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TODAY

Wednesday, September 19

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Slowdown

March 2006

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Neko Case @ The Vic

Ex-Chicagoan and onetime Bloodshot Records recording artist Neko Case plays The Vic Theatre, 3145 North Sheffield, at 8 PM. Martha Wainwright (Rufus's sister) opens. Call 773-472-0449 (tickets through Ticketmaster).

Red Rover Series

An experiment in reading, the Red Rover Series enacts its 7th experiment, "Poetry Origami." Visiting poet Catherine Daly will present and invite the audience to create projects using scissors, paper, glue, wire, texts and more from the dollar store. Suggested donation is $3. 8pm at SpareRoom, 2416 W. North Ave. Call 773-645-1853 for more information.

Closing: This City is Our Home

Blue Sky Inn is holding a closing reception for their latest exhibition, "This City is Our Home: Photographs, Essays and Paintings by Homeless Youth in Chicago." The exhibition is the result of Blue Sky Inn volunteers' weekly visits to homeless youths and select contributors will be present at the reception. Refreshments will be served and a silent auction will provide guests with the opportunity to support Blue Sky Inn. 6-9pm at 826CHI, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Email info[at]blueskyinn[dot]org to RSVP or call 773-772-8108 for more information.

Sketchcore's "Urban Legends" @ Oracle Theatre

Tonight is your last chance to see SKETCHCORE’s "Urban Legends" continues tonight at 10:30 at The Oracle Theatre, located at 3809 N. Broadway Ave. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 with student ID. To reserve tickets call 773.780.9174 or, for more information go to www.sketchcore.com or www.oracletheatre.org.

Found Footage Festival @ the Cultural Center

For the pop-culture voyeur in you, this "exhibition and celebration of the finest in found footage" was lovingly cultivated from random thrift-store videocassettes, fast food training videos, infomercial outtakes, and so on (check out the trailer). Screening tonight at 7pm at the Chicago Cultural Center. Call 312-744-6630.

LinkUp Artists in Residence Perform @ Links Hall

Each year, Links Hall selects six performers for a 6-month LinkUp residency. This weekend, three residencies culminate with public performances, starting at 7 PM tonight. $15. 3435 N. Sheffield Ave. For more information, call 773-281-0824 or visit the website.

Opening: Re:Pair and Imperfection @ Cultural Center

In a local manifestation of sustainable art, Chicago metal artist Kiff Slemmons has refashioned “unusable” remnants from the work of noted jewelers into new pieces. Tonight’s opening reception runs from 6 to 8 PM in the Michigan Avenue Galleries; the exhibit closes 28 May. 78 E Washington St. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Sex Machines @ Quimby's

Tonight offers a lecture and slideshow by photorapher and author Timothy Archibald who wrote Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews. "Sex Machines" unveils an astonishing American subculture and the homespun inventors and users who propel it. Meet a laid-off tech industry exec who transforms a thrift store pasta maker into a high-powered sexual appliance and a new career, an apocalyptic visionary who builds a sex machine prototype for female survivors of a future without men, and an Idaho cowboy who intends to use his device as a form of Christian-based marriage counseling. Sex Machines celebrates the spirit of American ingenuity and bold approaches to an ever-changing sexual landscape. Author and photographer Timothy Archibald's photographs have appeared in New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, GQ, The New Yorker, and Outside Magazine. The event starts at 7pm at Quimby's, located at 1854 W. North Ave, call 773/342-0910 for more information.

International Poster Fair Benefit

The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago host this benefit at the Chicago Cultural Center. $40 (or $30 if you’re an Evening Associates member) gets you wine, hors d’oeuvres, a sneak preview of the 15th Annual Vintage Poster Fair, and a fair readmission pass for Saturday or Sunday. 5 PM to 9 PM, 77 E Randolph Street. For tickets, email eveningassociates [at] artic [dot] edu or call 312-443-3710. For more information about the Evening Associates, visit their website.

Pierrot Lunaire: A Cabaret Opera @ MCA

The new music ensemble eighth blackbird, along with soprano Lucy Shelton, perform music by Arnold Schoenberg in a cabaret opera designed by Blair Thomas. Tickets are $18-22. 7:30 PM, 220 E Chicago Ave. For more information, call 312-397-4010 or visit the website.

GB Get-Together @ Black Beetle

It's that time again: time for another GB Get-Together. This month we'll be meeting up at the Black Beetle, 2532 W. Chicago Ave. From 9pm till midnightish, join members of the Gapers Block staff for a drink or two -- look for some of these familiar faces.

Shuddhabrata Sengupta @ Film Center

As part of the Conversations at the Edge series, media practitioner Sengupta delivers a multi-media presentation on the Raqs Media Collective as well as Sarai New Media Lab, which he co-founded. 6 PM. Tickets are $9, or $5 for Film Center members. 164 N. State St. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Gen Art's Shop CHICago

Featuring over 50 up and coming accessory and clothing designers as well as local boutiques, Gen Art's Shop CHICago is the place for exploring new trends in fashion. Pick up gift bags, enjoy beauty treatments and sip on cocktails while browsing the selection and taking in a fashion show presentation. 6-11pm at the Great Hall at Union Station, 210 S. Canal St. Free and open to the public, 21+, but RSVP is required.

Cracklin Moth @ Hideout

Cracklin Moth, a local al-country band, recently finished work on their new record and are playing tonight at the Hideout. Rumored not to "sound terribly similar to any of their in-town contemporaries" but instead produce songs that are "decidedly fresh, like the autobiography of a young American, lost in the rainy streets of Chicago." They go on at 9pm with Frog Holler rounding out the set. $8, 21+ at 1354 W. Wabansia. Call 773-227-4433 for more information.

Adam Langer @ Loyola

Adam Langer, author of GB Book Club selection Crossing California and its follow-up The Washington Story, makes a stop at Loyola tonight to discuss his work. Free and open to the public, although reservations can be made. 6pm in Hussey Lounge, Damen Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd. Call 773-508-2658 for more information.

Half-Handed Cloud, Liz Janes @ Empty Bottle

Half-handed Cloud, Liz Janes & Create(!), and the Singleman Affair play the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, tonight. Doors open at 9:30pm, tickets are $8, 21 and over.

Opening: Pierrot Lunaire: A Cabaret Opera @ MCA

The new music ensemble eighth blackbird, along with soprano Lucy Shelton, perform music by Arnold Schoenberg in a cabaret opera designed by Blair Thomas. A conversation with the performers and designer follows tonight’s program. Tickets are $18-22. 7:30 PM, 220 E Chicago Ave. For more information, call 312-397-4010 or visit the website.

The Wild Cursive Tradition of Calligraphy in China

Kuangcao is "considered the most exhilarating form of calligraphy in China," and in this lecture, Professor Peter Sturman will discuss the fundamental characteristics of the writing style as well as the problems the cursive pose to traditional critics of the art. Starts at 6pm with a reception featuring the members of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, followed by the lecture at 7pm. Free and open to the public at the University of Chicago's International House, 1414 E. 59th St. RSVP by calling 312-344-8342.

Debate: Horowitz vs. Kirstein on the Iraq War

Tomorrow night at Saint Xavier University, conservative author David Horowitz and pacifist professor Peter Kirstein will debate the Iraq War and whether politics politics should be taken out of the classroom. In St. Xavier's McGuire Hall, 3700 W. 103rd St., 6:30-8:30pm. Free and open to everyone. More information here.

Joey DeFrancesco @ Jazz Showcase.

Hey you know what you never do? Go see jazz at the Jazz Showcase. Tonight's the night, and you're going to see Joey DeFrancesco play some mean organs. The Jazz Showcase is located just two blocks from the Grand stop on the Red Line. Shows are at 8pm and 10pm. Call them at (312)670-BIRD. Tickets are $20 (per usual T-Th). No excuses, Mister. Now get going!

Stories Care Forgot @ Quimby's

Stories Care Forgot (Last Gasp) is an anthology of zines from and about New Orleans. For years the Crescent City's thriving punk and zine community has produced beautifully rendered volumes of writing and artwork. Featured are selections from over a dozen zines including Chainbreaker, Nosedive, Crude Noise, Rocket Queen, Emergency, I Hate This Part of Texas and Chihuahua and Pitbull. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many of the originals of these zines have been lost or destroyed. This book serves not only as a preservation, but also, by donating author proceeds towards grassroots organizations, as a step towards rebuilding the city that inspired and shaped this body of work. On hand for the event will be Ethan Clark, Editor of Stories Care Forgot and Chihuahua and Pitbull zine. He is also a sometimes contributor to Maximum Rock and Roll and the Asheville Global Report. Quimby's is located at 1854 W. North Ave, call 773/342-0910 for more information. The event starts at 8pm.

