“Lincoln’s speech is brief, one might argue, because it is silent on so much that one would expect to hear about. The Gettysburg Address does not mention Gettysburg. Or slavery. Or–more surprisingly–the Union. (Certainly not the South.)” So writes Garry Wills in Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. You can hear the famous 272-word oration–originally given by Lincoln at the dedication of a muddy Pennsylvania cemetery 130 years ago today–delivered by local actor Max Daniels in the lobby of Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, at noon. It’s free. Call 346-3278 for more.
Andres Serrano, creator of the famous crucifix submerged in urine known as Piss Christ, opens a new show at the Feigen Gallery tonight consisting of “abstract photographs of body fluids, close-ups of statues submerged in fluids, portraits of the homeless and members of the Ku Klux Klan, and his recent Morgue (Cause of Death) series,” say the folks at the gallery. It runs through December 31 at 742 N. Wells; the artist will be at the free reception tonight from 5 to 7. Call 787-0500.
Photog Philin Phlash started out chronicling the hard-core demimonde in Boston, where he helped start the Boston Rock fanzine and shot for both the Globe and the Phoenix for nearly a decade. He’s been in Chicago for five years; the title of his new show at the David Leonardis Gallery, The Public Eye, is a nod to his move toward more general nightlife documentary and reflects the flash-drenched garishness of his paparazzi-style shots. The show includes old stuff (James Brown in action) and new (Guess? gal Anna Nicole Smith oozing out of a cab) and is up through December 16. There’s an opening reception tonight from 5 to 9 at the gallery, which is at 207 W. Ohio. Call 644-0800.
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” That verse from 1 Corinthians provided the title for One Part Honor: Stories and Faces of Chicago’s Olive Branch, a history and photo essay on the Olive Branch Mission, the homeless shelter on West Madison Street. Photographers Sharon Smith and Wally Wright will be signing the book, published by Chicago Review Press, at Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey, at 2 today. Call 243-3373.
Saxman John Zorn has thrown over his working ensemble Naked City for a new group, Masada, named after the Old Testament mountain and consisting of Dave Douglas on trumpet, Greg Cohen on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. The sound? “Funny and quick, noisy and raucous, a high-energy mix of world idioms as ethnically pungent as New York street life,” says the New York Times. The group hits town in one of only eight U.S. appearances in a concert sponsored by Jam Productions and the Goodman Theatre’s New Music series tonight at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. Shows start at 9 and 11; tix are $20. Call 525-2508.
Evanston is dispensing a disparate docket of diversions today. First up, there’s the National Organization for Women’s Turkey of the Year Awards. One suspects that a certain Oregon senator with some well-publicized woman problems will be at the top of the list, but to really find out you have to attend the Evanston-North Shore NOW brunch today. State representative Lauren Beth Gash presides at the affair, which starts at 12:30 at the YMCA at 1215 Church in Evanston. It’s $10, $12.50 at the door; call 708-475-0680.
Herb Ellis, the jazz guitarist and renowned session player who’s backed Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown and played in the Tonight Show Orchestra, among other things, is holding a guitar clinic at Evanston’s Guitar Works today at 2. It’s $25, $20 if you register in advance; the Guitar Works is at 739 Main in Evanston. Call 708-475-0855 to reserve a spot.
Finally, consider the Peregrina Pearl: a 58-and-a-half-carat gem found in Panama in the mid-16th century, worn by Queen Mary and many of her successors, stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte, and now in the possession of Elizabeth Taylor. Vivian Swift, a historian with Christie’s, is giving a free lecture on the famous pearl today at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery at 623 Grove in Evanston. Things get under way at 3. Call 708-869-7920.
So what’s the gist of Serpents and Apples: Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical Well-Being for Working Women, a new book by Karen Barrie and Kathleen Cain? “When we understand that everything in life can be either good or bad, depending on what we make it, then sometimes serpents don’t seem so awful and apples don’t seem so great,” according to the publicist. Barrie and Cain lead the discussion at the Chicago Literary Society dinner tonight at Mareva’s, 1250 N. Milwaukee. It starts at 6:30; $32 gets you dinner and a copy of the book. Call 973-3523 for reservations.
“Growing up female during the age of Dexatrim, plastic surgery, and the supermodel” is the subject of Sculpture in Vitro: Growing Up Female in the Age of Liposuction, the multimedia performance show by Shirley Anderson and Molly McNutt. It played briefly at Live Bait Theater this summer; now it’s back for a more extended run, playing Monday through Wednesday at 8 PM and Saturday at 3 PM through December 18. Tickets are $8; Live Bait is at 3914 N. Clark. Call 871-1212 for info.
The feud has been going on for 3,547 years, the last 47 of them in the form of an annual formalized debate in the halls of the University of Chicago, and yet there is still no agreement as to whether the latke (a potato pancake) or the hamentash (a triangular poppy-seed or prune cake) is the superior food. This year’s edition of the Latke-Hamentash Symposium pits a half dozen U. of C. professors against each other, moderated by philosophy professor Ted Cohen. The debate is in the Max Palevsky Theater of Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., at 7:30 PM. The talk is free; there’s a $2 charge to sample the evidence postdebate. Call 752-1127.
The fruits of Gallery 37–the summer arts school set up for high school students on the notorious Block 37, the vacant lot on State Street across from Marshall Field’s–go on sale in the Chicago Cultural Center each year around Christmas. This year’s sale includes everything from furniture to quilts, mosaics to mud paintings, ranging from $3 to $400. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 to 7, Friday 10 to 6, Saturday 10 to 5, and Sunday noon to 5, through December 31. The center is at 78 E. Washington. Call 744-8925 for details.
The Chicago Christian Industrial League provides hot breakfast and lunch today to the homeless. The 84-year-old group is serving breakfast from 6 to 9:30 and Thanksgiving dinner from 11 to 2:30 at their offices, 123 S. Green, near the intersection of Monroe and Halsted. Call 714-7800.
Vertel’s 16th annual Turkey Trot–an 8K run in Lincoln Park sponsored by the sporting goods store and a few other neighborhood businesses–gets under way at 9 this morning. The race starts at the entrance to the Lincoln Park Zoo, at 2200 N. Cannon; registration is $15 ($12 in advance) plus a can of food to go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Pick up registration materials at Vertel’s, 1818 N. Wells, or call 664-4903 for info.
Generally at zoos you’re not supposed to feed the animals, but the Brookfield Zoo is making an exception for Thanksgiving. Admission is free today, and kids can help the keepers in the Children’s Zoo serve up beet pulp, hog mix, worms, grapes, alfalfa hay, and duck chow to horses, donkeys, llamas, cows, and ducks; they can also watch as the keepers dish out delicacies to the scarier zoo residents, like coyotes, porcupines, and hawks. The feeding starts at 1; Brookfield Zoo is at First Avenue and 31st Street in Brookfield. There’s a $4 parking fee. Call 708-485-0263, ext. 450.