Friday 6/20 – Thursday 6/26
By Cara Jepsen
20 FRIDAY Last year 25,000 people visited the Museum of Contemporary Art during the 24-hour-long event celebrating the opening of its new home–and no one was trampled. This year the second annual Summer Solstice Celebration promises 39 nonstop performances and activities, including a midnight horror-film festival, a morning tai chi demonstration, tango dancing, coffee tasting, and the inevitable performance art pieces. There will also be workshops on making kites and wearable art, a two-hour poetry slam hosted by Marc Smith, and concerts by Ulele, Love Salvation & Devotion, Lynne Jordan, Roots Rock Society, and a jazz trio consisting of Fred Anderson, Tatsu Aoki, and Afifi Phillard. If that’s not enough to lure you in, the galleries will be open the entire time. It starts at 7 tonight and runs until 7 tomorrow night at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Admission is $10. Call 312-397-4010 or 312-397-4080 for more.
Betcha didn’t know we’re right smack in the middle of the 20th annual Elvis Week. Now that you’re up-to-date you can pack a peanut butter and banana sandwich, fire up the Lisa Marie, and TCB at the Elvis Summer Festival. After a screening of the 1981 documentary This Is Elvis, Mark “Elvis” Hussman and Rick “Elvis” Saucedo, wearing replicas of the King’s American Eagle and Madison Square Garden jumpsuits, will take the stage and do their impersonating thing to the accompaniment of the Fabulous Ambassadors. Amy “‘Cilla” Hohimer–the one in the beehive–will host the event, which will include giveaways and a raffle of Elvis memorabilia. It’s tonight and tomorrow night at 7 at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $10; call 773-472-0366.
21 SATURDAY Ron Sable was one of those people who makes me feel lazy. Before his death in 1993, he was known for his activism in many arenas, including equal rights for women, just treatment of prisoners, and national health care, and he was instrumental in developing services for AIDS and HIV positive patients at Cook County Hospital in 1983, when the epidemic was just beginning to hit the national consciousness. Tonight Ron Sable Activism Awards will be handed out at a fund-raiser called Dancin’ With the Grass: A Celebration of Grassroots Organizing. The evening will include snacks, drumming by Work & Play, and folk singing by Chuy Negrete. It benefits the Crossroads Fund, which helps out grassroots groups that have difficulty getting endowments from mainstream donors. Mingling and nibbling start at 7, the awards are at 8, and the music begins at 9 at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. It’s $35, or $10 for the dance party only. Kids under 12 get in free. Call 773-227-7676 for more.
22 SUNDAY Cubism found a new audience in 1917 when Pablo Picasso designed the curtain, scenery, and costumes for Parade, a surreal multimedia ballet for which he collaborated with Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, and choreographer Leonide Massine. It tells the story of a traveling carnival troupe made up of acrobats, a Chinese conjurer, and a horse that recalls the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza. The ballet will be presented tonight by the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago as the finale to its 40th-anniversary season. The program of reconstructed 20th-century Russian masterworks also includes Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’apres-midi d’un faune, featuring sets and costumes by Leon Bakst, and Massine’s Les presages, with sets and costumes by Andre Masson. It starts at 7 at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. Tickets are $15 to $50 and are available at the box office or by calling 312-902-1500. For more information call 312-419-0033.
23 MONDAY Call me a cynic, but any campaign finance reform legislation that makes it through Washington will be so watered-down it won’t change a thing. Maybe I should say as much tonight at the Town Hall Forum on Money & American Democracy, where anyone who wants will be able to give her two cents’ worth on the topic. The two legislators pushing hardest for change, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin), will be joined by U.S. League of Women Voters president Becky Cain to discuss the issue and answer questions from the audience. It starts at 6:30 at Old Saint Patrick’s Church Hall, 700 W. Adams. Since money and politics don’t mix, it’s free. RSVP by calling 312-409-8077.
24 TUESDAY After losing producer Nick Lowe and installing the Beatles’ engineer Geoff Emerick in his stead, Elvis Costello released 1982’s Imperial Bedroom, a sophisticated pop record that featured dispassionate vocals over intricate arrangements. Many of his fans, including Old Town School of Folk Music instructor Jimmy Tomasello, consider the album Costello’s masterpiece. Tomasello’s new class on Elvis Costello will teach students to play songs from the record and lesser-known b-sides from that period. The class culminates in a live graduation performance at the school’s First Friday open stage. It’s open to Level III guitar, piano, and bass players. It starts tonight and meets every Tuesday through August 12 from 6:30 to 7:50 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W. Armitage. Tuition is $105; call 773-525-7793.
25 WEDNESDAY Ford Motor Company has produced some pretty spiffy cars in its time–from the early Model T’s to latter-day Mustangs, Galaxies, Thunderbirds, Crown Victorias, Fairlanes, and my favorite, Starsky’s red Torino. A group of collectors and car clubs will display their fancy rides at Ford Power Night, this week’s installment of Elmhurst’s Cool Cars Under the Stars summer series. Anyone who owns a unique auto is invited to park it along York Road, pull up a lawn chair, and talk engines from 7 to 9 tonight. The collectors’ vehicles will be clustered at the Old Kent Bank parking lot, 105 S. York in Elmhurst. It’s free. Call 630-993-1600 for more information.
26 THURSDAY The city’s black poetry scene, which is still going strong on the north side, provides the backdrop to the movie Love Jones. The idea behind tonight’s It’s a Poetry Thang is to bring a slice of the action to the west side. Tonight’s event features top-notch performance poets, including Kim Ransom, Radiant Houston, Paul Mabon, Avery Young, and Malik Yusef, who was in the film. An open mike starts at 6:30 and the guests start performing at 8 at the Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson. The $7 admission includes munchies. Call 312-329-6123 for more.