When the second wave of Lithuanian immigrants came to this country in the 1920s, they found their predecessors' sense of cultural identity sagging. So they formed song, dance, and theater groups and staged periodic festivals. Many of the old stage bills have survived the decades, and starting today they're part of Performance in Print: Six Decades of Lithuanian-American Performing Arts Posters at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. Nearly neon yellows, reds, and greens are the dominant colors used in posters. "They're more about art than about promoting events," says museum director Stanley Balzekas. "The images are great." Accompanying the show, which runs through August 31, is a collection of other memorabilia, including historical photographs and programs. There will be a reception at 7:30 tonight at the museum, 6500 S. Pulaski. Doors are open from 10 to 4 daily. Admission is $3, $2 for seniors, and $1 for kids. Call 582-6500.
The disabled community has seen three big political victories recently: the passage of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, the approval of Chicago's human-rights ordinance, and the recent appointment of Larry Gorsky as a special assistant for disability issues to Mayor Daley. Tonight the mayor, Senators Paul Simon and Bob Dole, U.S. Representative Cardiss Collins, and Governor Jim Thompson will be thanked for their work on disabled issues--and also hear what still needs to be done--at the 10th-anniversary benefit dinner for Access Living, a resource and advocacy center for the disabled. The keynote speaker will be Ed Roberts, the disabled activist who founded the pioneering Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California, after which Access Living is modeled. Dinnertime is 6:30 at Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Drive. Tickets are a tax-deductible $125. Call 226-5900 or 226-1687.
During her lifetime, surrealist painter Frida Kahlo painted scores of self-portraits--indeed, it's rare to find a figurative painting of hers in which she isn't featured. She depicted herself with monkeys, deer, Karl Marx, and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, and portrayed herself as virgin, invalid, butch, angel, earth mother, and flower. Frida: The Last Portrait, the one-act play Donna Blue Lachman (of the Blue Rider Theatre) developed a few years ago based on the life of the Mexican-Jewish artist, tops the bill at tonight's spring benefit for the Evanston Art Center, 2603 Sheridan Road in Evanston. The festivities begin with dinner at 6. Frida plays twice, at 8 and 9:30, and there will be live music and dancing throughout the evening. The winner of the evening's raffle will get a two-hour portrait sitting with artist Ann Ponce. Raffle tickets are $5 each. Tickets for the dinner and show are $100, $50 for the show only. Call 708-475-5300.
As the years go by, the crowd marching in the annual Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade becomes less and less outrageous; after all, gay dentists and politicians look remarkably similar to straight dentists and politicians. But the street party surrounding the parade is still pretty wild. Last year's bash drew nearly 90,000 spectators; today's is supposed to be even bigger. The 21st annual parade kicks off at 2 PM at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe streets and winds its way over to Broadway, down to Diversey, and then over to Lincoln Park for the postparade rally, scheduled to begin at 3:30. There will be music, speeches, and concessions. It's all free but the food. Call 348-8243.
The stars are right on the cusp between Gemini and Cancer tonight. You can check them out at the star watch at 9:30 PM at the North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski. A couple of large telescopes will be set up, and Dan Joyce and Bill Becker of the Chicago Astronomical Society will be around to guide novices through the constellations. It's free. Call 725-5618 or 583-8970.
The first big flood of European Jewish settlers in Israel came during its founding in 1948, when the majority of its residents came looking for refuge during the diaspora after World War II. Israel is now experiencing its second big wave of European Jews--coming from the Soviet Union. They're arriving by the thousands every day now that emigration restrictions have been eased in the USSR. Polls show that many Israelis hope the influx of Russian Jews will keep their country geared toward more Western, rather than Middle Eastern, values. Carlos Rizowy, political analyst for National Public Radio and president of the Organization of Children of Holocaust Survivors, will speak on The End of the Cold War: Its Effect on Mid-East Politics beginning at 7 PM at the Florence Heller Jewish Community Center, 524 W. Melrose. Admission is $8. For more, call the Dawn Schuman Institute at 708-945-8383.
Unlike some of her colleagues, comedienne Rita Rudner isn't crass, neurotic, or particularly eccentric; she just tells funny jokes about being a normal female. If you miss her performance tonight at the Chicago Improv, you'll miss the only woman booked by the club until August at the earliest. Show time is 8 at 504 N. Wells. The $5 cover gets you in to see both Rudner and the Monday night talent showcase. Call 782-6387.
The only way education deputy mayor Lourdes Monteagudo is going to get any really tough questions at today's Chicago Council on Urban Affairs forum is if folks in the audience ask them. Her officially scheduled respondents are interim board of education vice chairman William Singer, who's practically best buds with Monteagudo's boss, and the very polite G. Alfred Hess, who heads the Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance. The forum, which runs from noon to 2 today on the eighth floor of the Chicago Athletic Association, 71 E. Madison, will also be broadcast live on WGCI-AM. Brenda Montgomery of WGCI will moderate. It's $10, $8 for council members. If you want lunch, it's $5 and must be reserved in advance. Call 782-3511.
Brazen performance artist Paula Killen ought to be able to twirl her tassels with the best of 'em. In Sharon Evans's brand new show, Girls, Girls, Girls, Live on Stage, Totally Rude, Killen teaches fellow performer Catherine Evans all about exotic dancing, the limits of censorship, libel, and porn. The show opens tonight and continues through August 19 at the Live Bait Theatre, 3914 N. Clark. Show times are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 7. Tickets are $9. Call 871-1212.
The proposed Miglin-Beitler Tower would overtake the Sears Tower as the world's tallest building, but that hasnt impressed investors enough to get it beyond the blueprint stage. Still, it's an impressive design by architect Cesar Pelli, who also created the 181 W. Madison tower, the World Financial Center and Winter Garden in New York, and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Pelli will be here to talk about his work at 6 tonight in the Fullerton Auditorium of the Art Institute, Michigan at Adams. Admission is $5, but seating is limited, so call 443-3949 by Tuesday to reserve a place.
The 1980 census indicated the 48th ward's population was more than 15 percent black, more than 15 percent Hispanic, and just about 13 percent Asian--making it one of the most diverse wards in the city. Which probably explains why 48th-ward alderman Mary Ann Smith, a staunch ally of Mayor Daley's, is so concerned about racial issues. She's the principal force behind Chicago: The Human Relations Challenge, a panel discussion featuring Reader writer Ben Joravsky, Sun-Times editor Dennis Britton, attorneys John Vranicar and Lauren Rosenthal, teacher Walter Moy, and west-side alderman Danny Davis. Irving M. Levine, who helped launch the "new pluralism" movement, will be the keynote speaker. The free program begins at 7 PM at Congregation Emanuel, 5959 N. Sheridan. Call 561-3800.