Opening: Ellen Under Glass

For a limited time, Ellen Under Glass will play at the Storefront Theater in the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. Inspired by the life and work of Edgar Allen Poe, the play uses contemporary dance and music to tell the story of Ellen Underhill and the exploration of her mind. Tickets are $15 for the 7:30pm show. Purchase them by calling 312-742-8497 or get them online. 66 E. Randolph St. through April 26.

Butoh Premiere @ Cultural Center

Butoh Ritual Mexicano dance creator Diego Pinon presents his US premiere of Ekua Itsi—Behind the Mirror. Free, in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. 5 PM, 78 E Washington St. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Chicago Bike Show @ Navy Pier

"Two days of cycling excitement!" A swath of area bike shops and cooperatives will be displaying their wares alongside BMX stunt shows and seminars (TBA). Go ahead, try out that recumbent. More information here; $10 for adults, $4 for children under 12, and children under 6 are free ($3 discount coupon here). 10 AM to 5 PM.

Sunday Salon Chicago

Come to the first installment of what will be a monthly salon series of prose readings. The goal of Sunday Salon Chicago is to bring together both new and established literary voices by providing a platform for local writers. Hosted by Melanie Pappadis and Mike Zapata, of Make Magazine. 7:30pm at the Charleston Bar, 2076 N. Hoyne. Email sundaysalonchicago[at]yahoo[dot]com for more information.

Uncle Junior Soprano @ Excalibur

If you've totally run out of things to talk about on Monday morning, perhaps watching Sunday's episode of The Sopranos an hour before broadcast in the company of Dominic "Uncle Junior" Chianese would appeal to you. If not, there will be complementary hors d'oeuvres. 6 PM at Excalibur Nightclub, 632 North Dearborn. Call 312.266.2114.

Collaborative Bike Clinic @ West Town Bikes

Learn all about fixin' bicycles at this workshop from 11am-5pm. The event is free.

West Town Bikes is at 2418 W. North Ave. Visit their site at www.westtownbikes.org.

New Music @ Green Mill

More than a half-dozen new music ensembles will perform music by a variety of contemporary composers this afternoon from 2 – 5 PM. 4802 N. Broadway, $5. For more information, call 773-878-5552 or visit the website.

The Lineup, Woody Woodpecker @ LaSalle Bank Cinemas

Eli Wallach and Robert Keith star as killers for hire trying to recover drugs stolen from their gangster boss in The Lineup, a pre-Dirty Harry Don Siegel film. Also on the bill is a 1954 Woody Woodpecker cartoon called Under the Counter Spy. 8pm at the LaSalle Bank Cinema, 4901 W. Irving Park Rd. $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and kids. Call 312-904-9442 for information.

The Brickheadz @ Green Lantern

The Green Lantern hosts Chicago's own breakdancing crew The Brickheadz in conjunction with its current exhibit, "The Chicago Review of Economics." 9-11pm at The Green Lantern, 1511 N. Milwaukee, second floor. A $5 donation is suggested. Call 773-235-0936 for more info.

BIG PLANS @ Messhall

Bert Stabler's advanced art class at B.E.S.T. High School present BIG PLANS, projects addressing the public housing crisis in Chicago. Opening reception from noon to 4pm at Messhall, 6932 N. Glenwood Ave. It's free, but it's a potluck, so please bring food and beverages to share.

Chicago Bike Show @ Navy Pier

"Two days of cycling excitement!" A swath of area bike shops and cooperatives will be displaying their wares alongside BMX stunt shows and seminars (TBA). Go ahead, try out that recumbent. More information here; $10 for adults, $4 for children under 12, and children under 6 are free ($3 discount coupon here). 9 AM to 7 PM.

Stuart Davis @ Schubas

Stuart Davis, the mad mystic monk of acoustic punk rock/pop/Rick Springfield cover songs/whatever, hold a DVD release party at Schubas tonight at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the Schubas Website. Schubas: 3159 N. Southport. (773) 525-2508.

Spanish Lessons @ Cafe Ba Ba Reeba

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! has teamed up with the Instituto Cervantes to offer beginners Spanish language course for travelers in a fun, interactive and non-intimidating atmosphere. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! will offer the course in their private dining room on each consecutive Saturday starting March 25, 2006 through April 29, 2006 from 11:00 a.m. through 12:45 p.m.

The cost is $175 and includes a $50 Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! gift certificate. For more information, prospective students can call Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! at 773-935-5000.

Ozone Report @ Field Museum

Remember the ozone hole? As part of its series of presentations on climate change, the Adler Planetarium presents a panel that attempts to answer the question, “Is Earth’s Ozone Shield Recovering?” Speakers include representatives from NASA and the EPA. And it really is at the Field (even though it's organized by the Planetarium). 10 AM, free with Field Museum admission, but register online.

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, from a Lithuanian Perspective

2005 Gaper’s Block Book Club pick The Jungle is discussed by UIC professor Giedrius Subacius at the Newberry Library at 11 AM this morning. Subacius’ talk focuses on why Upton Sinclair chose to create Lithuanian protagonists, and how Lithuanian culture shaped the novel. Free. 60 W. Walton St. For more information, call 312-255-3700 or visit the website.

Jason Forrest @ Subterranean

Jason Forrest, darling of the glitchcore set and creator of the compelling album Shamelessly Exciting (which samples everything from Blood Sweat & Tears to Blondie) plays tonight at Subterranean. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Subterranean Website. Fans of songs with a lot of samples played really loud & fast will not want to miss this. Subterranean: 2011 W. North. (773) 278-6600.

Sketchcore: Urban Legends

SKETCHCORE’s "Urban Legends" continues tonight at 10:30 at The Oracle Theatre, located at 3809 N. Broadway Ave. The show runs on Fridays until March 31st . Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 with student ID. To reserve tickets call 773.780.9174 or, for more information go to www.sketchcore.com or www.oracletheatre.org.

Winston Smith signs montage art @ Quimby's

Winston Smith, is a collage artist best known for his surrealistic and satirical montage book cover and album cover art since the late 1970s punk era (Dead Kennedys, DOA, etc.) up through the present with Green Day, George Carlin, Greg Palast, among others. He will be in the store to sign copies of his monographs and possibly some album covers if you bring them. The signing starts at 6:30pm at Quimby's at 1854 W. North Ave, call 773/342-0910.

National Reparations Conference @ Parkway Ballroom

From the Chicago Defender: "The psychosis of what happened to African American’s ancestors some 400 years ago runs so deep today that it will be the focus when Tillman’s 2006 National Reparations Convention gets underway at 9 a.m. Friday at the Parkway Ballroom, 4645 S. King Dr."

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors. The convention spans the weekend.

Haitian Music and Dance @ Alliance Francaise

As part of a festival celebrating the diversity of French-speaking countries, the Alliance Francaise hosts this event, which features Haitian cuisine and performances by the Raco Comfo International soul-singing group and the Tamboula Ethnic Dance Company. Free, 6 PM. 54 W. Chicago Ave. For more information, call 312-337-1070 or visit the website.

Man In Gray @ The Metro

Visiting fellow bloggers from NYC in the band Man in Gray are playing this show at the Metro. You can even get tickets for free at Medusa's Circle. Also playing: AMFM , Welcome to Ashley, and Public Four. Doors at 8, show at 9. More aqui.

The Samples @ Martyrs'

Dude, the freakin' Samples are playing tonight at Martyrs'. Were you alive in the late '80s/early '90s? Did you like R.E.M.? Then you also liked The Samples (though maybe you just need to be reminded of the fact). Tickets are availble through the usual suspects and are $22. Martyrs' is located at 3855 N. Lincoln Ave.

Soiree Canada-Quebec @ Alliance Francaise

As part of a festival celebrating the diversity of French-speaking countries, the Alliance Francaise hosts this evening of Quebecois foods, music, and film. Free, 6 PM. 54 W. Chicago Ave. For more information, call 312-337-1070 or visit the website.

Third Annual Healthy Streets Conference

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation's Third Annual Healthy Streets Conference launches their Drive With Care campaign. This full day of sessions offers strategies on enforcement, marketing and street design to attack the problem of reckless driving. Learn how the government, planner, engineers and community organizations can make the streets healthier by registering here. 8:30am-4:30pm at the Federal Building, third floor, 77 W. Jackson. $65-$75 to participate. Call 312-427-3325 for more information.

