Friday 9/20 – Thursday 9/26
20 FRIDAY Singing and repetitive, rapid-fire movements are used to illustrate the workings of the mind of a mentally ill person in Teatro del Puente’s Los ojos rotos. “But it’s also a love story that anyone can relate to,” says a spokesperson for the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, which is bringing the drama to town. The Chilean company will perform the play–about a woman in a psychiatric ward who falls for a soldier who may or may not exist–tonight and tomorrow at 7 in Spanish with projected English supertitles. It’s at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. Tickets are $20; call 312-431-1330 or see www.latinoculturalcenter.org.
Railway enthusiast Ray DeGroote took his first trip to Cuba in 1956. He vowed to return, but not until it was again legal to do so. That was in April of this year, when he and a group from the Central Electric Railfans Association were granted permission to go there and track down old American steam engines. “Life there seems to have in some respects stood still,” says the retired international freight transportation manager. On both visits, he saw equipment that was used in the U.S. in the 1920s and ’30s. It’s “still running, but not too well.” Most of what he saw this time around was of a more recent vintage–the 1950s and ’60s–“but even with the greatest of care, it begins to wear out.” Off the rails, there were some changes, though. “Health and education are much better than they were before. On a passenger train I sat next to a ten-year-old boy who spoke a little English. I had a map of the Cuban railway and he could read it. He was obviously very well educated. But unfortunately other things have gotten worse. Many buildings are in decay–it gets overwhelming at times. And we haven’t helped with the embargo.” He’ll show slides from both trips tonight at a meeting of the Railroad Club of Chicago. It’s at 7:30 in the Chicago Temple’s Pierce Hall, 77 W. Washington. A $3 donation is requested (847-251-2262).
21 SATURDAY Blurring the line between fiction and reality, Abel Ferrara’s disturbing 1993 movie Snake Eyes stars Harvey Keitel as the director of a film within a film, with Madonna as his leading lady. It was recut, sanitized, and renamed Dangerous Game for American audiences; Norman Mailer called the result a “bad, hysterical, messed-up film.” Ferrara, perhaps best known for 1992’s Bad Lieutenant, will discuss his oeuvre today at 1 at a two-hour workshop sponsored by Independent Feature Project/Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. It’s $10, and reservations are recommended (312-435-1825). At 7:45 he’ll introduce his own uncensored print of Dangerous Game at the Film Center; admission is $8 (312-846-2800). Afterward there will be a free opening reception for an exhibit of artwork by Nancy Ferrara (Abel’s ex-wife, who also appears in the film) at David Leonardis Gallery, 1346 N. Paulina (773-278-3058).
The largest Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps project was the creation of the Skokie Lagoons, which took nine years and required the removal of four million cubic yards of earth. The seven lagoons–connected by channels and covering 750 acres–got a makeover in the late 1980s and are off-limits to motorized vehicles these days. There will be a full moon for tonight’s Skokie Lagoons by Moonlight Canoe Trip. The six-hour Friends of the Chicago River tour departs at 5:30 from the Tower Road boat launch at Skokie Lagoons (off Tower Road west of Forest Way Drive in Winnetka). It’s $50, and advance registration is required; call 312-939-0490, ext. 10, or see www.chicagoriver.org.
22 SUNDAY Photographer Julie Moos explores human relationships by posing her subjects in pairs standing side by side. Her recent Monsanto Series, which goes on exhibit today at the Renaissance Society, focuses on duos of farmers in the Saint Louis area who work with Monsanto-developed genetically modified organisms; the resulting photos also look at the connection between the farmers and their eerily picture-perfect fields of soybeans and corn. She’ll give a talk at 5 at tonight’s free opening reception, which runs from 4 to 7 at the gallery, 5811 S. Ellis (773-702-8670).
23 MONDAY “The events of 9/11 did not happen in a vacuum. They happened in the context of a new international system–a system that cannot explain everything but can explain and connect more things in more places on more days than anything else. That new international system is called globalization,” and it has replaced the cold war system, writes New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman in the prologue to his new book, Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11. “Everyone in the world is directly or indirectly affected by this new system, but not everyone benefits from it, not by a long shot, which is why the more it becomes diffused, the more it also produces a backlash by people who feel overwhelmed by it, homogenized by it, or unable to keep pace with its demands.” Friedman, who won a third Pulitzer Prize for his post-9/11 columns, will give a lecture today called Reflections of September 11 from noon to 1 at the Bank One Auditorium at 10 S. Dearborn. Tickets are $25; to reserve a spot call 312-726-3860, ext. 7529, or see www.ccfr.org.
24 TUESDAY Taksim means “improvisation” in Turkish, and 74-year-old violinist Kemani Cemal is a master whose work ranges from complex classical Turkish compositions to Gypsy wedding music. Cemal is in town for the World Music Festival and will play a free show with Group Sulukule Monday night at 7 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). They’ll play again tonight at 8 on a bill that includes the Mediterranean fusion band Radio Tarifa at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Tickets are $12. On Wednesday, September 25, Cemal and Group Sulukule will give a free concert at noon at Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington. For more information see the festival pullout guide in Section Three.
25 WEDNESDAY In the 1950s Alice Peurala worked the swing shift at U.S. Steel to support her daughter and in 1979 became the first woman president of a United Steelworkers of America local–Local 65 at the South Works plant on 83rd Street, which closed a few years later. The writers of the multimedia performance piece Women of Heart and Steel interviewed Peurala’s daughter as part of their research; they also spoke to those who knew the other women profiled in the piece–labor organizer Florence Criley and labor and civil rights leader Sylvia Green Woods. The show, sponsored by the Working Women’s History Project, will be presented tonight at 7:30 as part of the Chicago Labor and Arts Festival. It’s at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; tickets are $5, $3 for students. Call 773-227-6117.
26 THURSDAY In the 17th century, the only way for a Mexican girl to get a decent education was to enter a convent and become a nun, so “first feminist of the Americas” Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz did just that in 1667. The poet-playwright-philosopher-mathematician-scientist was allowed to exercise her intellect freely until she got into a very public religious debate and was forced to recant her ideas and give up her library; she died of the plague in 1695. Sor Juana scholar Margo Glantz will give a free lecture on “the tenth muse of Mexico” tonight as a kickoff to the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum’s annual Sor Juana Festival, which runs through November 9. There’s a reception at 6:15 and the lecture is at 7 at DePaul University’s Cortelyou Commons, 2324 N. Fremont. For more call 312-738-1503 or visit www.mfacmchicago.org.