Friday 1/7 – Thursday 1/13


By Cara Jepsen

7 FRIDAY Some critics think controversial opera and theater director Peter Sellars is the greatest thing since Max Reinhardt; others think he’s closer to P.T. Barnum. He’s certainly good at getting publicity. The Art Institute is hosting two events with Sellars: he’ll discuss his latest project, the Chinese opera Peony Pavilion, today at 2 in the Trading Room, and tomorrow at 1 he’ll join video artist Bill Viola and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art director David Ross for a discussion in the Rubloff Auditorium. The Art Institute is at Michigan and Adams, and both events are free with admission, which is $8, $5 for students, seniors, and children. Call 312-443-3600.

There’s no time like the present, according to organizers of City2000, a photography project documenting Chicago throughout the new year. They’re hosting their first public exhibition tonight, only seven days into 2000. A free reception, featuring the work of numerous local photographers, runs from 6 to 9 at 312 N. May; call 312-455-8585 for details. The exhibit will also be on display Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 5.

The Guild Complex’s ninth Musicality of Poetry Series kicks off tonight with a performance by the local pan-Asian spoken-word group I Was Born With Two Tongues. The four-person ensemble, which last fall released its first CD, Broken Speak, will perform with bassist Darius Savage and percussionist Jay Monteverde. It starts at 7:30 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 773-296-1268, ext. 26.

8 SATURDAY Artist Jan Mehn/von der Golz says her new installation, Die Migrane, a collection of prints based on images of demolished buildings she’s photographed, reflects the confusion caused by the headaches she suffers “up to one-third of the time.” A reception for the installation, which will be up through February 5, takes place Friday from 6 to 8; today Mehn/von der Golz will give an hour-long demonstration of her techniques starting at 1. Both free events are at Anchor Graphics, 119 W. Hubbard (312-595-9598).

If Elvis hadn’t croaked on the pot back in 1977, today he’d be a crusty 65-year-old, social-security-receiving, senior-discount-demanding medicare recipient with a good head of hair. But he’s dead, so the folks at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art are trotting out Elvis impersonator Mike Albert to celebrate the King’s birthday, host a benefit, and kick off the new exhibit E2K: Elvisions 2000. The show of art inspired by Elvis (as well as shrines to him) will be on display through March 25. Tonight’s reception includes “Elvis-type food” and an auction of 50 black velvet Elvis paintings “created by outsider and contemporary artists.” It’s at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee (312-243-9088). Admission to tonight’s event is $75.

Out in Rosemont, locally born, nationally known “Presleyan artist” Trent Carlini will re-create Elvis’s 1968 comeback special (think black leather) and his 1972 concert at Madison Square Garden. Presley posse members Joe Esposito and Al Dvorin, the guy who first said “Elvis has left the building,” will join him onstage. It’s at 8 at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road in Rosemont. Tickets are $34.50. Call 312-559-1212.

9 SUNDAY Daniel Barenboim made his professional debut at a piano recital in Buenos Aires back in 1950, when he was seven. For the past six years, he’s tickled the ivories around the world with celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma. For their fourth Chicago collaboration the pair will perform cello sonatas by Beethoven. It’s at 3 at Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets are $35 to $70. Call 312-294-3000.

10 MONDAY Since its creation in 1947, the antiwar, environmentally active, global-thinking World Federalist Association has attracted such members as Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson, who now heads the group. The ten-year-old Chicago chapter meets on the second Monday of each month; tonight’s guest speaker will be Catherine Wood, former president of the Chicago chapter of UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, which strives for women’s rights and economic equality. The free event starts at 7:30 at the office of the League of Women Voters, suite 1050, 332 S. Michigan. Call 312-664-0708 for details.

11 TUESDAY Sound artist Eric Leonardson used coil springs, wood, refrigerator grilles, and other unlikely items to create a percussion instrument he calls the Springboard. He’ll play it tonight as musician Laura Lee Moses’s guest for the second installment of her 13-show series New Moon, New Music–At the Leading Edge of the Century (the collaborations do indeed coincide with each new moon). They’ll be joined by Eric Ludwig on drums, Harrison Bankhead on double bass, and Jeff Parker on guitar. The performance starts at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Tickets are $6.

City leaders spared no expense when they built the old central library back in 1897. The building that became the Chicago Cultural Center was inspired by the neoclassical buildings at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, is adorned with mosaics made of colored stone, Favrile glass, and mother-of-pearl, and boasts a 38-foot Tiffany dome. Today Hedwig Dances will perform two works based on the building’s history and architecture. The free event starts at 11 AM and will be followed by a question-and-answer session. It’s at the center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).

12 WEDNESDAY “I am skeletons buried in Dixon Mounds. / Uncovered to become a racist tourist attraction / That whirled in anger / Until returned to rest in a final peace,” writes poet E. Donald “Eddie” Two-Rivers in his poem “Red Rebel,” which he says was written “in more bitter times.” Two-Rivers, who is working on a collection of plays, will read from his work tonight at 7:30 at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake in Oak Park. It’s free. Call 708-524-8725 for more.

13 THURSDAY Steppenwolf ensemble member Austin Pendleton based his new play Orson’s Shadow on a real-life 1960 meeting between the reclusive Orson Welles and theater critic Kenneth Tynan to discuss a production of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. Previews start tonight at 8 (it opens on Sunday and runs through February 6) at the Garage at Steppenwolf, 1626 N. Halsted. Tickets are $10. Call 312-335-1650.