Francophone Romania @ Alliance Francaise

As part of a festival celebrating the diversity of French-speaking countries, the Alliance Francaise hosts this evening of traditional Romanian music, culture, food, and wine. Free, 6 PM. 54 W. Chicago Ave. For more information, call 312-337-1070 or visit the website.

Bookslut Live! @ MCA

Bookslut's monthly reading series moves venues to the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., as part of the ongoing Literary Gangs of Chicago series. Commonwealth Writers Prize winner Jeffrey Moore will be reading from his work, The Memory Artists, and Marisha Pessl will be reading from her debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics. 6:30-8pm tonight in the MCA's Puck's Cafe. Free.

Lecture: "Timbuktu the Mysterious"

Dr. John Hunwick, a professor emeritus of African history at Northwestern University, will present a lecture titled "Timbuktu the Mysterious" tonight in the Fourth Floor Auditorium at East-West University, 816 S. Michigan Ave. Reception at 6:30pm, lecture at 7pm. Free. More info here.

Spectacle of Death Panel @ MCA

In conjunction with the exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster series, a panel of artists, academics, and journalists discusses how disasters shape culture. Free, 6 PM. 220 E Chicago Avenue. For more information and to reserve a seat, call 312-397-4010 or visit the website.

Historic Preservation in the Balance @ Archicenter

Part of a series called After Katrina, this Chicago Architecture Foundation program features Peter Brink, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Brink discusses preservation efforts in the Gulf Coast region after the hurricane. In the John Buck Company Lecture Hall Gallery, 224 S. Michigan, 6 PM. Tickets are $10 to $20, or less if you purchase tickets for the whole series. For more information and to make reservations, call 312-922-3432 x225, or visit the website.

Naama Goldstein and Lara Vapnyar @ Abbey Pub

Nextbook presents this fiction reading featuring two Russian-American writers who published short-story collections in 2004. 7 PM, 3420 W. Grace at Elston. $8. For more information and to purchase a ticket, visit the Nextbook website.

Early to Bed's Sex Salon

Chicago women-owned sex shop Early to Bed is hosting a series of facilitated – yet casual – group discussions about different topics related to sex. They'll start with some wine and cheese and informal mingling, then sit down to talk about that night's topic. It might be philosophical, cultural, political or even spiritual. No lectures, no demonstrations. There will be some good questions posed, and the conversation will flow from there. No experience or special knowledge is necessary. Just curiosity and a willingness to share your ideas and listen to others. The salons are open to everyone over 18. For more information, call 773-271-1219. Early to Bed is located at 5232 N. Sheridan Road, just north of Foster Ave.

Tonight's topic: Fear of a Naked Breast

From 7-8:30pm, discuss any of the following:

From Janet Jackson's brief flash at the Superbowl to the flash of a backside during a football commercial, even brief flashes of nudity often elicit outrage and controversy. Why are public displays of penises, vulvas, breasts taboo or even illegal? What ideas about sexuality and sex organs shape these laws and taboos? Why do we protect children from any exposure to pictures or depictions of sex or nudity? What is the impact on young people? Why do we keep images of nudity or of sexual behavior out of the public eye? How do other cultures treat displays of nudity or sexual acts?

Live Jazz, Demos @ Chicago Hot Glass

On the third Monday of the month (that is, tonight), Chicago Hot Glass hosts a social with live jazz and demonstrations from 8 PM till 11. 1250 N. Central Park Ave. For more information, call 773-394-3252 or visit the website.

Japanese Shamisen Extravaganza @ Schubas

If you've read Memoirs of a Geisha, you know the Japanese musical instrument called the shamisen is kind of like a foldable, skinny version of a guitar. Schubas has not one, but five Japanese shamisen musicians on tap tonight: Mika Uchizato, Yasukatsu Ohshima, Takeharu Kunimoto, Keisho Ohno and Umekichi. One to write home about, for sure. Tickets are $15, and doors open at 7pm. Schubas Tavern is located at the corner of Belmont and Southport.

Chi*Town Sirens Debut Bout

The Chi*Town Sirens roller derby holds its first bout, "Beware the Ides of March" featuring the Thunderdames v. the CandyStripe Killers, tonight at 7pm at the Lynwood Sport Center, 2030 Glenwood-Dyer Rd. in south suburban Lynwood. Yeah, it's the suburbs, but they've got a party bus to take you there -- it leaves from Lelia Jane's, 1008 W. Armitage, at 5:30pm and costs an extra $8. Tickets for the bout at $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Hidden Spaces Exhibit Closes

Today's your last chance to check out Dutch photographer Jan Theun van Rees' pictures of "hidden" spaces of some of Chicago's most notable landmarks. Rees took photographs during the fall of 2005 of spaces not often open to the public in the Chicago Cultural Center, Oak Park's Wright-designed Unity Temple, the Uptown Theater and the Hegeler Carus Mansion in Peru, Illinois. If you're looking for a nudge in the "find a new angle" school of photography, this exhibit will do it for you. The Cultural Center is open from 11am-5pm today. Regular hours are M-Th, 10am-7pm; Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 10am-5pm and Sun. 11am-5pm. Call (312) 744-6630 for more information.

Note: A companion exhibition of photographs by Jan Theun van Rees, depicting the hidden spaces of the Unity Temple in Oak Park will be on view at the Unity Temple, 875 Lake Street in Oak Park.

Blue Balliett @ 57th St. Books

Blue Balliett, author of Chasing Vermeer, holds an open house from 2-3:30pm at 57th St. Books. 1301 E. 57th St. Call 773-684-1300 for more information.

Opening: Contents May Be Extremely Hot

Running on Saturdays and Sundays through April 16, Phalanx Theater's Contents May Be Extremely Hot follows five coffee shop regulars in search for the amazing in the ordinary. It's a "site-specific piece of modern magical realism...proof that the most-life changing events can occur over a simple cup of beans." 8pm at Swim Cafe, 1357 W. Chicago Ave. $7. Call 773-573-0378 for tickets and information.

Fourteen Hours @ LaSalle Bank Cinema

Come to LaSalle Bank at 4901 W. Irving Park Rd. for their monthly film screening. Tonight's show is Fourteen Hours with Richard Baseheart and the Laurel and Hardy short, Liberty. Regular admission is $5; $3 for seniors and kids. 8pm. Call 312-904-9442 for more information.

Issues and Trends Affecting South Asians across America

Deepa Iyer, executive directo of the South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, speaks at Indian Garden Restaurant on how South Asians should become involved in debates on the treatment of South Asian immigrants. 12-2pm, 247 E. Ontario. $10 for the lunch buffet. RSVP required; contact Anita Banerji at banerji_anita[at]hotmail[dot]com to save your spot.

Greek Chicago Special Interest Tour

Have you ever wanted to know more about Chicago's Greek history? Join curious others in the Greek Chicago Special Interest Tour with guides Harold and Faye Peponis. The tour looks at the lives of early Greek immigrants and includes visits to St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Chuch and Jane Addams Hull House. The $50 ticket price - $45 for students and seniors - includes lunch at Pegasus. Tours depart from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph, at 10am. Call 312-742-1190 to make reservations.

The Piners Prom

Open End Gallery hosts the Raizel Performances in The Piners Prom. A 50s-inspired dance concert, the prom "pairs original choreography from six choreographers with original music and revamped oldies covers from a live rock orchestra." Featuring all local talent, from the dancers to the musicians to the costume designers, notable contributers include Will Butler of The Arcade Fire doing music and Jay Ryan designing posters. $10 at the door, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Running March 10, 11, 17 and 18. Call 312-738-2140 or email raizelperformances[at]gmail[dot]com for tickets and information.

Andy Warhol Exhibit Opens @ MCA

Wowee Zowee, I'm so excited for this Andy Warhol exhibit to open at the MCA. Today thru June 18 you can check out: ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Deaths, and Disasters, 1962-1964. From the museum: "The exhibit will bring together more than 25 examples of the artist's early silkscreen paintings, juxtaposing his iconic serial images of such figures as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Elvis Presley with the artist's evocative and at times disturbing appropriations of newspaper images of car crashes, electric chairs, and other horrifying manifestations of disaster.... The exhibition is accompanied by Warhol’s "Screen Tests," source materials, films of Warhol's "superstars," the film "Elvis at Ferus," documenting his show at the Ferus Gallery, and a fully illustrated catalogue." If that can't get your butt in the door, nothing will. Check the website for times and admission prices.

