Ever since Larry Speakes confessed to having made up quotes for the president, other presidential press secretaries have been professing horror and dismay–and asserting their own innocence. George Reedy, press secretary and special assistant to President Johnson, can probably be believed when he makes the claim; Johnson was probably too paranoid to let anyone put words in his mouth. Reedy, who’s also a member of the University of Chicago’s class of 1938, will be speaking today on The Presidency: A Measure of Our Social Well-Being, at 4:30 in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. The lecture is free; for more, call 702-8360.
The Chicago Dramatists Workshop grew out of playwright Jeffrey Sweet’s writing class in 1979. The workshop began as an informal gathering of six friends who wanted to better their writing skills, but it soon grew into a mad lab of creativity. Its biggest success has probably been Rick Cleveland, whose pen was behind Buffalo Boys and Kids in the Dark. The CDW offers playwrights constructive criticism, actors, directors, staging, lighting. Today’s performance at 3, Take Away One by Robert S. Goodman, will be followed by an open house from 7 to 10–both at the group’s new space at 1105 W. Chicago. A $2 donation is suggested for the performance; the open house is free. For more, call 633-0630.
The Manhattan Transfer will be dressing up for a show at the Chicago Theatre tonight. The Transfer was founded in 1972, performing a jazzy, quasi-nostalgic act (their first LP featured “Tuxedo Junction” and a host of oldies-sounding offerings). Since then, they have established themselves as a premier vocal pop group. Their latest LP, Brasil, continues their tradition of experimenting with popular sounds. Show time is 8 PM at 175 N. State. Tickets are $9.50-$29.50, and are available at the box office, 236-4300, and through Ticketron, 853-3636.
Elie Wiesel, the man who first used the term holocaust for the Nazi atrocities against the Jews, will offer his views on the current crisis in the Middle East in a special lecture titled Israel After 40 Years–The Dream and the Reality. Admission is $15. The 10:30 AM talk will be in Northwestern University’s Tech Auditorium, 2145 Sheridan, Evanston. Call 948-5340 for more.
Chicago House, the residential-care service for people with AIDS, has housed nearly 100 people since it opened. It recently opened a third residence in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. Often taking in PWAs who have been shunned by their families and communities, Chicago House offers them a safe, comfortable place to live out their last days. Photographers David Lebe and Joe Ziolkowski, two artists whose lives and work have been affected by the AIDS epidemic, will talk about their art and the impact of AIDS at a special benefit for Chicago House at noon today at the Catherine Edelman Gallery, 300 W. Superior. Ticket prices are based on a sliding scale: $10, $25, and $100. For more information, call 266-2350.
Twenty years ago today, Robert Kennedy had just won the California primary when a gun-toting Sirhan Sirhan leapt out of the celebratory confusion and shot him dead. Had Kennedy lived, it’s almost certain he would have been the Democratic party’s presidential nominee, and would then have faced Richard Nixon in the November election. Kennedy friends, associates, and former staff will gather to remember him at a special mass at Old Saint Patrick’s Church, 718 W. Adams, at 5 today. Everyone’s welcome. Selections from Kennedy’s speeches and other writings will be read. Call 782-6171 for more information.
Elio Montenegro Jr. is probably the record holder for the shortest-ever political campaign–only a couple of weeks; he was bumped from Republican party consideration as a candidate for recorder of deeds by erstwhile Democrat Bernie Stone. Montenegro will be making a guest appearance in tonight’s benefit for the all-female improv trio Somebody’s Daughters. The appearance by Montenegro, now the guv’s Hispanic affairs liaison, is either a brilliant political move to make him appear hip, or it’s just another manifestation of the Daughters’ humor. Other guests include Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra and artsy filmmaker Tom Palazzolo. Show time is 7 PM at Wings, 3216 N. Sheffield. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested; all proceeds will go toward the Daughters’ fall productions. Call 871-0134 for more.
Secretary of education William J. Bennett, who called Chicago’s public schools the worst in the country, took his cabinet-level job in 1985, promising to eliminate the Department of Education. But at recent budget hearings, Bennett actually called for an increase of funds for the department. When pressed by the Senate panel to explain the apparent contradiction, Bennett scoffed. Evidently, scrapping a cabinet position is far costlier than he envisioned. Bennett will speak today before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations at 12:15 at the First Chicago Center, Dearborn and Madison. Admission is $5. For more information, call 726-3860.
When Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield got their MFAs from the School of the Art Institute in 1976, they didn’t quite leave SAIC’s friendly confines. Horsfield, a painter, and Blumenthal, a video artist and critic, convinced the school to let them put together a library of videos and interviews with artists on tape. The two believed the exploration of artistic ideas by the artists themselves was important and should be in the public record. Their project eventually became the Video Data Bank, probably the country’s most extensive video-art resource center. Blumenthal has just put together What Does She Want, a two-part program of video art addressing women’s issues. Program one starts at 6 tonight, followed by program two at 8 in the school auditorium at Columbus and Jackson. Admission is $5 for each program ($6 for both programs), $3 ($4 for both) for Film Center members, students of area schools, and seniors. For more, call 443-3793.
As the first new work commissioned by the Bailiwick Repertory Director’s Collective, John Logan’s Nebraska reflects the company’s increased interest in developing and producing original works. The actors, director, and designer spent all of last December working with Logan to develop his raw material. The result is an unusually riveting piece about the loss of family farms, the economic crisis, and the rise of survivalist cults. The world premiere is tonight at 7 at Bailiwick, 3212 N. Broadway. The show will run through July 31. Tickets are $12 Thursdays and Sundays, $15 Fridays and Saturdays. Call 883-1090 for more information.
Latino comedian Paul Rodriguez has his good moments (such as his bit on white people’s tanning rituals) and his bad moments (such as when he accused gays of “playing Russian roulette with their butts”). Rodriguez’s TV character on A.K.A. Pablo–a struggling comedian who occasionally sold his Latin soul for a piece of American success–seemed uncannily autobiographical. Rodriguez continues a run through June 12 with a show at 8:30 tonight at the new Chicago Improv, 504 N. Wells. Tickets are $8.50 tonight, plus a two-drink minimum. Call 782-6387 for more.