A group of eccentric but essentially harmless people invade the suburbs this weekend. It's the Illinois Libertarian Party, which holds its annual convention this weekend, starting off with a free open house from 6 to 9 PM that will feature Larry Dodge talking about the Fully Informed Jury Association. (The group wants judges to be required to inform juries that they may vote their conscience, regardless of the law.) Other weekend events include a 1 PM Saturday address by Jacob "Bumper" Hornberger on "The Libertarian Approach to the Deficit." Other speakers will expatiate on the Libertarian take on health care, education, and just about everything else. The hotel is at 920 E. Northwest Highway at route 53 in Palatine. Registration fees for the weekend range from $35 to $109, $15 for students. Call 708-616-8731 for more.
Hey, Prop Theatre--what in heck's The Pot Show about? "It is the story of a group of touring debaters," the theater responds via a press release. "At each venue they present the pros and cons of marijuana in American culture. However, members of both sides seem to suffer from psychoses and latent neurotic obsession. Hence, the debate takes on the feel more of tongue in cheek comedy than of an actual debate." Sounds like it'd be really funny if you were stoned, but the group warns that there's no dope in the show and that there's to be none in the audience, either. The show premieres at the Garage, 1843 W. North, tonight and plays Fridays and Saturdays at 10 and Sundays at 9 through June 6. Admission is $10, $8 on Sundays. Call 227-7756 for more.
For a show that opens at the David Leonardis Gallery today, the nomadic Robert Christy will do two unusual things. For the first, he's got a large, tapestry-size painting that he'll sell off in pieces--at $20 per square foot. Second, he'll do paintings on the spot--again, for $20 a shot--for people who bring in their own canvas or board two-feet square or smaller. There's a free reception for the show from 5 to 8, with a party following till midnight. Regular gallery hours for the exhibit are 12 to 7 Tuesday and Thursday and 12 to 5 Saturday through April 28. The gallery's at 1352 N. Paulina; call 278-3058 for more.
Time again for the Doonaree Pipe Band's annual dance. It's at Saint Bede's Church Hall, 8200 S. Kostner, tonight from 7:30 to midnight. The band's brought along the Trinity Academy of Dance, a group of "world championship Irish dancers"; another pipe band, the Shannon Rovers; and a group of dancing Scots as well. To go along with all this, there'll be a cash bar, lots of Irish and Scottish food, door prizes, a raffle, and more. It's $6; call 708-599-1840 for details.
The Rosemont Horizon flea market opens its third season today. The market--it's officially called Wolff's Flea Market--runs 7 to 3 every Sunday through September (except May 2). Admission is 75 cents, 50 cents for seniors and kids. It costs $19 a day to sell there, free for nonprofit groups. The Horizon is at 6920 Mannheim in Rosemont; call 708-529-9590 for more.
As regular readers of Calendar will remember, the McDonald's Collectors Club convention allows collectors of anything McDonald's has ever "used, made, sold, or licensed" to meet and swap stories and wares with like-minded people. The goods include everything from Happy Meal prizes to employee badges to "advertising ephemera." The group, which holds its fourth annual such convention at the Oak Brook Hyatt Regency, 1909 Spring in Oak Brook, through Sunday, caps the event with its usual "Show and Sale" today from 10 to 3. Admission is $2. Call 708-573-1234 for details.
For us it's not really spring until the Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club holds its Spring Open House. At this annual event the club pulls out all the stops to showcase both the collections and the design capabilities of its members. It's at the Clarendon Park Community Center, 4501 N. Clarendon, from 1 to 4. It's free, but the club won't turn away donations. Call 327-3978.
For decades Herman Kogan was one of Chicago's best-known journalists; he also wrote 16 books and hosted the WFMT radio show Writing and Writers for more than 14 years. (His son Rick is a Trib TV columnist.) The Herman Kogan Media Awards are given out by the Chicago Bar Association each year for solid reporting of legal issues. This year's luncheon is at 11:30 at the association's HQ, 321 S. Plymouth. The keynote speaker is Tribune senior critic Richard Christiansen. Tickets are $30; call 554-2010 for details.
Surrealist painter and sculptor Joan Miro would have been 100 today. Our own piece of the artist is the 40-foot-high work called Miro's Chicago, on Washington across the street from Daley Center. To mark the occasion, Spain's tourist office is presenting Estampida Medieval, a street theater troupe from Barcelona, performing in the lobby of the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, at noon. Also, it will show two short films, Chicago's Miro and Miro: Theater of Dreams, on video in the lobby as well, at 1 daily through Friday. It's all free. Call 642-1992 for details.
"I am inspired by the fact that with only 26 letters in our alphabet, our awful and magnificent past can be recorded and our most noble hopes and dreams can be expressed." So saith Allan Kornblum, head of Coffee House Press, Minneapolis's most beloved small press. Kornblum has long sung the praises of modern technology's contribution to small presses everywhere; now, armed with a major grant from the Reader's Digest Foundation, he's going on the road to spread the gospel. He'll appear at three local bookstores over the next week, to present both a letterpress demonstration and a "joyride through the history of books." He'll be at Kroch's & Brentano's, 1711 Sherman in Evanston, tonight at 7:30; at Hyde Park's 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th, at 2 PM Sunday; and at Barbara's Bookstore, 3130 N. Broadway, at 7:30 next Monday evening. They're all free; call 612-338-0125 for details.
Chicago, say the wags, has an "edifice complex": it's a city that likes building big buildings but doesn't concern itself with what goes in them. Case in point: the new downtown public library, a magnificent structure that hides a third-rate facility inside. The Chicago Public Library Advocates, a group of employees and citizens, are mad, too: today they're holding a Celebration of the Word, which is supposed to include poets, bands, and street musicians who'll campaign for additional library funding. It's at 4 in Pritzker Park, at Van Buren and State just north of the library. It's free. Call 436-6150 for more info.
The Cultural Center's ongoing lecture series, Anne Frank: The Power of Personal Choice, looks at oppression and heroism throughout history. Today's free program, Northern Ireland: The Troubles, features Reader staff writer John Conroy, author of the 1987 book Belfast Diary, and Irish folksinger Jamie O'Reilly, who will play political tunes with some musical cohorts. It's in the theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, at 12:15. Call 346-3278 for more.
Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent features John Gielgud as a novelist whose death is faked so that he can be a spy. With "wife" Madeleine Carroll and sidekick Peter Lorre, he heads for Switzerland for the usual suspenseful Hitchcockian tomfoolery. The Film Center has a new print of the 1936 film; a screening tonight kicks off the theater's "Early Hitchcock" series. Tickets are $60; they get you the movie and a dessert reception afterward. (There's also a $5-a-ticket raffle with a host of prizes topped by two round-trip tickets to London.) It's at 7:30 at the Film Center, Columbus and Jackson. Call 443-3733 for more.