Opening: Oresteia @ Storefront Theater

Greasy Joan & Co. tackles Aeschylus’ classic trilogy, in which Queen Clytemnestra murders her husband Agamemnon on his victorious return from the Trojan War, and later is murdered by her son Orestes. Then the Furies torment Orestes until the whole mess gets settled in court. Through 23 April, $15. Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E Randolph St. For more information, visit the website.

Glass Slipper Donation Day

Chicago's Glass Slipper Project, which provides formal dresses and accessories to Chicago high school students who can't afford to buy prom attire, is making their yearly collection between 10 AM and 4 PM on Saturday, March 18 at Dame Couture (4316 N. Elston). Bring your "formal" donations to Dame and they will take them to an official dropoff location!

14th Annual Mystery and More Book Fair @ Newberry Library

From 9 AM to 2 PM today, you can browse through piles of genre fiction and true-crime paperbacks and hardcovers—specialties include whodunits, romance, and science fiction. Free. 60 W. Walton St. For more information, call 312-255-3700 or visit the website.

The Piners Prom

Open End Gallery hosts the Raizel Performances in The Piners Prom. A 50s-inspired dance concert, the prom "pairs original choreography from six choreographers with original music and revamped oldies covers from a live rock orchestra." Featuring all local talent, from the dancers to the musicians to the costume designers, notable contributers include Will Butler of The Arcade Fire doing music and Jay Ryan designing posters. $10 at the door, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Running March 10, 11, 17 and 18. Call 312-738-2140 or email raizelperformances[at]gmail[dot]com for tickets and information.

Sketchcore : Urban Legends

SKETCHCORE’s "Urban Legends" continues tonight at 10:30 at The Oracle Theatre, located at 3809 N. Broadway Ave. The show runs on Fridays until March 31st . Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 with student ID. To reserve tickets call 773.780.9174 or, for more information go to www.sketchcore.com or www.oracletheatre.org.

14th Annual Mystery and More Book Fair @ Newberry Library

From 12 to 6 PM today, you can browse through piles of genre fiction and true-crime paperbacks and hardcovers—specialties include whodunits, romance, and science fiction. Free. 60 W. Walton St. For more information, call 312-255-3700 or visit the website.

Butoh and Breakdancing @ Cultural Center

If you think butoh and breakdancing don't have much in common, this evening's program may change your mind. Included are performances of butoh dance, breakdancing, and a break-butoh collaboration. 7 PM. Free, in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. 78 E Washington St. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Phil Collins @ Film Center

No, not that Phil Collins; this Phil Collins (pdf). As part of the Conversations at the Edge series, Collins screens a selection of his videos, which juxtapose Western pop music and pop culture with people living in extremity. Young Palestinians compete in a disco marathon; Turkish participants in reality television shows discuss their experiences; Colombians sing karaoke-style along with the Smiths’ The World Won’t Listen. 6 PM. Tickets are $9, or $5 for Film Center members. 164 N. State St. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Art Careers that Work @ Cultural Center

Artists share strategies for making a living this evening at 6 PM in the First Floor Garland Room. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

StoryWeek: Literary Rock and Roll

With music by Jon Langford, authors Dorothy Allison, Tom Perrotta and Alexis Pride come to the Metro to read from their works. A book signing follows. 3730 N. Clark St. at 6pm. All ages and smoke free. Call 773-549-0203 for more information. Part of Columbia College's StoryWeek.

Ricardo Gallen @ Cultural Center

Spanish guitar virtuoso Ricardo Jesus Gallen Garcia performs tonight at 7 PM in Preston Bradley Hall. This program is part of the Instituto Cervantes’ Classical Music Series. Free. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Green Roof Seminar @ Chicago Center for Green Technology

This seminar discusses the benefits of green rooftops as well as design considerations. Free, but advance registration is required. 6 to 8 PM, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd. For more information, and to pre-register, call 312-746-9642, email greentech [at] cityofchicago [dot] org, or visit the website.

Robyn Schiff @ Powells North

Tonight, Thursday, March 16 at 7:00 (at Powells Bookstore, 2850 N Lincoln) The Powells North Reading Series continues. Meg Barboza and Elizabeth Graettinger will read poetry, followed by the feature poet, Robyn Schiff. Schiff's first book of poems, *Worth*, was published in 2002 (Kuhl House Poets Series, University of Iowa Press). Her poems have appeared in *Black Warrior Review, Explosive, Fence, Volt, *and* Verse*. Powells North is sponsored by the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Poetry Center of Chicago, and Powells Bookstore. Powells North is curated by SAIC MFAW graduates Caryl Pagel and Dave Snyder.

Global Giggles @ Cultural Center

Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, along with Mikey O Comedy Productions and other organizations, presents a multicultural lineup of standup comedy featuring Sean Flannery, Kumail, Frank Townsend, Joey Villagomez, and Maysoon Zayid. In Preston Bradley Hall at 7 PM. Free. 78 E. Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

StoryWeek: Women as Writers, Women as Editors

Join former Paris Review editor Elizabeth Gaffney and Other Voices/OV Books editor Gina Frangello as they discuss women in writing and editing. Ann Hemenway hosts. 1:30pm at Columbia College's Ludington Building, 8th Floor, 1104 S. Wabash. Free and open to the public. Call 312-344-7611 for more information. Part of StoryWeek.

Urinetown previews start @ Mercury Theatre

The Tony-winning musical Urinetown: The Musical (produced by Greg Kotis, formerly of Chicago's Neo-Futurists theater company) begins preview shows tonight at the Mercury Theatre, and officially opens on March 26. Tickets for the preview shows are $35 and can be purchased at the box office or through TicketMaster. Mercury Theatre: 3745 N. Southport. (773) 325-1700.

Starbucks Coffee Break

I'm notorious for not knowing where the nearest Starbucks is - I never got into drinking the stuff - but if you're the kind of person who can't start their day without that little green and white cup, well, today it all comes up roses. Between 10am-12pm, Starbucks is hosting their first ever Coffee Break during which baristas will pour complimentary 12-oz cups of coffee. Today only at a Starbucks near you.

Ted Kooser @ SAIC Ballroom

The current U.S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, was in the insurance business until his retirement in 1999. (Insurance is a respectable business for poets—Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive.) The author of 10 poetry collections, Kooser will read from his work at 6:30 PM. 112 S. Michigan Ave. $10, or free if you’re a Poetry Center member. For more information, call 312-899-1229 or visit the website.

Bilingual Poetry @ California Clipper

A new poetry series, Palabra Pura, focuses on Chicano and Latino artists, presenting local and visiting writers after 30 minutes of open mike readings. Tonight, Orlando Ricardo Menes and Beatriz Badikian-Gartler are featured. Doors open at 8 PM. Free. 1022 N. California Ave. For more information, call 877-394-5061, or visit the Guild Complex website.

Local Authors Night @ Book Cellar

Join Chicago authors Charles Blackstone, Rob Christopher and Mark C. Mason for the Book Cellar's monthly local author night. Tonight the authors will read from their published works, upcoming works and will dicuss fiction, deconstructing forms and Gospel. Which should be interesting. 7pm at 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave. Free. Call 773-293-2665 for more information.

Epic Journeys of Freedom @ Newberry Library

University of Tasmania professor Cassandra Pybus discusses the lives of former slaves who fought on the British side in the Revolutionary War in exchange for freedom. Free, 6 PM. 60 W. Walton St. For more information, call 312-255-3700 or visit the website.

StoryWeek: Edward P. Jones @ Harold Washington Library

Edward P. Jones, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Known World, sits down with Writers on the Record host Victoria Lautman for a reading and discussion at the Harold Washington Library. A book signing will follow. 400 S. State St. in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium at 6pm. Free and open to the public. Call 312-747-4050 for more information. Part of Columbia College's StoryWeek.

Cathleen Falsani & Studs Terkel @ Borders

In The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People Sun-Times columnist Cathleen Falsani interviewed a number of influential figures including Senator Barack Obama, author Laura Esquivel and the infamous Hugh Hefner. Falsani stops by Border Michigan Ave. tonight with one interviewee - the renowned Studs Terkel - to discuss spirituality and her book. A signing will follow. 7pm at 830 N. Michigan Ave. Call 312-573-0564 for more information.

