Laurie Anderson designed her latest multimedia work, Voices From the Beyond, specifically for the atrium of the State of Illinois Building, and she'll perform it there tonight as part of the College Art Association's national conference. Somewhat incongruously, a few sets by the Lonnie Brooks band will come before and after Anderson's performance; the $35 ticket ($30 if you buy it ahead of time) also includes a buffet dinner with beer and wine. Things get under way at 8 at the State of Illinois Building, 100 W. Randolph; proceeds go to the College Art Association. You can buy tickets at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 237 E. Ontario, or at the door. Call 280-2660.
If the long late-night lines--in winter even--outside the Live Bait Theater have prevented you from seeing the Neo-Futurists' Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, relief is at hand. After a three-year run (and an appearance in New York) the show is moving to a new home starting tonight--the "Neo-Futurarium," at 5153 N. Ashland, former home of Theater Oobleck. The new space boasts both a 130-seat theater (nearly twice the size of the old one) and--yes--an indoor waiting area. The play, if you haven't heard, consists of "30 plays in 60 minutes," done with the requisite breakneck speed by the accomplished comedy squad. Show time stays the same: 11:30 Friday and Saturday nights. Admission is $2 plus the number you roll on a single die ($3-$8). Call 275-5255 for more.
A two-weekend chess tournament for kids and adults kicks off in Hazel Crest today. This weekend is the youth tourney for kids 17 and under. Entries are $5; games go from 9 to 1 today and tomorrow. Next weekend, same schedule, is the adult session, with a $10 entry fee. The games are at the Hazel Crest Community Center, 2701 W. 170th in Hazel Crest. Call 708-335-1505 or 708-798-8204 for more info.
The services of a tattoo artist, the edible artist-created products Serial Killer Cereal and God Pancake Mix, and props from past shows--including three pairs of oversized clogs--are among the prizes to be raffled off tonight at Dig--A Benefit Party, thrown by the performance group Doorika. The group'll show videos of their past performances and raffle off lots of artist-donated stuff, a DJ will spin discs, and ten guest performers led by Kent Albin and Alan Sierkowski will present Syncretic Soliloquies, a theater piece "reflecting upon our lives in a postmodern world as inspired by Arthur Rimbaud's The Drunken Boat." Ten bucks gets you food, wine, beer, and a raffle ticket. It starts at 7 at the Doorika gallery, 218 N. Laflin. Call 243-6819.
The University of Chicago Alumni Association Pipe Band (formerly the Invermich Gaelic Society) will put on its sixth annual Valentine's dance tonight at 7 at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Also performing will be the Chicago Police Department's Emerald Society Pipe Band, Celtic Aire (which is members of the UCAA Pipe Band doing Celtic rock), the Gillan Scottish Dancers, and the Mark Howard Irish Step Dancers. Plus there'll be a cash bar, Irish and Scottish food, door prizes, and dancing. It's $6, $2 for kids under 12. Call 229-1766 or 708-395-1421 for more.
Chicago's Gera-Lind Kolarik, who traced the story of murderer Larry Eyler in Freed to Kill: The True Story of Larry Eyler, will sign copies of the just-out paperback version of her book, which contains new information about Eyler and about a possible accomplice, today at 2 at the People Like Us bookstore, 3211 N. Clark. It's free; call 248-6363 for more information.
The Curious Theatre Branch (whose current production is Bryn Magnus's Natural Hostages) is throwing a one-year anniversary party tonight at the company's HQ, 1900 W. North. There'll be performances by Theater Oobleck's Lisa Black and Jeff Dorchen (who'll do his piece Tender); Jamie O'Reilly and the Rogues will provide music, as will a group consisting of members of Las Toallitas and Maestro Subgum and the Whole. Hosts Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly are suggesting a donation of $10; the whole shebang starts at 7. Call 276-1147 to find out more.
In Ohio State University and the Smithsonian's joint effort Great American Comics: 100 Years of Cartoon Art, you can see nearly 100 examples of some of the greatest American cartoons (Krazy Kat, Flash Gordon) and some of the worst (Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey). (No word on whether Miss Peach made the final cut.) The show is up in the lower-level exhibition hall of the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State, through March 28. Admission is free; the library's open 9 to 7 Monday through Thursday, 9 to 5 Friday and Saturday. Call 747-4876 for more.
The people who brought you the exhibit "Thrift Store Paintings" are back, this time with a Monday-night lecture series called Fantastic Spaces. It'll focus on "environments" created by self-taught artists--for example the Orange Show, a 6,000-square-foot open-air tribute to the favorite fruit of its creator, a Houston mailman. Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (formerly the Society for Outsider, Intuitive, and Visionary Art) launches the three-part series tonight with a lecture by John Maizels, editor of the international outsider-art magazine Raw Vision, who'll focus on artist-made environments in France. Susanne Demchak Theis, director of the Orange Show Foundation in Texas, will speak March 16, and Don Howlett, who has supervised the restoration of, among other things, Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park, is up April 20. All lectures start at 7:30 at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn; admission is $30 for the series, $15 for Intuit members. Students can buy tickets to individual lectures at $5 a pop. Call 751-1156.
"Ask yourself how the feminist movement influenced your life, where it took you, where it left you," suggest the organizers of About Men . . . About Women, a combination discussion/dance event at 7 tonight at the Dance Center of Columbia College. Psychotherapist Claudia Dancing, Loyola philosophy professor Al Gini, and poet and storyteller Jim Wolf will start things off by discussing male and female stereotypes and archetypes. Afterward the Jan Erkert Dancers will perform Glass Ceilings, about the struggle between the genders at work and at home. There's a suggested donation of $3; the Dance Center is at 4730 N. Sheridan, and you can call 271-7928.
Jazz master Miles Davis will be memorialized this afternoon with a concert by the UIC Jazz Band and a reading by poet and author Quincy Troupe, who won the American Book Award in 1980 for poetry and again in 1990 for cowriting Miles Davis: The Autobiography. UIC music professor Richard Wang will direct the band; the event starts at 1 in the Cornucopia Room of Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. It's free. Call 413-5070 or 996-2977 for more.
You've written a book? Or just want to? The Friends of the Chicago Public Library have a class for you. So You Want to Write a Book, run by board member Connie Goddard, will give you an overview of the local and national publishing industries and some insight into how books are bought, put together, publicized, and foisted off onto an unwitting public. There'll also be tips on marketing a book proposal. The class starts at 5 PM; it's $7.50, $5 for Friends of the Library members. The class is in the seventh-floor Chicago Authors Room at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State. You need to call for reservations: 747-4907.
In the early 80s, when Beatrice Welles-Smith finally found the original negative of her father Orson's film Othello--which had won a prize for best feature film at Cannes in 1952 and then experienced a dismal two-week commercial run--it had been sitting in a warehouse in New Jersey for 30 years. She turned it over to local restoration producers Arnie Saks and Michael Dawson, and tonight the Film Center presents the world premiere of the restored film, complete with a rerecorded sound track by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and members of the Lyric Opera. Saks, Dawson, and Welles-Smith will be present at the screening, which starts at 7:30; the $50 ticket includes an after-film reception with dessert and wine. The Film Center is at Columbus and Jackson; call 443-3733. The screening is part of a series of events through June celebrating the Art Institute's 125th anniversary; for details, call 899-5155.