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Thursday, January 18

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Slowdown

September 2005

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Not For Tourists Guide 2006 Launch Party @ Darkroom

Not For Tourists Guide to Chicago is celebrating the release of their excellent 2006 city guide by hosting a release party at the Darkroom (2210 W Chicago Ave). The first 200 attendees will receive a free NFT Chicago 2006 and the first drink is on NFT: everybody in attendance will get one free Goose Island 312 beer per person with invite, while supplies last. Light FM will be performing live with DJs spinning afterwards. The party runs from 8pm-10pm, and to get in you must print the PDF invite from the NFT website.

Eternal Return @ Pulaski Park Auditorium

Eternal Return, a show by MadJoy Theatrics (an ensemble of youth writers and performers) that played earlier this year, reopens tonight at 7:00 at the Pulaski Park Auditorium (1419 W. Blackhawk). Tickets are $5-10, or pay-what-you-can. Eternal Return will play at the auditorium through October 15. For full information about the play, see the Free Street Website or call (773) 772-7248.

Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival

The Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival kicks off this evening with four separate programs of short films. The festival runs through this Sunday, and all films will be screened at the Three Penny cinema (2424 N. Lincoln). Themes of programs include a kid-friendly presentation at noon on Saturday (kids get in free with a paying adult!), sci-fi/horror short films, animation, romantic comedies, documentaries... In short, there's something here for everyone. See the festival's Website for full information and to purchase festival passes at a discount.

GB Get-Together

It's time for another GB Get-Together! This month, we'll meet in the front of the bar at Charlie's Ale House, 5308 N. Clark St., from 9pm to midnight. Check the Proprietors page for faces, or just look for the table strewn with GB stickers. See you there!


(Please note: We originally planned to meet at Hopleaf, but two private parties bumped us. We'll be going there next month instead.)

Killjoy Confetti @ The Beat Kitchen

Tonight at The Beat Kitchen in Roscoe Village, are some fine rock and/or rollers for your listening pleasure (and a mere $7) The lineup: Sunday Morning Chameleon, Killjoy Confettiand Starina and The Vel Johnsons. The Beat Kitchen is located at 2100 W. Belmont. Music starts at 10pm, $7, 21 and over.

2005 Fair Trade Conference

The Chicago Committee on Fair Trade is holding their 2005 Fair Trade Futures Conference and is inviting all interested individuals to attend. The 3-day conference begins with a welcoming event on Friday at 6pm with Kwabena Ohemueng Tinyase, managing director of a cocoa cooperative in Ghana. Workshops for the conference include "Common Threads in the Living Wage and Fair Trade Movements," "Building a Bandwagon: How to Make FT Hip" and "Building Bridges with the Zapatista Movement." Continue celebrating with the Fair Trade Futures Fiesta on Saturday night. It all goes down at the Holiday Inn, Chicago Mart Plaza at 350 N. Orleans. Call 202-234-6797 for more information or register here.

Pilsen Open Studios

Chicago’s 10th Artists’ Month begins this weekend with an open studios event in Pilsen, which starts at 6 PM tonight. During the 35th Annual Pilsen East Artists' Open House, more than a hundred artists open their doors to the curious public. It’s a great opportunity to explore a vibrant neighborhood, see some edgy art, and eat some delicious and authentic Mexican food. For more information, call the Chicago Arts District at 312-377-4444 or check the website.

Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion

The grand finale of Fashion Focus Chicago, Gen Art presents Fresh Faces in Fashion Chicago 2005. The show will be on the rooftop terrace at Millennium Park. The pre-reception starts at 7pm and the models will hit the runway at 8:30pm. Learn more about the designers here. An after-party at North Promenade will immediately follow the show. Tickets, which include pre- and post-parties, run from $30-$75. Call 312-229-1701 to purchase. 21+.

What Should I Wear?

My favorite thing about Friday night is What Not to Wear. Seriously. So it's kind of exciting that Fashion Focus Chicago is presenting its own version of the show. "What Should I Wear?" is a two-hour demonstration in Carson Pirie Scott's State St. windows during which stylists and students of the International Academy of Design dress a variety of real body shapes. Hopefully they can teach some of us more...fashion-challenged, shall we say...how to sharpen our looks. From 11am-2pm. Call 312-980-9252 for more information.

Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Fundraiser @ Smartbar

If you haven't yet had the chance to contribute to the hurricane relief effort, or are looking for cool ways to contribute more, Smartbar is holding an Aftermath Fundraiser. The $8 cover benefits the Red Cross and the lineup features Yard, Striz, Kate Simko, DJ Skinny, Atomly and more. It goes down at 10 pm, 3730 N. Clark St. Call 773-549-0203 for more information.

As Tears Go By @ DOC Films

DOC Films is also showing Wong Kar-wai’s first film, As Tears Go By, tonight at 9:15 in the Max Palevsky Theatre, 1212 E 59th St. This 1988 film, an adaptation of Mean Streets, features early performances by Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Maggie Cheung (Hero). For more information, call 773-702-8575 or visit the DOC Films website.

Breathless @ DOC Films

Jean-Luc Godard’s classic first feature, Breathless, is playing at 7pm tonight at DOC Films. This loosely-scripted movie about a petty thief and an American girl abroad stars Jean Seberg and future Godard regular, Jean-Paul Belmondo. For more information, call 773-702-8575 or visit the DOC Films website.

Urban, Rural, Wild Film Screening

"Urban, Rural, Wild" is part exhibition and part platform to investigate the divisions between the urban, the rural and the wild and where these divisions break down. The exhibition presents workby eight artists focusing on the historical and modern relationships between the urban Chicago and the rural downstate Illinois. The show will run through October 22. Tonight, at 7pm, the exhibition will include a free film screening of "The Town and the City," at I space, 230 W. Superior. For more information, contact Sarah Kanouse at kanouse[at]siu[dot]edu.

"Street Beat" Fashion Show

Today, from 11:30am-1:30pm, head down to State St. for a free, live fashion show between Washington and Madison. Part of Fashion Focus Chicago, the models will wear designs from the International Academy of Design & Technology, the School of the Art Institute, Columbia College and the Illinois Institute of Art. It's the latest in local fashion design and you can catch all on your lunch break! Call 312-782-9160 for more information.

Win a Date with Joe & Mandy

Playground Theater member team, The Fling, presents an all new improv game show, Win a Date With Joe & Mandy, tonight. From The Fling: "Win a Date With Joe & Mandy is an Improvised Game Show where the audience can win a date with our lovely bachelorette, Mandy, or this guy, Joe. It is Love Connection meets Double Dare as audience members compete in a series of wacky challenges to win the affections of Joe or Mandy. The two audience-selected winners will be whisked away on all expenses paid dates with Joe & Mandy, complete with members of The Fling as chaperones. The dates will be filmed and clips will be shown to new audiences in subsequent weeks." Performances will be at 8pm at The Playground Theater, 3209 North Halsted, Chicago. Tickets are $10, call (773) 348-2209 for reservations.

Streetcar Katrina Benefit @ DOC Films

DOC Films is hosting a benefit presentation of Oscar-winning classic A Streetcar Named Desire tonight at 9:30pm at the Max Palevsky Theatre, 1212 E 59th Street. All proceeds are going to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief fund, and the University of Chicago will be matching all donations made tonight. For more information, call 773-702-8575 or visit the DOC Films website.

IKEA Bolingbrook Opens

They've polished the umlauts and meatballs, and now it's time to open the big doors at IKEA's newest Illinois store, at 750 E Boughton Road in Bolingbrook. If you just can't wait to browse the isles, you can take a virtual tour of the store online. But if you're die hard, and want some cold, hard cashola, be the first person in line when they open today (at either Illinois store) at 9am, and you'll win yourself $3,000. That's a lot of Poangs!

Bookslut Reading Series

The Bookslut Reading Series features four authors this month: Luis Alberto Urrea, Lisa Selin Davis, Ander Monson and Kirby Gann. The reading is held tonight at 7:30pm on the second floor of Hopleaf, 5148 N Clark St. It's free, but you must be 21 or older.

ThickDesign05 Lecture: Jurgen Bey

Part of the ThickDesign05 product design exhibit at at the Betty Rymer Gallery that runs through September 28th, the Art Institute hosts a special lecture by Jurgen Bey. Bey is a Dutch product designer, who is best known for his provocative work with the conceptual design collective Droog Design. The lecture is at 6:00 pm at the SAIC Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Drive. Admission is free.

Know Your Noble Grapes

Noble Grape Pop Quiz:
1. Do you know what a noble grape is?
2. Can you identify which of these grapes is not a noble grape?
Syrah
Riesling
Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir
Chardonnay
To find the answers to these questions and more, plan to attend In Fine Spirits' Education and Tasting Seminar: Noble Grapes, tonight at 7pm. Cost is $25 and can be applied towards featured wine purchases. Seats are limited, sign-up though email at shane{at}infinespirits.com. In Fine Spirits is located at 5418 N. Clark Street, (773) 506-9463

Cynthia Ozick @ the Newberry Library

Novelist Cynthia Ozick reads from her latest, Heir to the Glimmering World, which was recently released in paperback, tonight at 6 PM. 60 W. Walton. For more information, call the Newberry Library at 312–943–9090 or check the website.

Brazilian Jazz @ the Old Town School

If you saw Seu Jorge at his World Music Festival gig last week, or you were sorry to miss him, you probably have a yen for some Brazilian music around now. Thanks to the Old Town School of Folk Music’s 10th annual Autumn celebration of Latin sound, La Pena, you can hear some tonight, starting at 8:30 PM. This event is free, but the Old Town School requests a $5 donation. 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. For more information, call 773-728-6000 or visit the website.

Third Coast Festival Listening Room: Short Docs

Short Docs-Stories about Games, a presentation of the Third Coast International Audio Festival, is premiering at Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre tonight at 7 PM. Listen to four short radio pieces about games—from tongue twisters to Go—and participate in the subsequent discussion, moderated by Gwen Macsai, who hosts the Third Coast Festival’s Re:sound program on Chicago Public Radio. The evening ends with a dessert reception. Tickets are $4 and $6, and can be reserved ahead or picked up a the door. 1650 N Halsted. For more information, visit the website.

Benefit for the pets of Katrina @ Fizz

Sam and Willy's, the pet store in West Lakeview, presents a benefit this evening to raise funds for the pets left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. The benefit happens tonight at Fizz (3220 N. Lincoln) from 7:00 to 10:00, and features live music by Easy Tiger & Linus. Admission is $20, which includes beer and wine, and there will also be a silent auction and raffle. All proceeds go to Noah's Wish, the nonprofit animal welfare organization. For more information contact Sam & Willy's at (773) 404-0400.

Marked Woman @ DOC Films

DOC Films is showing Marked Woman as part of its Hardboiled Dames series tonight at 7pm. This 1937 film stars Bette Davis as a prostitute who bands together with her fellow women of the night against their gangster boss. For more information, call 773-702-8575 or visit the DOC Films website.