Seminar on Transit-Oriented Development @ Chicago Center for Green Technology

This seminar discusses how neighborhood layouts can encourage transit use and discourage automobile use. Free, but advance registration is required. 6 to 8 PM, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd. For more information, and to pre-register, call 312-746-9642, email greentech [at] cityofchicago [dot] org, or visit the website.

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 I Sailed with Magellan by Stuart Dybek. The meeting begins at 7:30pm. Hope to see you there! And, join the book club email list for news, updates and alerts about future meetings.

Intellectual Property Rights for Musicians @ Cultural Center

This panel, in the Claudia Cassidy Theater, addresses how musicians can establish copyright and ownership, as well as a range of legal issues from music downloading to licensing. 6 PM. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

StoryWeek: Studs Terkel & Stuart Dybek @ Harold Washington Library

Lauded authors, and recent GB Book Club picks, Studs Terkel and Stuart Dybek read from their works and talk with Booklist's Donna Seaman. A booksigning follows the talk. 6pm in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St. Call 312-747-4050 for more information. Part of Columbia College's StoryWeek.

Chicago Bike Show @ Navy Pier

"Two days of cycling excitement!" A swath of area bike shops and cooperatives will be displaying their wares alongside BMX stunt shows and seminars (TBA). Go ahead, try out that recumbent. More information here; $10 for adults, $4 for children under 12, and children under 6 are free ($3 discount coupon here). 10 AM to 5 PM.

Bleeding Hearts: Your Anonymous Letters

Infamous Commonwealth Theatre is holding a fundraiser at Cherry Red, 2833 N. Sheffield. All who attend are encouraged to bring a copy of a heartfelt letter they're received, sent or written but not sent. ICT members will read the letters aloud, excluding all incriminating names and bit sof information, and the four best letters will be chosen as the inspiration for four short plays to be performed at the 24 Hour Project later in the year. A portion of the admission as well as the proceeds from a silent auction benefits ICT's next production. $10 for the first 20 people with letters, $20 for all others with a 3-hour open bar for all. 7pm. Call 312-458-9780 for more information.

The Collectedworks Chicago Filmmakers

Continuing with their monthly series promoting local filmmakers, the Collectedworks take over Underground Lounge tonight. Featured works include those by Taran Allen, Brian McQuery, Chris Royalty and more. Doors open at 8pm and the show starts at 8:30pm. Free for those 21 and over; 952 W. Newport. Call 773-327-2739 for more information.

South Side Irish Parade

Kicking off at 103rd and Western Ave. and running to 115th, this year's South Side Irish Parade honors the Special Children's Charities/Special Olympics Chicago while paying homage to that Irish saint, St. Patrick. Starts at 12pm. Email southsideirishparade[at]yahoo[dot]com or call 773-393-8687 for more information.

StoryStudio Chicago Writer's Cafe

It's just 8 short months until the next NaNoWriMo, so get your writing chops exercised by attending some of StoryStudio Chicago's Writer's Cafes, held each month. The cost is just $10, and you get unlimited drinks and snacks at their space, located at 3717 N. Ravenswood, #115, Chicago (near corner of Addison and Lincoln avenues). Give them a shout that you're coming by registering online. The Writer's Cafe runs from 11am-3pm today.

Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam Finals

Tonight's the final competition for the 6th annual Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam competition in Chicago. You can see and hear some of Chicago's best young literary talent bout word for word in tonight's exciting final competitions. Tickets available at the Metro store at 3730 N. Clark. (more information to come)

She-Bop Fundraiser for WLUW @ Early to Bed

88.7 WLUW, Chicago's listener-supported community radio station, presents another fundraiser, She-Bop, Sunday March 12 at Early to Bed. The lovely ladies of the Women on Women Music Program have put together a cool fundraiser for the station at Early To Bed, a progressive, women- and GLBT-friendly adult toy store at 5232 N. Sheridan Road (just north of Foster Ave.). Between 6:30pm and 9:30pm, E2B will donate a portion of its sales to WLUW. In addition to shopping opportunities, the night also will include a raffle, music, snacks, and a "favorite things" presentation by WOW's own Elizabeth. Don't be shy -- bring your friends, and come out to this fun and intimate event in support of WLUW tonight! (The Women On Women Music Program, hosted by Emily Agustin, Elizabeth Ricks and Jenny Lizak, provides two hours of music from women across all genres, plus feminist news and commentary. The show airs Tuesday nights from 8pm to 10pm.)

Chicago Maritime Festival

The Chicago Maritime Society, the Chicago Historical Society and Common Times present the Chicago Maritime Festival. From 10am to 4:30pm at The Latin School of Chicago, 59 W. North Ave., check out workshops, films and exhibits on Chicago's maritime history, music and folklore, sailing, weather and ecology, marine art and model ships, activities for kids and more.

Then at 7pm, a concert features the likes of the Boekaneirs, a 20-man shanty choir from Holland; concertina legend John Townley; Milwaukee's own shantyman David HB Drake; Tom and Chris Kastle, Chicago’s “first family of maritime music”; and Nanne Kalma & Ankie van der Meer, singers and sailors from the Netherlands.

It's $8 for the conference and $20 for the concert, or $25 for an all-day pass. Visit www.chicagomaritimefestival.org or call 773-774-7216 for more information or to reserve your ticket.

Ann Keating @ Newberry Library

The co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Chicago discusses her new book, Chicagoland: City and Suburbs in the Railroad Age. The book traces the relationship between the growth of Chicago and the railroad network at the beginning of the 20th century. 11 AM, free. 60 W. Walton St. For more information, call 312-255-3700 or visit the website.

Lillstreet Studios Open House

From 10am-6pm, Lillstreet Studios holds its monthly open house. Featuring the work of more than 30 artists, the open house allows customers to browse, shop and watch the artists as they work. 4401 N. Ravenswood. Call 773-769-4226 for more information.

StoryWeek: Young Authors High School Writing Contest Awards

Come to the Young Authors High School Writing Contest award ceremony for a panel discussion with authors Brian Costello, Jonathan Messinger, Audrey Niffenegger and nominee for the 2005 National Book Award Rene Steinke. Hosted by Chris Maul Rice at Columbia College Hokin Gallery, 623 S. Wabash. 1pm. Call 312-344-7611 for reservations and information. Part of StoryWeek.

The Piners Prom

Open End Gallery hosts the Raizel Performances in The Piners Prom. A 50s-inspired dance concert, the prom "pairs original choreography from six choreographers with original music and revamped oldies covers from a live rock orchestra." Featuring all local talent, from the dancers to the musicians to the costume designers, notable contributers include Will Butler of The Arcade Fire doing music and Jay Ryan designing posters. $10 at the door, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Running March 10, 11, 17 and 18. Call 312-738-2140 or email raizelperformances[at]gmail[dot]com for tickets and information.

Women Rock @ Harold Washington Library

Following Women's History Month, this panel discussion revolves around the roles women have held in the music business. Panelists include local independent music critic Jessica Hopper, Chicago Reader staff writer Monica Kendrick, Venus editor and publisher Amy Schroeder and DePaul sociology professor Deena Weinstein. 1pm in the lower level Video Theater, 400 S. State St. Call 312-747-4050 for more information.

Hanalei @ Beat Kitchen (CD Release Show)

This week's featured Transmission artist, Hanalei, will be releasing their latest CD Parts and Accessories (of which two tracks are available for download) on March 14th. To commemorate the release, they'll be having a CD release party on Saturday, March 11th at the Beat Kitchen. Support local music and make a point of attending if you can.

Jane Urquhart Brunch @ Chicago Athletic Association

In partnership with the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago, the Chicago Humanities Festival sponsors this event honoring the award-winning Canadian novelist as part of its semiannual “Books and Brunch” series. 10 AM, 12 S. Michigan Ave. $45 for brunch and a copy of Uruquart’s latest novel, A Map of Glass; or $25 for brunch alone. To reserve a seat, call 312-661-1028, x22; or email education [at] chfestival [dot] org. For more information, visit the website.

Two-Day Sale @ Nina

If you're trying to get some knitting done on the discount, then this weekend, you should head over to Nina in Wicker Park for a big ole 20% discount for just two days. Friday and Saturday only, you'll get 20% off your purchases (no word on exclusions right now). Nina is located at 1655 W. Division St. (that's just west of Milwaukee). Hours on Friday and Saturday are 11-7pm and 11-6pm respectively.

