Friday 27

If you’re a good hand at the lathe, or want to learn to be, the Chicagoland Woodworking Show is for you. You can attend some of the two-and-a-half hour seminars–$40 a throw, on everything from router technique to building decks and gazebos–or just check out the products and the smaller-scale workshops, today from noon to 7, Saturday from 10 to 6, and Sunday from 10 to 5 in the north hall of the Odeum Sports and Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa in Villa Park. Admission is $6; call 800-826-8257 for details.

“I don’t like kids. I don’t like your kids.” That’s Gena Rowlands in Gloria to her neighbor Buck Henry, an informing mob accountant trying to get his children out of the way before his associates come by to pay retribution. Rowlands ends up with his six-year-old boy, whom she struggles rather ambivalently to keep away from the bad guys. This deglamorized but offhandedly lyrical on-the-run film by the late John Cassavetes is playing with Love Streams–both Cassavetes classics were left out of the recent retrospective on the filmmaker at the Music Box–at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton, tonight through Sunday. Gloria starts at 6:45 tonight and tomorrow and 5:15 Sunday, Love Streams at 9 tonight and tomorrow and 7:30 Sunday. Tickets are $5, $6 for the double feature; call 281-4114.

Conway Twitty started out as country and R & B singer Harold Jenkins. Then he changed his name (as the story goes, he just stuck together the names of two towns he’d played), spent some time as a rockabilly man at Sun, and finally crossed over to big pop success. In about 1962 he went back to C and W and has been there ever since. George Jones is merely the greatest living country singer; the two will play together tonight at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, at 8. Tickets are $10-$27.50. Call 629-0334 for details.

Saturday 28

Are you a “man who is in transition, who wants to appear more confident, and who would like to learn how to shop more effectively”? If you are–and you have $225 to throw away besides–check out Successful Images’ how-to-dress seminar for men at the Top of the Plaza in the Doral Plaza, 151 N. Michigan, from 9:45 to 4 today. The session will be led by image consultant Lauren Stein, who’ll counsel attendees on things like wardrobe strategies and nonverbal communication skills. Call 642-6982.

The Video Drug series is the newest thing in Japanese animation; you can catch an early peek at it tonight at the Psychotronic Film Society’s weekly showing at Avalon Niteclub, 959 W. Belmont. PFS czar Michael Flores compares the new animation style to a lava light, and he’s just about right: computer-generated hallucinatory graphics percolate to anonymous, pulsating head music. It’s interesting to watch, but it gets old quickly if you haven’t ingested any accompanying hallucinogenic yourself. Hint, hint. The showing begins at 8:30; the $6 admission also gets you in to see the midnight show of the rockin’ and revolting Impotent Sea Snakes. Call 738-0985 for details.

Sunday 29

It’s the 500th anniversary of the flight of Sephardic Jews from the threat of the Spanish Inquisition. You can eat Sephardic food, meet Sephardic Jews, and talk about Sephardic issues at the Sephardic Heritage Fair, from 10 to 8 today at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy, 2828 W. Pratt. It’s $3, just a buck for students and seniors. Call 708-475-7707 for more.

The latest edition of the Uptown Poetry Slam will feature an encore performance of “The Wrecking of Old Comiskey,” a joint work by poet Bob Chicoine and photog Dave Levenson. The pair are also beer vendors at Comiskey, and their 30-minute epic, tracing the history and slow demolition of the south-side landmark, wowed ’em at its first performance, at a recent slam. It’s last on the bill at tonight’s slam, following the usual antics: poets forced to produce for a vocally approving (or unapproving, as the case may be) audience. Things get under way at 8 at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway. It’s $4; call 278-7237 for details.

Monday 30

Chicago’s contribution to Taste of the Nation–an event organizers say is “the world’s largest restaurant benefit to feed the hungry and homeless”–gets under way tonight at Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn. A smorgasbord of local chefs will be offering up their wares from 6 to 9, and you can sample them without guilt for a $50 ticket, with, organizers claim, 100 percent of the proceeds going to hunger groups including the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Inspiration Cafe, and the Illinois Hunger Coalition. There’ll be similar fund-raisers in more than 100 cities across the country this week, with more than 1,000 participating restaurants; those contributing food tonight include Ann Sather, Charlie Trotter’s, and Mirador. Call 467-7142 for more.

Tuesday 31

Lots of readings tonight: Over at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark, starting at 7:15, writer Kristie Miller will talk about her biography of her grandmother, Ruth Hanna McCormick, the first woman to be nominated by a major party for the Senate and to run a presidential campaign (Thomas Dewey’s in 1944). The book is Ruth Hanna McCormick: A Life in Politics 1880-1944. Call 769-9299 for more. Three local writers are on the agenda at Unabridged Books, 3251 N. Broadway, at 7:30. Robert Rodi will be reading from his new novel, Fag Hag; also on hand, reading from works in progress, will be Andrew Allegretti and Michael McColly. Call 883-9119. Both events are free.


Wednesday 1

Some might view being trapped in a room with dozens of professed punsters as cruel and unusual punishment (pun-ishment, get it?). Nevertheless, the annual Save the Pun Foundation dinner goes on. This year’s speakers are foundation prez John Crosbie and punster of the year Steve Bhaerman, who writes books under the name Swami Beyondananda. It starts at 6 at the Guest Quarters Suite Hotel, 198 E. Delaware. Tix are $37.50. Call 973-3523 for more.

The New Art Examiner, published in Chicago since 1973 and the nation’s largest visual-arts magazine outside of New York, is currently in a financial situation it describes as “somewhat precarious.” Readers have sent in $8,000 already; you can give it more help tonight at a benefit party and silent auction at the World Tattoo Gallery, 1255 S. Wabash, from 6 PM on. There’ll be live jazz, along with artwork for sale from a wide representation of local talent. It’s $5; call 786-0200.

Thursday 2

Derek Humphrey, the author of Final Exit, will be giving an address today at the American Association of Suicidology conference, running at the Westin, 909 N. Michigan, through Saturday. The association concentrates on suicide information, research, and prevention, and it’s not just for doctors: the AAS’s president, David Clark of Chicago’s Center for Suicide Research and Prevention, says that one-quarter of its membership is laypeople, mostly relatives of people who’ve killed themselves. Humphrey talks on a three-person panel this morning at 10:45, and there will be a variety of other speakers and workshops. Full conference admission for nonmembers is $335; there’s also an $85 daily admission, $55 for students. Call 942-7208 for more.

The Friends of Downtown are serving up Cook County Board prez Richard Phelan at their brown-bag luncheon today. It starts at noon at the Uncommon Ground Coffee House, on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph. It’s free; call 977-0098 for more information.

Promising Annuals Not Often Used is the title of tonight’s slide show and talk by Jim Nau, trials manager for the Ball Seed Company; his position there makes him something of an expert on up-and-coming buds of all sorts. It starts at 7:30 at the Cantigny Golf Clubhouse, 27 W 270 Mack Road in Wheaton. Admission is $3; call 708-668- 5161 for details.