C.P. First, who teaches composition at Northwestern and collects composing awards like hotcakes, will debut a quartet of new works at the Harold Washington Library today. First will present Black Sun for violin and piano, “L’vidi in Terra Angelici” for soprano and two-channel tape, Tantrum for amplified mandolin and two-channel tape, and Two by One for violin. The free concert starts at 12:15 in the auditorium of the library, 400 S. State. Call 747-4740 for details.
Robert Rodi’s first novel, Fag Hag, takes a satiric look at certain social relationships, particularly the phenomenon of, in his words, women who love men who love men. Rodi, a local advertising copywriter, will read from it at People Like Us, 3321 N. Clark, at 7 PM. It’s free; call 248-6363.
Given Bill Clinton’s election plurality–a less than impressive 42 percent–it’s likely that the last direction he’s going to be tacking politically is to the left, and lefties are worried about that: The Left and the Clinton Administration, a panel discussion sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America and the International Socialist Organization, will examine Clinton’s first week in office and the appointments he’s made. Solidarity member Adam Shils, the DSA’s J. Hughes, and Lance Selfa from ISO will be talking; you can listen in by paying $4 at the door ($2 for students and the unemployed) at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 3306 N. Seminary. Things get under way at 7:30; call 275-8937 for more.
The Vietnamese Association of Illinois’ annual lunar new year celebration, at the Aragon Ballroom, has two parts: From 9 AM to 6:30 this evening it’s an open–and free–cultural fair, with lots of food and games along with musical and martial-arts performances onstage. Then, from 8:30 to 1 AM, there’ll be dancing to a Vietnamese band called the Heart Beat. That part costs $12. The Aragon is at 1106 W. Lawrence; call 728-3700 for info.
Susan Solomon went to high school at Von Steuben, and in 1977 she graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Now she’s the youngest member of the National Academy of Sciences and in 1992 was named scientist of the year by R & D Magazine, the Chicago-based magazine that tracks progress in research and development. How did she get from here to there so fast? Solomon is credited with identifying the connection between man-made CFCs and the hole in the ozone layer. She returns to her hometown today to give a free lecture at her alma mater. Ozone Depletion: New Findings and Future Forecasts starts at 2 in the IIT’s Smith-Olson Auditorium, 10 W. 33rd St.; call 567-3104 for more.
Hep night spot the China Club offers a couple blasts from your past tonight. First there’s beat jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, he of the ragged, emotional vocals and polemical songs like “We Almost Lost Detroit.” The show starts at 8 and costs $13.50. Disco novelties the Village People follow at midnight, with a separate $13 admission. The club’s at 616 W. Fulton; call 466-0812.
It’s party time for the Chicago Council of Clubs, an affiliation of local leather, gay, and S and M organizations. Leather Knights & Other Obsessions, a social get-together and raffle, will benefit the McAdory Foundation, which helps people in the Chicago leather community with financial emergencies. Participating clubs include the Chicago Hellfire Club, Leather United-Chicago, M.A.F.I.A., Windy City Bondage Club, and Rodeo Riders Chicago. It’s at Deeks, 3401 N. Sheffield, from 10 to 1 AM tonight, and there’s no cover. Call 549-3335 for details.
There are three places you can see lions and tigers and bears all at the same time: in the forest beside the Yellow Brick Road, on the football fields, and at the Lincoln Park Zoo. You can combine at least two of these today as the zoo presents its fourth annual Zooperbowl. The event raises money for the Lincoln Park Zoological Society; $40 gets you big-screen TVs, Gold Coast hot dogs, snacks from a variety of local companies, lots o’ beer and Pepsi, and other stuff. The doors open at 4 at Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton in Lincoln Park. Call 935-6700 for more.
The University of Illinois at Chicago kicks off black history month with a diverse lineup of free talks and exhibits. The celebration’s keynote speech, by former NAACP prez Benjamin Hooks, is at 7 tonight in the Illinois Room of Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. “The Role of the African-American Architect in the Design of the Urban Community” opens from 9 to 5 today in the center’s Chicago Gallery, same address. Another exhibit, “A Pyramid of Knowledge: Reflections” is open from 9 to 5 as well, in the Art Lounge of the Illini Union, 828 S. Wolcott. “Born Blue: A Personal Tribute to Chicago Blues in Memory of Theresa Needham” features photographs by Delecia Bey; it’s open from 8:30 to 4:45 today in the African-American Cultural Center, 803 S. Morgan. Finally, the opening reception for a show of paintings by Willie Carter will include music from the UIC Jazz Band. Things start at 5 PM in the A. Montgomery Ward Gallery and Lounge, in the Circle Center. Call 413-5070 for details.
The latest talk in the Renaissance Society’s lecture series entitled The Personal and the Political in Recent Art is presented by Glenn O’Brien at 6 PM at the Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton. O’Brien is a regular contributor to Artforum and Interview and has made the news recently as the editor of Madonna’s Sex. He’ll talk about the interesting case of John Ahearn, a white artist who lives and works in the South Bronx and whose recent publicly funded bronzes of three denizens of the neighborhood were criticized as negative stereotypes. A reception starts at 5:30. It’s $5, $3 for students, and free to Renaissance Society members. Call 702-8670 for more.
Roosevelt University’s ongoing panel discussions on the politics, history, and progress of local school reform continue today with “Reform Basics: The Law, the Structures in Each School, the Possibilities.” Panelists include the UIC’s Bill Ayers, Peggy Gordon from the Lawyers’ School Reform Advisory Project, and Westside Schools’ Coretta McFerren. It’s from 4 to 6:30 at the university’s downtown campus, 430 S. Michigan, and free. Call 341-3510 for info.
New Venue, the reading series at the Greenview Arts Center in Rogers Park, salutes local schoolteachers tonight with an evening of readings called Teachers as Writers. Included on the program are Lois Barliant, an English teacher at Lake View High; Loretta Hawkins, a writing teacher at Gage Park; Jackie Murphy, who teaches play writing at Lake View and elsewhere; and Nilda Ruiz Pauley, who teaches English and dance in West Town. It’s $3; the center is at 6418 N. Greenview. Things get under way at 8; call 508-9400 for more.
When Siskel and Ebert were on David Letterman recently, Roger Ebert rambled and Letterman’s mind started wandering. Ebert stopped himself and said, “What, am I looking foolish?” “That’s not the ‘f’-word I was thinking of,” Dave shot back to the roly-poliest of film mavens. Ebert returns to town this week, ready to spearhead a new film-study class, which is open to the public. The 11-week class meets Wednesdays at 6 PM at the Rubloff Auditorium of the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. Tuition is $255. It’s put on by the University of Chicago’s Center for Continuing Studies; call 702-1722 for details.
A special three-day run of Mozart’s Don Giovanni will combine elements both traditional (an orchestra and the usual opera singing) and non (multimedia accoutrements, a two-person cast, and staging in a rock club). The show, a two-years-in-the-making project of prof Amnon Wolman, is presented by Northwestern Music School and will feature video monitors, flashing lights, and duets between the singers and animated characters. Performances are tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 and 10:30 and Saturday at 3 and 8 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tix are $12, $10 for seniors and Northwestern faculty and students. Call 708-491-5441 for information.