The Piners Prom

Open End Gallery hosts the Raizel Performances in The Piners Prom. A 50s-inspired dance concert, the prom "pairs original choreography from six choreographers with original music and revamped oldies covers from a live rock orchestra." Featuring all local talent, from the dancers to the musicians to the costume designers, notable contributers include Will Butler of The Arcade Fire doing music and Jay Ryan designing posters. $10 at the door, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Running March 10, 11, 17 and 18. Call 312-738-2140 or email raizelperformances[at]gmail[dot]com for tickets and information.

Alpana Singh @ Dominick's

Alpana Singh, host of WTTW's Check Please!, appears tonight at a new Dominick's at 255 E. Grand from 5:00 to 7:00. A number of attendees will win a chance to appear on the restaurant review program, so if you're looking for a shortcut to getting on the program this might be your chance!

Opening: Shotgun Wedding

Taking place in a culture in which "homosexuality, single men and women, fortune cookies, and most luxuries are illegal," Shotgun Wedding follows a family attempting to marry off their lesbian daughter in effort to prevent her internment in a "Conversion Therapy" camp. Tonight's opening reception features a post-show event with appetizers, wine and beer. $30 for tonight's tickets; $15 for regular tickets. Running through April 2 at the National Pastime Theater, 4139 N. Broadway. Call 312-281-8041 for more information.

The Killing @ Music Box

"Aah, what's the difference?" The classic Stanley Kubrick crime picture is 50 years old, and it's playing at the Music Box Theatre this week only. Fans of Pulp Fiction will find a lot of familiar plot devices in this film: the crime gone wrong, the fractured timeline, and an unseen accomplice in the next room with firepower. If the name Stanley Kubrick conjures up images of 2001, you owe it to yourself to check out this excellent film. See the Music Box Website for showtimes. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Opening: God’s Work @ Eugene Field Cultural Center

The celebrated Albany Park Theater Project presents a new play commissioned by the Chicago Humanities Festival and based on a true story. Through 4 April, 5100 N Ridgeway. For tickets ($10 to $15), call 773-866-0875. For more information, visit the website.

Opening: Wounded in America @ Gallery 37

This exhibit showcases photographs by Bob Drea that are part of a project to document the effects of gun violence by collecting the oral histories and portraits of its survivors. In the CenterSpace at Gallery 37 until 5 May. 66 E Randolph St. For more information, visit the website.

Sketchcore: Urban Legends

SKETCHCORE’s "Urban Legends" continues tonight at 10:30 at The Oracle Theatre, located at 3809 N. Broadway Ave. The show runs on Fridays until March 31st . Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 with student ID. To reserve tickets call 773.780.9174 or, for more information go to www.sketchcore.com or www.oracletheatre.org.

Two-Day Sale @ Nina

If you're trying to get some knitting done on the discount, then this weekend, you should head over to Nina in Wicker Park for a big ole 20% discount for just two days. Friday and Saturday only, you'll get 20% off your purchases (no word on exclusions right now). Nina is located at 1655 W. Division St. (that's just west of Milwaukee). Hours on Friday and Saturday are 11-7pm and 11-6pm respectively.

Evolving Planet Opens @ Field Museum

The Field Museum opens its latest big time exhibit today, this time focusing on evolution. "Evolving Planet" features fossils, interactive exhibits, and a slew of resources for teachers (including teacher workshops. The best part: admission to the exhibit is included in the price of entering the Field Museum. Sweet, cheap knowlege!

Opening at The Chop Shop

Chop Shop gallery presents "All Parts Are Genuine," a group show of paintings by Natalie and Rachel Borchers, Kelly Brannon and Marianna Levant. Juan Chavez, aka DJ Wellington, spins. Free, 7-11pm. 901 Leavitt, 1st Foor (northeast corner of Iowa and Leavitt). For more info contact raybo79<at>hotmail<dot>com.

Hubbard Street 2 @ Cultural Center

In the Dance Studio this evening at 6 PM, Hubbard Street 2 presents work by emerging choreographers. Free. 78 E Washington St. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Dan Sandin @ Film Center

As part of the Conversations at the Edge series, Chicago electronic art innovator Dan Sandin reviews his 35-year career in a multimedia presentation. 6 PM. Tickets are $9, or $5 for Film Center members. 164 N. State St. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Decoding a Restaurant Wine List @ In Fine Spirits

Seemingly trickier than the DaVinci Code, wine lists can intimidate even the most intrepid wine enthusiast, especially when you need something that will go with rack of lamb, vegetarian pasta, and poached salmon all at the same time! Our two-part series takes the guesswork out of finding the right wine for the right foods at the right price. Tonight at 7pm, decode that list at In Fine Spirits. Reservations required for all wine appreciation classes. Classes are $30 each or $50 for 2 classes, pre-paid at time of reservation. Fees for Wine Club members are $20 per class. In Fine Spirits is located at 5418 N. Clark Street. Call (773) 506-WINE for more information.

Forum: Cuba, Culture, and Change @ Cultural Center

A panel of Cuban artists discusses the post-Soviet upheaval and how it continues to have an impact on artists today. 6 PM, in the Sidney R. Yates Gallery. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Third Coast Festival Listening Room @ Steppenwolf’s Garage Theater

The first Listening Room of 2006 is all about podcasting. Listen to podcasts and learn about how to get your own podcast off the ground. $6, or $4 for WBEZ members, 7 PM. 1650 N. Halsted. For more information, visit the website or call 312-335-1650. Reservations are recommended. Email info[at]thirdcoastfestival[dot]org.

Opening: Penelopeia: The Other Journey E-migration

The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center hosts this exhibit conceived by the Penelopeia Project, which “documents women’s life journeys from antiquity to the present.” Taking off from the idea that Odysseus wasn’t the only hero of Homer’s epic, the Penelopeia Project contends that heroism takes a multitude of forms. 801 W Adams. Call the Hellenic Museum at 312-655-1234 for more information.

Jazz Links Jam Sessions @ HotHouse

The Jazz Institute of Chicago, in partnership with HotHouse, presents a free (no cover!) program featuring elementary and high school student musicians jamming with professionals. 5 to 7 PM. 31 E. Balbo. For more information, call 312-427-1676, or visit the website.

Sonotheque’s Joe Bryl Curates @ Cultural Center

As part of the Cultural Center’s ohm series, which highlights new media in music, performance, and visual art, Joe Bryl of Sonotheque guest-curates tonight’s program at 7 PM in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. Free. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Under the Buffalo Lecture: Great Evanston Fires

Chicago isn't the only city that's had it's share of burnings. Tonight from 7-9pm, Evanston Historical Society Curator of Education Leslie Goddard gives a lecture on Great Evanston Fires. The lecture spotlights both the fabulous fires and the fabulous people that fight them. $5 for the general public; free for members of the EHS. Charles Gate Dawes House, 225 Greenwood St. Call 847-475-3410 for more information.

Now More Than Ever: Global Perspective of Tall Buildings

Ron Klemencic, Chairman for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, talks tonight at the Chicago Architecture Foundation about the design and construction techniques that make such buildings possible. $20 general admission, $10 for CAF members. 6pm at 224 S. Michigan Ave. Call 312-922-3432 for tickets and information or buy them online.

Creative Head of Guinness Competition

In a contest that will test the dexterity of some of the best Guinness bartenders in the city, tonight, the contestant with the most creative design in the head of a Guinness pint will be crowned "The Master of the Most Creative Guinness Pint in Chicago". (No word on if that also comes with a sceptre and sash.) Enroll your favorite Guinness bartender at chicagosbestpint@gmail.com. (Include the Bartender's name, phone number and the bar or restaurant he or she represents.) Come and cheer or participate starting at 7pm at Fado Irish Pub (100 W. Grand Ave). Note: you must be 21 years of age or older to enter, and only the first 150 bartenders entered will be accepted for competition.

Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam (Prelims)

This marks the 6th year for Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam competition in Chicago. You can attend and see some of Chicago's best young literary talent bout word for word over the weekend's preliminary competitions, or you can volunteer [PDF application] and help out the event. Bouts take place all day at HotHouse and Columbia College Chicago. See times and more information on the YCA site. Tickets to these preliminary rounds are $3/bout or $5/day for students and $5/bout and $10/day for adults and are sold at the door. The finals will take place on March 12 at the Metro (tickets available at the Metro or at any of the preliminaries this weekend).

House Theatre Potluck @ Viaduct Theater

The House Theatre of Chicago presents its third Potluck tonight, after the performance of its current show Valentine Victorius at the Viaduct Theater (3111 N. Western). No food is involved; the Potluck is an hour of short plays, scenes from the upcoming House production Ellen Under Glass, and karaoke by the House company. The Potluck is free and open to the public, and begins around 9:00 tonight.