Opening: Echoes of Another Man

Stage Left Theatre presents "Echoes of Another Man," by Evanston playwright and SLT ensemble member Mia McCullough. The play is a story of biological and mental identity, wherein the brain and nervous sytem of a famous artist is transplanted into the body of a professional golfer. Will the body or the brain determine who this man is? Tonight's opening is at Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 for the preview and the show will run through November 5. Call 773-883-8830 to get tickets and for more information.

Do Sexy Things to Men!

Join the ladies of Andersonville sex shop Early to Bed on Tuesday, September 27 and learn how to please men -- below the belt! The workshop will teach women new blow job, hand job and ball-handling techniques. The workshopis free and begins at 7:30 p.m. Early to Bed is located on Sheridan just north of Foster.

Image Union Season Launch Party & Short Film Fest

WTTW's "Image Union" launches its 28th season tonight at the Vic Theater's Brew'n'View, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., at 7pm. Join them for beer and cocktails, a preview of the new season and a showing of great short films. Tickets are $8 available at 773-509-1111 ext. 4 (and probably at the door, too). More info here.

Studious 54 @ Bella Lounge

Donors Choose is a non-profit that enables teachers to submit on-line proposals requesting needed books, art supplies, technology, and other resources and then allows donors to choose exactly which project they want to fund. The organization is holding a fundraiser to benefit teachers both in Chicago and in Hurricane Katrina affected school districts tonight at Bella Lounge, 1212 N. State St. There'll be a vodka bar, beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres, and Mack at Night from 103.5 KISS FM hosts. Ge tickets ahead of time here.

Hershey Felder at the Harold Washington Library Center

Hershey Felder, the man behind George Gershwin, Alone, will speak at the Harold Washington Library Center about creating his impersonation of pianist and composer Frederic Chopin for his new one-man show Finding Chopin. This free presentation starts at 6 PM and will be followed by audience Q&A. 400 S. State Street. For more information, check the website or call (312) 747-4050.

Fondling Your Muse @ Barbara's

Fans of McSweeney's Internet Tendency will recognize John Warner's name, but if you've never heard of the site's editor, that's okay. He's got a book out, called Fondling Your Muse, in which he uses that McSweeney's special brand of humor to instruct writers in the art of writing. I haven't read the book, but it sounds like a refreshing, and satisfyingly sarcastic, take on all those write-from-the-heart type guides. Come hear the author speak at Barbara's Bookstore UIC, 1218 S. Halsted St., 7:30pm. Call 312-413-2665.

Candace Bushnell @ Borders

If you're not spending your lunch hour shoe shopping, you can check out Candace Bushnell and her latest book at Borders, State Street. The author of Sex in the City (yes, it was a book first) will be pimping her latest tome, Lipstick Jungle at 12:30pm at 150 North State St. Call (312) 606-0750 for more information.

Glasscuts: Philip Glass Remixed

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs presents the record release performance for Glasscuts: Philip Glass Remixed featuring DJs Kate Simko (featured previously in our own Transmission section), Woody McBride and Marcos Romero Monday, September 26 at 7pm in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. The three DJs will perform their interpretations of Philip Glass' music as featured on the new record Glasscuts, a compilation of remixes by young producers/musicians that were originally sent unsolicited to Orange Mountain Music. DJs will continue the evening with sets of their original music. Admission is free. For more information, call (312) 744-6630 or visit the Chicago Cultural Center.

Benefit screening of "Walk The Line" @ Film Center

Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper present a special screening of the new Joaquin Phoenix-Reese Witherspoon film Walk The Line, a biopic about the late Johnny Cash, this evening at 7:00 at the Siskel Film Center. Proceeds benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Tickets are $100, and are available through Ticketmaster. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Aloft Aerial Dance "Rolling Blackouts"

Aloft Aerial Dance's debut performance, "Rolling Blackouts" is an aerial performance that explores the power of electricity and darkness in human lives. The show is inspired by the blackouts that plunged much of the country into darkness and by the choreographer's own fear of losing her sight. Using aerial circus equipment, the performers employ contemporary dance techniques and eschew electricity to examine new ways of interacting with the environment. The doors open at 7:30pm with the show starting at 8pm at the Circus Factory, 4430 N. Western Ave. Tickets are $15-$20 and can be purchased at the venue. Email aloftaerialdance[at]yahoo[dot]com for more information.

John Cage's Musicircus @ MCA

The Chicago Composers Forum presents Musicircus, a four-hour performance piece featuring over 500 performers, each one doing their act simultaneously, as specified by composer John Cage when he first put together a Musicircus performance at the University of Illinois in 1967. The event runs from 1:00 to 5:00 PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the event is free and open to the public. Museum of Contemporary Art: 220 E. Chicago. See the Musicircus Website for full details.

Four Tet @ Empty Bottle

Part of the Empty Bottle & Wire's "Adventures in Modern Music - Outsider Sounds Festival", Four Tet headlines at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave). Four Tet's new record Everything Ecstatic is a hot slab of acoustic-influenced electronic music with some heavy-heavy grooves. Khanate, Hot Chip, and Phill Niblock will open. Show starts at 9:00pm and is $15.

Renegade Craft Fair @ Wicker Park

After taking this craft fair on the road to Brooklyn, NY earlier in the summer, it's now finally time for the 3rd Annual Renegade Craft Fair to set up tents in Wicker Park this weekend. Come out and stroll through booths of over 150 crafty types (check out vendors through the Renegade website) from around town and around the country at this fantastic event. You'll find knitters, purse makers, artists and even independent magazines like Bust and Venus on the scene, and you can't beat the day for people watching. Check out GB staffer Anne's booth with The Crafty Ladies while you're there. Wicker Park is located at 1425 N. Damen right by the Damen stop on the Blue Line. The fair runs from 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine.

826CHI Security Deposit Benefit

The brainchild of (lest-we-forget, local boy) Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia is a tutoring program/storefront for kids in the San Francisco area. Lucky for us, they're opening up a Chicago branch this fall. To raise money (literally) for the security deposit on the space at 1331 N. Milwaukee (soon to be home to The Boring Store) and they're having a special concert at the Metro tonight. With performances by The Watchers, Baby Teeth, The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Archer Prewitt this is sure to be a kick ass evening. If you're interested in helping out 826CHI or in volunteering your time as a tutor, you can find out more information here or just talk to the folks that night. Doors open at 7pm, tickets are just $10 (quite a deal!).

EarthSave Chicago potluck

Ryan Howard, co-owner of Chicago Soydairy, will speak on his company's products and provide samples as part of EarthSave Chicago's potluck tonight, 6:30 to 9pm. Howard's talk is aimed at developing awareness of conscious foods and the business challenges faced by small start-ups. The event takes place at Healing Earth Resources, 3111 N. Ashland. Attendees should bring a vegan dish to share, an appropriate serving utensil, and a place setting (plate, napkin, cup, utensils). The potluck is free to members of EarthSave Chicago; cost is $5 for non-members and $2 for students with ID.

Early to Bed Fourth Anniversary Party

Come celebrate Early to Bed's fourth anniversary with cake, champagne and 10% off everything in the store. The women-owned, gender-friendly adult store features everything from books to movies to toys, so you'll definitely find something to get your 10%'s worth. The party lasts from 7-10 tonight (the discount is good all day) at 5232 N. Sheridan. Call 773-271-1219 for more information.

Canoe Trip: Fall Colors

Organized by Friends of the Chicago River, experience Chicago's fall splendor on the mild bends of the North Branch. View wildlife like black-crowned night herons, great blue herons, minks, eastern soft-shelled spiny turtle and snapping turtles. Paddling equipment, paddling instruction, bus shuttle, and a box lunch provided. Pets and alcohol not permitted. Fees are $40 for members, $50 for non-members. Registration required. Call (312) 939-0490. The trip lasts from 9am-4pm today.

Flashback Weekend HorrorFest

An all-day and all-night festival of horror films, the Flashback Weekend HorrorFest will feature celebrities, bands and a horror merchandise fleamarket all in addition to a 35mm horror movie marathon. The festival will be held at the Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In in Aurora, the oldest operating drive-in in the state which may soon be sold to land developers. Tickets to the fest are $20 and can be bought online and at the doors, opening at 2pm. Live entertainment goes on at 4pm and the first movie starts at 6:45pm. This may be the "Last Picture Show" for the Hi-Lite, so get your horror movie fix from dusk to dawn at this historic landmark of cinematic culture. Call 847-478-0119 for more information.

Aloft Aerial Dance "Rolling Blackouts"

Aloft Aerial Dance's debut performance, "Rolling Blackouts" is an aerial performance that explores the power of electricity and darkness in human lives. The show is inspired by the blackouts that plunged much of the country into darkness and by the choreographer's own fear of losing her sight. Using aerial circus equipment, the performers employ contemporary dance techniques and eschew electricity to examine new ways of interacting with the environment. The doors open at 7:30pm with the show starting at 8pm at the Circus Factory, 4430 N. Western Ave. Tickets are $15-$20 and can be purchased at the venue. Email aloftaerialdance[at]yahoo[dot]com for more information.

Lonely Planet festival @ Park West

Lonely Planet's Passport to the World tour, headlined by Michael Franti and featuring locally-based, international musicians, touches down in Chicago tonight. Besides enjoying the tunes, attendees will be able to have their passport photos taken and receive passport applications, meet and talk to Lonely Planet authors & experts, and tape video testimonials about their greatest travel story (or greatest travel dream). Details: Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 7pm, tickets via TM

Urban, Rural, Wild Seed Collection Walk

"Urban, Rural, Wild" is part exhibition and part platform to investigate the divisions between the urban, the rural and the wild and where these divisions break down. The exhibition presents workby eight artists focusing on the historical and modern relationships between the urban Chicago and the rural downstate Illinois. The show will run through October 22. Today, at 3pm, participating artist Nance Klehm will lead a seed collection walk to teach you how to identify and collect useful wild and navtive plants in the city. For more information, contact Sarah Kanouse at kanouse[at]siu[dot]edu.

Renegade Craft Fair @ Wicker Park

After taking this craft fair on the road to Brooklyn, NY earlier in the summer, it's now finally time for the 3rd Annual Renegade Craft Fair to set up tents in Wicker Park this weekend. Come out and stroll through booths of over 150 crafty types (check out vendors through the Renegade website) from around town and around the country at this fantastic event. You'll find knitters, purse makers, artists and even independent magazines like Bust and Venus on the scene, and you can't beat the day for people watching. Check out GB staffer Anne's booth with The Crafty Ladies while you're there. Wicker Park is located at 1425 N. Damen right by the Damen stop on the Blue Line. The fair runs from 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine.

Estrojam

The final night of Estrojam is upon us! Start the evening at Uncommon Ground at 6 p.m. Pay just $8 and check out Alina Simone, Kristen Shout, The Sisters O'Brien, Shelley Miller and Emily White. Make sure to make a dinner reservation at Uncommon Ground to reserve a table.

Then, trot right down Clark to the Metro at 8 p.m. Drop $15 to see Brazillian Girls, Anna Oxygen and Breakbone DanceCo.

