Friday 3/16 – thursday 3/22
By Cara Jepsen
16 FRIDAY Since stepping down as host of Chicago Tonight, John Callaway has been spinning a set of plates that includes lecturing, hosting and editing WTTW’s Chicago Stories, and working on his one-man show, John Callaway Tonight. This last chronicles his experiences after he dropped out of Ohio Wesleyan University at age 19 and, with 71 cents in his pocket, hitchhiked to Chicago, where he cut his teeth as a police reporter at City News Bureau. Callaway promises he’ll take questions from the audience, sing some cabaret songs, and demonstrate something called the “no-step dropkick.” Previews start tonight at 8 at Pegasus Players, 1145 W. Wilson; the show opens officially on March 21. Tickets are $10 for previews, $17 to $19 for regular performances. Call 773-878-9761 for more information.
17 SATURDAY Saving the environment, protecting abortion rights, fighting global free trade, organizing workers, and creating a new civil rights movement in a hostile political environment will all be covered at today’s Midwest Regional Socialist Conference. It starts at 11 AM (registration begins at 10:30) and concludes with a 4 PM panel called “Unite the Fight to Beat Back Bush.” It’s at UIC’s Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. Admission is $5, and free on-site child care is available. Call 773-665-7337.
For each of their past five productions, Plasticene–a movement-based experimental theater company–has offered a free workshop to the public “so that people who have seen the show can ride the rides.” Participants in today’s workshop will play warm-up games and engage in “object encounters” with the ropes, lights, tables, plates, and other props used in the company’s current production, Head Poison. The workshop takes place today from 1 to 4 at the Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph. Tickets for Head Poison, which runs through April 1, are $15. Call 312-742-8497.
Drum ‘n’ bass beats + guitar power chords + howling vocals + a heap of ‘tude = digital hardcore, or what Charybdis artistic director Gregor Mortis describes as “the sound track for a riot.” German DJ and video artist Philipp Virus, who’s collaborated with Alec Empire, Atari Teenage Riot, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among others, is one of the best-known of the genre’s instigators. He’s the special guest at tonight’s Chicago Underground Film Festival-sponsored retrospective of his work, The Virus Has Been Spread. He’ll DJ and screen his two short films, Civilization Virus and The Report, as well as footage of ATR’s arrest after their show during the 1999 May Day riots in Berlin. It starts at 8 at Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex, 4423 N. Milwaukee. Admission is $10; call 773-327-3456 or see www.cuff.org for more.
18 SUNDAY It’s been seven years since the seminal documentary Hoop Dreams hit the screens (and 14 since the filmmakers first trained their cameras on its young subjects, William Gates and Arthur Agee). Today the film’s producers, Gordon Quinn and Jerry Blumenthal of Kartemquin Films, will discuss the current state of documentary filmmaking–including the impact of digital cameras and the difficulties of remaining independent in a corporate world–at a symposium called Life After Hoop Dreams. It’s part of Facets’ “Conversations with Filmmakers” series and takes place from 11 to 1 at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton. Admission is $5, which includes coffee and snacks. Call 773-281-9075.
Earlier this year the Nuclear Energy Information Service and the Chicago Greens withdrew from the Chicago Earth Month Coalition to protest that group’s acceptance of corporate sponsorship from Com Ed, the nation’s largest nuclear utility. Instead the NEIS will focus on commemorating the 15th anniversary of Chernobyl, while the Greens plan demonstrations against the Free Trade Area of the Americas, negotiations for which continue in Quebec City on April 17-22. That’s what’s on the agenda at today’s meeting of the Chicago Greens. It’s from 4 to 7 at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont, on the second floor. It’s free; call 312-243-5619.
19 MONDAY The 1893 Colum-bian Exposition and all of the other World’s Fairs until the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago had women’s pavilions. But unlike previous expos, the city’s Depression-era offering was privately funded. “In order to have a pavilion or a women’s building they would have had to raise funds by themselves, outside of the fair structure,” says UIC PhD candidate Cheryl Ganz, whose dissertation focuses on the fair. “An effort was made, but they didn’t do it. The women all had different ideas about what they wanted to do.” Ganz will discuss the story of women and the fair today from noon to 1 in conference room B102 in the Office of Social Science Research at the university’s Behavioral Sciences Building, 1007 W. Harrison. It’s free; call 312-413-1025.
20 TUESDAY The title of Jennifer Kawaja’s 1999 video, Under One Sky: Arab Women in North America Talk About the Hijab, is pretty self-explanatory. Her exploration of Western prejudice against the head scarf goes back to Hollywood films depicting passive women in harems waiting for Western heroes to rescue them and includes interviews with a pro-choice woman who chooses to wear the hijab and several others who believe it’s oppressive but defend their sisters’ right to wear it. It’ll be shown tonight along with four other videos about contemporary women’s lives at a free screening sponsored by Women in the Director’s Chair called “Life As We Know It.” It’s from 5 to 7 in the video theater of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4700).
Native American poet Joy Harjo began writing in the mid-70s, at the height of the American Indian movement, but she didn’t start playing the saxophone until years later. Eventually she put together a jazz/reggae band, Poetic Justice, which will back her tonight. Local poet Elise Paschen will also read. The evening starts at 7:30 at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 773-227-6123. Harjo will also read Wednesday, March 21, at a benefit for Literature for All of Us, a nonprofit organization that provides writing instruction and support for teen mothers and young girls. It’s from 11:30 to 1:30 at the Culinary Hospitality Institute of Chicago, 315 W. Chestnut. Tickets are $50, and reservations are required. Call 847-869-7323.
21 WEDNESDAY In the late 19th century, the trend among the city’s robber barons was to flee the grime of the inner city to build gentleman farms on the north shore. Most are long gone, but two that remain relatively intact are Crab Tree Farm, a dairy operation built for Scott S. Durand in 1905 by Solon B. Beman, and A. Watson Armour’s Elawa Farm, designed in 1917 by David Adler and Alfred Hopkins. Today at 12:15 Janice Hack, executive director of the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff Historical Society, will give a free 45-minute brown-bag lecture called More Fun Than a Yacht: Gentleman Farms in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. It’s at the Chicago Architecture Foundation lecture hall, 224 S. Michigan. Call 312-922-3432.
22 THURSDAY “Every woman negotiates every day, whether she’s getting paid for it or not,” say Leslie Whitaker and Elizabeth Austin, the Oak Park-based authors of The Good Girl’s Guide to Negotiating: How to Get What You Want at the Bargaining Table. It includes tips on everything from buying a house and asking for a raise to getting more in the bedroom, “which is of interest to just about every woman we know.” The pair–who decided to do the book after Whitaker thought she was underpaid for coauthoring the 1996 best-seller The Beardstown Ladies’ Common-Sense Investment Guide and Austin overpaid for her first house–will discuss their strategies tonight at 7:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark (773-769-9299). It’s free.