Friday 11/26 – Thursday 12/2


By Cara Jepsen

26 FRIDAY If you absolutely, positively must go downtown today, at least be aware of the few good deals there are to be had. The first 300 cars that show up at Standard Parking, 17 E. Adams (312-554-0112), get to park for free (doors open at 8). Since you’re down there anyway, the city’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and festivities start at 4 at Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn. Call 312-744-3315 for more information. And folks who come to marvel at Bernardo Silva’s intricately detailed gingerbread Alpine village in the lobby of the Renaissance Chicago Hotel (1 W. Wacker) can refresh themselves with free cookies and hot apple cider from 4:30 to 6:30. The snacks will be doled out daily through Christmas; call 312-372-7200.

Steve Dahl and Garry Meier are together again–sort of. They’re both on the roster for Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic festival, in which local media celebrities read their favorite children’s holiday books. Tonight’s story hour starts at 5 with Judy Markey and Kathy O’Malley followed by Meier at 6 and Bill Zwecker at 7 in the zoo’s Storybook Theater. Over at the East Mall, Cook County Board president John Stroger will flip the switch for the outdoor tree-lighting ceremony at 6, followed by a performance by the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus. Upcoming readers at the festival, which runs weekends from 4 to 9 through December 19, include Bill Kurtis, Aaron Freeman, and Dahl, who reads December 4. Brookfield Zoo is located at First Avenue and 31st Street in Brookfield (708-485-0263). Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children.

The real John Malkovich has spent the past several weeks hard at work on Steppenwolf’s new production, Hysteria. He’s directing the Terry Johnson comedy, about a retired Sigmund Freud who’s being harassed by a naked woman in his closet and Salvador Dali. Previews start tonight (it opens December 5) at 7:30 at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets are $32, $38-$42 for the regular run. Call 312-335-1650.

27 SATURDAY Albert and David Maysles’s 90-minute documentary Salesman (1969) follows four door-to-door Bible salesmen on their rounds in Boston and the south, and ends up focusing on the growing despair of the one who’s least successful. It’ll be shown today, tomorrow, and next weekend at 11:30 AM at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport (773-871-6604). Tickets are $6.

Mystic Entertainment’s post-Thanksgiving singles event is aimed at young professionals and grad school students who “are staying over break to study” and have no place else to meet like-minded up-and-comers. The mixer starts at 10 at Mint, 820 W. Lake. Admission is $10 before 11, $12 after. Call 312-543-9889 for details.

28 SUNDAY Before they came up with Ragtime, lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty created the “musical fairy tale” Once on This Island, about a poor French Antilles girl who falls in love with a rich boy. It opens tonight at 7 (and runs through December 26) at Apple Tree Theatre, 595 Elm Place in Highland Park. Tickets are $24.50 to $28.50; call 847-432-4335.

29 MONDAY “Sometimes, India staggers you,” Louis Malle remarks in his six-and-a-half-hour seven-part documentary, Phantom India, culled from footage he shot over four months in 1968. Though Malle’s son has pulled all of his films from circulation to restore them, the Chicago Cultural Center has received special permission to screen the rarely seen documentary as part of its “India: A Celebration of Independence” exhibit. Parts one through four will be shown tonight at 5:30 and parts five through seven will be screened tomorrow at the same time at the center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). Admission is free.

30 TUESDAY Last month a Tribune article told the story of a Chinese woman who gave birth next to a toilet in the Du Page County Jail, where she and others awaiting processing or deportation by the INS were being held, a situation Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center director Mary Meg McCarthy compared to putting the Pilgrims in jail. Today McCarthy will join U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and Jacqueline Bhabha from the University of Chicago’s Center for International Studies to discuss the treatment of women and children by the INS. It’s at noon at the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth. It’s free; lunch is available for $14. Reservations are required; call 312-554-2124.

Speaking of incarceration, spirited wigger William “Upski” Wimsatt of Bomb the Suburbs fame is back with No More Prisons, a new book that “explores notions of criminalization of youth” and “is a rallying cry for increasing the options that young urbans explore.” There’s a release party tonight at 7 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). It’s $3.


1 WEDNESDAY Today at 12:15 the Museum of Contemporary Art will mark World AIDS Day with a reading of work about the disease by Columbia College fiction writing professors Ann Hemenway and Drew Ferguson. It will be followed by a candle-lighting ceremony and a performance of music from The AIDS Quilt Songbook by Marc Montminy. Visitors can also view panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and write their thoughts in an interactive piece artist Felix Gonzales-Torres created before his death in 1990. It’s from 10 to 5 at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago (312-280-2660). Admission is $7.

One person not singing the praises of our high-speed digital age is technology and media critic Neil Postman, who calls himself an “enemy of this century.” In his new book, Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Informs Our Future, he says that the writers of the Enlightenment period best addressed issues of technology and progress. He’ll explain further tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It’s free.

2 THURSDAY Tonight journalist and human rights activist Allan Nairn, who was arrested in East Timor during the violence following the August referendum on independence, will discuss what happened at a benefit for the East Timor Action Network. He’ll be joined by activists Allie Epstein and Kristin Sundell, whose experiences in East Timor are detailed earlier in this issue. It’s at 7:30 at the Stone Soup Co-Op, 4637 N. Ashland. The sliding-scale admission (up to $10) benefits relief and reconstruction efforts in East Timor. Call 773-878-4033.