Friday 2/19 – Thursday 2/25


By Cara Jepsen

19 FRIDAY Some people be-lieve that “soft” drugs like marijuana can help treat addictions to the harder stuff. Dana Beal from Cures Not Wars will explain how at a free Conference to End Pothibition, where he’ll also lay out plans for local participation in the international Million Marijuana March this May 1. Beal will be joined by ACLU director Jay Miller and other experts who will discuss the drug war, the economic and ecological benefits of hemp agriculture, and youth organizing. It’s from 9 to 5 today in the second-floor conference room at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont. For more information call 212-677-4899.

20 SATURDAY This week’s cover story provides one view of Richard M. Daley’s performance as mayor. Today’s free conference, The Daley Show: The Mayor, His City, and the Future of Chicago, offers some other perspectives. Speakers, including Judge R. Eugene Pincham and Roosevelt University professor Steve Balkin, will address areas in which they feel da mare has fallen short, such as investigating police brutality, providing public housing, and improving education. The event is from 1 to 4 at the Max Palevsky Cinema in the University of Chicago’s Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th. Call 773-955-2047 for more.

On August 22, 1989, Black Panther Party cofounder Huey P. Newton was shot dead by a young drug dealer. Roger Guenveur Smith’s one-man show A Huey P. Newton Story explores the man behind the onetime revolutionary. Smith says that 80 percent of his monologue comes directly from Newton, who in the show confesses, “Back then there was a lot of possibility….But now, I don’t feel like defending anything.” The play will be performed tonight and Friday at 8 and Sunday at 3 in the theater of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago (312-397-4010); tickets are $15. The shows tonight and Friday will be followed by a discussion. For more info, see the Critic’s Choice in the Section Two Performance listings. Smith will also lead a free roundtable, “The Radical Past: The Black Panther Party in Chicago,” today at 2 at the Chernin Center for the Arts, 1001 W. Roosevelt (312-738-7980).

21 SUNDAY The 1919 race riot, labor troubles, and a climate of increasing discrimination and terror contributed to the rise of black radical thought here in Chicago: “In the 20s a lot of mostly male African-Americans got involved in the early communist party,” says the University of Iowa’s Paul Young. He and Lou Turner from Naperville’s North Central College will discuss How Black Radicalism in Bronzeville Began. The free talk is from 2 to 4 at the Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted (312-747-4623).

22 MONDAY Communications consultant June Mealey will con-duct a workshop tonight on Survival Skills for the 21st Century, which is intended to help you sort through the information beamed at us 24 hours a day. The free seminar starts at 7 tonight at Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln (312-744-7616).

23 TUESDAY LA-based HIV positive performance artist Ron Athey stopped doing his show in the U.S. after attracting the attention of Jesse Helms five years ago. The senator took issue with onstage antics like bloodletting, body piercing, and flagellation. But Athey claims he’s just expressing the pain of his Pentecostal upbringing: “Only people that are emotionally damaged feel the need to tear their bodies inside out,” he says in Catherine Gund Saalfield’s new documentary, Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance. For $10 you can witness Athey’s show tonight at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). For the more timid, Hallelujah! will screen next Friday and Saturday at the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson (312-443-3737).

24 WEDNESDAY “To assimilate into America means to annihilate one’s culture, language, religion, and to be usurped by a culture that is monolingual, monotheist, and whose worldview is tied to the vicissitudes of commerce,” says poet Marilyn Chin, whose work blends the styles and addresses the differences of the East and West. “What is the loss of country if it were not the loss of self?” Chin, who was born in Hong Kong, will read from her latest collection, The Phoenix Gone, the Terrace Empty, tonight at 6 in the ballroom of the School of the Art Institute, 112 S. Michigan. She’ll be joined by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Arthur Sze, who will also read from their work. Admission is $8, $3 for students. Call 312-899-7483 for more.

25 THURSDAY All the pieces in tonight’s Ruth Page Dance Series are premieres inspired by the choreographer’s life and work. The showcase kicks off a yearlong Ruth Page Centennial Celebration and includes work by the Moose Project, Concert Dance, Inc., Melissa Thodos & Dancers, tap artist Lane Alexander, and the Cerqua/Rivera Art Experience. It opens tonight at 8 (and runs through Sunday) at the Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium, 5500 N. Saint Louis. Tickets are $16, $10 for students and seniors. Call 773-794-2538 for tickets, 773-794-6138 for information.