Sustainable Convergence '05

What is it? It's a big party with food, beer, organic wine, live entertainment, dancing, prizes and a Sustainable Business Fair with companies offereing sustainability-minded products and services. There will also be award ceremonies with short presentations on "how Chicago can alter its grocery bag consumption by design challenge teams." If you want to know more about this community and their concerns, this promises to be a fun way to make your introduction. From 6-9pm, the party goes on in the North Lobby of Merchandise Mart. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door, and $25 for students. Register here.

Girlie-Q Variety Hour

The Girlie-Q Variety Hour is opening their fall season with the Back to School Episode at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. Doors open at 7pm for the 8pm show featuring a collection of performers from previous Girlie-Q shows and incorporating drag, burlesque, vaudeville, digital media, music and performance art. Tickets are $10, ages 21+. Later tonight you can catch the troupe at Estrojam at the Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N. Halsted. Doors open at 9pm and the girls go on at midnight. $5 before 10pm, $8 after.

Gen Art Shop Chicago

An evening filled with glamorous fashion and shopping opportunities, Shop Chicago comes around once again to entice all of the consumer inclined. From 5-10pm, the W Hotel City Center will be filled with more than thirty of the "best emerging Chicago designers and boutiques under one roof." And if that doesn't sound good, how about complimentary cocktails and pampering sessions? Yeah...I thought so. Free and open to the public, 21+. Call 312-229-1701 for questions; go here to make the required reservations.

Audrey Niffenegger @ Women & Children First

The wonderfully talented author of our May book club pick, Audrey Niffenegger, drops by Women & Children First tonight to read from her new book. Three Incestuous Sisters is what she calls a "novel in pictures" and showcases those talents she surely puts to use at Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts, where she teaches. Tonight's reading starts at 7:30pm at 5233 N. Clark St. Call 773-769-9299 for more information.

Aloft Aerial Dance "Rolling Blackouts"

Aloft Aerial Dance's debut performance, "Rolling Blackouts" is an aerial performance that explores the power of electricity and darkness in human lives. The show is inspired by the blackouts that plunged much of the country into darkness and by the choreographer's own fear of losing her sight. Using aerial circus equipment, the performers employ contemporary dance techniques and eschew electricity to examine new ways of interacting with the environment. The doors open at 7:30pm with the show starting at 8pm at the Circus Factory, 4430 N. Western Ave. Tickets are $15-$20 and can be purchased at the venue. Email aloftaerialdance[at]yahoo[dot]com for more information.

Ephemera: Zine & DIY Event

Sponsored by the Visual Arts Education Program at DePaul University, Ephemera recognizes and celebrates Do It Yourself zine culture with a showcase of independent media makers, artists, speakers and zine readings. The event is free and open to the public and all kinds of artists, writers, teachers, activists and others are encouraged to get involved. If you'd like to participate in the event, or if you'd just like more information on it, contact Michelle Aiello at ephemera_festival[at]yahoo[dot]com. The event will run from 12-9pm today at the DePaul Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield.

Opening: Random Acts of Silly

Burnette Entertainment Group presents "Random Acts of Silly," opening tonight at 8pm at the Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. The show is a collection of sketch comedy mixed with pieces previously performed by Burnette over the years at such venues as Second City and The Producer's Club in New York. Tickets are $10 on Thursdays and $15 on Fridays and Saturdays. Call 773-338-2177 to purchase them through October 15.

Estrojam

Tonight's Estrojam starts at the Chicago Filmmakers theatre in Andersonville. The films are TBD as of this writing, but they promise to be enlightening and entertaining.

The after-party will be at Circuit, starting at 10 p.m. You just can't miss the B-Girl Battle and the Burlesque Revue, and other sexy acts.

The National @ Schubas

The National was the first band I ever heard classified as "sadcore," but I love them anyway. Their new album, Alligator, is a part of my main musical rotation. They're playing tonight at Schubas. Music starts at 10:30pm with Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah opening. From Schubas: "Armed with a deep, rusty baritone resembling that of the Tinderstick's Stuart Staples, singer Matt Berninger imbues each tune with a serene confidence. Meanwhile the lyrics pick through the scattered pieces of past relationships like a weary traveler with nothing but open roads and time on his hands. The band's understated arrangements teem with classic pop elements, which give the seemingly simple songs an extra depth. Vocal harmonies, piano melodies and slide guitar are used sparingly as tasteful embellishments, but never overshadow Berninger's vocals." Schubas is located at 3159 N. Southport, at Belmont.

Jake Shimabukuro @ Chicago Cultural Center

Ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro plays at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) tonight at 9:30 as part of the center's World Music Festival. I know, you're probably thinking, why would I want to see an ukulele player? Oh, you have no idea how cool Jake is. He rocks the uke. Seriously, it could be the coolest ukulele performance you see all year. Definitely check it out. You'll probably want to get reservations for the event; call up the Cultural Center at (312) 744-6630 for full details.

Bar-AIDS 2005

Bar-AIDS 2005, a charity event to benefit AIDSCare Chicago, happens this evening. How it works: you go to one of the 30 or so bars that are participating in the event (a complete list of establishments is on the Bar-AIDS site), and buy yourself a drink. Or more than one drink. Heck, buy drinks for your friends. The bar will then donate a portion of its proceeds that evening to AIDSCare. It's just like Dining Out For Life, but you end up drunk at the end of the night! Brilliant! See the Bar-AIDS site for complete details.

Flatpak House presentation and reception at Design Within Reach (North Ave)

Design Within Reach (North Ave) presents an evening with Charlie Lazor, co-founder of the affordable furniture design company Blu Dot Design and creator of the new Flatpak House, a prefabricated home that packs flat for shipping and then takes shape in glass, wood, concrete, metal and fiberboard. Charlie is now living in his own Flatpak House, so you can ask him all about it. There will be a slideshow and discussion as well as complimentray wine, beer, and food.

The event runs from 6:30 to 9:00 pm in DWR's North Avenue furniture showroom. RSVP to northkingsbury@dwr.com or click here for more information.

Robert Pinsky @ Harold Washington Library

Robert Pinsky, author of The Life of David, stops by the Harold Washington Library as part of Nextbook's Jewish Encounters Book Series. The book offers a detailed biography of the biblical King David -- you can read an exerpt of the book and an interview with the author here. Tonight's reading starts at 6pm with tickets set at $10. You can purchase them online or by calling 888-621-2230 on weekdays from 11am-3pm.

Structure First: A Textile Eye

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's lecture series Fresh: Lectures from the Edges of Architecture brings textile artist Suzanne Tick to town for an exhibit titled Structure First: A Textile Eye. Suzanne Tick currently runs her own consulting and design studio in New York’s SoHo, serves as creative director for Knoll Textiles and also designs woven carpets with her partner at Tuva Looms. Her luxurious, Japanese inspired, contemporary textiles are technologically innovative using non-traditional materials that often appear natural and organic despite their synthetic make up. Tick has received several design distinctions, and her work has been included in MOMA’s exhibition "Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles," and the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition "U.S. Design from 1975-2000." This Free lecture takes place at 6pm at The John Buck Company Lecture Hall Gallery at the ArchiCenter, 224 South. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Rock for Kids Music Mixer

Rock for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides support, inspiration and assistance to children that are homeless or in need, throws its third annual Music Mixer silent auction tonight at Smartbar, 3730 N. Clark St., from 6pm to 10pm. The auction features one-of-a-kind mix CDs created by musicians, rock journalists, DJs, venue owners and other music luminaries from Chicago and beyond -- including mixes by Ben Gibbard, The M's, Joe Shanahan, Kelly Hogan, Jesse De La Pena, James van Osdol and the staff of Gapers Block! It's a $5 donation at the door, and you must be 21 to get in.

Alan Alda @ Borders

M*A*S*H* star and everybody's favorite Republican character on West Wing, Alan Alda has written a new book and will be in town today to read and sign copies at the Michigan Avenue Borders. In Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, Alan Alda tells the story of "turning points in his life, and the lessons they taught him, in a tale of humor, adventure, love and irrepressible curiosity". The reading starts tonight at 7pm at 830 N. Michigan Ave. Call (312) 573-0564 for more information. Probably best not to ask him to sign it: Love, Hawkeye.

Estrojam

There are some big acts at tonight's Estrojam. Head over to the Bottom Lounge at 6:00 p.m. to enjoy these acts: Amy Ray (with Jody Bleyle of Team Dresch, Will Lochamy, and Les Nuby), The Organ, The Reputation, Reptoids and 8 Inch Betsy. Tickets are just $14 in advance. Or you can stay for the 10 p.m. show and check out Limited Express, The King Cobra and DJ Mother Hubbard for just $10.

Miss Alex White/M.O.T.O. free @ UofC

Popular garage rockers Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra, pop-punkers M.O.T.O. and speed-stoner rockers Twin Wrecks the Memory play free at 10:30 tonight in a WHPK-sponsored show. You can find all this local music goodness at the Ex Libris coffeeshop, in the basement of the Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57 th St. (Look for the stairs to the left of the entrance, before the security checkpoint for the library. Details can be found at the WHPK website or by calling 773-702-8289.

Adventures in Modern Music @ Empty Bottle

It's time once again for the annual Adventures In Modern Music festival at the Empty Bottle, sponsored in part by the Wire magazine. As usual, this year's festival features a cavalcade of unusual and original musicans. On this year's roster: The Red Krayola; Acid Mothers Temple; Eats Tapes; Henry Grimes; William Basinski; Four Tet; Phill Niblock; and many other bands you haven't heard of but should probably check out. The festival starts tonight and runs for five consecutive evenings; see the Empty Bottle Website for a full roster and to purchase tickets. Empty Bottle: 1035 N. Western. (773) 276-3600.

Acid Mothers Temple free concert @ UofC

WHPK is sponsoring a free concert tonight at Hutch Courtyard (behind the Reynolds Club, 57th and University) in Hyde Park tonight, featuring Japanese psych-rockers Acid Mothers Temple and New York-based group The Occasion. It starts at 10pm; you can get more details at the WHPK website or by calling 773-702-8289. UPDATE: Due to some visa problems, Acid Mothers Temple were unable to make it into the country, so this show is a bit up in the air. Check with WHPK before heading down.

Jake Shimabukuro @ Borders

Ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro, whose version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was probably forwarded to you in an email by those guys who always send you links to stuff, will be rocking at the Borders (755 W. North Avenue, on the corner of North and Halsted) this evening at 6:00. Jake is literally the fastest uke player you will ever see. Seriously, this guy is freakin' talented. You have no idea, man. Just go check it out, and prepare to have your mind blown. (And then go see Jake tomorrow night at the Cultural Center.) More info: call Borders at (312) 266-8060.

Win a Date with Joe & Mandy

Playground Theater member team, The Fling, presents an all new improv game show, Win a Date With Joe & Mandy, tonight. From The Fling: "Win a Date With Joe & Mandy is an Improvised Game Show where the audience can win a date with our lovely bachelorette, Mandy, or this guy, Joe. It is Love Connection meets Double Dare as audience members compete in a series of wacky challenges to win the affections of Joe or Mandy. The two audience-selected winners will be whisked away on all expenses paid dates with Joe & Mandy, complete with members of The Fling as chaperones. The dates will be filmed and clips will be shown to new audiences in subsequent weeks." Performances will be at 8pm at The Playground Theater, 3209 North Halsted, Chicago. Tickets are $10, call (773) 348-2209 for reservations.

