Friday 10/27 – Thursday 11/2
By Cara Jepsen
27 FRIDAY For the last four months, the Japanese experimental theater group OM-2 and a group of local performers overseen by Neo-Futurist Anita Loomis have been rehearsing–in separate time zones–Convulsions of Mr. K, which uses text, sound, light, movement, and video to examine the anxiety of modern life. At the beginning of October they met up to integrate their dual perspectives on the work. In January the local group, including Loomis, Connor Kalista, Courtney Evans, Brooke Chaffee, and Tyler Myers, will travel to Japan for a series of performances. The piece premiered here last night; Chicagoans can see it tonight and tomorrow night at 8 and Sunday at 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets are $18, $16 for students and seniors; call 312-397-4010.
28 SATURDAY Compared to their sedentary counterparts, girls who participate in sports are far less likely to be anorexic or depressed or to get knocked up. A group of Outward Bound instructors is getting the word out with Girls on the Move, a ten-week educational bike trip from Portland, Oregon, to New York City. Today anyone over the age of nine can join the 55 women on the ride (who range in age from 17 to 72) for a five-mile cycle through Lincoln Park. That’ll be followed by a festival designed to empower and boost self-esteem with challenges like three climbing walls and guest appearances by musicians R-Angels, Angela Via, and Corey Harris, Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, actress Amy Jo Johnson (from Felicity), plus-size model and motivational speaker Kelly Repassy, and authors Shelly Frost and Carolyn Mackler. The ride is from 8:30 to 10 (helmets required) and the festival runs from 10 to 2 at Montrose Beach, near Montrose Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. It’s free; call 800-437-6071 for more information.
Maverick Viennese composer Heinz Karl Gruber drew on the dark nursery rhymes of poet H.C. Artmann for the libretto of his neo-Gothic Frankenstein!!, which includes such macabre imagery as: “Gret Muller is my name / nipping neckies is my game, / little vampire teeth to bite / little sharpened nails to fight.” Gruber will perform the 1978 “speech-song”–backed by chamber ensemble Fulcrum Point–at its Chicago premiere today as part of a Performing Arts Chicago event called I Married a Monster! The program also includes a performance of Randall Woolf’s My Insect Bride, a piece for Hohner Clavinet, winds, and strings, inspired by the movie The Fly, and a screening of James Whale’s 1935 Bride of Frankenstein. It starts at 2 at the Field Museum’s Simpson Theatre, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. Tickets are $15, $10 for students, seniors, and children, and include admission to the museum. Call PAC at 773-722-5463 for more.
29 SUNDAY Five years in the making, the 1933 World’s Fair Jewish Day show, The Romance of a People, boasted a cast of 3,500 performers who depicted 5,000 years of Jewish history in song and dance. Today one of the original performers, now in her 90s, will recall the pageant and perform excerpts of it with friends and family of other original performers. It’s at 2 at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. It’s free; call 312-663-5634.
The Chicago Cultural Center has pulled off a Halloween coup by getting the Austin, Texas, avant-punk/jazz/klezmer combo Brown Whornet to perform their new soundtrack for the creepiest vampire film of them all, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (the making of which inspired the new John Malkovich/Willem Dafoe film Shadow of the Vampire). Unfortunately they’re showing the film on video, but it is free. It’s at 5 and 7 tonight in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).
“We usually think of suppression of freedom of speech coming from the right, but it seems that in contemporary America it happens both ways,” says Jeff Helgeson, head of Roosevelt University’s Learning Resources Center. His one-act play Censure is about a professor who prevents the director of the International Monetary Fund from speaking on her campus. Its performance will kick off tonight’s panel on Censorship From the Left and Right, which will include director Danielle Mari, performance poet Chuck Perkins, former Lake Forest College and Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs president William Graham Cole, and Kyriakoula Georgiou, editor of Roosevelt’s Oyez Review. The program, which starts at 7, will be moderated by Northeastern Illinois University instructor Dan Godston. It’ll be followed by readings from banned books–everything from Huckleberry Finn to The Satanic Verses–and an audience discussion led by Helgeson. It’s at the Boxer Rebellion Theatre, 1257 W. Loyola. Tickets are $4; for information call 312-341-3818.
30 MONDAY Jamie Oliver, England’s hugely popular “naked chef,” is young and good-looking, but his nickname refers to his culinary technique, not some fetish for nude cooking. “It’s basically stripping back to the essentials,” he says of his The Naked Chef cookbook and G-rated television show. His recipes–mostly modern Italian standards–champion the pleasures of straightforward preparations and fresh, raw ingredients. Oliver will discuss and sign his book tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564). It’s free.
31 TUESDAY “Our goal is to get mothers across America to masturbate….We hereby proclaim full-out war against the false Puritan propriety and hypocrisy….It all starts with us putting our sexuality back into our own hands. And I mean our own hands,” says performance poet Liz Belile, the force behind the “pornerotic” Houston-based reading series and CD anthology Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn. She and contributors Carlisle Vandervoort, Sassy Johnson, Michelle Glaw, and Tatiana de la Tierra will read their naughty works for free tonight at 6 at Quimby’s, 1854 W. North (773-342-0910). They’ll also read at a benefit for Women in the Director’s Chair Monday, October 30, at 7:30 at the WIDC Theater, 941 W. Lawrence. Tickets for that event are $12 (773-907-0610).
1 WEDNESDAY Tickets went like hotcakes when Rudolph Wurlitzer and Philip Glass’s new chamber opera based on Franz Kafka’s ominous parable of capital punishment In the Penal Colony made its recent world premiere in Seattle. Previews for the show’s Chicago run start tonight at 7:30 (it opens November 11) at the Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. Tickets are $24. Call 773-753-4472. Across town, tickets to Lookingglass’s production of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which opens Saturday at the Ruth Page Center, 1016 N. Dearborn, are proving popular as well. Call 773-477-8088 for more.
2 THURSDAY In his book The Real American Dream, cultural critic Andrew Delbanco examines whether the idea that happiness can be attained through public responsibility is still relevant today, and if so what it takes to achieve it. He’ll discuss his theories tonight at a lecture entitled Do Americans Still Have a Dream?–part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, which starts today. The lecture is at 6 at Saint James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron. Tickets are $6 (cash only). Call 312-661-1028, ext. 32, or visit www.chfestival.org for more. It’ll be followed at 7:30 with a discussion of his book (which you should have read if you’re going to attend). The discussion is also $6.