Friday 10/18 – Thursday 10/24


By Cara Jepsen

18 FRIDAY Michael Moore, producer and director of Roger & Me and TV Nation, hits town this weekend to promote his new book, Downsize This! Random Threats From an Unarmed American, which examines the effects of corporate cuts on the little guys. He’ll discuss poverty and homelessness at a reception to benefit the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless tonight from 4 to 6 in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. It’s $25; $50 includes a signed copy of his book and membership to the CCH. Call 312-435-4548 for info. Or get your book signed for free at 7:30 at the Nettelhorst School, 3252 N. Broadway (across the street from the Unabridged Bookstore). Call 773-883-9119. Tomorrow Moore joins congressional candidate Danny Davis and state senator Miguel del Valle for a lunch fund-raiser for the Illinois New Party, a grassroots coalition of labor and community activists. It’s at 11:30 at Reza’s, 432 W. Ontario. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door, and $15 for low-income guests. Call 312-939-4136 for reservations or info.

A teenage boy who’s thinking of running away from home goes to a voodoo practitioner for advice. A 60-year-old man explains how he left behind a life of crime. They’re scenes from Chicago 60640, a new play based on the oral histories of its performers–many of whom are tenants of the Lakefront SRO system. Performances are tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 and Sunday at 3:30 in the gym of Margate Park Community Center, 4921 N. Marine. It’s $7 or whatever you can afford. Call 773-561-0900.

19 SATURDAY Billed as “a rare chance to find out about your soup can’s afterlife,” today’s recycling field trip will show you the exciting world of scrap metal. Stops include General Iron, a north-side company that buys scrap metal from “alley entrepreneurs” and then processes and markets it, and the Finkl & Sons plant, which uses recycled metal to make molds for forging steel. Part of a series of tours being offered by the Chicago Recycling Coalition, the two-hour event starts with coffee and doughnuts at 10 at the CRC offices, 2125 W. North. It’s $8; $25 gets you a CRC membership and admission to the entire series. Call 773-862-2370 for reservations or info.

Terri Kapsalis and Hal Rammel, Matthew Owens, Handsome Family, John Corbett, and Lou Mallozi are among the performance artists who’ll present their work at tonight’s P-Form Circus. The annual performance-art sampler and benefit for P-Form magazine is hosted by Fausto Fernos and includes interactive installations and a dance party featuring music by Las Toallitas. The performances start at 8 (doors open at 7:30) at the Randolph Street Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee; the party begins at 10:30. Tickets are $9. Call 312-666-7737.

20 SUNDAY Earlier this year Steve Cushing’s Blues Before Sunrise radio show and its longtime home WBEZ parted ways. Since then Cushing has used his own funds to pay for the satellite transmission of the show. Once the program finds a full-time underwriter, Cushing plans to broadcast from the Jazz Record Mart. In the meantime, the group Friends of Blues Before Sunrise is holding a fund-raiser to help keep the show on the air. Tonight’s benefit includes performances by Lurrie Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, Big Wheeler, Jimmy Lee Robinson, and John Brim. Doors open at 5 at B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted. Tickets are $10. Call 708-771-2135.

Tonight’s your chance to up-grade your autograph collection with minimalist celebrity self-portraits at the eighth annual Doodles by the Stars Benefit Auction for Live Bait Theater. Famous faces for sale include David Mamet, Steve Martin, Kurt Vonnegut, Carol Burnett, John Lithgow, Bob Newhart, Robert Redford, and Yoko Ono. Viewing starts at 6, and bidding closes at 10:30. It’s at the Annoyance Theatre, 3747 N. Clark. Tickets are $15, $20 at the door, and include hors d’oeuvres. Call 773-871-1212 for reservations or info.

21 MONDAY Jimmy Margulies’s winning cartoon from this year’s Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition–named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist John Fischetti–takes Jesse Helms to task for criticizing AIDS-research funding while defending tobacco-industry lobbyists. In Chan Lowe’s second-place drawing, a resident of an Indian reservation wryly observes the congressional debate on immigration. They’re among the entries on display in the Hokin Gallery at Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash. The exhibit opens today from 9 to 7 and runs through November 7. It’s free; call 312-663-1600, ext. 5696.

22 TUESDAY “There is a segment of people for whom any discussion of sex education or contraception sets off a tornado of irrationality,” writes Joycelyn Elders in her new memoir, Joycelyn Elders, M.D.: From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America. “For them it all leads straight to abortion.” In her book Elders also addresses her 18 months in Washington, affirmative action, drug legalization, and her son Kevin’s arrest for selling drugs, as well as her rise from scrubbing bathrooms as a student in Little Rock to her position as the nation’s top public-health official. She’ll discuss and sign her book today at 7 at Borders Books and Music, 830 N. Michigan. It’s free; call 312-573-0564.

23 WEDNESDAY Just when you thought the irritating monotony of the music by such 70s hard-rock mainstays as Bad Company, Foreigner, the Doobie Brothers, and Steely Dan had been relegated to the classic-rock radio station, it’s all cool again. Tonight’s FM 95.4 party, hosted by deejays Dion and John Swift, promises to resuscitate all your worst AOR memories. It starts at 10 at Berlin, 954 W. Belmont. It’s free (hiking boots optional). Call 773-348-2163.

24 THURSDAY The Film Center’s Airplanes and Airports in Cinema series kicks off tonight when Reader contributor Fred Camper screens short films–including Chris Marker’s La Jetee and Stan Brakhage’s Song 12–as well as several clips to illustrate how boarding a plane went from an open-air experience to an enclosed, claustrophobic one. The event coincides with the Art Institute’s Building for Air Travel: Architecture and Design for Commercial Aviation exhibit–an installation designed by United Airlines’ O’Hare-terminal architect Helmut Jahn. It includes cutaway models of airplane interiors, archival photos, and 1960s instructional videos. Camper speaks at 6 at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. It’s $6; call 312-443-3737. The exhibit is open today from 10:30 to 4:30 and runs through January 5; admission to the museum is $7, $3.50 for students and seniors. Call 312-443-3600.

In her new novel, The Law of Love, Like Water for Chocolate author Laura Esquivel includes a CD and a six-panel color insert that are integral to the plot–a love story that spans the time from the fall of Montezuma’s empire to 23rd-century Mexico City. Esquivel will read excerpts in Spanish at 7 as part of the Sor Juana Festival: A Tribute to Mexican Women at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th. Tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors. Call 312-738-1503.