6th Annual Polar Plunge

Think you've got the balls to jump in the lake in the middle of March? (My guess is you won't after you do it...what with shrinkage and all.) Join the Chicago Polar Plunge and freeze your butt off while raising money for the Chicago Special Olympics. It's craziness for a cause. Show up at North Avenue Beach at 8:45am for registration (early registration here). Costumes are judged at 10am and you take the plunge at 10:15am. End it all with a Melt Down Party at North Avenue Beachhouse. Call 312-527-3743 for more information.

State of Emergency CD Release Party

Head to Elbo Room at 2871 N. Lincoln to take part in the CD release party for State of Emergency, a music and spoken word CD benfitting The World Can't Wait. CD artists performing at the party include Nadir's Distorted Soul, Tristan James, Itch 13 and more. Doors open at 7pm, $7 requested donation. Email info[at]proletariatproductions[dot]com for more information.

Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam (Prelims)

This marks the 6th year for Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam competition in Chicago. You can attend and see some of Chicago's best young literary talent bout word for word over the weekend's preliminary competitions, or you can volunteer [PDF application] and help out the event. Bouts take place all day at HotHouse and Columbia College Chicago. See times and more information on the YCA site. Tickets to these preliminary rounds are $3/bout or $5/day for students and $5/bout and $10/day for adults and are sold at the door. The finals will take place on March 12 at the Metro (tickets available at the Metro or at any of the preliminaries this weekend).

Youth and First Amendment Rights @ Columbia College

As part of the Louder than a Bomb teen poetry festival, the Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and Young Chicago Authors sponsor this panel discussion about young artists and free speech. 4 PM, Hokin Hall, 623 S. Wabash. Free.

Chicago360 documentary collaboration

Split Pillow and Chicago Filmmakers bring you Chicago 360, a collaborative film project all this weekend. The film features: a time-lapsed history of Logan Square, a performance art group that turns discarded toys into musical instruments, a look at how lives and space intersect in Lakeview, the role of race and class in the changing landscape of Pilsen and the thought-provoking public art of a late night El rider (ahem, Our Fallen Spacemen) which intersect in this unique 60-minute creative documentary collaboration by filmmakers Jim Vendiola, Nick Martin, CJ Dugan, Jill Bzibziak, Casy Clark and Erik Gernand. Chicago Filmmakers is located in Andersonville, at 5243 N. Clark. Screenings take place at 8pm, from March 3-5. The film is 60 minutes long.

Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors

Fangoria magazine presents the Chicago Weekend of Horrors. Two days of horror movies, horror movie starts, horror movie directors, and horror movie fans. See the Website for a full schedule and ticket purchase. The Weekend winds up today at the Wyndham Chicago O’Hare Hotel (6810 North Mannheim Road, Rosemont).

LISSENUP6

LISSENUP6, the sixth installment of Julie Shapiro's periodic presentation of audio pieces from around the world (often culled from Third Coast Audio Festival submissions), moves to the Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery space, 1120 N. Ashland, 2nd floor, today from 11am to 1pm. It's free. More details here.

Oscars 2006 Benefit at Circuit

Given the nominees in high profile categories, this year's Oscars is already shaping up to be one of the, well, gayest in the awards show's history. To celebrate the festivities, the Center on Halsted is hosting a benefit at Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted. Tickets are a bit steep ($50), but they go to support both the GLBT community center and the NAMES Project...and they include 5 drink tokens. The fun starts at 6pm; more details here.

Opening: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches @ Bailiwick

Tonight is the opening night for the troupe The Hypocrites' production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. (They will produce parts 1 and 2, but "Perestroika" opens April 8). You may have seen the star-studded cast on HBO, but nothing's more powerful than seeing it live. The show starts tonight at 7:30pm at the Bailiwick Theatre located at 1229 W. Belmont. This is another in a long and quite successful series of director Sean Graney's Hypocrites productions, so you shouldn't wait to go see it. The show runs through May 7th with different parts showing on most nights (see the website for a full schedule). Tickets are $25.

Counterculture Documentaries @ Cultural Center

Two 2005 documentaries, Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock and Preacher with an Unknown God, are shown in the Claudia Cassidy theater today at 1 PM. Free. 78 E Washington St. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Special Interest Tour: Threads of Ireland

Departing from the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph, author Tom O'Gorman leads a tour of the city's Irish immigration history. Stops along the way include Holy Name Cathedral, Holy Family Church and a drive through the historically Irish Bridgeport neighborhood. Tour prices are $50 for adults and $45 for seniors, children 8-18 and students. Register online or call 312-742-1190 for more information.

Roger Ebert on Sound Opinions

Roger Ebert rocks! The proof airs tonight on Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions. In preparation for tomorrow's Oscars broadcast, Ebert was interviewed for his thoughts on rock'n'roll in the movies. Tune in at 7:00 PM to hear that interview, or hit the Sound Opinions Website sometime next week to download the show from their podcast page.

A Demon Who Never Appeared

Created by local comedians Jared Logan and Kumail Nanjiani, A Demon Who Never Appeared is a monthly variety show of sketches, live music and prizes, described as "a live version of The Muppet Show by way of those creepy old Vincent Price movies, with a dash of Forbidden Zone thrown in." Regular tickets are $10, with $5 for students, but on this inaugural night, everyone gets in for $5. Purchase them at the door or by emailing tickets[at]blewt[dot]com. 12:15am at The Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted. Presented by Blewt! Productions.

First Friday Day 2 @ Flat Iron Arts Building

The folks who live and work at the Flat Iron Arts Building open their studios on the Saturday afternoon following the first Friday of every month so you can wander through the maze of galleries and peruse the work of dozens of artists. Free, 12 N to 5 PM. 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. For more information, call 773-486-6055.

Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam (Prelims)

This marks the 6th year for Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam competition in Chicago. You can attend and see some of Chicago's best young literary talent bout word for word over the weekend's preliminary competitions, or you can volunteer [PDF application] and help out the event. Bouts take place all day at HotHouse and Columbia College Chicago. See times and more information on the YCA site. Tickets to these preliminary rounds are $3/bout or $5/day for students and $5/bout and $10/day for adults and are sold at the door. The finals will take place on March 12 at the Metro (tickets available at the Metro or at any of the preliminaries this weekend).

Chicago360 documentary collaboration

Split Pillow and Chicago Filmmakers bring you Chicago 360, a collaborative film project all this weekend. The film features: a time-lapsed history of Logan Square, a performance art group that turns discarded toys into musical instruments, a look at how lives and space intersect in Lakeview, the role of race and class in the changing landscape of Pilsen and the thought-provoking public art of a late night El rider (ahem, Our Fallen Spacemen) which intersect in this unique 60-minute creative documentary collaboration by filmmakers Jim Vendiola, Nick Martin, CJ Dugan, Jill Bzibziak, Casy Clark and Erik Gernand. Chicago Filmmakers is located in Andersonville, at 5243 N. Clark. Screenings take place at 8pm, from March 3-5. The film is 60 minutes long.

Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors

Fangoria magazine presents the Chicago Weekend of Horrors. Two days of horror movies, horror movie starts, horror movie directors, and horror movie fans. See the Website for a full schedule and ticket purchase. The Weekend happens today and tomorrow at the Wyndham Chicago O’Hare Hotel (6810 North Mannheim Road, Rosemont).

Farmer's Market Meeting @ Kitchen Chicago

If you're considering participating in the Farmer's Markets this year, Kitchen Chicago is hosting a get-together at their cafe this Saturday, March 4. The goal of this meeting is to provide a chance for people considering sharing table space at a market to meet one another and discuss any other market-related information. They'll have applications available, and can answer questions about them, specific markets their clients participated in last year, and using their kitchen. If you're interested, please RSVP to 773-463-0863 or email info@kitchenchicago.com. If you're interested, but cannot make this time, let them know and they may consider rescheduling or hosting a second event. Don't forget, applications for the City of Chicago and Green City Markets are both due March 15th. Kitchen Chicago is located at 4664 N. Manor, Chicago.

First Friday @ Flat Iron Arts Building

The folks who live and work at the Flat Iron Arts Building open their studios on the first Friday evening of every month so you can wander through the maze of galleries and peruse the work of dozens of artists. Free, 6 PM to 11 PM. 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. For more information, call 773-486-6055.