Estrojam Opening Party

Estrojam 2005 has arrived! Join the ladies for today's opening party at the Bottom Lounge. Tonight's lady acts include The Octopus Project, The Hazzards, Sybris, Helen Money plus artists, video installations and more. Head to the Bottom Lounge at 10 p.m. Advance tickets are just $10.

Fall Into Theater

The League of Chicago Theatres and Hot Tix present a lunch-hour preview of the fall theatre season at the 72 E. Randolph Hot Tix location. Highlights include performances by the House Theatre of Chicago and Porchlight Music Theatre, and the chance to meet cast members from Wicked and Taylor Miller, star of Victory Gardens' Memory House (and Nina Cortlandt from All My Children! Yay Nina!) Drawings will be held for free theatre tickets, including tickets for this evening's performance of Wicked, and you'll get a free gift with any tickets purchased from the Hot Tix booth. Don't worry about lunch—they'll be serving hot dogs, pizza from Marcello's, and Eli's cheesecake. Noon-1pm, 72 E. Randolph.

Diva Dating @ T's

Dykediva[dot]com presents Diva Dating, a night of speed dating just for the laides at T's Bar, 5025 N. Clark St. The dating range is divided into two groups -- early/mid-thirties and up from 8-9pm and twenties and early thirties 9:30-10:30pm -- but participants are welcome to join whichever group in which they feel most comfortable. Admission to the night of lesbian dating is $10, 21+ only.

Opening: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Teatro Vista presents Luis Alfaro's "Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner," a dark commedy about two women "dealing with the hunger for intimacy, connection, and passion that they crave and the 'menu' items like food and sex that bring them immediate and instant gratification as they make an attempt to fill the emotional void in their lives." Tonight's opening is at 7pm and is followed by a reception with the cast. Call 312-494-5767 for reservations -- $22 for regular tickets and $18 for students and seniors. The play will be held at Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division St.

Sarah Jessica Parker @ Marshall Field's

Ladies, put on your stilettos, grab your cosmos and head over to Marshall Field's at noon today to meet the fashion icon and role model of the decade, Sarah Jessica Parker. Now, not only can you model your life after her and her three televised friends, you can smell like her too! Or, at least, smell pleasing to her. Today Ms. Parker unveils Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker, her new perfume which you can find on the first floor of the Marshall Field's State St. store. Make sure to tell her how your group of friends is exactly like the Sex and the City girls! Call 1-800-MFIELDS for more information. Part of Marshall Field's Fall Fashion Week 2005. (I kid because I love. And it's funny because it's true.)

Speaking So That They Can Hear Us

The Chicago Foundation for Women is holding their 20th Annual Luncheon and Symposium, entitled "Speaking So That They Can Hear Us: Reclaiming and Reframing the Feminist Agenda." Diana Palomar of WLS-TV moderates the panel which will discuss how to move foward with the feminist agenda, redefining "language and community debate so the public at large will understand the importance, the urgency, and the validity of our values and concerns." Panelists include Lakshmi Chaudhry, Lisa Jervis of Bitch Magazine and Makani Themba-Nixon. With continental breakfast at 8:30am, the symposium runs from 9-11am at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker Dr. Although the program is free and open to the public, you must RSVP.

Buddhism Today: Working with Emotions

Michaela Fritzges is a professional psychiatrist and counsellor and has been teaching Buddhism for a number of years. Her lecture today will focus on Buddhist methods for working with emotions. Free and open to the public, the lecture takes place at 7pm at Transitions Learning Center, 1750 N. Kingsbury, second floor. Call 312-951-7323 for more information.

Opening: Time and the Conways

Griffin Theatre Company presents its revival of British writer J.B. Priestley's ahead-of-its-time 1937 play, a non-linear account of a tight-knit family in WWI-era England. 7pm tonight; continues at 8pm Thu-Fri-Sat and 2pm Sunday through October 30 at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W Belmont. Tickets $15-23; call 773-327-5252 or visit Ticketmaster.

World Music Fest: Seu Jorge @ Logan Square Auditorium

You know him as the Brazilian, guitar-strumming crew member from The Life Aquatic, but Seu Jorge is a quality artist in his own right. Playing tonight at the Logan Square Auditorium along with Boubacar Traore and DJ Jerome Derradji, it's going to be a great concert for a mere $12. Music starts at 9:30pm. The LSA is located at 2359 N. Kedzie Blvd., (773) 276-3600. For more information on the World Music Festival, running from September 16-22, call (312) 742-1938.

Farm Aid

To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, Willie Nelson brought Farm Aid back to its Illinois roots with a concert tonight at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park. There's a slew of artists performing including Willie, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Arlo Guthrie and Wilco. Farm Aid works to support family farms, organic farming, and sustainable rural communities. They do some good stuff, and they know how to rock. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster.

Hideout Block Party

Though perhaps the smallest of Chicago's block parties it's undoubtedly the coolest. The lineup this year includes Autumn Defense, The M's, The Pony's, Eleventh Dream Day, The Redwalls and many other fine performers. All proceeds benefit P.L.A.Y., Tuesday's Child, and Literacy Works.

The Phenix Story @ LaSalle Bank Cinema

LaSalle Bank Cinema continues their classic film series tonight with The Phenix City Story, in which an attorney general tries to get the mob out of a small southern town. Also showing will be "Crime Control," a 1941 short comedy with Robert Benchley. The show starts at 8pm at 4901 W. Irving Park Rd. Tickets are $5 for general admission, $3 for children and seniors. Call 312-904-9442 for more information.

Baboonfest

The Peaceable Primate Sanctuary is holding a Baboonfest today, from 5:30-9:00 at 676 N. LaSalle. Scott Kubisch, the founder and director of the nation's first baboon-only sanctuary, will talk about the program, the construction of Judy's - their first baboon - new home, and the animals in general. There will be videos, a raffle and even refreshments, so it should be an educational event for all interested in helping and learning about our primate cousins. $10 covers everything. Email primatesanctuary[at]yahoo[dot]com for more information.

Opening: The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz

The theatrical wunderkinds at The House Theatre of Chicago premiere their take on a certain L. Frank Baum novel—something about ruby-red slippers and a yellow brick road. Premieres tonight at 8pm and continues Thu-Sat at 8pm and Sun at 7pm, through November 5. At the Viaduct Theatre, 3111 N Western Ave. Tickets $10-19; call 773-251-2195 for reservations.

Illume: An Alchemy of Text and Image

View a selection of new poetry videos highlighting work by both emerging and established poetry and video artists at Illume: An Alchemy of Text and Image, held at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute at 164 N. State Street on Saturday, September 17th, beginning at 11:30am through 2:30pm. Featuring the work of Kurt Heintz, Heather Haley, Paul Hettel, D. Edward Davis, Mary Russell, and Gerard Wozek. Free. 312-846-2600.  

Black, White and GreyZelda Fundraiser

The GreyZelda Theatre Group is holding a fundraiser for their upcoming season. There will be musical performances, photography, artwork and presentations of the group's upcoming productions. Food, drink and prizes will also abound, and, quite possibly, there will be karaoke! Come to the rehersal studio at 3729 N. Ravenswood, from 6-12pm, to show your suport for the group. $15 suggested donation. Call 773-267-6293 for more information.

Chicago Hackbloc

A new local group, Chicago Hackbloc, holds its first meeting all day today at an undisclosed location. Hackers, crackers, artists and activists are invited to attend the workshops, which will include a bunch of technically-oriented hardware and software topics, graffiti how-to courses, and all sorts of stuff that you'll like if you read 2600. There are some more details posted on Chicago Indymedia; check there for further info, or email whooka (at) gmail (dot) com for the full scoop.

"Behind Blythe" Opening at Rotofugi

Tonight is the opening reception for the show "Behind Blythe," detailing the revival of the iconic Blythe doll, from 6pm to 10pm at Rotofugi, 1953 W. Chicago Ave. The reception will feature photographer Gina Garan signing her Blythe photo book from 7pm to 9pm; Junko Wong of Cross World Connections (the doll's makers) will be attending as well. The newly-released, hard-to-get Roxy Baby Blythe and a variety of other Blythe Neos and Petites will be available for purchase. More info here.

World Music Fest: Nouvelle Vague @ Schubas

I'm totally intrigued by this group, Nouvelle Vague (which means "new wave" in French, and "bossa nova" in Portuguese). The group works with young female singers who have never heard the original versions of songs (their new album includes a load of great '80s hits) and remakes them in a bossa nova style. Their playing tonight along with A Moving Sound at Schubas. Tickets are $12 ($14 at the door), doors open at 10pm. Schubas is located at the corner of Belmont and Southport. This is just one of the ton of World Music Festival performances this week in Chicago. Check them out!

5th Annual County Fair

If you're itchin' to give a "yee haw," you're in luck. The 5th Annual County Fair takes place today at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Sponsored in part by the Chicago Parks District and Farm Aid (the 20th Anniversary concert is happening Sunday, September 18 in Tinley Park), there will be children's activities including a petting zoo and pony rides, dance performances, exhibits by family farm organizations and a tractor parade. You can also check out the "Good Food Movement" forum with organic restaurateur Rick Bayliss and others at 2pm and eat some sweet local foods at the food court. Best part: it's free. The Fair takes place from 10am-5pm today, at 300 N. Central Park Ave. (right on the Green Line) call (312) 746-5100 for more information. Hey, I want to ride the pony!

Goodman Theatre furniture and prop sale

The Goodman Theatre is running out of storage space, so they're having a sale today. They'll be selling off an assortment of furniture and props from various Goodman productions. And no, as the Chicago Reader pointed out already, they will not be selling off Del Close's skull. Still, this should be a great place to find some deals on furniture, so check it out. The sale runs today from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The sale will be at the theater's scene shop, which is at 2040 W. Carroll Street (between Grand and Lake, just west of Damen). For more information on the sale, contact Alice Maguire at (312) 243-7295.

3030 Goodbye Bash

3030 -- a venue that holds live music shows, theater acts, art exhibitions and film screenings -- is closing its doors due to legal problems. For the past six years the venue has been home to the Elastic Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization providing performance opportunities to independent artists. Tonight they'll celebrate those years of service with a goodbye bash featuring local writers and musicians. Come by 3030 W. Courtland at 8pm to show your support for the closing space. Call 773-862-3616 for more information.

Hideout Block Party

Though perhaps the smallest of Chicago's block parties it's undoubtedly the coolest. The lineup this year includes Autumn Defense, The M's, The Pony's, Eleventh Dream Day, The Redwalls and many other fine performers. All proceeds benefit P.L.A.Y., Tuesday's Child, and Literacy Works.

