door). Plus: the "Open Book Peace Project" - Add your own page to this traveling mile long mural promoting peace! Your kids will love this opportunity to be creative. And of course the reason for it all, Voter Registration. Metropolis Coffee Company is located at 1039 West Granville Avenue, Chicago, IL. 60660. You can contact them at 773-764-0400 or email tony@metropoliscoffee.com.

Krukowski & O'Leary Read @ Open End Gallery

The Danny's Reading Series + Open End Gallery present Damon Krukowski & Peter O'Leary at Open End Gallery at 2000 W. Fulton St. tonight at 7 p.m. Damon Krukowski's book The Memory Theater Burned is coming out from Turtle Point Press this fall. He is the editor of Exact Change, a publishing house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that specializes in the literature of Surrealism and other avant-garde art movements. Peter O'Leary is the author of a book of poetry, Watchfulness (Spyten Duyvil) as well as a book of criticism, Gnostic Contagion: Robert Duncan & the Poetry of Illness (Wesleyan). For more than a decade, he has edited, along with his brother Michael & Joel Felix, the literary magazine LVNG, which has the unusual distinction of being free. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son, and teaches at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Rhino Theater Fest: Cant

The Curious Theatre Branch's 16th annual Rhinoceros Theater Fest features Jenny Magnus's solo piece. "CANT is not not being able to. CANT is an edge, a brink that one can teeter on. Jenny Magnus returns to her familiar niche of solo performance with CANT, a new meditation on inclines and their slants when it comes to comfort, responsibility, and the terror of love. In her first new work in 2 years, Magnus uses her whining manner of speaking and vulgar slang to explore the relationship she creates with her doppelganger, a bag of rice the exact weight of her only child. When one’s concerns turn to having children, aging parents, and the inexorable passage of time, one must be careful of sudden movements which result in turning over or tilting up. Or so Magnus finds in her unique language, implying the pretended assumption of goodness. CANT is not not being able to. CANT is doing, in spite of whether one is able." 7pm. $12 or pay what you can. At the Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N Glenwood. Call 773.274.6660 for reservations.

Pilsen East Artists' Open House

The 34th annual Pilsen East Artists' Open House takes place this weekend. The opening night and 3rd year anniversary party is tonight, October 1, 6 to 11 p.m. Open house hours are on Saturday & Sunday, October 2 & 3, from 12 to 7 p.m. For more information and a map (PDF) check out the Chicago Arts District website, or call Cynthia West at 312-738-8000, ex. 108, or email cwest@chicagoartsdistrict.org or info@chicagoartsdistrict.org.

The Fling Improv Team @ Playground Theater

Tonight marks a new run for improv comedy team The Fling which plays regularly at a small (but totally cool. Seriously. Totally. Cool.) theater in the city. (The Playground Theater, to be exact.) Shows always start at 8 p.m., always feature four of the best improvisiational comedy troupes in the city, and are always BYOB. Tonight's show features The Fling, Pastor of Puppets, Tribe Pride, and Inside Vladimir. Tickets are $10 (what a value!). The Playground theater is located at 3209 N. Halsted (a few doors north of Belmont).

Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition Exhibit Opens

The Newberry Library presents: Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition which runs today thru January 15, 2005. The exhibit is "designed to prompt reflection and provoke discussion about how freedom of speech has been and continues to be defined, impeded, championed, and exercised in Chicago. This exhibit about Chicago's vibrant history of free expression includes approximately 130 objects from the collections of the Newberry Library and the Chicago Historical Society. Objects on display include artifacts, photographs, letters, magazines, newspapers, and ephemera relating to: slavery, immigration, labor relations, women's suffrage, communism, women's liberation, 1960s counterculture, presidential elections, Indian rights, Black Power, gay rights, and anti-war protests." The Newberry Library is located at 60 W. Walton Street. Admission is free.

"The Week Without Rape" Rally @ Federal Plaza

Join the Chicago Chapter of NOW and Mujeres Latinas en Accion for the Chicago Coalition Against Sexual Assault's (C-CASA) "The Week Without Rape" Rally. The rally is the culminating event of a week-long dedication of actions and events centered on sexual assault awareness, healing and empowerment. The rally takes place today, from 12–1:30 p.m. in Federal Plaza (at Dearborn and Adams downtown). Chicago NOW Vice-President Veronica Arreola will be one of the featured speakers. The event will feature entertainment, various speakers and community groups. Come down to Federal Plaza to join the rally and show your support!! Interested in volunteering, they need people to come to the rally early (around 11:15 a.m.) to help set-up and pass out literature. If you're interested in volunteering, please email Jocelyn Sims at josims04@netscape.net. You can contact Chicago NOW at 312-578-9351 or via the website.

Upcoming