Friday 15

Mary Springfels, musician-in-residence at the Newberry Library, says English “country dancing” probably originated during the Elizabethan era. Tonight, An Evening of English Country Dancing, a benefit for the Newberry’s early music conceit series, will bring the festivities to present-day Chicago. Authentic music and food will be provided, as well as instruction to “guide the celebrants through the intricacies of the dance.” The gaiety starts at 6:30 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 915 N. Dearborn. Reservations at 943-9090, ext. 310; $25.

Tim Hays’s Laundromat Concerto lasts approximately the same time as a 75-cent wash cycle, features washing machine sounds (with which it was written to coincide), and originally was performed in a laundromat. Hays’s reasoning? He wanted to take classical music out of its usual stuffy surroundings. Plus, he says, “Music in any culture has traditionally been associated with ritual, and dealing with dirty socks is a ritual that everyone can relate to.” An encore performance of the concerto is part of tonight’s recital at the Buik Recital Hall at Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect, Elmhurst. The program is free and starts at 8 PM; more info at 279-4100, ext. 357.

Saturday 16

Now that a site for the new central public library has finally been chosen, all that remains to be agreed upon are a million details. Today’s central library workshop will allow the public some input. Several speakers, including new chief librarian Samuel Morrison, will give their ideas, and then discussion groups will address various issues: how the new library will interact with the rest of the South Loop, how it will affect traffic and public transportation, what features the new library should have, and who it should cater to. Findings will be submitted to the city for consideration. The program runs 8:30 AM to 2 PM at the Union league Club, 65 W. Jackson. Tickets are $10; more info at 977-0098.

The Chicago Beer Society’s sixth annual All-American Beer Tasting will pit Eau Claire All Malt Lager, last year’s winner, against nine other domestic brews, including a few not currently distributed in Chicago. The tasting starts between 7 and 7:30 PM at Sawa’s Old Warsaw Restaurant, 9200 Cermak Road, Broadview. $18 includes beer and dinner; the required reservations can be made at 692-BEER.

Sunday 17

Back near the turn of the century, Illinois teacher Edward F. Worst thought such crafts as weaving, clay modeling, wood construction, and leather and metal work were excellent means for students to learn math and science. Later, he became especially interested in weaving. He attended three schools (two in Sweden) to study it, and between 1910 and 1914, he founded a textile business in Lockport, Illinois, that used the weaving skills of local women. The textiles were sold locally, the weavers taking a share of the profits, until the plant closed in the mid-30s. An opening reception for Edward F. Worst and the Lockport Cottage Industries, an exhibition of textiles, books, equipment, and other objects associated with Worst and his industry, runs from 11 to 3 today at the Illinois State Museum, 200 8th St., Lockport. Admission is free, with more info at (815) 838-7400. (Lockport is about 35 miles from the Loop on the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor.) The exhibition runs through August 2.

In Ireland, Gaelic football players use a field slightly larger than our football field and score by kicking the ball into nets on either end. But they can also score by getting the ball over the nets between two poles. They can also use their hands to catch the ball and dribble it as they run. Confused? Curious? You can see two all star teams from Ireland play Gaelic football today at 1 PM at Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th St. At 3 PM, two champion Irish hurling teams (a rough cross between Gaelic football and field hockey) will play. Admission is $7; info at 598-1841 or 825-6037.

Monday 18

Spoon dances, candle dances, wedding dances, and belly dances are among those promised by the Turkish National Folk Dance Company, which performs tonight at 8 at the Auditorium Theatre, 70 E. Congress. The group has taken part in dance festivals in 35 countries, and critics say it has “elevated Turkish folk dance to the level of ballet.” Tix are $10-$15; call 922-2110 for info.

“A life- and lifestyle-saving event” is what the UnNatural Acts call Condomania: An AIDS Benefit, the comedy fund-raiser they perform tonight at 8 at Second City E.T.C., 1608 N. Wells. Proceeds will benefit Northern Lights Alternatives, the Howard Brown Memorial Clinic, and individual AIDS patients. Reservations for the $15 tickets can be made at 642-8189.

Tuesday 19

“Double-Up,” an exhibition of dual-function furniture, opening today at Workbench, 158 W. Hubbard, features such gems as an armchair that flips up into a library ladder, a valet chair with drawers, and a table that expands from settee to dining size. The exhibit is free and runs through June 6. Workbench hours are 10-8 Monday and Thursday; 10-6 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10-5 Saturday, and 12-5 Sunday: 661-1150.

In Sigmund Freud’s time, says psychologist James W. Anderson, “Doctors advised anyone with a nervous disorder to take baths.” But Freud came up with some other treatments, based on his theories that we develop our sexual attitudes as children and that our personalities are made up of id, ego, and superego. Anderson will lecture on Sigmund Freud: 100 Years After the Founding of Modern Psychology tonight from 7 to 8:30 at Grant Hospital, 550 W. Webster. Free, with particulars at 883-3777.

To celebrate Malcolm X’s birthday, the Committee to End the Marion Lockdown is screening two films: Malcolm X: Struggle for Freedom is an interview with Malcolm three months before he died, Teach Our Children is about the Attica rebellion. The $3 admission fee includes dessert; child care is available. Showtime is 7 PM at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington. Info at 663-5046.

Wednesday 20

An “attitude adjustment” period opens tonight’s lecture on the rising level of Lake Michigan given by the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois. The speaker, Charles Johnson of the North Central Division of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, will discuss various solutions to increasing water levels and lakefront erosion. Dinner is included in the admission price, which is $14, $10 for SEAOI associate members, and $7 for students. Attitude adjustment starts at 5:30 and dinner at 6:15 at the Como Inn, 546 N. Milwaukee. Call 372-4198 to reserve tickets.

Thursday 21

The names of different kinds of clouds and how it can rain and hail at the same time are some things you might learn if you take a class in weather science at the North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski. Astronomer Dan Joyce will teach about sunlight, seasonal changes, topological effects, instruments, and special weather conditions. The first of three sessions is tonight at 7; the cost for all three is $10. Register at 583-8970.

The script for a murder mystery dinner theater was written especially for its setting, the historic Biggs mansion, built in 1874. Murder in Four Courses at Biggs opens tonight and continues Thursdays at 7 at the mansion, 1150 N. Dearborn. Guests are encouraged to dress in costumes that evoke England in the 1930s and will be given fantasy identities so they can better participate in the plot. Murder takes place before dinner, lots of suspense-building things happen during the meal, and the murderer is finally identified at about 10. Tickets are $50, and reservations must be made two days prior to the show, at 787-0900.