Friday 7/9 – Thursday 7/15
by Mike Sula
9 FRIDAY Deep down, director Abel Ferrara’s characters really want to be good. In 1990’s King of New York Christopher Walken whacks everyone who looks at him sideways while he’s trying to build a ghetto hospital. In The Funeral, from 1996, Walken and Annabella Sciorra debate the morality of retaliatory murder. Both films screen tonight, at 6 and 8 respectively, as part of the monthlong Abel Ferrara retrospective at the Film Center of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson (312-443-3737). Admission to each is $7.
10 SATURDAY The five members of Voladores de Papantla reenact a ritual from their Aztec ancestors: at the top of a 70-foot pole four of them–representing earth, air, fire, and water–will tie ropes to their feet and “fly” to the ground as the fifth works a lowering contraption. They’ll do it today at 4:30 and 7 and tomorrow at 1:30 and 7 at the Latino Art Beat Competition and Hispanic Heritage Festival in Douglas Park, Sacramento and Ogden. The free festival runs today from 3 to 9 and tomorrow from 10 to 9. Call 312-457-8080.
The anarchists from the Autonomous Zone are offering photo ops with Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman tonight at their summer benefit party, along with poets, DJs, Polish punk rock, food, beer, and raffles for karate lessons, free lunches, and more. It starts at 8 and goes “very late” at 2320 N. Milwaukee, second floor (not A-Zone HQ). It’s $7. Call 773-252-6019 for more.
11 SUNDAY Were bread and butter better BC? During curator Susan Bass Marcus’s Cookin’ in Canaan demo, kids and adults will make them the ancient way. It starts at 10 AM at the Spertus Museum, 618 S. Michigan. Five dollars per person or $15 per family includes museum admission and time on the model archaeological dig. Call 312-322-1747 by Friday to preregister.
During the free Manor Garden Club Annual Garden Walk visitors can peek into over 39 gardens in the area bounded by Lawrence, Montrose, Sacramento, and the river between 2 and 6 PM. Pick up a map at the welcome booth in Manor Park, at the intersection of Manor, Eastwood, and Francisco. Call 773-267-3369.
12 MONDAY Chicago Dramatists artistic director Russ Tutterow says the playwriting collective has helped develop hundreds of plays over the past two decades and worked with over 500 writers last year alone. Tonight they’ll celebrate their 20th anniversary with scenes from plays by Nambi E. Kelley, Rebecca Gilman, David Barr, Lisa Dillman, and David Rush and a buffet and drinks at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport. Eating and drinking start at 6:30 and performances begin an hour later. Call 312-633-0630 to reserve tickets, which are $40 each, $75 for a pair.
13 TUESDAY Activist and historian Marie Kuda says the Hemingway Foundation wouldn’t include her slide lecture today, Hemingway and Lesbians in His Life and Art, in its celebration of the writer’s 100th birthday because those events don’t officially begin until tomorrow. “You can read into that what you want to,” she says. Kuda’s presentation will touch on Papa’s relationships with over a dozen lesbians and will examine recent scholarship suggesting that he was a closet case, that his mother had a 20-year relationship with a woman, and that The Sun Also Rises is a lesbian novel. It starts at 6:45 in the Oak Park Library Veteran’s Room, 834 Lake in Oak Park (708-383-8200), and it’s free.
Political pincushion Dan Quayle’s latest act as a presidential candidate is plugging the obligatory campaign screed. Worth Fighting For is an explanation of the former Vice POTUS’s “four cornerstones of faith”: God, freedom, families, and the next generation. He’ll sign copies at 5 PM at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564). It’s free.
14 WEDNESDAY Originally a dance symbolizing the relationship between prostitute and pimp, the tango was born in the underbelly of Buenos Aires. It wasn’t until Parisians went nuts for it in the early part of this century that the Argentine upper crust embraced the dance as their own. The City of Lights is the setting of Fernando Solanas’s film Tangos–The Exile of Gardel, in which a group of Argentine dissidents in the 1970s stage a “tango-dy”–a tango tragicomedy based on the life of tango singer Carlos Gardel, also an exile. It screens tonight at 7 and 9 at Water Tower, 831 N. Michigan. Tickets are $8. Tomorrow Solo Tango, a live show with dancers, singers, and musicians, will be performed at Columbia College’s Getz Theater, 62 E. 11th. It’s $15. Call Chicago Latino Cinema at 312-431-1330 for more.
In Francis Poulenc’s short comic opera Les mamelles de Tiresias (“The Breasts of Tiresias”), set in Zanzibar, a bored housewife’s breasts turn into balloons, whereupon she grows a beard and ditches her husband. Desperate, he starts making babies on his own, resulting in a population crisis and famine. It’s being staged tonight and Friday, July 16, at 7:30 and Sunday, July 18, at 3 as part of the “World in a Weekend: Paris, France.” It’s in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Randolph Cafe, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). Admission is free.
15 THURSDAY Zydeco dancing, which requires hoofers to step at two different rates, is a challenge for the beginner. So it’s an ambitious form for Chicago SummerDance, the city’s third year of free dance lessons and live music in Grant Park, to lead off with. For the live accompaniment they’ve tapped Creole traditionalists Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie. The two-step lessons begin at 6 in the new Spirit of Music Garden, on the east side of South Michigan between Harrison and Balbo. The band goes on at 7:30. Call 312-742-4007 for more.
After polling his colleagues, UIC history professor Melvin Holli ranked 730 U.S. mayors over the last 170 years and published the results in The American Mayor: The Best and the Worst Big-City Leaders. Fiorello LaGuardia came out on top, scoring big for reading comics on the radio, while Boss Daley placed sixth. Thanks to his pro-kaiser position and cozy relationship with Al Capone, William Thompson topped the worst list, followed by Jane Byrne at number ten. Holli defends his rankings at 6 PM at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton (312-255-3520). It’s free.