Friday 9/12 – Thursday 9/18


By Cara Jepsen

12 FRIDAY Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa had never met jazz saxophonist John Tchicai before last week, when the two rehearsed together for the first time. Tonight they’ll perform what they’ve put together. What will it sound like? Well, you’ll just have to show up. Avant-gardist Tchicai, who plays both tenor and alto sax, is known for his work with the New York

Contemporary Five, Cadentia Nova Danica, Strange Brothers, and the Archetypes, and has worked with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. The performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8:30 at the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division. Tickets are $20, $14 for Vietnam veterans and students. Call 773-278-2210.

13 SATURDAY Mike’s Moonlite Luv Cruise is named after Velour Motel member Mike Armstrong, who’s a seafaring man by day. He’s hoping for a minimum of seasickness and Charo-esque stowaways on tonight’s four-hour excursion aboard the Jamaica. Velour Motel will be joined by other mellow hipster bands–the Aluminum Group, Ashtray Boy, the Pulsars, and the Handsome Family–and organizers point out that if people don’t like one of the bands on the bill they can go up to (or jump off of) the bridge to avoid the noise. Doors open at 6:30, and the vessel sets sail at 7 from 220 W. Lower Wacker, between Franklin and Wells. The $26 ticket includes all the music and fresh air you can take and a free buffet. Tickets are available at Reckless Records and must be bought in advance; call 773-489-1656 for more.

14 SUNDAY In the days before refrigeration, the bodies of wealthy people who died at sea were often preserved in casks of brandy until they could be deposited on land. The family of lumber baron and philanthropist Walter Loomis Newberry decided not to decant him when he arrived at Graceland Cemetery in 1868; his brandy-soaked remains remain there today in an underground cask. That’s just one of the stories you’ll hear at today’s “underground” walking tour of Graceland. Local historians Richard Bjorklund and Patrick Butler will also visit the graves of detective and union buster Allan Pinkerton, architect Louis Sullivan (whose tomb lies a mere 100 yards from rival Daniel Burnham’s), inventor Cyrus McCormick, industrialist Potter Palmer, and former Tribune editor Joseph Medill, among others. The tour starts at 2 and lasts approximately two hours. Meet at the front gate of Graceland Cemetery at Clark Street and Irving Park Road. It’s $10. Call 312-744-7616 for reservations.

15 MONDAY You sleep together on a regular basis, but he gets angry when you call him your boyfriend. He insists on taking a break from the relationship every two weeks or so, yet wants you at his beck and call. Should you stay or should you go? I think you should have run screaming long ago. Find out what someone more qualified has to say tonight when relationship expert and radio talk-show host Ellen Gootblatt gives a free lecture and Q&A session on relationships. Gootblatt’s the author of the books Men Are Worth the Trouble: Translating, Understanding, Appreciating, and Celebrating Men and Meeting, Dating, Relating, and Mating: 250 Important Questions to Ask Before You Go Further in a Relationship. She’ll not only cover romance but relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers. It’s at noon in the College Center Moraine Rooms at Moraine Valley Community College, 10900 S. 88th in Palos Hills. It’s free; call 708-974-5717 for more information.

16 TUESDAY Not content with emasculating Victor Hugo, the mouse is taking on opera. Elton John has teamed up with lyricist Tim Rice for Disney’s new Broadway rock version of Verdi’s Aida, and the producers are looking for a few “young, raw, edgy, pop-rock singers” for the key roles–provided there are any left from the days when Chicago was on rock’s cutting edge. Specifically, they’re in search of an African-American woman between 18 and 27 with “a high pop-rock belt a la Whitney Houston” for the title role, a white male Radames between 25 and 30 with a gritty rock baritone, and an African-American male singer between 12 and 16 to play Nekhen. Auditions for Aida and Radames start at 10 today (tryouts for Nekhen begin at 3 tomorrow) on the fifth and sixth floors of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, 185 N. Wabash. The Disney folks are also looking for singer/dancer types for The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. Call 212-827-5450 for more.

17 WEDNESDAY Can drawing scenes of nature affect your brain waves? Ryuho Otsuka thinks so. He’s the chairman of Shin-Shodo-Kai, a group of Japanese nature calligraphers who believe that the study of the art can unite the mind and body through concentration, freeing you from frustration and irritation. They say it may also increase creativity and help to soothe psychological difficulties. Hey, it’s cheaper than a shrink. Otsuka will present a lecture and demonstration sponsored by the Japan America Society at the law offices of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, 225 W. Wacker, 30th floor. There’s a reception at 5:30 and the program starts at 6:15. It’s $5; for reservations call 312-263-3049.

18 THURSDAY Surgeon Steven Snodgrass may find himself with a lot of free time if his patients read his new book, Lethal Dose, a thriller in which euthanasia is common and legal. And you thought HMOs were bad. Snodgrass will read and sign books at 7 tonight at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan. It’s free; call 312-573-0564 for more.