Hellenic Interlude–the bilingual Greek American radio show–can be found where you’d least expect it: from 9 to 10 AM weekdays on WVVX (103.1 FM), better known for its heavy-metal programming. The show is celebrating its 30th birthday tonight at 7 with a dinner and ball at the Rosewood restaurant, 9421 W. Higgins in Rosemont. The $50 ticket includes an open bar, a chateaubriand dinner, and dancing to quite a selection of live Greek music. It’s all hosted by Hellenic Interlude mainstays Yiannis and Antigone Lambros. Call 332-0390 for details.
A Bataan death-march survivor, a gay marine, a Japanese American girl, a British mother, and an American entertainer are some of the characters in The Good War, a remounting of Prologue Theatre’s adaptation of Studs Terkel’s oral history of World War II. The play opens tonight and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2:30 through December 8. Performances are in the First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn; tickets are $11-$12.50, two dollars less for students and seniors. Call 753-9303 for details.
Rods and Cones: Humor and the Politics of Performance is a six-act performance-art show playing at Art-O-Rama tonight and tomorrow. Among the perpetrators: Thax Douglas, Andy Soma, Ro Annis, Donn Kidd, and Andy Marko, speaking “in the dark about urination and public rest rooms.” Art-O-Rama is at 3039 W. Irving Park; shows start at 8 both nights. It’s $6. Call 588-1876 for more.
“You mentioned your name as if I should recognize it, but beyond the obvious facts that you are a bachelor, a solicitor, a Freemason, and an asthmatic, I know nothing whatever about you.” That’s Sherlock Holmes greeting a visitor to his digs at 221B Baker St. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, but Holmes and Watson live on, most particularly in the activities of a worldwide network called the Baker Street Irregulars, who view the detective as real, Watson as the actual author of the manuscripts, and Doyle as merely the literary agent for the series. One of the Chicago chapters calls itself the Dedicated Associates of Lomax (named for a sublibrarian at the British Museum who assists Holmes); the group, along with others in the area, are working to get the new Harold Washington Library well stocked with Sherlockiana. They’re sponsoring a tour of the new library today starting at 3:30, with dinner to follow at Binyon’s Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth. Special guest is Peter Blau, who’ll speak on “The Adventures of a Sherlockian Collector.” The tour’s free; dinner’s $24.50. Call the group at 738-1933 for details.
Beatnik pater and aesthete-without-portfolio Allen Ginsberg’s last trip to Chicago was for a concert with Philip Glass; now he’s back to show off what he always did best–poetry. Ginsberg reads tonight at 8 at the Weinstein Center for the Performing Arts, part of National-Louis University at 2840 Sheridan Road in Evanston. He’ll also be having a “dharma conversation” with fellow Buddhist Gelek Rinpoche. Tix are $10-$25; call 708-256-5150, ext. 2593.
Lawrence Steger presents Stave, his newest performance-art work, tonight and the next three Saturday nights at 9 at Club Lower Links. His references this time out, say the folks at Lower Links, include rock stars, satanic rituals, delinquency testing, and an Afro-American dictionary of slang. Links is at 954 W. Newport; admission is $6. Call 248-5238.
It’s one thing to talk about the Bill of Rights, and a much more controversial thing entirely to put its precepts into action. Three pros in this field are being honored at a Bill of Rights celebration today to benefit the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights: Philip Agee, the author of Inside the Company: CIA Diary, the definitive agency expose; Susan Gzesh, a hard-fighting lawyer for immigrants and refugees; and Howard Saffold, an activist and reformer on crime issues. Cook County commish Danny Davis hosts, from 4:30 to 7 at the Ambassador West, 1300 N. State. Tickets are $50. Call 939-0675.
It’s National Children’s Book Week–what better time for a Reading Pep Rally? Bears defensive end Trace Armstrong will be on hand at the Chicago Historical Society today to demonstrate that you can play sports and like books. Armstrong will be autographing official Book Week posters at 1; hanging around will be Illinois secretary of state George Ryan and United Airlines prez Stephen Wolf. There’ll be music too, and more reading events all week at the Historical Society, at North and Clark. It’s free. Call 642-4600 for details.
“This is a book about what Elvis Presley has been up to, in the last fourteen years: a small history of something much too big for one body, or one face. Elvis Presley made history; this is a book about how, when he died, many people found themselves caught up in the adventure of remaking his history, which is to say their own.” So writes critic Greil Marcus in the introduction to his new book, Dead Elvis, a chronicle of an American obsession with the dead antihero. In a previous book, Mystery Train, Marcus found in Presley’s unbounded ambition and pathetic death an efficient metaphor for American hope; in Dead Elvis he finds similar meaning in the detritus–from paintings and songs to tabloid stories–that remains. Marcus will read tonight at Barbara’s Bookstore, 3130 N. Broadway, at 7. It’s free. Call 477-0411 for details.
Mother’s on Division–“Chicago’s classic entertainment and nightlife mecca”–is celebrating the return of female oil wrestling with two-hour shows on Wednesdays in November. “More an exotic show than the violent, messy kind of wrestling that causes injury” and “provocative Los Angeles-style adult entertainment that features attractive all-American women” are two descriptions from the folks at Mother’s. Admission is free; best of all, you can enter a raffle to be referee, towel person, corner handler, or body oiler. Mother’s is at 26 W. Division. Shows start at 10. Call 642-7251 for details.
When Jean Painleve failed physics, chemistry, and biology, his med-school professor said, “He would have made a very bad doctor, but he will certainly become a great filmmaker.” The great scientific documentarian was also a fan of jazz and surrealism; a selection of some of his 200-or-so films, on everything from bats to octopuses and with sound tracks by the likes of Duke Ellington and Darius Milhaud, shows tonight at the Film Center, Columbus and Jackson, along with a few seminal examples of early scientific filmmaking by others. The hour-and-a-half-long program starts at 6 and repeats Saturday at 4; further excursions into Painleve’s works take place later this month. Admission is $5; call 443-3737.
It’s not that newspapers slant news about Central America; it’s just that they lazily accept U.S. government characterizations of the nature of the conflicts and all too rarely cover day-to-day life. Together, these two tendencies have only benefited American corporations in the region and reinforced tired stereotypes of evil revolutionaries trying to turn El Salvador (or Honduras, or Nicaragua, or for that matter any number of South American countries) into a Marxist state. In the meantime, young men get killed and the survivors frequently head for refugee camps. You can talk about all these issues tonight at Covering Central America: Do U.S. Newspapers Slant the News?, a discussion organized by the University of Chicago’s Center for Latin American Studies. The panel includes the New York Times’s Clifford Krauss, Scripps-Howard’s Peter Copeland, the Times of London’s Alan Tomlinson, and U. of C. grad student Michael Rosenfeld, who’s been studying how the media covered Nicaragua during the 1980s. The talk is at 7 in room 122 of the Social Sciences Building, 1126 E. 59th St. It’s free. Call 702-8420.