Friday 7/23 – Thursday 7/29
By Cara Jepsen
23 FRIDAY The ability to “express a wide range of emotions, charisma, and passion without speaking” is one thing producers will be looking for at today’s free open audition for the Blue Man Group. Winners will fill spots in Boston, Chicago, and a new show that will open in Las Vegas next year. Men and women between five foot ten and six foot one who are able to stay in character when poked in the face and asked “How long does it take to get that stuff off?” should show up at Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted, between 10 and 3. Call 773-348-5996 for details.
Mexican musician Jorge Reyes combines ancient instruments like conch shells and carved stone whistles with guitars and keyboards to create music that looks to his country’s future as well as its past. He performs tonight at 9 (doors open at 8) at Apollo’s 2000, 2875 W. Cermak. Tickets are $25. Call 773-247-0200.
24 SATURDAY In the past two years the Brookfield Zoo has recycled some 2,000 cubic yards of animal droppings and landscape debris in its new composting facility. This year it began adding biodegradable eating utensils from the concession stands to the mix. To join the Chicago Recycling Coalition’s field trip to the plant, meet at 10 at the CRC’s office at 2125 W. North and carpool from there. It’s eight bucks, which includes zoo admission. Call 773-862-2370 for reservations.
The way the local chapter of Watsonians talk, you’d think Dr. John H. Watson had been a real live person instead of a figment of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination. Today the group will celebrate Watson’s “life” at the 40th running of the Silver Blaze, which commemorates a case about a missing racehorse. It’s the second event in a “Watsonian weekend” that includes dinner on Friday and brunch tomorrow. Today’s brunch-and-race event begins at 11:30 at Hawthorne Race Course, between Laramie and Cicero on 35th Street in Cicero. It’s $27; appropriate dress is required. Call 847-674-1140 to register.
25 SUNDAY Founded by the daughters of a Panamanian seaman and a Rappahannock woman, Spiderwoman Theater will perform an original piece called Daughters From the Stars: Nis Bundor, based on a myth among the Kuna of Panama about the cycle from birth to death. It marks the closing weekend of the Field Museum’s “The Art of Being Kuna” exhibit. Performances are Saturday and today at 1 in the Simpson Theatre, on the ground floor of the museum, Roosevelt at Lake Shore Drive. Tickets are $10 (which includes general museum admission). For more information, call 312-665-7400 or see the Critic’s Choice in the Section Two performance listings.
Thirty-six years ago writer Willard Manus and his wife moved to the Greek island of Rhodes. Manus’s new book, This Way to Paradise: Dancing on the Tables, chronicles the years during which their sleepy village, Lindos, metamorphosed into a tourist destination. He’ll give a slide lecture today at 3 at the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, 168 N. Michigan, suite 400 (312-726-1234). Admission is $5.
If people who want to participate in today’s Chicago Park District-sponsored unity drum circle don’t have something to bang on, they can come early and make a soda-can shaker at a workshop led by drumming aficionado John Yost. “Everybody has an innate rhythm,” he says. “We try to bring it out.” The workshop is from 3 to 4; the free drum circle, which is open to all, runs from 4 to 7 west of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, Columbus and Congress. Call 773-286-0605 for more.
The Old Town School of Folk Music wraps up its Folk & Roots Festival with a performance by Steve Earle at 8 tonight. The festival runs Saturday and today from 11:45 AM until about 9 PM and includes dance workshops and activities for kids. Other performers this weekend include Jeff Tweedy, Grupo Bahia, Peter Himmelman, and Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men. The festival is in Welles Park, Lincoln and Montrose. Suggested admission is $5, $1 for seniors and children. Call 773-728-6000 for more.
26 MONDAY NGOs, or nongovernmental organizations that work with the United Nations, are currently lobbying the UN to form a second house to give citizens–not just nations–a voice. The Chicagoland Millennium People’s Assembly is holding planning sessions for this year’s annual conference of local NGOs and other groups on the fourth Monday of each month. Tonight’s free installment is from 6:30 to 9 at the CMPA office, 410 S. Michigan (room 471). Call 800-484-8027, code 6093.
27 TUESDAY Since the publication of John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil four years ago, tourism to Savannah, Georgia, has increased by nearly 50 percent. Instead of becoming a pariah for revealing its secrets, Berendt’s the toast of the town. He’ll give a free reading and sign copies of the book tonight at 6 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Call 57th Street Books at 773-684-1300 for more information.
28 WEDNESDAY Ancient Egyptians prepared for hunger pangs in the afterlife by having themselves entombed with meals, elegant dishware, and small figurines representing servants. Today at noon a guide at the Oriental Institute Museum will give a talk and tour called Food for Life and the Afterlife in the museum’s new Egyptian Gallery, which boasts preserved samples of bread and poultry. It’s at 1155 E. 58th and it’s free, but registration is required. Call 773-702-9507 to sign up.
When Frank Melcori moved to Chicago 20 years ago, he was struck by the “wide-open spaces and great energy” of the city, as well as the number and diversity of racial insults he heard. Before he packs his bags and heads west to join his girlfriend, Melcori will perform a farewell monologue, The Four Last Slurs, about his time here and why he’s leaving. He’ll split the bill with dancers Bob Eisen and Asimina Chremos, who perform as part of the Chance Dance Festival. It’s tonight at 8 at Link’s Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Admission is $5. Call 773-281-0824.
29 THURSDAY The fate of the Tree Studios, the State Street haven where artists have lived and worked for more than a hundred years, is still up in the air. The Shriners want to sell the building to a developer, while supporters and the artists who live there want the city to give it landmark status. Tonight resident artist Barton Faist and art historians Wendy Greenhouse and Susan Weiniger will present a slide lecture and discussion called Tree Studios and the Chicago Artistic Environment: 1894 to the Present. Artist Robert Kameczura moderates. It’s at 6:30 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington. A tour of the corresponding exhibit “Capturing Sunlight: The Art of Tree Studios” starts at 6. Both events are free. Call 312-744-6630.
Three aspects of the 19th-century Jewish labor movement–the working class, trade unions, and socialism–provide the backbone for the Spertus Museum’s exhibit Workers and Revolutionaries, which includes a life-size reconstruction of a sweatshop. The opening reception for the exhibit starts tonight at 5:30 and is followed by a lecture from labor leader Mike Perry at 6. It’s free, but reservations are requested. The museum is located at 618 S. Michigan (773-322-1747).