Moistboyz, Minibosses @ Double Door

The Moistboyz, a side project of Ween's Dean Ween, play tonight at the Double Door. The opening act: the Minibosses, a group that plays classic videogame music. See this write-up in WiReD magazine about the Minibosses. Show starts at 10:00, doors open at 9:00, and tickets are $15 (available through Ticketmaster, feh). Double Door: 1572 N. Milwaukee. (773) 489-3160.

Sarah Jessica Parker @ Marshall Field's

Ladies, put on your stilettos, grab your cosmos and head over to Marshall Field's at noon today to meet the fashion icon and role model of the decade, Sarah Jessica Parker. Now, not only can you model your life after her and her three televised friends, you can smell like her too! Or, at least, smell pleasing to her. Today Ms. Parker unveils Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker, her new perfume which you can find on the first floor of the Marshall Field's State St. store. Make sure to tell her how your group of friends is exactly like the Sex and the City girls! Call 1-800-MFIELDS for more information. Part of Marshall Field's Fall Fashion Week 2005. (I kid because I love. And it's funny because it's true.)

An Evening of Fashion and Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Marshall Field's team up to present their annual show, An Evening of Fashion and Art. This year's show features such fashion giants as Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent and Issey Miyake. You can see all the glamour at the Marshall Field's State Street store. Cal 312-397-3857 for more information.

Opening: On the Mark: Chicago Printmakers Collaborative 1989-2004

The Chicago Cultural Center celebrates 15 years of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative with a two-month retrospective. The opening reception starts at 6 PM tonight in the Cultural Center’s Michigan Avenue Galleries, and the exhibit runs until November 6. For more information, check the website or call 312-744-6630.

Butoh Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center

Groping Towards Dance: Butoh and the Origins of Music, the only U.S. butoh festival that features emerging artists, continues tonight in the Sydney R. Yates Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center at 7 PM. Butoh is an avant-garde dance form developed in Japan in the 1960s. “The first public performances were wild and primal and shocked the conservative Japanese dance community.” Performances in this free program will be followed by talk-backs with the artists. For more information, see the website or call 312-744-6630.

Goodman Theatre furniture and prop sale

The Goodman Theatre is running out of storage space, so they're having a sale today and tomorrow. They'll be selling off an assortment of furniture and props from various Goodman productions. And no, as the Chicago Reader pointed out already, they will not be selling off Del Close's skull. Still, this should be a great place to find some deals on furniture, so check it out. The sale runs today from noon to 6:00 PM, and tomorrow from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The sale will be at the theater's scene shop, which is at 2040 W. Carroll Street (between Grand and Lake, just west of Damen). For more information on the sale, contact Alice Maguire at (312) 243-7295.

World Music Fest Opens/DJ Ron Trent

Once again, I'm overwhelmed by the myriad of performances at this year's World Music Festival. Starting tonight, and running through September 22, the festival offers a ton of free performances along with some great (and cheap!) shows at venues around town. Something to consider: almost every day has at least one musician either from or based in Chicago. (tonight's local musician: DJ Ron Trent at Sonotheque, 10pm [tickets are $12, not free, as this page proclaims]) Check out a full schedule online and fill your week with some "world music" that doesn't some out of the stereo at the local Starbucks.

Fishnet Release

Come celebrate the release of Paul A. Toth's new novel, Fishnet, with The2ndHand's Todd Dills and ThisISGrand's Jonathan Messinger. The novel tells the story of "an aging couple on the path toward dissolution." Join them, with the author, at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont. Pay what you can and call 773-935-2118 for more information.

Mini Relief Effort @ Myopic

Myopic Books, 1546 N. Milwaukee, plays host to a "mini relief effort" to benefit employees of I Can Learn, which is based in New Orleans and has an office here in Chicago. Hardscrabble, Third Sunday, and Edith Frost perform. There will be cupcakes, beer and other snacks, and a raffle. Give what you can. Starts at 7pm.

"Coming of Age: Lolita at 50"

Nabokov's ">Lolita turns 50 this year, and New City and Vintage Books are throwing a party tonight at the Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago. "Coming of Age: Lolita at 50" is a multimedia extravaganza, with talks from author Carol Anshaw and free speech activist Burt Joseph, music from DJs Tobias and Brock as well as a live set by My Where They, and a "Reinterpreting Lolita" costume contest (extra points for not going with the schoolgirl cliché). The 50th anniversary edition of Lolita will be available for purchase, as will $3 Goose Island beer. Doors open at 7:30pm, with a $3 cover after 10pm. Ironically, the event is 21 and over.

Butoh Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center

Groping Towards Dance: Butoh and the Origins of Music, the only U.S. butoh festival that features emerging artists, continues tonight in the Sydney R. Yates Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center at 7 PM. Butoh is an avant-garde dance form developed in Japan in the 1960s. “The first public performances were wild and primal and shocked the conservative Japanese dance community.” Performances in this free program will be followed by talk-backs with the artists. For more information, see the website or call 312-744-6630.

Opening: Spectacle '05: Love Me...Loves Me Not

Redmoon Theater's latest endeavor opens tonight on the south side of the Museum of Science and Industry. "Spectacle '05: Loves Me...Loves Me Not" features "75 choir singers, 31 plastic costumes, 4 pregnant women and 1 escape vehicle." Oh...and it takes place all on water. If you've ever seen a Redmoon production, you know that their ethereal and whimsical designs can only be enhanced by lagoon setting. The show starts at dusk, 7:30 pm. Tonight's performance is free for all; regular tickets cost $10 and the show will run through September 25. The Museum of Science and Industry is located at 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. Call 312-850-8440x11 for tickets and for more information.

Powell's North Reading Series

Tonight at 7pm, Powell's North Bookstore hosts another of its literary pairings (or triplings, if you will). This time, two local up-and-coming writers, (GB's own) Michelle Taransky and Manda Aufochs Gillespie will read poetry along with Sally Keith. Keith is the author of two books of poetry, most recently "Dwelling Song," published by The University of Georgia Press. Her first book, "Design," won the Colorado Prize for Poetry in 2000. She attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Rochester. Each Powell's North reading pairs an established poet, fiction, or non-fiction writer from around the nation with one or two emerging writers in an event that exposes the community to a dynamic variety of work from writers at different stages in their career. Also, the readings hope to inspire a dialogue between writers and their audience, as well establish an environment open to all genres, styles, and experiments in writing. Powell's is located just north of Diversey Ave. at 2850 N. Lincoln, (773) 248-1444.

Researching Chicago's Local History @ Newberry

The Newberry Library kicks off a new season of public programs in genealogy this evening with a panel discussion titled, "Researching Chicago's Local History." This free event features four panelists who will "present different ways of learning about local history and will discuss sources and methods for researching the city and suburbs." The panelists include Gapers Block staffer Alice Maggio, Wicker Park historian Elaine Coorens, Jennifer Masengarb of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and Peggy Tuck Sinko from the Newberry Library. The discussion begins at 6pm at the Newberry Library, located at 60 W. Walton St. in Chicago.

Garrison Keillor at the Harold Washington Library Center

For some reason, Garrison Keillor’s civilized and civilizing daily five-minute public radio show, The Writer’s Almanac (in which he reads a poem and summarizes the day’s important birthdays and anniversaries), isn’t carried by WBEZ, but Keillor himself will be at the Harold Washington Library Center tonight. He’ll be reading from his new poetry anthology, Good Poems for Hard Times in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium starting at 6 PM. This free event will be followed by a book signing. 400 S. State Street. For more information, check the website or call (312) 747-4050.

Win a Date with Joe & Mandy

Playground Theater member team, The Fling, presents an all new improv game show, Win a Date With Joe & Mandy, tonight. From The Fling: "Win a Date With Joe & Mandy is an Improvised Game Show where the audience can win a date with our lovely bachelorette, Mandy, or this guy, Joe. It is Love Connection meets Double Dare as audience members compete in a series of wacky challenges to win the affections of Joe or Mandy. The two audience-selected winners will be whisked away on all expenses paid dates with Joe & Mandy, complete with members of The Fling as chaperones. The dates will be filmed and clips will be shown to new audiences in subsequent weeks." Performances will be at 8pm at The Playground Theater, 3209 North Halsted, Chicago. Tickets are $10, call (773) 348-2209 for reservations.

WNEP Haiku Revue

WNEP Theater is holding The Haiku Revue at the Viaduct Theatre, tonight at 7pm. The event serves as a fundraiser for WNEP and features songs and novelty acts performed by WNEP members as well as an auction of haikus written by likes of William H. Macy, Steven Levitt, Gregory Maguire and others. There will also be a silent auction for items donated by local businesses and organizations. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and include a complimentary drink ticket. The Viaduct Theatre is located at 3111 N. Western. Call 773-755-1693 to purchase tickets and for more information.

Butoh Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center

Groping Towards Dance: Butoh and the Origins of Music, the only U.S. butoh festival that features emerging artists, begins tonight in the Sydney R. Yates Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center at 7 PM. Butoh is an avant-garde dance form developed in Japan in the 1960s. “The first public performances were wild and primal and shocked the conservative Japanese dance community.” Performances in this free program will be followed by talk-backs with the artists. For more information, see the website or call 312-744-6630.

Mexican Folk at the Old Town School

As part of the Old Town School of Folk Music’s 10th annual Autumn celebration of Latin sound, Chicago Mexican folk bands Sones de Mexico Ensemble and Banda Manzanera are performing, starting at 8:30 PM. This program is in honor of Mexican Independence Day, September 16 (no, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day; it commemorates a Mexican victory over the French (a turning point in the fight for independence) in 1862). This event is free, but the Old Town School requests a $5 donation. 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. For more information, call 773-728-6000 or visit the website.

Radio Plays at the Chicago Cultural Center

If your idea of radio drama is Guy Noir on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, you might want to expand your horizons by checking out this performance by the AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players, a group dedicated to “keeping alive the uniqueness of radio as the theater of the imagination." At tonight’s performances of Death Takes a Holiday (a romantic story) and A Good and Faithful Servant (a suspenseful one), you’ll have a chance to see sound effects people, as well as usually invisible actors, at work. At the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington Street, 7 PM. For more information, see the website.

Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival Kick-Off Party

Come help Sketchfest kick-off the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival by enjoying good food, liquor, an auction with desirable prizes and the chance to learn more about the festival. You'll also get the chance to watch the premier of "Sketchfest '05: The Sequel," a documentary showing the highlights of this year's festival. The group is still in their application process, so if you're interested in participating, this would be an excellent way to make your presence known. Advance tickets are $20; $25 at the door. The partying happens at the Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, from 7:30-10:30pm. Email info[at]chicagosketchfest[dot]net for more information.

