Friday 4/26 – Thursday 5/2
26 FRIDAY Professor Samuel O. Regalado was a right-handed sidearmer when he pitched for a semipro team in California. Now a historian at California State University at Stanislaus, he has researched Jackie Robinson’s role in the “emancipation of Latin American baseball players,” Nisei women’s softball during the Japanese-American internment, and Spanish-language broadcasts of Dodgers games. Today at 3:30 the Chicago Seminar on Sport and Culture hosts Regalado’s lecture Sosa Versus McGwire: The Meanings of the 1998 Home Run Race at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. Says Regalado, “It told us a lot about our ethnic points of view, our heroes, and our nationalism.” It’s free but reservations are required; call 312-255-3524.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter are aligned on the same side of the sun this month, in honor of which Chicago musician Corky Siegel has composed a piece using a pentatonic scale for five instruments playing in 5/4 time. Agnostic on the subject of astrology, Siegel calls himself a “Scorpio with cholesterol rising.” Playing under the dome of the Adler Planetarium at 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Siegel and his blues ensemble will perform tonight at 8 and Saturday, April 27, at 7 and 9:30. Tickets for 5 Planets, 1 Star: An Evening With Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues are $25. The Adler also offers a $35 three-course preshow dinner package at 6 tonight and 5:30 on Saturday. Call 312-322-0516.
27 SATURDAY Sweat to the beat of “Celebrate” by the Soul Children of Chicago in a gospel aerobics workout where you can lose flab and raise bucks for the college scholarship program of Concerned Christian Men at their annual Witness for Fitness event tonight at the South Side YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island. There’ll also be volleyball, basketball, weight training, and swimming from 7 to midnight, and it’s open to all ages, though parents should accompany children. Admission is $5; call 773-881-7526.
28 SUNDAY The Mississippi-Chicago Great Migration Project is an ongoing effort by Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education to help kids from six Chicago schools discover and describe the city’s southern roots. Today from 2 to 5, students from participating schools will display their writings and photos on migration, a crew from Street Level Youth Media will tape accounts of the journey north, and Mississippi son Sterling Plumpp will recite his blues poetry. It’s all free and takes place at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park. From 4 to 5:30, Wishbone will serve catfish, greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, and other pertinent vittles to adults for $10 and to children 12 and under for $5. “Granny’s Old-Fashioned Mississippi Pound Cakes,” baked by Alice Washington of Itta Bena, Mississippi–B.B. King’s hometown–are also on the menu. Call 312-870-6140.
A centuries-old Hindu temple dance style called bharatanatyam will be showcased in Maarg, a program depicting a journey “from outer to inner euphoria” that will be performed by traditionally costumed dancers; it’s been choreographed by Pranita Jain, founder and artistic director of the Darien-based Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts. The showcase is a benefit for the Swami Narayanan Center in Bartlett, which hosts cultural events and provides medical care for the elderly. Tickets are $12 and the concert starts at 4 at the Avery Coonley School, 1400 Maple in Downers Grove. Call 630-969-7785.
29 MONDAY The lo-fi movement known as “microcinema” favors Super-8 or 16-millimeter film stock and casual alternative venues: warehouse spaces, basements, bars. Command M: Print to Video, a program of a dozen short videos created by students in a microcinema class at the School of the Art Institute, will be screened tonight at 7 at the Cotton Club & All That Jazz, 1710 S. Michigan. Christine Hart’s What’s My Name?, for example, is a sly, subversive cover of a rap number, while Mark Forgette’s Slag lyrically frames the rust-belt steelscape of South Chicago. Electroacoustic quintet the Red Secretaries will play following the screening. Admission is $5 at the door, and you must be 21 or older. Call 312-345-3538.
30 TUESDAY “We, Black men, must understand that we are particularly negated in a world run by men, and in our case in the United States, white men,” writes Haki R. Madhubuti in Tough Notes: A Healing Call for Creating Exceptional Black Men, his 24th book. The founder of Third World Press and a pillar of the African-American arts scene, Madhubuti will read tonight at 7:30 at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors. Call 773-227-6117 for more information.
1 WEDNESDAY Honor May Day with Chicago author Warren Leming as he restages his 1987 cabaret-style play Cold Chicago: A Haymarket Fable, with its memorable agitprop tune “A Hymn to Capital,” tonight at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. The event, which costs $10, also includes poetry, performance art, and a panel on “the corrupting influence of big business on government from Marshall Field in 1886 to Kenneth Lay in 2002.”
Two superb exhibits documenting Chicago’s design history–“Taken by Design: Photographs From the Institute of Design, 1937-1971” at the Art Institute and “Mies in America” at the Museum of Contemporary Art–deserve side-by-side viewings, which is the point of this week’s Wednesday study day, featuring gallery tours by curators from both museums. It starts (at the Columbus Drive entrance of the Art Institute, just south of Monroe) at 9:30 AM and ends at 3:30 after stops at the MCA and the construction site of Rem Koolhaas’s new student-center addition at the Mies-designed campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. “This building is going to be unlike any other in Chicago,” says IIT architectural historian Kevin Harrington, who’s the guide for the third leg of this itinerary. The tickets, which include lunch at the Arts Club, cost $75, $30 for students. Call 312-575-8000 for reservations.
2 THURSDAY San Franciscan John MacGregor says he contacted the father of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during his research on Chicago’s famed outsider artist Henry Darger, who wrote and painted an epic of fantastic violence involving little girls with penises during his reclusive lifetime as a janitor. “Psychologically we are encountering the mind of a serial killer, but that doesn’t mean he actually killed anybody,” says MacGregor, author of Henry Darger: In the Realms of the Unreal. MacGregor will elaborate tonight at 6:30 at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee. Tickets to his talk are $15 and reservations are suggested. Call 312-243-9088.