Friday 5/28 – thursday 6/3
By Cara Jepsen
28 FRIDAY The pre-Stonewall south-side gay scene centered on jazz bars like the Cabin Club, which boasted a troupe of transvestite dancers. Lesbian writer Lorraine Hansberry used to hang out at another place, the Kitty Kat club, which appears in the 1961 movie version of her book A Raisin in the Sun. “It was OK to be gay, but you never spoke of it,” says Sukie de la Croix, author, journalist, and leader of the Gay & Lesbian History Tour. He’ll discuss and point out such hangouts on the five-and-a-half-hour trip, which departs at 10:30 from the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The $54 ticket includes lunch at Ann Sather. Call 312-742-1190 to sign up.
Critical Mass’s bike-home-from-work ride on the north side last week went through the 18th District, where some of the group’s members had been arrested during a ride last fall. The most recent foray resulted in a handful of tickets, and one cheeky cyclist was arrested for chanting “Biking is not a crime.” At tonight’s ride the group will vote on whether to pass through the area again. The ride starts at 5:30 at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington. Call 312-474-8708 for more.
The Lab, a two-year-old multimedia performance space and studio, will become a high-tech poetry center tonight with the eighth National Poetry Video Festival. The evening of words and watts will include live Internet and radio broadcasts, a hypertext poetry machine that animates verses and projects them onto a screen, an “electrified poetry slam” hosted by Marc Smith, and collaborations between the avant-garde German rock band Gvoon, performance poets Cin Salach and Ten Tongues, and “living art sculptor” John Dinello. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own poetry and video to create an on-site “video poem.” It’s tonight from 7 to 1 at the Lab, 329 N. Bell. Admission is $7, $5 for students. Call 773-296-1268, ext. 26, or 312-243-5949 for more information.
29 SATURDAY For his book Yogi Bare: Naked Truth From America’s Leading Yoga Teachers, Philip Self interviewed Lilias Folan, the leotard-clad host of the long-running PBS show Lilias, Yoga and You; local yogi Gabriel Halpern; and 18 others. Self will sign copies of the book today at 9:30 and 10:30 at NU Yoga Center, 3047 N. Lincoln (773-327-3650). At 7 Self will attend another signing at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North (312-951-7323). Both are free.
This weekend the Zen Buddhist Temple will mark Buddha’s 2543rd birthday with a two-day celebration that includes a lecture by Zen teacher Sevan Ross, “Zen Practice in the Land of McDonald’s: A Lot of Practice in a Land of Plenty.” It’s at 2:30 today at the temple, 1710 W. Cornelia. Admission is $5. A vegetarian dinner follows at 6 with a performance by the Burning Karma Kabaret; it’s $20. There will also be a Buddhist book and bake sale today and tomorrow as well as ceremonies and talks. Call 773-528-8685 for details.
In his first novel, Edwin Black has created a world in which the richest man on earth owns the biggest computer company in the world, based in Seattle. “Ben Hinnom” has a plan to use the Y2K crisis to control the operating systems of the world’s computers. That is, until Chicago investigative reporter Dan Levin catches on to the plot. Former Chicagoan Black will speak about and sign copies of Format C: today at 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). It’s free.
30 SUNDAY Interspersed among scenes of cutting-edge DJs in John Carluccio’s new “turntablist” documentary, Battle Sounds, is an interview with 80s rocker Billy Squier, who doesn’t get why the kids like to sample his old songs. Tonight Carluccio will screen the film and answer questions at a DJ convention called Night of the Round Tables. It’s hosted by DJ Sole; other jocks include DJ Swamp, Neotropic, Jesse de la Pena, and JC. Doors open at 8; the film screens at 9:30 at Metro, 3737 N. Clark (773-549-0203). Admission is $15; see Critic’s Choice in Section Three. Battle Sounds screens again Tuesday at 6 at Columbia College’s Hokin Center, 623 S. Wabash (312-344-7696). It’s free.
Stunning black-and-white scenes of Manhattan nightlife provide the backdrop as fawning flack Tony Curtis tries to win the favor of hard-nosed newspaper columnist Burt Lancaster in the 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success. It’ll be shown Saturday and today at 11:30 AM at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport (773-871-6604). Tickets are $8.
31 MONDAY The Beverly/Morgan Park Memorial Day Ridge Run offers what few races in Chicago can: a hill. There’s a 5K at 8 and a 10K at 9, as well as a one-mile youth run at 9:10 and a free short run for tots at 10:15. Those will be followed by a Memorial Day parade and a family festival with music and refreshments at Ridge Park, 96th and Longwood. Registration begins at 6:30 in the park and is $20 per race. Call 773-233-3100.
1 TUESDAY It’s not easy being green: today some wonks on the south side will discuss Nature and the City: Re-Making the Urban Environment. The free roundtable includes Anne Whiston Spirn, author of The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design; Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin; Mark Luccarelli, author of Lewis Mumford and the Ecological Region; and Bob Rudner of the Chicago Greens. Danny Postel moderates. It’s from 4:30 to 6:30 in the auditorium of the University of Chicago’s Social Sciences Building, 1126 E. 59th. Call 773-761-6034.
2 WEDNESDAY Tonight hundreds of antique, classic, and custom cars will be taken out of the garage and parked on York Street in Elmhurst as part of “Dust-off Night,” the first installment of the town’s weekly, summerlong Cool Cars Under the Stars series. The free look-see is from 7 to 9 on York south of North Avenue in Elmhurst. Call 630-993-1600 for more.
In 1976 Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati started the Kashi Foundation, an ashram in central Florida that grew to include an AIDS hospice, a rehab center, and a school. “Ma,” who originally hails from Brooklyn, has started other chapters of her organization, helped organize the annual World Tibet Day, and handed the pope a condom to challenge his stance on birth control. She’ll talk about her work tonight at 7:30 at the Cenacle Retreat House North, 513 W. Fullerton. The suggested is donation is $15 or whatever you can afford. Call 847-776-6088 for more.
3 THURSDAY People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals cofounder Ingrid Newkirk suggests people apply for hunting permits, of all things. But her purpose is sly: some hunts issue only a limited number, and every one obtained by a PETA supporter means one less for real hunters. Her new book, You Can Save the Animals: 251 Simple Ways to Stop Thoughtless Cruelty, is aimed at animal lovers who don’t want to throw red paint on fur coats. Newkirk will read and sign copies tonight at 7:30 at Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster (773-871-3610). It’s free.