Aerial Photo Lecture and Signing

If you've visited Millenium Park this summer, it's likely you've seen the outdoor photo exhibit of aerial photos of the Chicago area by Terry Evans. Come out and meet the artist and get a signed copy of the collection of these photos at a Chicago Architecture Foundation event. The CAF says: "Viewing places from above draws attention to important issues on the ground, and renown landscape photographer Terry Evans's beautifully composed aerial photographs of Chicago and the surrounding region are provocative embodiments of this fact. These not to be missed photos, on view at Millennium Park through October 10, are a thought-provoking portrait that captures the unique qualities of our metropolitan area. Terry Evans' work has been widely exhibited by several major museums, and is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship." Tickets are $20 ($10 for CAF members) $10 of the admission fee will be credited towards a purchase of "Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait". Register online or call (312) 922-3432 x225. The program starts tonight at 6pm at The John Buck Company Lecture Hall Gallery at the ArchiCenter, 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer @ the Book Cellar

If you made it to last night's book club meeting, well, you'll know how to get to the Book Cellar, won't you? And, if not, it's quite easily located in Lincoln Square. Regardless, you'll want to head that way tonight for a reading from Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer by its author, New York Times writer Warren St. John. This isn't just any reading, though; sez St. John, "The store is seizing on the book's tailgating theme and has secured a supply of draft beer from the Four Moon Tavern, and I think there will be hot dogs or some other form of deliciously unhealthy stadium fare." For more info on the book, which journeys into the heart of sports fandom, visit the website and its attendant blog. The fun starts at 7pm.

Chicago Smart Business Hour and Green Drinks

From 5:00-6:30pm, participate in the Chicago Smart Business Hour where you can "network and learn with other forward thinking business professionals." Tonight's Open Mic focuses on Business and Sustainability. No RSVP is required, but there is a $4 cover charge. Immediately following this, from 6:30-9:15pm, is Chicago Green Drinks whose panel topic will focus on Faith-based Sustainability Initiatives. There is a $4 cover for this as well, $2 for students and low-income participants. $6 covers the cost of both events. Call 312-670-7812 for more information on either talk. The evening takes place at Jefferson Tap & Grille, 325 N. Jefferson.

French Masters Dinner with Gauguin

Mon Ami Gabi and the Art Institute have been offering a series of "French Masters" dinners. Tonight's dinner features the work of Paul Gauguin. A wine reception starts everything off at 6pm, followed by a mutli-course meal prepared by chef Erik Palmer and a 7pm lecture, complete with slide presentation, of the Art Institute's Gauguin collection. Dessert will round off the night. Reservations are $65 per person and are required. Call 773-348-8886 to save a spot.

Theatre on the Fly at the Chicago Cultural Center

In the Chicago Cultural Center Randolph Café, Skokie’s Northlight Theatre presents an evening of interactive live performance. Work by new and experienced playwrights will be performed by Northlight actors along with selected audience members, starting at 7:30 PM. 78 E Washington Street, 1st floor. For additional information, contact Rosie Forrest at 847-679-9501 x. 3705, or visit the website.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken? in Millennium Park

Members of the Steppenwolf Theater Company—joined by others including local jazz singer Kurt Elling and NPR icon Garrison Keillor—read from Studs Terkel’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken? tonight at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. The reading, which will be accompanied by music, begins at 6:30. See the website for more information.

Gapers Block Book Club Meeting

This month's meeting of the Gapers Block Book Club takes place tonight at The Book Cellar at 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., where we will be discussing Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. The meeting begins at 7:30pm. And, join the book club email list for updates and important alerts about future meetings. See you there!

Misericordia Family Fest

Misericordia, a charity organization supporting the developmentally disabled, holds its 25th annual Family Fest today from 11am to 6pm at Misericordia North, 6300 N. Ridge. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids; free parking available at S&C Electric, Ridge and Devon.

Mad Cowboy documentary screening

Howard Lyman, a cattle rancher who became a vegan activist, will be in town tonight in support of his Mad Cowboy documentary. The feature length film chronicles the life of the man who turned Oprah off burgers, leading to the now-infamous trial. The 6:30 pm screening will be followed by a short presentation by Lyman, as well as an open discussion. The event is free, and free vegan cake will be served. It takes place at Unity Church of the North Shore, 3434 Central Avenue, Evanston, and is sponsored by Earthsave Chicago. More information about Lyman and his work is available at his website.

Windy City Rollers "School Daze Showdown"

The Windy City Rollers present "School Daze Showdown" tonight at the Congress Theatre, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. Doors open at 5pm, but the action starts at 6pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. A portion of the proceeds benefits CAUSES Child Abuse Treatment Center. More info and ticket ordering here.

Laughing Matters: Katrina Relief @ Second City

Four of Chicago's top comedy theatres are donating a portion of their proceeds from performances this week to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. If you're feeling generous tonight, head to the 7pm performance of From Fear to Eternity at Second City. Tickets $18, call 312-337-3992. 1616 N Wells. Full bar.

Myopic Poetry Series: D. Trinidad & J. Felix

Poets David Trinidad and Joel Felix read tonight at 7pm at Myopic Bookstore, 1564 N. Milwaukee, in this edition of the Myopic Poetry Series. Free.

Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival

This Wicker Park/Bucktown arts festival features hundreds of painters, photographers, actors, performers and more in an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work to visitors from all over the country. Coordinated by Around the Coyote, the Fall Arts Festival transforms local studios and businesses into galleries and the long weekend will be filled with scheduled and spontaneous performances. Tickets are available at the door, but passes for groups of 15 or more can be purchased by calling 773-324-6777. Visit the website for schedules and more information on the festival. Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 10am-6pm.

Betty Dodson @ Early to Bed

Self-love aficionado and author of Sex for One and Orgasms for Two, Betty Dodson makes a stop today at Early to Bed. Preview her new film, "Orgasmic Women: 13 Selfloving Divas," participate in a question and answer session and get your copies of her books signed. The event is free and open to adults 18+, 7-9pm. Early to Bed is located at 5232 N. Sheridan Rd. Call 773-271-1219 for more information.

Windy City Wine Festival

Enjoy a variety of tastings, wine and food education, and live entertainment at the inaugural Windy City Wine Festival, going on September 10-11. Located in Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park (just east of Millennium Park), this event will feature 200 different wines from renowned suppliers like Remy Amerique and Brown Foreman Family of Wines and live cooking demonstrations with top Chicago chefs. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Parkways Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Chicago Park District, and Chicago Tribune Charities. Tickets are $25/ person for adults and include a souvenir wine glass. $15 designated driver tickets are also available. Events take place from 1pm–8pm Saturday, and 1pm–9pm Sunday.

17th Annual Lakefront Bicycle Tour

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s 17th Annual Boulevard Lakefront Tour offers 10-mile (Hyde Park), 35-mile (the South and West Sides), and (new!) 62-mile (Northwest Side) routes along Chicago’s historic boulevards, followed by a picnic and live music on Midway Plaisance. Registration, which costs $30—or $25 if you’re a CBF member, and $5 for your kids— is required. Registration ends at 6PM Saturday 9/10 and the ride starts this morning at 6AM. Sign up at the website or call 312-427-3325.

Chicago Symphony Subset in Millennium Park

How many chances do you get to see the Chicago Symphony for free? Well, this isn't the whole Symphony, but some of its musicians, and conductor William Eddins, will be performing a 9/11 tribute concert at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park starting at 4pm this afternoon. For one selection, Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," Senator Barack Obama will provide narration. See the website for more information.

Quietly On By @ Siskel Film Center

World premiere of Westmont native Frank V. Ross's third feature. Quietly On By is a slice-of-suburban-life drama about a post-breakdown slacker and his obsessions. Ross and members of the cast and crew will be present for discussion. At 8 pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets are $9, $7 for students. For more information, call 312-846-2600.

The2ndHand @ Quimby's

Join Mickey Hess, Jonathan Messinger and Daniel Buckman for a reading of the The2ndHand at Quimby's. Free, 7:30pm, 1854 W. North Ave. And that's all you need to know.

Chicago River Market

Can't wait for that last Sunday of the month for the Chicago Antiques Market? Then head down in your van, to the river for the Chicago River Market September 8-10 from 11am to 7pm. There'll be arts, antiques and collectibles along Chicago's second shoreline. Stroll along the river, and browse a unique market featuring memorabilia and collectibles from the past and local art from today. The market takes place on Upper Wacker Drive between Franklin St. and Michigan Ave. For more information call (312) 951-9939.

Wicker Park Pedal Pushers Brigade Parade

Today AAA Studios presents the 1st Annual Wicker Park Pedal Pushers Brigade Parade. The objective of the parade? "Ride anything that is ridable," with the exception of motorized vehicles of course. If you've been itching to get out that unicycle or that bike with the disproportionately huge back wheel, this is your chance to get dressed up, pimp your non-motored ride and put it all on display in the parade. A donation of $10 is requested, with proceeds benefitting the American Diabetes Association. Registration begins at 5pm at Damen and Schiller with the parade starting at 7pm. Drinks and live music will follow. Email Doc Sanjurjo, festival organizer, at dsanjurjo[at]msn[dot]com for more information.

Laughing Matters: Katrina Relief @ Playground Theater

Four of Chicago's top comedy theatres are donating a portion of their proceeds from performances this week to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The benefactor this evening is the 8pm show at the Playground Theater, featuring long-form improv from No Means Yes, Pastor of Muppets, and American Dream. Tickets $14, call 773-871-3793. 3209 N Halsted. BYOB.

Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival

This Wicker Park/Bucktown arts festival features hundreds of painters, photographers, actors, performers and more in an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work to visitors from all over the country. Coordinated by Around the Coyote, the Fall Arts Festival transforms local studios and businesses into galleries and the long weekend will be filled with scheduled and spontaneous performances. Tickets are available at the door, but passes for groups of 15 or more can be purchased by calling 773-324-6777. Visit the website for schedules and more information on the festival. Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 10am-6pm.

Come on out tonight to hear GB staffer Anne Holub read poetry at Subterranean as a part of the Poetry Center of Chicago's poetry program for Around the Coyote.

Pet CPR Class

The Anti-Cruelty Society is pleased to once again offer a Pet First Aid & CPR Class today from 9 am -12:30 pm. If your pet has a medical emergency will you be prepared? This course, taught by an American Red Cross certified instructor, will cover Pet First Aid and CPR techniques. The emphasis will be on cats and dogs and cat and dog manikins will be used. Please do not bring your pet to class. The course length is 3 1/2 hours. The course fee of $40 includes all course materials. To pre-register call Tammie Bouschor at (312) 644-8338 ext. 344. Payment must be made with in two weeks after the date of pre-registration.  All classes will be held in The Anti-Cruelty Society Education and Training Center located at 169 W. Grand Avenue . Free Parking is available in The Anti-Cruelty Society parking garage. Enter from Wells Street.

2nd Annual Rockwell Crossing Artwalk

Are you frustrated with pricey, commercial art events? Interested in more of that independent, DIY culture that is so pervasive in this fine city of ours? The Rockwell Crossing Artwalk might be just for you, as creator Victoria Ikpoh started the show to bring the community and artists together in a relaxed environment. The show features paintings, photography, jewelry, handmade body products and more. From 10am-5pm, check it all out on the corner of Rockwell and Leland (the Brown Line Rockwell stop). Email rcartwalk[at]yahoo[dot]com for more information.

