Friday 5

Prinz-Albrecht-Terrain, the historic sector of Berlin south of its governmental center, where the Nazis headquartered the Gestapo and the SS, is the subject of the traveling exhibit Topography of Terror, a collection of maps, photos, and documents. It’s up in the Georgetown Room of the Marquette Center, 820 N. Rush, through November 24. It’s open 8 to 7 weekdays and 8 to 4 Saturdays, and admission is free. In conjunction with the exhibit, Loyola University is presenting a four-day conference called Confronting the Past, also in the Marquette Center; sessions begin today at 4:30, tomorrow at 9, and Monday at noon. It concludes Tuesday at 5 with a commemoration of Kristallnacht. Call 329-0917 for details.

Fluxus Vivus–that’s “Fluxus lives”–is the Arts Club of Chicago’s contribution to a citywide salute by various arts groups to the 30th anniversary of the Fluxus movement. Tonight at the Arts Club, guests will be presented with a “menu” from which they can order at-their-table performances from a roving band of abstract and absurdist artists. Admission is $20, $15 for students and seniors. The club is at 109 E. Ontario. Things get under way at 7. Fluxus Vivus continues next Thursday, November 16, with a concert and “lewd food” banquet that includes one piece during which ten plates of differently flavored mashed potatoes are served; next Saturday, November 20, with a poetry reading; and Thursday and Friday, December 2 and 3, with another concert. Call 787-3997 for details.

We’re just dying to hear what the American Suicide Foundation is going to say at its benefit debate tonight, Can Suicide Be Rational? The group says its aim is to promote suicide prevention through research and education; at tonight’s debate, hosted by the foundation’s midwestern division, a spectrum of local doctors will tackle the dos and don’ts of self-destruction from ethical, religious, medical, and personal-care points of view. The event costs $12 and starts at 7 at the Randolph Street Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee; there’ll be a reception to follow with refreshments and a light buffet. Call 478-1956 for more.

Saturday 6

If most of your ideas about archaeology come from Indiana Jones movies, you might want to check out Archaeology for the 1990s and Beyond, a daylong symposium sponsored by the U. of C.’s Oriental Institute. It’ll focus on how modern tools like satellite images, X-ray diffractions, mass spectrometry, and computer imaging have changed the way archaeologists do their jobs. It runs from 8:30 to about 5 today at the university’s Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. Registration is $45, and it’s limited; call 702-9507 for reservations.

Do you have to see to make visual art? No, says the Illinois Eye-Bank, and offers up as evidence an exhibit of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and photography by blind and visually impaired artists. Art of the Eye: An Exhibition on Vision is up at the Chicago Athenaeum, 333 W. Wacker, through December 10. There’s a $40 opening reception tonight from 6 to 8 that benefits the Eye-Bank and the Delta Gamma Foundation. If you miss that, there’s an afternoon tea next Sunday, November 14, from 2 to 5; that’s $15. Otherwise the exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 to 6 weekdays. Call 431-3333.

Sunday 7

The folks at the Chicago Hilton and Towers are shutting off part of Eighth Street (the block just south of the hotel, between Wabash and Michigan) to throw the City’s Largest Tailgate Party this morning before the Bears game at Soldier Field. There’ll be brats, brewskies, and lots of talk from the hosts of WMAQ’s “Sports Huddle” show. Admission is free; food and drink isn’t. It runs from 11 to 3. Call 922-4400, ext. 4707 for more info.

Monday 8

Some of the pitfalls and hurdles of negotiating a record contract will be covered in The Anatomy of the Record Deal, a seminar from the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association. On the dais: Thomas Leavens, CEO of Platinum Entertainment; Smash Records capo Marvin Gleicher; and Graham and Brad Elvis, from the rock band the Elvis Brothers. It’s from 3 to 6 today at bar association HQ, 321 S. Plymouth. It’s $45, $30 for CBA members. Call 554-2056.

“The most noted sequence in film history,” according to Living Images, is of course the Odessa Steps montage in Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein’s technically ground-breaking story of the famous mutiny. This 1925 work, the director’s second film, shows as part of Facets Multimedia’s ongoing Eisenstein retrospective at 7 and 8:30 tonight. It’s $5; Facets is at 1517 W. Fullerton. Call 281-4114.

The group at Pretzelrod Productions say they were brought together “by mutual admiration and a shared love of low-fat snack food.” Their show I’m Sweating Under My Breasts, a series of solo performances, originally ran at the Annoyance Theatre. Now it’s moved to Cafe Voltaire, 3231 N. Clark, with more or less the same lineup: work by Rose Abdoo, Jane Blass, Cindy Hanson, Dorothy Milne, Clare Nolan-Long, Martha Sanders, Jenifer Tyler, and Pamela Webster. It plays at 9 PM on Mondays in November and Wednesdays in December. Tix are $7; call 327-1001 for more.

Tuesday 9

Director Mary Zimmerman has turned 5,000 pages of notes and drawings into a “dream documentary” called The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Zimmerman produced a smaller and less elaborate version of the same thing about five years ago at the old Edge of the Lookingglass; since then, she’s done a lot of reworking. The new version opens in the Goodman studio, 200 S. Columbus, tonight; the cast includes Christopher Donahue, who appeared in Zimmerman’s last Goodman production, The Baltimore Waltz; Steppenwolf’s Mariann Mayberry; the Lookingglass Theatre’s Laura Eason; and many others. It runs through November 28, with performances Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays through Sundays at 8, and weekend matinees at 2:30. There are certain dates without performances, so call in advance. Tickets are $18 and $23; call 443-3800.

Wednesday 10

In celebration of Chicago Access Corporation’s ten years of weird broadcasts the public-access company will broadcast an hour-long special hosted by Hope Daniels, press secretary for Carol Moseley Braun; Jerry Bryant, star of the locally produced music show JBTV; and Christina Adachi of the Angel Island Asian American theater company. It’ll come to you live from the operation’s birthday party at CAC studios, and the hosts will be talking to revelers and special guests. The show starts at 6 PM on Channel 19 on all Chicago cable systems. Call 738-1400.

Ballet Chicago’s resident choreographer, Gordon Peirce Schmidt, is premiering his version of The Gift of the Magi tonight at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. The show, which runs tonight through Sunday, November 21, also includes Schmidt’s In a Nutshell and selections from the company version of The Nutcracker. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 7, with 2 PM matinees Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tix are $29.50-$35. Call 335-1650.

Thursday 11

William T. Vollmann has been called “the reigning kid genius of American fiction” (by USA Today), “one of America’s most intrepid fictional frontiersmen” (by Publisher’s Weekly), and “a cross between William Burroughs and Thomas Pynchon” (by his publicist). His new book, Butterfly Stories, seems to be a sex- and drug-drenched descent into hell. He’s reading tonight at 6 at Waterstone’s Booksellers, double-billed with novelist Richard Grossman, whose The Alphabet Man is reputedly the twisted tale of a sadistic schizophrenic. Waterstone’s is at 840 N. Michigan. Call 587-8080 for more.