Friday 5/25 – Thursday 5/31


By Cara Jepsen

25 FRIDAY Since the early 90s, hundreds of young women have disappeared in Juarez, Mexico. Most of the 200 bodies that have been found showed signs of rape and torture. Lourdes Portillo’s new documentary, Señorita Extraviada, examines what may have happened to the women–many of whom were low-wage workers at the maquiladoras that have sprung up in this border town post-NAFTA–and why the Juarez police haven’t done much about it. Portillo will attend screenings tonight and tomorrow at 7 at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th. Admission is $6, $5 for students and seniors; call 312-738-1503.

Latex fashion designer Geoffrey Mac started his own label eight months after graduating from the School of the Art Institute in 1999. Once his work caught the eye of New York club clothier Patricia Field, he was set; now the 24-year-old’s “slit tit” tube tops and rubber rugby shirts–designed in his Pilsen studio and manufactured on the north side–are on the Internet (, in boutiques, and on the backs of musicians such as Lil’ Kim and Barbara Tucker. A few lucky local women will squeeze into his tight-fitting togs–for a few hours at least–as part of tonight’s Geoffrey Mac Makeover and photo shoot; attendees will also have a chance to win a piece from Mac’s latest collection. It starts at 10 PM at Big Wig, 1551 W. Division. Admission is free, but you must be 21 (773-860-5682).

26 SATURDAY In addition to the usual book fair, soccer matches, and variety show, this year’s Matches & Mayhem anarchist festival has added a series of debates about the ways in which nationalism, organizational structures, technology, and antifascist work relate (or don’t relate) to anarchism. The weekend of events starts Friday at 7 with a film festival at Columbia College (623 S. Wabash, room 203; admission is $5 to $10). The free debates are today at noon and tomorrow at 1 and 3 in the Chicago Authors room on the seventh floor of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Call 312-494-2632 or visit for more.

He’s fronted a couple of punk bands (Kraut, Gutterboy) and worked as a high-paid model (Versace, Klein, Armani); now Queens-born former boxer Dito–aka Davy Gunner–has written a memoir, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, about growing up in NYC in the 70s and 80s. Shooting Gallery Films is turning the first chapter into a movie starring–you guessed it–Dito. He’ll read from his book tonight at 5:45 at Quimby’s, 1854 W. North (773-342-0910). It’s free.

27 SUNDAY Incarcerated tigers stalking and attacking a zebra-shaped pinata may seem like a sad, sad scenario, but that’s how animals behind bars learn to act as they would in the wild–and that’s what they’ll be doing at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s first Animal Enrichment Day, which aims to show some of the tricks zookeepers use to stimulate natural behavior. In addition to watching animals go after bait, visitors will be able to build ropes of treats for primates, wear a blubber mitten, and enrich their own lives by acting like chimps digging up a tasty meal of termites or, in this case, Cheerios. It’s today from 10 to 4 at the Lincoln Park Zoo at Cannon and Fullerton; it’s free. Call 312-742-2000.

When the viola da gamba (or viol) appeared in Europe in the late 15th century it made quite a splash. The six-stringed instrument–sort of a guitar with a bow–became a mainstay of Renaissance and Baroque music. But by the 17th century its smaller, louder cousin, the violin, usurped its position and things just haven’t been the same since. Today at 4 Second City Musick–violists Mary Springfels, John Mark Rozendaal, and Craig Trompeter–will play the music of J.S. Bach, Marin Marais, Thomas Lupo, and Christopher Simpson at a concert called “Suites and Diversions.” It’s at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman in Evanston. Tickets are $15, $8 for students, seniors, and low-income persons; call 773-764-4342 for more information.

28 MONDAY This year marks the 60th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War II, the 51st of the start of the Korean War, and the 10th of Desert Storm; the city’s official flag-waving, vet-celebrating Memorial Day Parade takes place Saturday, May 26, at noon on Columbus from Balbo to Monroe. The tone will be somewhat different at today’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War-sponsored Memorial Day ceremony, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Dewey Canyon III protest, the VVAW’s weeklong “limited incursion into the country of Congress,” at the culmination of which several thousand vets marched on Capitol Hill and threw away their medals. Speakers will include VVAW coordinator Barry Romo, former Colombian governor Luis Gilberto Murillo, an aide to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and vets of campaigns in Somalia, Haiti, and Vietnam. It’s from 11 to noon at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fountain at Wacker and Wabash. Call 773-327-5756 for more information.

29 TUESDAY Director Yesim Ustaoglu used nonprofessional actors in her 1999 film, Journey to the Sun, about being young, Kurdish, and powerless in Istanbul. She also wrote the script and snagged Krzysztof Kieslowski’s cameraman Jacek Petrycki for the project, which Variety called “an involving, quietly lyrical testament to cross-ethnic friendship that doesn’t grandstand either its political underpinnings or its sentiment.” The film won multiple awards at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival and opened Friday for a weeklong run at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton. It screens tonight at 7 and 9; tickets are $7. Call 773-281-4114, or see

30 WEDNESDAY A friend of mine once asked for directions to one of Prague’s historic buildings and was shocked when a local told him to “turn left after the Kmart.” But such is the nature of that city’s hodgepodge of edifices, which includes examples of cubist, art nouveau, Romanesque, Baroque, Renaissance, and just about every other style of architecture (including modern-day department store). Today at 12:15, Heather Plaza-Manning, coordinator of the School of the Art Institute’s departments of interior architecture and historic preservation, will give a free slide lecture called A Visual Feast: Architecture in Prague as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s brown-bag lunch series. It’s at the CAF Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan (312-922-3432).

31 THURSDAY As a kid, author Colson Whitehead was a fan of folk hero John Henry, the African-American railroad worker who, according to the song, pitted himself against a steam drill, beat it, and then keeled over. But it wasn’t until a few years ago, when Whitehead was trying to flesh Henry out as a character, that he learned the post office had issued a commemorative Henry stamp in 1996. In his new novel, John Henry Days, Whitehead uses the stamp to tie the past to the present by having his protagonist–a freelance journalist and freeloader named J. Sutter–travel to Virginia for its unveiling. Whitehead says it was refreshing to write about modern times “after being stuck in the hermetic, timeless locale of The Intuitionist,” his 1999 debut novel about the fantastic, intrigue-ridden world of elevator inspection. He’ll read from and discuss John Henry Days tonight at 7 at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5757 S. University (773-684-1300). It’s free.