Windy City Wine Festival

Enjoy a variety of tastings, wine and food education, and live entertainment at the inaugural Windy City Wine Festival, going on September 10-11. Located in Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park (just east of Millennium Park), this event will feature 200 different wines from renowned suppliers like Remy Amerique and Brown Foreman Family of Wines and live cooking demonstrations with top Chicago chefs. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Parkways Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Chicago Park District, and Chicago Tribune Charities. Tickets are $25/ person for adults and include a souvenir wine glass. $15 designated driver tickets are also available. Events take place from 1pm–8pm Saturday, and 1pm–9pm Sunday.

Urban, Rural, Wild Tour of Stearns Quarry

"Urban, Rural, Wild" is part exhibition and part platform to investigate the divisions between the urban, the rural and the wild and where these divisions break down. The exhibition presents workby eight artists focusing on the historical and modern relationships between the urban Chicago and the rural downstate Illinois. The show will run through October 22. Today, at 8am, participating artist Laurie Palmer will lead a tour of Stearns Quarry, a site once used as a dump for construction and demolition debris that the Chicago Park District is now reconstructing as an urban park. Meet at I space, 230 W. Superior, to arrange transportation to the Bridgeport site. For more information, contact Sarah Kanouse at kanouse[at]siu[dot]edu.

Ride for the Red

The Second Annual Ride for the Red is a motorcycle ride and picnic to benefit the vital lifesaving programs and services of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. Bring your bike, family and friends for a day of festivities. Enjoy a fun-filled day of riding, food, music, beverages and raffle prizes all to support a great cause. The ride will begin and end at LaBagh Woods (Foster and Cicero) with a turn-around at R&R Crossings on Russell Road. Event day registration begins at 9 am, bikes leave at 10 am. and the picnic begins at noon. Registration is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate for each adult. Children under 16 are free when accompanied by an adult. The picnic begins at noon and includes food, music, beverages,and a raffle.

Opening: Mr. Death's Ephemeral Pageant

Before she wrote a surprise best-seller (Gaper’s Block Book Club June 2005 pick The Time Traveler’s Wife), Audrey Niffenegger was known as a visual artist, and a selection of her paintings, drawings, and prints is being shown at the Printworks Gallery through October 15. 311 W. Superior Street, Ste. 105. For more information, call Printworks Gallery at 312/664.9407 or visit the website.

Premiere: Green Street Hooligans

Independent film Green Street Hooligans premieres tonight at three theaters: River East 21, Webster Place 11, and the Century Evanston 21. Having been passed over by Hollywood studios, the film's producers are forging their own way and releasing the movie on their own. Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam and Claire Forlani act in the movie directed by Lexi Alexander. Check your local listings for showtimes.

Opening: Gypsy

Porchlight Music Theatre, the ambitious off-Loop musical theatre company, opens their revival of Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Jule Styne's Gypsy. Jeff Citation winner and Porchlight resident chanteuse Rebecca Finnegan stars as Mama Rose. Opens tonight at 7:45pm. Continues Fri-Sat at 7:45 and Sun at 3pm through October 30. Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W Belmont. Tickets are $27-30; call 773-327-5252 or visit Ticketmaster.

Chicago River Market

Can't wait for that last Sunday of the month for the Chicago Antiques Market? Then head down in your van, to the river for the Chicago River Market September 8-10 from 11am to 7pm. There'll be arts, antiques and collectibles along Chicago's second shoreline. Stroll along the river, and browse a unique market featuring memorabilia and collectibles from the past and local art from today. The market takes place on Upper Wacker Drive between Franklin St. and Michigan Ave. For more information call (312) 951-9939.

Laughing Matters: Katrina Relief @ I.O.

Four of Chicago's top comedy theatres are donating a portion of their proceeds from performances this week to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Tonight's event is Pent, the 8pm show of long-form improv at I.O. Tickets $14, call 773-880-0199. 3541 N Clark St. Full bar.

Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival

This Wicker Park/Bucktown arts festival features hundreds of painters, photographers, actors, performers and more in an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work to visitors from all over the country. Coordinated by Around the Coyote, the Fall Arts Festival transforms local studios and businesses into galleries and the long weekend will be filled with scheduled and spontaneous performances. Tickets are available at the door, but passes for groups of 15 or more can be purchased by calling 773-324-6777. Visit the website for schedules and more information on the festival. Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 10am-6pm.

Opening: 4Art Exclusive Group Show

For the first time 4Art Gallery is hosting an exclusive six month group show that will showcase the artwork of more than a dozen local artists. New work will be presented each month as the show's goal is to display the creation and evolution of these artists' work. At tonight's opening reception the artists will demonstrate their skills with live performances. From 6-10pm, you'll get to see those performances, listen to music by violinist Jason Loveall and get the first look at this continuing show of printmaking, scultpure, abstract art, digital photography and much more. 4Art Gallery is located at 1932 S. Halsted, #100. Call 312-850-1816 for more information.

Frank Vodvarka at the Fine Arts Building Gallery

Here’s a terrific excuse to wander around Chicago’s terrific Fine Arts Building. The Fine Arts Building Gallery is hosting an opening reception for a new exhibit of work by member artist Frank Vodvarka from 5 PM to 8 PM tonight. Take what might be the last manned elevator in the city to the 4th floor, or—better yet—take it up higher and soak up the artistic, musical, and choreographic vibes as you explore your way back down. 410 S. Michigan, Suite 433. For more information, call 312-913-0537, or visit the website.

Urban, Rural, Wild Opening Reception

"Urban, Rural, Wild" is part exhibition and part platform to investigate the divisions between the urban, the rural and the wild and where these divisions break down. The exhibition presents workby eight artists focusing on the historical and modern relationships between the urban Chicago and the rural downstate Illinois. The show will run through October 22. Tonight, from 5-7pm, the show will hold their opening reception at I space Gallery, 230 W. Superior. For more information, contact Sarah Kanouse at kanouse[at]siu[dot]edu.

Opening: Soundtrack City Chicago

Tonight the Viaduct Theater opens "Soundtrack City Chicago," a hip-hop comedy with characters all connected through the buying, selling, building and renting of property. The show features actor and human beatbox Yuri Lane and creates distinct soundtracks for each character and neighborhood. $20, 8pm, 3111 N. Western Ave. Call the box office at 773-296-6024 for more information and to buy tickets.

Daredevils preview @ Neo-Futurarium

"What lies beneath the seemingly ever-present male desire to engage in feats of physical risk?" The new play by the Neo-Futurist theater company will explore this intriguing question in "Daredevils", a play starring some of the more athletic ensemble members. Stunts will be attempted, lives will be examined, and someone might get hurt. Preview shows are tonight and tomorrow, and the show officially opens on Saturday, September 10. See the Neo-Futurist Website for details. The Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland. (773) 275-5255.

Laughing Matters: Katrina Relief @ ComedySportz

Four of Chicago's top comedy theatres are donating a portion of their proceeds from performances this week to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Tonight's 8pm show at ComedySportz kicks off the effort. Tickets $17, call 773-549-8080. 2851 N Halsted. BYOB.

Opening: The Cartoonist's Eye

Curated by local comic artist Ivan Brunetti, Columbia College is hosting "The Cartoonist's Eye," a show that promises to be "the most comprehensive retrospective of 20th Century comic art ever assembled." Featured artists include everyone from Chris Ware to Robert Crumb to George Herriman and Charles Schulz. Tonight's opening reception runs from 5-8pm, with Seth presenting a slideshow at 6:30pm. The reception, and the show, are free and open to the public. Columbia's A+D Gallery is located at 619 S. Wabash.

ThickDesign05 @ Art Institute

Who likes cutting edge product design? Well, I do. Go check out ThickDesign05 at the Betty Rymer Gallery, 280 South Columbus Drive (part of the Art Institute). The show runs from August 16 - September 28, 2005, with an opening reception Thursday, September 8, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Designers and artists include Acconci Studio, Yves Behar+fuseproject, Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse, Martin Boyce, collective_difference_studio, FREITAG lab. ag, Herbst Lazar Bell (HLB), IDEO, Karim Rashid Inc., Enzo Mari, C.E.B. Reas, Simon Starling, Adam Whiton and Yolita Nugent.

More info and the exhibit manifesto are availible here.

Einstein's "Hidden Worlds"

Now is your chance to really get quantum mechanics. As part of the Illinois Humanities Council’s series of events honoring the centennial of Albert Einstein’s “Miracle Year” (when he published his theory of special relativity), theoretical physicist Joe Lykken will discuss the implications of Einstein’s theories about the subatomic sphere and the relationship between matter and energy and time and space. This free lecture on Einstein's "Hidden Worlds" takes place in the Thorne Auditorium of Northwestern University at 375 E Chicago Ave. at 6:00 PM. You can reserve a ticket and register for other events in the series by visiting the Illinois Humanities Council’s website.

Urban, Rural, Wild Film Screening

"Urban, Rural, Wild" is part exhibition and part platform to investigate the divisions between the urban, the rural and the wild and where these divisions break down. The exhibition presents workby eight artists focusing on the historical and modern relationships between the urban Chicago and the rural downstate Illinois. The show will run through October 22. Tonight, at 6pm, the exhibition will include a film screening of "Chicagoland Gridded/Revised," at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. Tickets are $9 for general admission, with discounts for students and Art Institute members. For more information, contact Sarah Kanouse at kanouse[at]siu[dot]edu.

Art Show Opening & Katrina Benefit @ Pause

Artist Kevin Swallow's show of Chicago cityscapes opens with a reception tonight at Pause Cafe, 1107 W. Berwyn, 6-9pm. To help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, 25 percent of the proceeds from any prints sold will be donated to the relief effort. More info here (PDF).

Opening: Office Girl

Our favorite damned hairstylist hits the Breadline Theatre this week with his new play, "Office Girl." Joe Meno's story follows a phone operator's professional life whose only joys are record-collecting and listening to the girl who sings in the adjoining cubicle. The play combines elements from film, fiction, drama and punk rock shows, so you know it's not going to be your average sing in the rain. Running through September 25, tickers are $12 and can be obtained by calling 312-375-3105. Shows begin at 8pm. The Breadline Theatre is located at 1802 W. Berenice.

Third Coast Festival/StoryCorps Listening Room event

The Third Coast Festival presents an evening of stories recently recorded in Chicago by StoryCorps, a project to record audio interviews of everyday Americans by their friends and family. The event happens tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, at the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library (400 South State Street). The event is free, but reservations are recommended; see the Third Coast site for details.

Bridgehouse and Walking Tour

Join the Friends of the Chicago River for a unique tour of the southwest tower on the Michigan Avenue Bridge and a walk along the river downtown guided by Friends’ trained docents from 5:30-7:30pm tonight. You begin inside the bridgehouse for interpretation of the tower, learn why Chicago was cutting edge in bridge design, and go into the gear room to see how the bridge really works. Next, you will walk along the main stem of the river learning about how we have more moveable bridges than anywhere in the world and all about the river’s rich history which truly helped to create the city. Cost: $10. Reservations are required, please call Maggie at (312) 939-0490, ext. 10. To register a group for this tour, please contact Tina at (312) 939-0490, ext. 23.

