Friday 2/21 – Thursday 2/27
By Cara Jepsen
21 FRIDAY In Helene Cixous’ play The Perjured City, or The Awakening of the Furies, a mother whose two children died of AIDS tries to deal with her loss and the government’s role in it. The play is based on a 1985 incident in which French health officials knowingly allowed the distribution of HIV-tainted blood. Cixous and Dr. Yvette Sutan, a hematology professor who served as the model for the play’s whistle-blowing physician, will attend tonight’s opening and participate in panels during this weekend’s Realizing AIDS: Action, Intervention, Discourse, Sites conference. The play starts at 8 and runs through March 2 at the Josephine Louis Theatre in Northwestern University’s Theatre and Interpretation Center, 1979 South Campus Drive in Evanston. Tickets are $12, $6 for students; call 847-491-7282. The conference is today from noon to 7, tomorrow from 8:30 to 4:45, and Sunday from 8 to 3:30. Registration is today from noon to 5 in the Louis Theatre; other events take place around NU’s Evanston campus. The conference is free. For more information call 847-491-7946.
Popping wheelies is mere child’s play when compared with the aerial acrobatics of the Schwinn freestyle stunt team, which will perform at this weekend’s Midwest Bicycle Show. Showgoers can test ride the newest prototypes, check out the latest in ultralight frames, accessories, and biker garb, and attend a job fair. The show is today from 4 to 9 (stunt team performs at 6 and 8:15) and tomorrow and Sunday from 10 to 5 at the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for kids under 12, free for children under 6. Call 847-202-0795 for more.
22 SATURDAY The Chicago Historical Society’s Interview: Chicago Voices series kicks off today when Studs Terkel interviews historian/entrepreneur Dempsey J. Travis, author of An Autobiography of Black Jazz, Louis Armstrong Odyssey: From Jane Alley to American Jazz Ambassador, and The Duke Ellington Primer. Chicago Jazz Ensemble trumpet player Orbert Davis will punctuate the discussion with toots of his horn. It’s at 2 (Travis will sign books after the presentation) in CHS’s Arthur Rubloff Auditorium, Clark and North. Admission is $5. Call 312-642-4600 for more.
In the 1950s Defense Department propaganda film Red Nightmare, narrator Jack Webb steps out of a blanket of fog and begins telling the story of a man who falls asleep and dreams that communists have taken over his town. The next morning, it’s like a scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers–only this time around the bad guys don’t come in pods. The film will be shown tonight with another Defense Department masterpiece, Target: Youth, about how the evil Reds warp kids’ minds, as part of the Psychotronic Film Society’s “The Commies Are Coming! The Commies Are Coming!” presentation. It’s at 8 at Jump Inn, 3661 N. Elston. It’s free; call 773-509-4958.
23 SUNDAY Since last June, Goldie’s Place has helped the homeless get off the streets permanently by providing education, job training, and life skills. Today Anne Hills and Ed Holstein host the Caring Folks Concert to benefit the center, which hopes to open a residence for its clients. The folkie lineup includes One Drum, Sons of the Never Wrong, Jamie O’Riley with Michael Smith and Peter Swenson, and Bonnie Koloc and Howard Levy. There’ll also be hors d’oeuvres, a raffle, and an auction. It’s from 3 to 7 (doors open at 2) at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Call 773-274-1212 for more.
When he was just six months old, Joseph Keaton fell down a flight of stairs and emerged unscathed. His vaudevillian parents dubbed him Buster, and before the little guy could even walk he’d already stumbled on a career. Keaton’s physical comedy is at its best in the 1922 feature Seven Chances, in which he plays a man who must marry to inherit a fortune. After being turned down, he advertises that he’ll wed any woman who shows up at the church at 5. Five hundred women arrive, and Keaton winds up being chased through the High Sierras by a bevy of belligerent belles. The film will be shown along with the shorts Cops, The Goat, and Convict 13 as part of the Film Center’s Keaton retrospective. The 35-millimeter prints feature new sound tracks by Lee Erwin and screen today at 4 at the center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Tickets are $6. Call 312-443-3737.
24 MONDAY In the late 1940s Al Benson, a former Cook County probation officer, made his splash as a DJ playing R & B on Chicago’s WGES. In the early 60s the “Old Swingmaster” jumped over to the now-legendary WVON, one of the nation’s first 24-hour black soul/R & B stations. His impact on radio is the topic of Charles Walton’s 20-minute documentary Al Benson, the Godfather of Black Radio. Walton will show his film and host tonight’s African-Americans Over the Air Waves program, which includes a multimedia performance focusing on the history of WVON by the Black Ensemble Theater. It’s at 5:30 in the Chicago Cultural Center theater, 78 E. Washington. It’s free; call 312-744-6630.
25 TUESDAY “Sisters have to understand that there is no shortage [of good available black men] unless you create one using self-imposed limiting criteria,” says author Max Elliott. “If sisters can compromise on age range, income, dependent status, looks, asset base, or a combination of any of the above, there is a multitude of brothers available–gainfully employed, sensible, loving, heterosexual black men.” In her book Ms. Thang, Real Knights Don’t Show Up at 3 in the Morning: What Every Black Woman Needs to Know About Love, Intimacy, and Relationships, Elliott discusses how black women can maintain their self-esteem and still get the guy. She’ll read from her book tonight at 7 at Borders Books and Music, 2817 N. Clark. It’s free; call 773-935-3909.
26 WEDNESDAY When Shelley L. Davis became the first in-house historian for the Internal Revenue Service in the late 1980s, she found what the rest of us have always suspected: bureaucratic incompetence, mistakes costing taxpayers billions of dollars, cover-ups, and a total lack of accountability. Today she’ll discuss what the IRS doesn’t want you to know, chronicled in her book Unbridled Power, at a City Club breakfast meeting from 7:30 to 9 in the Metropolitan Club, Sears Tower, 233 S. Wacker, 66th floor. Tickets are $30, $35 at the door, and include breakfast. Call 312-565-6500.
Ever gone to a wedding, watched the groom pull off the bride’s garter, and thought, “What’s the point?” Tonight recently married DePaul University rituals studies grad student Gina Shropshire will give the reasons for our bizarre little wedding traditions in her presentation the Cultural Construction of Wedding Bliss, which will cover everything from the Vegas special to the fancy cathedral to-do. It’s from 6 to 7:30 in room 154 of DePaul’s Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore. It’s free; call 773-325-7840.
27 THURSDAY Those strange days when politicians duked it out over school prayer may have passed, but what about religion’s role in last year’s elections? That’ll be the focus of DePaul University’s two-day Religion and Politics Conference. The event starts today at 1:15 with political consultant Paul Begala and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg joining a panel on the Effect of Religion on the 1996 Elections, followed at 3:30 by a discussion on the Catholic Vote: Strategies and Consequences. Both panels will be in room 8005 of the DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson. The registration fee of $50 includes both days. Call 312-362-8818.