Friday 5/14 – Thursday 5/20
14 FRIDAY Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who won a Pulitzer in 1970 for breaking the story of the My Lai massacre, returned to the spotlight with his May 1 New Yorker story on the torture of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. Today he visits his alma mater, the University of Chicago, to give the keynote address at a conference called “Constru(ct)ing the Current: Theorizing Media in a New Millennium.” The two-day symposium will explore how media decide which events merit coverage; topics include blogging and partisanship in journalism, the Arab TV network Al-Jazeera, the “televising of fear,” and the coverage of terrorism over the years. Registration begins today at 9:30 AM at International House, 1414 E. 59th; Hersh speaks at 4:45 and a reception follows at 6:15. There are also sessions on Saturday from 10 to 5. Admission is free; call 773-702-4181 for more information.
Would-be superstars get a shot at, if not fame, then at least local notoriety tonight at South Side Idol. Contestants will choose a karaoke song to perform and do their best to impress judges Tim O’Malley, a Second City veteran and Beverly resident; Daily Southtown entertainment writer Eloise Valadez; and Rob Quicke of Saint Xavier University’s radio station. They’ll pick ten finalists and the audience will vote on the winner. Prizes range from $25 to $100. It starts at 7:30 PM at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th. It’s $10 to enter (you must be 16 or over) and $5 to attend. Call 773-445-3838.
15 SATURDAY The good folks at Chrysler would probably prefer that you don’t channel Mario Andretti at the company’s National Art of Driving Tour, but attendees are welcome to take the company’s latest models, plus several of its competitors’, for a spin around Soldier Field. The event also includes demonstrations of cigar rolling and golf techniques; in a metrosexual twist, Food & Wine editor Kevin Patricio will give cooking tips and dispense advice on pairing food and wine. It’s today from 9 AM to 7 PM and tomorrow from 9 to 6 at the stadium, 1410 S. Museum Campus Dr. Advance registration is encouraged; call 888-639-6366 or go to www.chrysler.com/artofdriving. Drivers must be at least 18 and have a valid license; it’s free.
Running a restaurant doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits, but in the last few years Steven Chiapetti–chef at Oak Park’s Cafe le Coq and former proprietor of Mango and Grapes–has found a way to cultivate photography as a hobby. Edible Art, a show of his photos, goes on view today at Gallery 500 Wells. It’s divided into three sections: “Heat of the Moment,” which captures activity in the kitchen; “Natural Flow,” images of raw ingredients; and “Edible Art,” photos of artfully arranged dishes. Chiapetti’s currently talking with several new Chicago restaurants about taking photos for their walls and menus. The show runs through May 27 at 500 N. Wells and gallery hours are noon to 8 PM Monday through Saturday. It’s free; call 312-222-1880.
16 SUNDAY It’s Studs on Studs today as Studs Terkel talks with journalist Pete Hamill, who edited the new Library of America edition of James T. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy, first published in the 30s. Generations of writers were influenced by the no-nonsense, urban saga of the rebellious and ultimately doomed Studs, who grows up Irish-American on the south side in the 20s and 30s, although Farrell’s frank accounts of his characters’ sex lives and depiction of the hollowness of domestic, religious, and educational institutions invited a lot of criticism. The conversation begins at 3 PM at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. A book signing with Hamill follows. Admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors; call 312-642-4600.
A Pilsen building emblazoned with the name terry plumbing inspired the collective behind the visual arts- and text-based quarterly Terry Plumming, which comes with a compilation CD of bedroom rapping, scribbly noise, and minimalist jazz that’s designed to mirror the content of the zine. But Terry Plumming is also a fictional character, “a kind of terrorist that does good…a field of contradictions” whom the zine’s auteurs say embodies the spirit of their project. And what might that be? It “stands for so little that trying to talk about it is difficult,” says one member. The forthcoming issue was printed in a rainbow of ink on a 60-year-old offset press, with two layers of information per page. It comes unbound–the sheets of paper are just stuffed in an envelope. At tonight’s release party multiple contributors will read from the zine simultaneously. There’ll also be live performances by John Polachek, Soft Serve, Moira Cue, Spires That in the Sunset Rise, I Love Presets, and Grey Ghost and videos by Lool Cuab, Dan Layne, and Typewriter. It starts at 8 at the Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted, and it’s free; call 312-948-5275.
17 MONDAY Golf coach Wendy Hart won’t help you with your stance, but she can offer some techniques to overcome the kind of performance anxiety that results in ugly divots and balls in the sand trap. In tonight’s class, My Best Golf, she’ll teach players of all levels how to master their minds and emotions to promote “instinctual play” and other mental tools to gain confidence. It’s from 5:30 to 8:30 at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. It costs $35; call 312-742-8497 to reserve a spot.
18 TUESDAY The formidable Lorenza de’Medici is descended from the famed Italian dynasty, but instead of following her ancestors into arts patronage, she became an expert in Italian wine and gastronomy. She’s written more than 36 cookbooks and runs the prestigious Villa Table cooking school every summer in an 11th-century Chianti abbey-turned-winery. Her talk today focuses on the gastronomic traditions of Tuscany, a region known for its beef, hearty soups, and classic wines. It starts at 5:30 PM at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 500 N. Michigan, suite 1540. It’s free, but reservations are requested; call 312-822-9545.
19 WEDNESDAY This month the Gene Siskel Film Center, in conjunction with the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, is showing some recently restored prints of six films by Fernando de Fuentes, the godfather of Mexican cinema. Tonight’s offering is Let’s Go With Pancho Villa! (1935), which follows the stories of six young men swept up in the Mexican Revolution. De Fuentes considered it his greatest film, but the somber tale was censored by the government and disliked by the public for its depiction of the disillusionment and corruption of the era. It plays tonight at 6 at the Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2600. Tickets are $9; see the Critic’s Choice in Movies for more.
20 THURSDAY New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik made the most of his five-year stint in Paris, writing innumerable columns on the minutiae of la vie quotidienne for the magazine and collecting the best in his 2000 book Paris to the Moon. He’s one of the latest in a long line of American artists and writers–all the way back to Thomas Jefferson–who have succumbed to the city’s siren song. He’ll touch on the expat phenomenon and ask whether we could be facing the end of our love affair with France in today’s talk, Babylon Regained: Americans in Paris From Franklin to Fitzgerald, which complements the exhibit “A Transatlantic Avant-Garde: American Artists in Paris, 1918-1939” at the Terra Museum of American Art. It’s at 6 PM in the Grand Ballroom of the Wyndham Hotel, 633 N. Saint Clair. A reception follows at the Terra, 666 N. Michigan. Admission is $15, free for students with ID. Call 312-654-2255.
For the last few years University of Santa Barbara archaeologist Mark Aldenderfer has been working with colleagues from China’s Sichuan Union University on a dig in Piyang, in western Tibet, at the site of a large temple and monastery believed to date back to 1000 AD. As many Tibetan sites were destroyed or damaged during the Cultural Revolution, the excavation–the first Western-sponsored project of its kind in Tibet–may yield significant discoveries. Aldenderfer will give a talk about his findings called Mysteries of an Ancient Tibetan Monastery tonight at 7 at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Admission is $16, $14 for students and educators. Registration is required; call 312-665-7400.
DJ and producer Pete Rock made news this winter when he reunited with his old partner CL Smooth to record tracks for a follow-up to his influential solo album, Soul Survivor. Now touring in support of Soul Survivor II, Rock makes a rare live appearance tonight at 9 at Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago. It’s free, but reservations and early arrival are recommended. Go to www.scion. com/metro to reserve a spot or call 312-226-7600 for more.