Win a Date with Joe & Mandy

Playground Theater member team, The Fling, presents an all new improv game show, Win a Date With Joe & Mandy, starting tonight. From The Fling: "Win a Date With Joe & Mandy is an Improvised Game Show where the audience can win a date with our lovely bachelorette, Mandy, or this guy, Joe. It is Love Connection meets Double Dare as audience members compete in a series of wacky challenges to win the affections of Joe or Mandy. The two audience-selected winners will be whisked away on all expenses paid dates with Joe & Mandy, complete with members of The Fling as chaperones. The dates will be filmed and clips will be shown to new audiences in subsequent weeks." Performances will be at 8pm at The Playground Theater, 3209 North Halsted, Chicago. Tickets are $10, call (773) 348-2209 for reservations.

Reading Under the Influence

The fourth installment of the odd little reading series where writers drink with audience members and read about drinking. While doing shots. Tonight is scheduled to feature Rob Duffer, Keith Hernandez, Jonathan Messinger, Joe Tower, Amanda Snyder and Julia Borcherts. Drink specials include $2 Bud and Miller bottles, and prizes will be given away. $3 cover, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. 7-10pm, Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave.

Kriti Festival Fundraiser

Sponsored by DesiLit, a national non-profit organization supporting South Asian writers, Kriti Festival is holding a fundrasier today from 5:30-7:30pm. The festival boasts the title of the first Midwestern, South Asian literary festival and will be held in mid-November. A donation of $10 aides the author panels, readings, workshops and entertainment that are part of the festival. With $5 martinis and free appetizers, tonight's your chance to learn more about the festival while having some fun. Indian Garden, 247 E. Ontario. Email info[at]desilit[dot]org for more information.

Andean Music at the Old Town School

As part of the Old Town School of Folk Music’s 10th annual celebration of Latin sound, La Pena, an evening of Andean music begins at 8:30 PM. The Old Town School requests a $5 donation. 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. For more information, call 773-728-6000 or check the website.

Short Films about Food

As part of the Stirring Things Up series of food-related events, a free program of vintage food-related short films, Eyes on the Pie and If You Know What's Good For You, is showing tonight at 7 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater. The films are presented in part by the Chicago Film Archives, which safeguard thousands of films that used to be held by the Chicago Public Library. 77 E Randolph Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or click here.

Rackett with Paul Muldoon

Come rock out with Paul Muldoon and his band, Rackett with The Poetry Center of Chicago at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $10, and available at the door. SAIC students, faculty and staff get in free, as do Poetry Center Members. Paul Muldoon is a Pulitzer Prize winner, he's in the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame, and he's penned songs for Bruce Springsteen and collaborated with Warren Zevon. Rackett has performed recently at the Cornelia Street Café, the Knitting Factory (NYC), the Berlind Theater, Princeton, and Pete's Candy Store, Brooklyn. This is Muldoon's second appearance at The Poetry Center.
112 South Michigan Avenue, Ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tuesdays on the Terrace

What's a great antidote to Labor Day beer and brats? Jazz in an art museum! Head down to the MCA for their Tuesdays on the Terrace jazz series tonight and hear the Jeff Parker Trio, food from Wolfgang Puck and some fine people watching from 5:30-8pm. This summer, Puck's offers picnic baskets and blankets to those who prefer to relax on the sculpture garden lawn. In case of rain, the event takes place in Puck's. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Ave.

Polonia Festival

Celebrate Labor Day weekend at the Copernicus Foundation’s 26th annual Taste of Polonia festival. Nonstop live music (not just polkas) will be presented on three stages; Polish artisans will sell their stuff; folk dancers will perform; and pierogies, potato pancakes, kielbasa, and other delicacies will be available from vendors.

The festival takes place at 5216 W Lawrence. Admission is $6, benefiting the Copernicus Foundation For more information, check the website or call 773-777-8898.

Fiestas Patrias

Come join Plaza Garibaldi for a Labor Day Fest at California Health Park, 2800 S. California. The Mexican cultural fest will include food, music, dancing and rodeo. 12-9pm. Call 773-561-9500 for more information.

Chicago Jazz Festival

This weekend’s Grant Park extravaganza is the Chicago Jazz Festival, now in its 27th year. Click here for a schedule of performances at three Grant Park stages, including homages to Charlie Weeks, King Oliver, drummer Tony Williams, and Charlie Parker. The free festival runs from 12N to 9:30 PM. Call 312-744-3370 for more information.

Polonia Festival

Celebrate Labor Day weekend at the Copernicus Foundation’s 26th annual Taste of Polonia festival. Nonstop live music (not just polkas) will be presented on three stages; Polish artisans will sell their stuff; folk dancers will perform; and pierogies, potato pancakes, kielbasa, and other delicacies will be available from vendors.

The festival takes place at 5216 W Lawrence. Admission is $6, benefiting the Copernicus Foundation For more information, check the website or call 773-777-8898.

Eighth Illinois Cavalry @ Evanston Historical Society

The Eighth Illinois Cavalry stops at the Evanston Historical Society to deliver a "living history lecture that explores the everyday life of soldiers in the American Civil War." Presented in conjunction with the museum's exhibit, "A Great War Enthusiam: Evanston and the Civil War," the talk takes place at Dawes House, 225 Greenwood St. and costs $5. To reserve your chance to see these local Civil War reenactors, call 847-475-3410.

Chicago Jazz Festival

This weekend’s Grant Park extravaganza is the Chicago Jazz Festival, now in its 27th year. Click here for a schedule of performances at three Grant Park stages, including homages to Charlie Weeks, King Oliver, drummer Tony Williams, and Charlie Parker. The free festival runs from 12N to 9:30 PM. Call 312-744-3370 for more information.

Mass Hysteria Live @ The Note

If you missed Mass Hysteria w/ Juice last Sunday at the Abbey Pub, don't make the same mistake this weekend. Catch Mass Hysteria w/ Juice and Eratik Statik at the Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee, 1-5 AM, $10, 21 & up.

Daily Meaning @ the Peace Museum

Today, the Peace Museum opens its latest exhibition, Daily Meaning: Life Inside America's Service Industries. The show features the work of five photographers and five audio producers who have collaborated to document the worklives of service professionals in the Chicago area (see and listen to examples here). The museum is located at 100 N. Central Park Ave.; for further details, including hours, check the website or call 773/638-6450.

First Friday's @ Kafka

A lovely little shop specializing in affordable and tasty wines, Kafka Wine Co. holds a monthly tasting event featuring wines from one part of the world. Tonight, the wines are Italian and you'll get a chance to taste Chianti, Sicily, Piedmont and more. From 7-9pm, $10 gets you all the wine you need. Come early because the cozy shop gets packed rather quickly. Kafka is located at 3325 N. Halsted. Call 773-975-WINE for more information and to make your reservation.

Polka at Zakopane

Get your polka groove on with Polkaholics and Polkacide tonight at 10pm at Zakopane, 1734 W. Division. $5 cover, 21 and over.

Sox Mullet Night

The White Sox play Detroit at home tonight, and there's gonna be a lot of mullets in the crowd. More than usual, that is -- it's Mullet Night. There will be two pre-game bands rockin' the Cell, and a Mullet March begins at Gate 1, where mulleted men and women will parade their classic cuts around the warning track. The first 500 mullet marchers will get a free White Sox Mullet Night T-shirt.Wigged mullets will be accepted, or you could report to one of the stylists from Great Clips who will be on-hand to give you one. Game starts at 7:05pm, gates open around 5pm. Get tickets online here or at the park.

Improv Comedy at The Playground Theater

Tonight at 8pm, The Playground Theater presents a strong showcase of improvisational comedy featuring guest ensembles BoomTown and State of Delaware as well as theater house teams Mustang Repair and Atticus Finch. Tickets are $10. The theater is located at 3209 N. Halsted.

The Dollar Store @ Hideout


Slow down your work schedule and come relax with some
weirdness at the Dollar Store reading series tonight at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tonight's show features fiction writer Adam Levin (McSweeney's, Tin House), Playwright/Actor Rachel Claff (TMLMTBGB, It
Came From the NeoFuturarium) and Comedian Patrick Brennan (WNEP, Neutrino Project). Hosted by Jonathan Messinger, editor of THISisGRAND.org with special guest host, comedian/playwright Jeremy Sosenko (Late Night Late Show, I.O.). Show starts at 7pm, $1 suggested donation. More info here.

Chicago Jazz Festival

This weekend’s Grant Park extravaganza is the Chicago Jazz Festival, now in its 27th year. Click here for a schedule of performances at three Grant Park stages, including homages to Charlie Weeks, King Oliver, drummer Tony Williams, and Charlie Parker. The free festival runs from 12N to 9:30 PM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Call 312-744-3370 for more information.

Chicago Noir @ Quimby's

If you didn’t make it to Barbara’s yesterday, the Chicago Noir onslaught continues at 7pm tonight at Quimby’s, 1854 W North Ave. Come hear Neal Pollack, Marlon James, and GB Book Club pick Joe Meno read about “a Chicago beyond Oprah, Michael Jordan, and deep-dish pizza.” Take that, deep-dish pizza! Call 773-342-0910 for further details.

DvA Gallery Poetry First Anniversary

Join host Charlie Newman as he presents the 1st Anniversary of 1st-Friday poetry at DvA. Confirmed poets include: Jan Bottiglieri...Kristy Bowen...Michael Brownstein...Nina Corwin...Larry O. Dean...Scott DeKatch...Lynn Fitzgerald...Maureen Tolman Flannery...Chris Green...Todd Heldt...Larry Janowski...Wayne Allen Jones...C. J. Laity...Francesco Levato...Lauren Mathews Levato...Shelley Nation...Joe Roarty...Michelle Taransky...Tony Trigilio...Jared Smith...Ruan Wright...Katia Zalkind...& there just may be surprise poets! Free Admission. Free Intelligentsia Coffee. Friday, September 2 @ 8:00 p.m. DvA Gallery, 2658 N. Lincoln Ave.

Food and Film on the Rooftop

Part of Stirring Things Up in Chicago, the Food and Film on the Rooftop series features a different film every Thursday, through September 1, shown on the rooftop of the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. The $15 admission covers the family-style picnic dinner catered by Fox & Obel. Each dinner will relate to the movie in some way. Reservations are required for the 7pm screenings; call 312-744-9350 to save your spot. Tonight's film is Fried Green Tomatoes.

Chicago Jazz Festival

This weekend’s Grant Park extravaganza is the Chicago Jazz Festival, now in its 27th year. The festival begins with a ticketed performance at Symphony Center on Thursday evening. Click here for tickets. Click here for a schedule of performances at three Grant Park stages, including homages to Charlie Weeks, King Oliver, drummer Tony Williams, and Charlie Parker. The free festival runs from 12N to 9:30 PM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Call 312-744-3370 for more information.

IDSA Fight Club Series: Gentrification

The IDSA's Fight Club series battles on, this time on Thursday Sept. 1 at 1812 West Hubbard St. Drinks and snacks start at 6:45, and the fight begins at 7:15. Being late to this event sounds scary, and it's $5 at the door for non-ISDA members. I am Jack's details.


Upcoming