Friday 5/23 – Thursday 5/29


By Cara Jepsen

23 FRIDAY Even the most psychically fit among us can fall prey to debilitating anxiety attacks or depression. For the past 60 years Recovery Inc. has helped people suffering from such episodes–with a method that doesn’t involve 12 steps. Today the nonprofit organization will sponsor a free demonstration, Self-Help for Mental Health, from 2:30 to 4:30 at the Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe. It’s free, but reservations are recommended. Call 312-337-5661.

“I have always collected sticks, stones, animals, and objects from my many journeys into the woods. These objects become metaphors for demarcations of the changes and cycles that people go through,” says dancer and choreographer Jocelyn Reese. “For example, a stone is more than a stone. It symbolizes a life lived, or a story. A feather is a memory of freedom. Dirt is a magical substance where dead matter turns into life.” Reese’s performance piece for four dancers, The Forest Remains, combines dance, music, and sculpture to examine the cyclical nature of life and death. It’ll be performed with two other pieces, Dina Morelli’s Incantation and Donna Schudel’s The Insistence of L. Macbeth, tonight at a show called Enchanted Witnesses. It’s at 8 tonight and tomorrow at Link’s Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tickets cost $10; call 773-281-0824.

24 SATURDAY Joliet Union Station, which opened in 1910, is a marvel of marble and limestone floors, dark wood walls, and high vaulted ceilings. It’s at the crossroads of at least five train lines, which means a train comes through every 20 minutes or so. Today the Railroad Club of Chicago will take over a Metra car and make their way to Joliet for a photo excursion. On the way, experts will provide a running commentary on the passing scene. The train leaves at 8:30 sharp from Metra’s LaSalle Street station, 414 S. LaSalle, and returns at 3:45 (the trip itself takes about an hour and a half each way). Tickets are $10; it’s suggested you bring your own lunch, as the nearest restaurant is a mile from the station. Call 847-251-2262.

Two years ago I got out of bed to find a large brown blob attached to my living room wall. I took a closer look: the motionless lump had ears and a face. It was a balled-up, upside-down bat. I grabbed the phone, ran into the bedroom, and slammed the door. After a few calls I was given the number of Fellow Mortals Inc. Wildlife Rehabilitation in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; they told me how to safely capture the intruder and release it in the bushes outside. In addition to providing phone counseling to urbanites, Fellow Mortals provides care, sanctuary, and rehabilitation for sparrows, rabbits, deer, owls, raccoons, squirrels, and almost every other type of wild animal you can imagine. In 1991 the group helped rescue and rehabilitate a flock of more than 100 Canadian geese suffering from lead poisoning after ingesting the stuff at a rifle range. Tonight the nonprofit group will hold a benefit fund-raiser featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet and dance. It’s at 7:30 at Marcello’s restaurant, 645 W. North. It’s $40; tickets may be purchased at the door. Call 630-227-0807 for more information.

25 SUNDAY Every Memorial Day weekend some 3,000 leather-clad men and women descend upon the north side for the annual International Mr. Leather Weekend. This year the five-day round of hide-related festivities includes a bootblack competition, a leather market, a bondage party, Leather in Recovery 12-step meetings, an appearance by Ms. Chi Chi LaRue, and the traditional finale, the Black & Blue Ball. The highlight, though, is the International Mr. Leather Contest, where 60 contestants from around the world will be judged on such essentials as physique and leather image. It starts at 7:30 tonight at the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Admission is $40; for more information call 800-545-6753 or 773-878-3844.

26 MONDAY “Everybody marches, nobody just watches” is the motto of the Wellington-Oakdale Old Glory Marching Society, which sponsors its annual Memorial Day parade today. The parade got its start 34 years ago, when the late Al Weisman and some neighborhood kids, including his son Tony, marched around their block in an impromptu show of patriotism. These days the annual march in Lakeview draws up to a thousand participants, and Tony is the parade marshal. It starts today at 11 at the corner of Pine Grove and Wellington and will end up on the front lawn of Saint Joseph Hospital, 2900 N. Lake Shore Drive, where the entertainment will include the Jesse White Tumblers. It’s free; call 312-755-0888 on weekdays, 773-327-4924 on weekends.

27 TUESDAY Students from Northwestern University’s schools of music and speech will perform a dramatic reading, a violin solo, and an a capella concert, among other things, at tonight’s Kids Place Great America Coffeehouse. The event will benefit Kids Place, an after-school program in Rogers Park, and proceeds will be used to send 20-odd latchkey kids to–you guessed it–Great America later this year. It starts at 8 at Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. A donation of $5 is suggested. Call 773-973-3662.

28 WEDNESDAY I almost lost it when I read recently that women with certain cancer-producing genes could prolong their lives three to five years by having their breasts lopped off at age 30. Eating right, exercising, and early detection seem a lot less expensive and traumatic. Find out what a (female) expert has to say about it tonight when oncologist and breast-disease specialist Nora Hansen demonstrates how to do a breast self-examination and discusses treatment options at a lecture called Breast Cancer: What Every Woman Should Know. It’s at 6:30 at Magic & Vanity, 447 N. Wells. It’s free, but reservations are recommended. Call 312-595-9660.

29 THURSDAY “She says to him, musing, ‘If you ever leave me, / and marry a younger woman and have another baby, / I’ll put a knife in your heart.’ They are in bed, / so she climbs onto his chest, and looks directly / down into his eyes. ‘You understand? Your heart.'” Those are the words of U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass in a poem called “Forty Something.” Tonight he and poet Brenda Hillman, whose verse has been classified as “autobiographical experimentation,” will read from their work as part of Columbia College’s tenth anniversary of the Columbia Poetry Review. The free event is at 3 in Hokin Hall at Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash. Call 312-663-1600, ext. 5250.

For 85 years, the Three Arts Club has provided support for women in the arts. Its newest initiative, the Chicago Alliance of Women in the Arts, will work to actively promote the advancement of female artists. To celebrate the new program and to fight the club’s image as a fussy, old-fashioned institution, Three Arts will hold The (White) Gloves Are Off Salon, featuring an exhibit of 35 pairs of white gloves that have been imaginatively altered by women artists. The free event lasts from 6 to 9 tonight at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn; a performance by the jazz ensemble Samana will start at 7. Reservations are recommended; call 312-944-6250.