Friday 3/12 – Thursday 3/18


By Cara Jepsen

12 FRIDAY Kira Obolensky’s play The Adventures of Herculina is loosely based on the diary of Herculine Barbin, a 19th-century hermaphrodite raised in a French convent. In Obolensky’s creation, Herculina grows up and travels the world searching for his lost love, a fellow convent resident.

Previews for the Next Theatre Company’s production begin tonight at 8 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes in Evanston (847-475-6763). Tickets are $14; admission to the regular run is $18 to $22.

13 SATURDAY “Beyond the deepest tragedy, there is laughter,” Del Close once said. Still, there might be sobs at today’s memorial service for the actor, director, teacher, and improv master, who died last Thursday. It’s at 4 at Second City, 1616 N. Wells (312-337-3992).

14 SUNDAY A father’s Chinatown storefront, a candid shot of a smiling child hanging off of a broken phone booth–these are a couple of the images chosen by students in the Marwen Foun-dation’s documentary photography course to represent their neighborhoods. Their work, along with that of the program’s mentor, photographer Ron Gordon, makes up the new exhibit Seeing the Unseen: Photographs by Ron Gordon and Marwen Students. The opening is today from 3:30 to 6 at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5307 S. Hyde Park (773-324-5520). Admission is free; the exhibit runs through April 28.

15 MONDAY Over the past several weeks Chicago Dramatists Workshop member Lisa Dillman has been working with Steppenwolf’s New Plays Lab on Flung, in which an estranged family meets at the deceased patriarch’s favorite Michigan sand dune to spread his ashes two years after his death. If the play floats, Steppenwolf will either produce it or grant the rights for production elsewhere. Flung will be performed at 7:30 tonight at the Steppenwolf Studio Theater, 1650 N. Halsted. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Call 312-335-1888, ext. 5692, for reservations.

16 TUESDAY TV reporter Harry Porterfield’s favorite poem is E.E. Cummings’s “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town,” while Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” does it for Alexander Bravo, a ten-year-old student at Onahan Elementary School. Illinois secretary of state Jesse White is a fan of Gwendolyn Brooks’s “Speech to the Young…” Tonight they’ll all read their favorite poems as part of the Favorite Poem Project. It’s the brainchild of U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky, who “seeks to demonstrate the vigorous presence of poetry in the lives of Americans outside the professional microcosm of poetry.” In other words, poetry is for everyone–even venture-capital company president Rudolph Rasin, who will read “Tract” by William Carlos Williams. Pinsky will introduce readers at 6 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton (312-255-3700). Admission is $10, $5 for students and seniors.

17 WEDNESDAY Arbor Day isn’t until April 30, but that’s not soon enough for the Ravenswood citizens whose trees were devastated by the Asian longhorn beetle. Tonight experts from the Morton Arboretum will give advice on how to select, plant, and care for replacement trees at a workshop called Beyond the Beetle: New Trees for Ravenswood. It’s from 7 to 9 at Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln (312-744-7616). The same workshop takes place at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 4300 N. Winchester, on Sunday, March 14, from 3 to 5. Call 630-719-5768 for more.

During its 17-year life span, Tomorrow magazine (“publishing tomorrow’s writers today”) has supported poets and writers who went on to reach greater audiences, including 1998 NEA grant recipient Sean Brendan-Brown and late performance artist Lorri Jackson. Despite the self-supporting magazine’s success, editor and novelist Tim W. Brown is packing it in, citing a desire to devote more time to his family and his own writing. Tonight’s farewell party for “Tomorrow” starts at 7:30 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Readers include C.J. Laity, Rachel Levine, Carolyn Paprocki, Dan Ursini, and Richard Varbas. Admission is $5, or $3 for open-mike participants. Call 773-296-1268, ext. 26, for more.

18 THURSDAY When Jody Gardner worked downtown selling commercial real estate, she be-moaned the lack of a quiet spot where she “could just sit.” Four years ago she created one at the Women’s Place Resource Center, where wo-men may take educational workshops and yoga classes, receive career counseling, hold meetings, and relax. Tonight from 5 to 9 they’ll hold a Wimmin’s Faire at the WPRC, 30 E. Adams, with workshops, food, and music, to benefit the center and the Communities of Women Art Gallery. Suggested admission is $5; call 312-553-9008.