Friday 5/5 – Thursday 5/11
By Cara Jepsen
5 FRIDAY Pervis Spann started his blues career in 1959, when he ran the turntables 15 minutes a night on Oak Park’s WOPA. He went on to manage the Jackson 5 and other artists and run the old Regal and Capitol theaters. These days he’s owner and CEO of WVON AM, where he still hosts a late-night blues show (he also hosts a raucous cable program, Blues and More, three times a week on public access channel 25). Today at 12:30 he’ll be interviewed by Barry Dolins from the Mayor’s Office of Special Events as part of the Speakin’ of the Blues oral history series. The free discussion takes place in the lower-level auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4850).
6 SATURDAY The Autonomous Zone’s weekend-long Matches & Mayhem festival includes an anarchist book fair, a variety show, a film festival featuring raw footage from the April 15 protests in D.C., and a soccer tournament (“Give Capitalism the Boot”). Admission to the book fair, which runs today from 11 to 6 at the Ruiz Belvis Center, 1632 N. Milwaukee, is $2; the variety show (karaoke, song, and dance) costs $5 and runs from 8 to 11. The exhibit of anarchist art upstairs at the Propaganda Gallery is free. Call 773-252-6019 for more information. A schedule for this weekend’s Anarchist Film Festival is included in the Section Two movie listings.
Household hazardous waste products like smoke detectors, batteries, pesticides, photo chemicals, and automobile fluids can sit in the basement for years before they’re finally tossed. The city will collect them all for free today from 8 to 3 at Wilbur Wright College’s north campus, 4300 N. Narragansett. As an added bonus, residents who turn in gasoline-powered lawn mowers will receive a rebate toward a more environmentally friendly replacement. Call 773-481-8979 for more information.
7 SUNDAY The Chicago Venceremos Brigade believes it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. embargo on Cuba is lifted. What might happen when that day comes (and how to hasten its arrival) is the focus of a panel today called Between Image and Reality: A New Conversation on Cuba. Speakers include U.S. Representative Danny Davis, writer Achy Obejas, Art Institute professor and author Lisa Brock, and Felix Masud-Piloto, professor of history and director of DePaul’s Center for Latino Research. It’s from 1 to 3 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. Admission is free. Call the Venceremos Brigade at 312-409-1486 for more info.
New Mexico-based art collective Simparch aims to “create unique structural metaphors by mixing process, materials, tradition, and history.” For their first Chicago project, Simparch’s Steven Badgett and Matt Lynch have collaborated with local artists Hamsa Walker, Chris Vorhees, and David Driscoll to create Free Basin, a gallery-sized wooden skate bowl designed to be experienced by gallerygoers at deck level, where they can see “how the skateboarders respond to the specific character of this sculptural form,” and below, where they’ll get a unique perspective on the sounds and rhythms of skateboarding. Local skaters are invited to try the bowl throughout its run at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5307 S. Hyde Park (773-324-5520). Local semipros Mario Rubalcaba, Steve Snyder, and Jesse Neuhas will perform at today’s opening, which is from 3 to 7. Admission is free; the show runs through June 24.
8 MONDAY Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun made history 40 years ago when it became the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. That production won director Lloyd Richards his first Tony Award nomination. Tonight he’ll discuss A Raisin in the Sun: Its Significance in American Theater at 6 on the Goodman main stage, 200 S. Columbus (312-443-3800). Tickets are $10, $5 for students.
9 TUESDAY “The attic is dark and has no windows. The roof is shaped like a triangle and is made of tin and the floor was just dried dirt. I stay in one corner of the attic. I am always cold and always hungry. I never get to take a bath, brush my teeth, or cut my hair,” writes Half Day resident Aaron Elster in his account of what happened to him and his family during the Holocaust. He lived alone in that attic for two years. When he came out he learned that his father and younger sister had died at Treblinka and his mother had been shot to death four months before liberation. Elster will discuss his experience at today’s tenth annual Holocaust Remembrance Day program, which includes music by Lyric Opera tenor Misha Royzen and the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School Choirs. It starts at noon in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4850).
10 WEDNESDAY Most people never attempt, let alone finish, reading the seven volumes and several thousand pages that make up Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. Fortunately there’s Mary Zimmerman’s site-specific performance Eleven Rooms of Proust, inspired by both scenes from the novel and the 90,000-square-foot warehouse space where it will be staged. “The raw, industrial look and feel of the space is the perfect backdrop to the beautiful scenes of the novel that are tinged with the darker side of love,” says Zimmerman, who has read the books. Previews start tonight (it opens May 13) at 4039 N. Ravenswood. Guided tours through the performance space start at 7, with staggered admission until 9:30. Tickets are $30; call 773-549-3290.
11 THURSDAY Ever wonder about all the stories that don’t make it onto WBEZ’s This American Life? Wonder no more: tonight performance artist and writer Cheryl Trykv will read a few of her TAL-rejected pieces at a show she’s calling American Reject. Also performing will be Katherine Chronis and the American Reject Players (Michael Stumm, Andrew Kingsford, and Eric Leonardson), who will re-create Trykv’s radio play, The Seance, which also didn’t make the cut. It’s at 9:30 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Admission is $11. Call 773-227-4433.