Stop Smiling party @ Maxim's

Locally produced magazine Stop Smiling hosts a party tonight to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The party features an open bar (woo!) and the MC is Ira Glass! Tickets are $30, which is a little pricey, but hey, open bar and Ira Glass. The party runs tonight from 8:00 to midnight at Maxim's, 24 E. Goethe. See the Stop Smiling Website for full details and to purchase tickets.

Otium Reading @ U of C

Otium, the Unversity of Chicago's online literary magazine, is holding a fiction and nonfiction reading from 7-9pm in Rosenwald Hall, room 405, 1101 E. 58th St.. Readers include future GB Book Club author Achy Obejas and Sleepwalk co-editor Megan Stielstra as well as Emily Alpert, Bayo Ojikutu and Jonathan Ullyot. A chocolate feast follows. Email otium[at]listhost[dot]uchicago[dot]edu for more information.

Baker & Huff @ Town Hall Pub

Running on Fridays and Saturdays through April 8, tonight is the world premiere of Baker & Huff at the Town Hall Pub. Meet Al Baker and Doc Huff, a 60s comedy duo whose final performance and the tension that leads to their breakup is told in this play. Tickets are $10 for the 8pm show at 3340 N. Halsted. Call 773-345-0726 for reservations and information.

Counterculture Documentaries @ Cultural Center

Two 2005 documentaries, Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock and Preacher with an Unknown God, premiere tonight in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. Tonight’s screenings will be followed by a talkback with directors and producers. Free, 7 PM. 78 E Washington St. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Oscar Shorts @ Film Center

The Gene Siskel Film Center presents this year's Oscar-nominated films in the animated, live action, and documentary short film categories. These are typically categories that most people never get to see, so it's great that the Film Center is showing them. The programs start running tonight and continue through March 9, so you have plenty of chances to see them all. See the Film Center's Website for a full schedule of the films and show times. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Redmoon Theater's Spectacle Lunatique

On display tonight is Redmoon Theater's annual benefit gala, Spectacle Lunatique. This year's theme is chocolate, "infused with whimsical entertainment, wild surprises, and sumptuous dinner by Finesse Cuisine." The gala will be held at Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood, and guests will have the opportunity to preview musical performances from Redmoon's upcoming performance of "The Golden Truffle." Tickets to the 7pm event are $150 each. Call 312-850-8440 x 114 for reservations and information or buy them online.

Unlucky Atlas, Vera Deidre @ South Union Arts

Previously featured Transmission artist Unlucky Atlas play with Milwaukee brethren Vera Deidre at South Union Arts tonight at 7pm. There's a $5 donation. South Union Arts is located at 1352 S. Union Ave.

$Dollar Store$ @ Hideout

This from the masterminds behind everyone's favorite cheap lit show: "Oh man, we got a good one up our thin sleeves. Friday night should be a real banger. Punk Planet associate publisher Anne Elizabeth Moore will amaze, hilarious stand-up comedian Kumail will dazzle, multi-talented story-telling champ Brad Norman will make life worth living again, and co-hosts Jonathan Messinger and Jeremy Sosenko will co-host. You'll never believe it." See you at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Friday, March 3; 7PM; $1 suggested donation.

Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam (Prelims)

This marks the 6th year for Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam competition in Chicago. You can attend and see some of Chicago's best young literary talent bout word for word over the weekend's preliminary competitions, or you can volunteer [PDF application] and help out the event. Bouts take place all day at HotHouse and Columbia College Chicago. See times and more information on the YCA site. Tickets to these preliminary rounds are $3/bout or $5/day for students and $5/bout and $10/day for adults and are sold at the door. The finals will take place on March 12 at the Metro (tickets available at the Metro or at any of the preliminaries this weekend).

Chicago360 documentary collaboration

Split Pillow and Chicago Filmmakers bring you Chicago 360, a collaborative film project all this weekend. The film features: a time-lapsed history of Logan Square, a performance art group that turns discarded toys into musical instruments, a look at how lives and space intersect in Lakeview, the role of race and class in the changing landscape of Pilsen and the thought-provoking public art of a late night El rider (ahem, Our Fallen Spacemen) which intersect in this unique 60-minute creative documentary collaboration by filmmakers Jim Vendiola, Nick Martin, CJ Dugan, Jill Bzibziak, Casy Clark and Erik Gernand. Chicago Filmmakers is located in Andersonville, at 5243 N. Clark. Screenings take place at 8pm, from March 3-5. The film is 60 minutes long.

The Sharpest Point @ Film Center

As part of the Conversations at the Edge series, Steve Reinke and Chris Gehman screen examples of animation from 1908 through 2004. Their 2005 anthology The Sharpest Point discusses the history and future of animation. 6 PM. Tickets are $9, or $5 for Film Center members. 164 N. State St. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

House Theatre Potluck @ Viaduct Theater

The House Theatre of Chicago presents its third Potluck tonight, after the performance of its current show Valentine Victorius at the Viaduct Theater (3111 N. Western). No food is involved; the Potluck is an hour of short plays, scenes from the upcoming House production Ellen Under Glass, and karaoke by the House company. The Potluck is free and open to the public, and begins around 10:00 tonight. If you can't make it tonight, the Potluck will also happen the evening Sunday, March 5th; see Slowdown for that date for details.

Michael Lerner @ Aline Bernstein Center for the Humanities

The Public Square of the Illinois Humanities Council co-sponsors this lecture and booksigning by Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of Tikkun and author most recently of The Left Hand of God: Taking Our Country Back from the Religious Right. Lerner will discuss his new book as well as current events. A reception will follow the lecture. Free, 6 PM. Harris Hall 107, Northwestern University; 1881 Sheridan Rd, Evanston. For more information, visit the website or call 847-491-7946.

Chicago Gay Bloggers Bash 2

Kris Vire of Angst-ident Prone and GB staff fame is throwing the second annual Gay Chicago Bloggers Bash, at Crew Bar + Grill (4804 N Broadway, at Lawrence).

GLBT bloggers, friends, family, and fans are all welcome to come out tonight at 8pm to meet, greet, schmooze, cruise, network, flirt, or just have a good time.

Remembering Pilgrim Baptist Church @ Archicenter

John Vinci, who assisted with the Pilgrim Baptist Church restoration in 1986, leads a panel in discussion of the South Side landmark, which was built in 1891 and designed by Adler and Sullivan; and sadly burned this past January. 6 PM. Free, but pre-register by calling 312-922-3432 x 225, or emailing bgordon [at] architecture [dot] org. In the John Buck Company Lecture Hall Gallery. 224 S. Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the Chicago Architecture Foundation website.

Steps to Decoding Wine @ In Fine Spirits

Affordable wine education is great, and you can get some at Andersonville wine shop In Fine Spirits tonight at 7pm. Their class will teach you that wine is not complex or difficult to understand. Your job as a taster is to use these tools that help you gain confidence and understanding of wine in order to have a better experience. Master an understanding of these 12 steps and you will have a basic understanding of most any wine. Reservations required for all wine appreciation classes. Classes are $30 each or $50 for 2 classes, pre-paid at time of reservation. Fees for Wine Club members are $20 per class. In Fine Spirits is located at 5418 N. Clark Street. Call (773) 506-WINE for more information.

Art and Politics @ Cultural Center

A panel of three young artists discuss the political aspects of their work at this free event in the First Floor Garland Room. 6 PM. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

RUI: Reading Under the Influence

In this first anniversary party, Reading Under the Influence opens up the mics and gives the audience a chance to present their original work. Regulars Julia Borcherts, Rob Duffer, Amanda Snyder and Joe Tower will give short rounds of trivia in between, and the usual books and drink tickets will be awarded before those in attendence have the chance to give it their all on stage. $3 cover charge at Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield. 7-10pm. Email thehotreadings[at]hotmail[dot]com for more information.

withHOWL at Rec Room Series

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Howl by
City Lights
, the Rec Room presents a night of responses to Allen
Ginsberg. Hold back the edge of your gowns, as Chicago poets read
work written in the shadow of Ginsberg's brick shithouse. Readers include Eric Elshtain (of Beard of Bees press), Matthias Regan (Rubba Ducky Press), Manda Aufochs Gillespie, Chris Bower, Dave Snyder, Meg Barboza, Anat Benzvi, Katie Tabb, Erin Teegarden, Ava Deillaira and GB's Michelle Taransky (curator and performer). The Rec Room Series is held at the Black Rock Bar (3614 N Damen Ave)and begins at 8pm.



Upcoming