Friday 8/4 – Thursday 8/10
By Cara Jepsen
4 FRIDAY The folks at the annual Oz Festival have gone all out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of L. Frank Baum’s penning of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Chicago. Events this year include an Oz character look-alike contest, a performance of The Wizard of Oz by the all-kids Emerald City Theatre Company and an Oz pancake breakfast. Tonight’s adult-oriented kickoff is from 6 to 10, featuring musical performances by Juli Wood and Erma Thompson, followed by the Mighty Blue Kings. The festival continues on Saturday from 10 to 10 and Sunday from 10 to 8. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 on Friday, $5 Saturday and Sunday, and $1 for children and seniors. It’s on Cannon Drive at Fullerton, east of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Call 312-409-5466 for a full schedule of events.
You might know British actor Michael York from his recent role as British Intelligence agent Basil Exposition in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. But he’s also an acclaimed Shakespearean actor of both stage and screen and a writer to boot. His new book, A Shakespearean Actor Prepares, cowritten with Adrian Brine, “points out the sources of energy in [Shakespeare’s] plays, which, if tapped, will galvanize an actor’s fantasy and liberate his talent.” York will explain further tonight at 7 at Barbara’s Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells (312-642-5044). It’s free.
5 SATURDAY Chicago was home to over 145 breweries at the turn of the last century. “Different ethnicities catered to their own folks,” says National Association of Breweriana Advertising president Norman Jay. “People would go down to their bar or brewery with pails that they would fill up and bring it home.” The breweries began to disappear with the advent of refrigeration and long-haul trucking, but the stuff they left behind–beer steins, trays, postcards, cans, tap knobs, foam scrapers–are popular collectibles; Jay himself has some 255 signs and 3,200 can openers in his west-suburban home. This weekend the NABA holds its annual convention in Chicago; the normally members-only event will be open to the public to buy, sell, and trade memorabilia today from 10 to 3. It’s at the Holiday Inn, 1801 N. Naper in Naperville. It’s free. Call 630-690-1565 for more.
The Campaign for a Free and Clear Lakefront is a grassroots group on a mission to remove Lake Shore Drive from Grant Park and eventually the entire Chicago shoreline, which they say is in keeping with city planner Daniel Burnham’s original notion that “the slopes leading down to the water should be quiet stretches of green.” At today’s free Burnham’s Vision Ride, a Burnham impersonator will lead cyclists on a tour of places like the Grant Park Cancer Survivor’s Garden, where LSD has been moved, finishing up at the museum campus. It’s part of Bike Summer 2000, a monthlong celebration of urban biking. The ride meets at 1 at Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn. Call 773-278-1367 for more information.
6 SUNDAY Each year more than 40,000 unwanted pets are killed in Chicago–that’s more than any other city in the U.S. “There’s very little push by government to do anything about it,” says Cindy Warner from Pets Are Worth Saving. This fall PAWS will open a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Pilsen; there are also plans afoot to start up a mobile PAWS clinic that would fix pets and strays in underserved areas at $5 a pop. Today the group holds its annual Angels With Tails Walking Tour, during which stores in Lincoln Park will display hundreds of homeless dogs and cats from the city’s various shelters and rescue organizations. Folks can adopt pets on the spot, provided they meet screening requirements. It’s from noon to 5 on Armitage between Racine and Orchard (and a few places on Halsted near the Armitage intersection). It’s free to walk; adoption prices vary. Call 773-244-3248.
German officials had hoped the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games would erase the legacy of the 1936 “Nazi” games in Berlin. Instead, terrorists attacked, and 11 Israeli athletes were killed. Today a group of Munich witnesses will discuss what happened at a closing program for the Spertus Museum’s Nazi Olympics exhibit. They include author Richard Mandell, Olympic long jumper Willye White, and Ralph Metcalfe Jr., who will read a speech that his father–an Olympic medalist in 1936 and U.S. congressman from Illinois in the 1970s–delivered to the American team before they left for Munich. Northeastern Illinois University history professor Steven Riess moderates. It’s at 2 at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan (312-322-1769). It’s free, but reservations are recommended. A reception for students, alumni, and friends of the Masters of Science in Human Services Administration program follows in room 904.
7 MONDAY Most Chicago Hash House Harrier runs consist of three to seven miles on an urban trail blazed–in chalk–by a designated human “hare.” A pack of hungry “hounds” follow said trail as best they can, either walking or running. At the finish line hare and hounds unite for socializing, games, awards, and libations. Tonight’s race is unique in that hashers are invited to bring their real hounds. The “drinking club with a running problem” meets at 7 at Durkin’s, 810 W. Diversey. It’s $5; you must be 21 to participate. Call 312-409-2337 for more.
8 TUESDAY Portland artist Johnne Eschleman’s Travelling Cinema is a collapsible structure from which he projects his experimental films while improvising music on his guitar (he calls the musical part of his act Distance Formula) from “the secret 2-by-10-foot room hidden behind the facade where the archaic technology of the Cinema resides.” Eschleman ends a four-day residency tonight at 9 at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600), where he’ll do his thing before and between sets by the Ken Vandermark, Kyle Hernandez, and Adam Vida Trio (who start at 10). Admission is $3.
9 WEDNESDAY The midwest is an optimum habitat for many moth species because their young–caterpillars–feed only on certain types of prairie plants. As for the destructive gypsy moth caterpillar–well, that’s an import from Europe that shouldn’t be here in the first place. Tonight Eric Metzler, president of the Ohio Lepidopterists’ Society, will explain the ecology of midwestern moths as part of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s series of butterfly lectures. It’s at 7 at 2430 N. Cannon (773-549-0606). Admission is $10, $8 for museum members.
10 THURSDAY Satyajit Ray, James Baldwin, Vittorio De Sica, Uta Hagen, Moms Mabley, Jacques Tati, and Zero Mostel are just a few of the heavy hitters of stage and screen that Studs Terkel has interviewed during his 45-year tenure as a radio host. The best of those conversations were collected last year in The Spectator: Talk About Movies and Plays With Those Who Made Them. Terkel, who says his first love was acting, will discuss The Spectator at tonight’s grand opening of Brent Books & Cards, 1849 Green Bay in Highland Park (847-681-1563). It’s at 6 and it’s free.