So you like mostly Mozart? Intermittently Mendelssohn? A vichyssoise of Wagner? Well, tonight you’ll have to settle for Basically Bach, as it opens a new, seven-concert season at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 935 N. Dearborn. (Mahler, more or less?) Bach Concertos: Brandenburg & More features the second and fifth Brandenburgs, the former a workout for trumpet, violin, recorder, and oboe, the latter ditto for Baroque flute, violin, and harpsichord. (Veritably Verdi?) The balance of the program includes the Concerto for Violin and Oboe and the D Minor Harpsichord Concerto. (A soupcon of Saint-Saens?) Tickets are $8-$30; you can get them at the door. The show starts at 8 PM; call 334-2800 for more information.
Snikt! Snikt! What’s that? It’s the sound of the steel-sharpened claws of Marvel Comics hero the Wolverine. If characters like the Wolverine, the Punisher, and the Silver Surfer get your heart racing, check out the Comic Book Marketplace this weekend at the Holiday Inn O’Hare, 5440 River Road in Rosemont. Special guests? Snikt! Of course: George Perez, the current writer and artist of Wonder Woman; Bill Reinhold, the artist of The Punisher; Aliens artist Mark Nelson; Green Lantern and Swamp Thing artist Pat Broderick, and Batman cover artist Mike Mignola, among others. Plus there’s the usual gamut of lectures, panels, and films. It’s $6 a person, today and tomorrow, 10 to 6. Call 201-788-6845 or 708-671-6350 for more information.
Bob Hercules and Jeff Huebner’s Milwaukee Avenue: Street of Dreams–“an exploration of the history, ethnicity, and issues surrounding commercial development on this colorful thoroughfare”–premieres tonight at Video Nocturne, a free under-the-skies video showcase in Wicker Park (the park, not the neighborhood). You’ll also see Chicago’s Grandstands, a look at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park through interviews and rare footage, and Flag Stomping in America, a “video essay” by Mark Blottner. It’s all been organized by Hercules, with extravagant projection and sound systems designed and run by projection maven James Bond. Wicker Park is at 1425 N. Damen; things get under way at 7:30 PM. Call 850-1300 for more information.
Tonight is the fall membership dance of the Paramount Tall Club, a social circle for “Taller [the club capitalizes the word] than average” men (six-two plus) and women (five-ten and up). Dancing goes from 8 PM to 1 AM at the Elmhurst Holiday Inn, 624 York Road in Elmhurst; there’ll be a deejay, a cash bar, and, one would suspect, a heightened sense of frivolity. It’s $7. Call 708-352-2243 for more information.
You can still sign up for AIDS Walk Chicago, the fund-raiser for 13 Chicago AIDS information, research, and social-service agencies. The organizers have a $1 million goal this year, which works out to 5,000 walkers with commitments of $200 each. Registration begins bright and early this morning at 8 at the Chicago Yacht Club, Monroe and Lake Shore Drive. Starting at 9, walkers trundle 6.3 miles down to Shedd Aquarium and back up to Wacker. To register, volunteer, or get more information, call 348-8858.
Lithuanian music, as performed by members of the Motekaitis family, is the order of the day at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski. Milda Motekaitis, a soprano, will sing various Lithuanian art songs and Robert Schumann’s cycle, Frauenliebe und -leben. Her uncle, Mangirdas Motekaitis, will accompany her on piano, and also play songs by Alexander Tcherepnin and Juozas Gruodis. And then her brother, Kazys Motekaitis, will join the two of them for a Baroque composition for voice, piano, and violin by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. The $10 tickets include refreshments; the show starts at 3 PM. You can call the museum for information or reservations: 582-6500.
John Morris’s work with photographers at Life, Ladies’ Home Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times made him one of the more influential photo editors of his time. Morris attended the University of Chicago, where he managed to catch the attention of Robert Hutchins, who had been a fraternity brother of Henry Luce, which got Morris started at Life. The university is celebrating its recent acquisition of Morris’s papers with John Morris: Photo Journalism, an exhibit designed to elucidate his work with such lights as Cartier-Bresson, Capa, and Elisofon; it’ll show some of their photographs and early correspondence between Morris and Hutchins. It’s free, at the Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th, through November 30. The library is open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5 and Saturday 9 to 1. Call 702-8705 for more information.
Your average Buckingham Fountain display uses 14,000 gallons of water recirculated through 133 jets; 330 computer-automated potentiometers, or voltage dividers, create the brilliant color patterns. It cost 750,000 simoleons to build back in 1927, when that was real money, and was commissioned by one Kate Buckingham as a memorial to her late brother. (Buckingham was also, through a long chain of blood and adoptive ties, a cousin of movie director Preston Sturges.) The fountain goes out with a, um, splash tonight–it’s the last show of the season. There’ll be one last day of 20-minute water displays, starting at 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30, and a “major color display” tonight from 9 to 11. The fountain is in Grant Park at about Congress, and it doesn’t cost anything to watch.
Romanian poet-in-exile Andrei Codrescu will appear tonight at the Art Institute. Codrescu grew up in Transylvania, was expelled from the University of Bucharest in 1965, and soon after emigrated to the U.S. He’s now an English professor at Louisiana State University. The editor, essayist, and radio commentator (for All Things Considered) will read from his work and talk with Nation columnist Christopher Hitchens. You can buy copies of Codrescu’s latest book, Disappearance of the Outside, after the talk. At the Rubloff Auditorium in the Art Institute, Michigan at Adams, from 6 to 8. It’s $5, $3 for students. Call 443-3600 for more information.
“Congress is so strange,” wrote a Russian visiting the U.S. House of Representatives in 1947. “A man gets up and makes a speech and says nothing. Nobody listens–and then everybody disagrees.” A Library of Congress exhibit touring to celebrate the bicentennial of Congress hits Chicago this week; To Make All Laws: The Congress of the United States, 1789-1989–which depicts the history of Congress through photocopies of primary sources from the Library of Congress–will be in the first-floor reading room at the Conrad Sulzer Library today through the end of October. Tonight Dr. John Kornacki, director of the Dirksen Congressional Leadership Center, will speak on Illinois’ appointees to the national rogues’ gallery over the years. The talk starts at 7 in the library’s Lerner Auditorium; the library is at 4455 N. Lincoln. Call the library at 728-8652 for more information. Everything’s free.
You’ve heard of reading the book and then seeing the movie–now you can watch the TV show and then take the class. Race to Save the Planet, a ten-week PBS series on the environment, looks to be one of the more hullabalooed TV events of the season, boasting the participation of Meryl Streep and Roy Scheider. The Evanston Ecology Center is offering an accompanying ten-week course. Each Thursday night at 8, starting tonight, you can watch the program at the center, 2024 McCormick Boulevard in Evanston, and then discuss the issues raised in the shows. The $6 fee is for written materials. Questions? Call the center at 708-864-5181.