Friday 8/20 – Thursday 8/26


By Cara Jepsen

20 FRIDAY Richard Cotovsky never met Abbie Hoffman, but the bearded, longhaired actor will adopt the late yippie’s persona to kick off Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company’s Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins XI theater festival. The weekend-long marathon–which is open to all theater groups and performers–starts at 2 with a gathering at Daley Plaza and a march to Mary-Arrchie’s home, Angel Island (731 W. Sheridan), at 3. There the Dramatist Revolutionary Army will begin the performances with David Mamet’s A Life With No Joy in It at 7:15. The fest ends Sunday night with Mary-Arrchie performing Arlene Cook’s Gas Mask 101 at 11:35 PM, followed by closing ceremonies with “Abbie.” Tickets are $5 (good all weekend if you don’t leave the venue), $10 a day with in/out privileges, or $25 for a weekend pass. Call 773-871-0442 or see the listings in Section Two for more information.

“Gender is a drag,” Patti Smith once said. Her comment is the stepping-off point for Mindy Faber’s short video poem “The Man Within Me.” It’ll be screened with two more of her videos and work by Alexandra Halkin and Deb Ellis, Paula Froehle, and Vivian Yu at Illinois’ Own: 1999 Illinois Arts Council Media Arts Fellowship Recipients. The free Chicago Filmmakers-sponsored event starts at 7 in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).

The Kurdish-Iranian musical group the Kamkars is made up of the eight sons and one daughter of legendary Iranian musician and composer Hassan Kamkar. But unlike the von Trapps, the Kamkars play their own instruments–they’re known for kicking out classical Kurdish and Persian jams. They’ll play at a fund-raiser to benefit the Iran House of Greater Chicago tonight at 9 at the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Tickets are $25. Call 847-673-0614 for details.

21 SATURDAY In 1989 Yugoslavian filmmaker Emir Kusturica won the director’s award at Cannes for Time of the Gypsies. The story of a boy who joins a gang of thieves has been lauded for its accurate and rich portrayal of the Romany people. It’ll be shown at 7 and 9:45 tonight at University of Chicago Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th (773-702-8575). Admission is $3.

Last September koto player Brett Larner, who lives in Japan, schlepped his large, unwieldy stringed instrument to Xoinx Tea Room, where he was scheduled to play in a Chicago Creative Music Series show, only to find series organizers Robbie Hunsinger and Tim McLoraine staring at the locked doors of the venue, which had closed down. Larner recently contacted the two about playing another gig, and they set up tonight’s concert at Artemisia Gallery, 700 N. Carpenter (312-226-7323). It’s at 9 and admission is $6.

22 SUNDAY The Midwest Buddhist Temple’s annual Ginza Holiday takes its name from the Tokyo district that’s synonymous with entertainment. The weekend festival will include dance and music from the Wakayagi Shiyu Kai Classical Dance Troupe, taiko drum groups, and the Na Kapuna Ukulele Group from Hawaii. Master craftsmen from Tokyo will demonstrate traditional skills dating from the Edo period, 300 years ago. Sushi, noodles, and Japanese snow cones topped with adzuki beans will be on sale. The festival begins Friday evening and runs through today from 11:30 to 8 in front of the temple, 435 W. Menomonee. Admission is $3.50, $2.50 for seniors and children over 12. Call 312-943-7801 for details or see the listings in Section Three.

The etiquette of communicating with people with disabilities sounds a lot like common sense. According to Natural Ties, a nonprofit group that brings the disabled and nondisabled together socially, you should speak directly to the person you want to address, listen attentively, and treat them with the proper respect. The group also warns against leaning on a person’s wheelchair, which is “generally considered annoying.” Today the group will hold its annual Summer Bash from 3 to 6 at Elliot Park, on the lakefront between Hamilton and Greenleaf in Evanston. It’s free; bring a side dish or dessert. Call 847-475-5501.

23 MONDAY Photographer George O. Jackson spent a decade documenting the agricultural rituals of the indigenous people of Guerrero and Oaxaca in Mexico, including a farmer who makes offerings to 50 angels–by setting out 50 tiny meals on 50 little plates–to ensure a good harvest. Jackson’s work is part of Summer Festivals of Guerrero and Oaxaca: The Cycle of Propitiation and Sacrifice, an exhibit at the Field Museum, Lake Shore Drive and Roosevelt Road (312-922-9410). It’s open today from 9 to 5. Admission is $7, $4 for students, seniors, and children.

24 TUESDAY Among the Bibles and other traditional Christian books found in the collection of upstanding 19th-century industrialist John Glessner and his wife, Frances, is a 12-volume set of The Swedenborg Library, the teachings of scientist-turned-theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The 18th-century Swede’s writings spawned the New Church and intrigued creative types like Daniel Burnham. Tonight at 6:30 Glessner House Museum senior curator Janice C. Hack and the Reverend Terry Schnarr from the Swedenborgian Chicago New Church will present Mysticism in the Mansion: Swedenborg & Chicago’s Artistic Foundations, a look at Swedenborg’s ideas and his influence. The talk is at the museum, 1800 S. Prairie. Admission is $6. Reservations are recommended; call 312-326-1480.

25 WEDNESDAY Young singers will interpret music from La boheme, Rigoletto, La traviata, Tales of Hoffmann, and Porgy and Bess at the Department of Cultural Affairs’ latest free outdoor diversion, Summeropera. Soprano Jonita Lattimore, mezzo-soprano Buffy Baggott, tenor Warren Moulton, bass-baritone Galen Bower, and others will perform accompanied by pianist Richard Boldrey. It starts at 7:30 at the Spirit of Music Garden, at Michigan between Harrison and Balbo. Call 312-744-6630 for more.

26 THURSDAY Twenty-four-year-old author Joe Meno can count Hubert Selby Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn, as one of his fans. “This book does help you change your perceptions about things you may have believed you really know,” he wrote about Meno’s debut novel, Tender as Hellfire, a tale of two young boys navigating life in a trailer park. Meno, who’s originally from Beverly, returns to his old neighborhood to read from his work tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 2210 W. 95th (773-445-5471). It’s free.

Has “outsider” art gone the way of “alternative” music? Today a group of collectors and curators will discuss the issue at a free panel discussion called Nobody’s Outside Anymore: The De-Marginalization of Outsider Art and Its Role in the Mainstream Critical Mass. It’s at 7 at Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee (312-243-9088).