Replace your beater with a snappy new/old roadster from the collector car auction, which opens at 10 AM today and runs through Sunday at the Winnebago Expo Complex off Route 20 in Pecatonica (between Freeport and Rockford). Several 1959 Cadillacs, a 1939 Jaguar, and two 1940 Lincoln Continentals will be among the 500 or so cars auctioned. There will also be a swap meet and a sale of antiques and collectibles. Admission is $5; more at (815) 938-2250.
"My grandmother used to tell me that it was important to have a career. She would say, 'When you're out of work, it's nice to know what kind of work you're out of.'" This sensible sentiment is cited by Laurie Beth Clark, assistant professor of nonstatic forms at the University of Wisconsin, as inspiration for her piece Accept the Next Job Offer You Get, which will be performed at 8 tonight and tomorrow at Randolph Street Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee. Twenty-two performers, 12 video monitors, and myriad props are involved. $5, $4 for students, seniors, and gallery members. Reservations are recommended: 666-7737.
A benefit for Born on the Fourth of July, Loretta Smith's documentary about Vietnam vet Ron Kovic, will be held from 5:30 to 9 tonight at the Peace Museum, 430 W. Erie. Smith is $13,000 short of what she needs to match a $42,000 challenge grant from the California Council for the Humanities. Bruce Springsteen gave $10,000, but a mere $25 gains admission to tonight's event, which will include a screening of 18 minutes of footage ($300 gets you dinner with local luminaries Studs Terkel, Fred Holstein, Aaron Freeman, and others). More at 271-5750.
The North Shore Art League presents the 14th annual juried Midwest Craft Festival, 10 to 6 today and tomorrow in Old Orchard Center, Old Orchard Road and Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. Ceramics, glass, fiber, wood, basketry, and jewelry by 140 artists will be on display and for sale. More at 446-2870.
The Mercury boat line debuts its Wacky Pirate Cruise, a one-hour kiddie expedition, with departure at 10:30 AM from the lower level of the Michigan Avenue bridge at Wacker. The cruises continue on Saturday mornings through August 29: $5, $3 for kids under 12. Reservations at 332-1368.
The Illinois Juggling Institute's Spring Fling, featuring as many as 100 jugglers from around the midwest, includes free juggling lessons at 1 this afternoon and a variety show at 7:30 in the Lake Forest College Sports Center, at the corner of Sheridan and Maplewood roads in Lake Forest. $2 for the show, $1 for children. The gathering is free for spectators, $8 a day for participants. More at 766-1437.
Jazz Unites presents the third annual Tribute to Duke Ellington from 5 to 9 today in the auditorium of the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and Lake Shore Drive. Bassist Ray Brown, pianist Monty Alexander, guitarist Herb Ellis, and drummer Mickey Roker headline the event, with support from the Willie Pickens Trio and the Jazz Members Big Band, featuring Gloria Morgan. A reception with a cash bar will be held from 4 to 5. $15 for the reception and concert (two for $25), $8 for the conceit only (two for $15); admission for seniors and students is $6, free for those under 15. Proceeds go to a two-day jazz festival to be held at the South Shore Country Club at the end of the summer. More at 667-2707.
Theresa Needham, owner of the legendary Theresa's Tavern, keeps learning more about the blues than she probably ever wanted to know: her club has been evicted from its premises on South Indiana, requiring the second move in less than three years. A benefit for Theresa's will be held from 6 to 2 tonight at B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted. Byther Smith and the Nightriders, Theresa's house band, will play, and a host of guest artists will jam. $5 cover; 528-1012.
Direct Auction Galleries presents a movie memorabilia auction at 11 AM at 7232 N. Western. Eleven thousand baseball cards; 12,000 movie star postcards, gum cards, and pinup cards; hundreds of movie magazines and hardcover books; 1,000 glossy photos; records; and lots more will go on the block. Preview the stuff from 9:30 to 11. More at 465-3300.
A symposium examining The Bauhaus: Myth and Reality will be held from 9 to 5 today at the Chicago Circle Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago, 750 S. Halsted. It will include an overview of Weimar culture, a screening of Oskar Schlemmer's film Triadic Ballet, a roundtable discussion of the New Bauhaus at IIT in the 1930s, and a panel discussion on the relevance of the reductivist aesthetic of the Bauhaus style today. Former students and faculty of the Bauhaus in Germany, the New Bauhaus, and IIT's Institute of Design will be featured. Free; more at 996-3326.
Two exhibitions, Tuning the Wood: Works by Contemporary Illinois Stringed Instrument Builders and Sam Pappas: Sculpted Instruments, open today and continue through July 10 at the art gallery in the State of Illinois Center, 100 W. Randolph. In conjunction with the show, the Burgundian Consort will perform at 6:30 on Friday, May 29, at the State of Illinois Center, with a reception to follow at 7:30 in the gallery. Everything's free, gallery hours are 10-6, Monday-Friday. Information at 917-5322.
Soviet dissident scientist and author Zhores Medvedev will speak on The Chernobyl Disaster: The Environmental and Medical Impact at 4 this afternoon at Northwestern's Tech Institute, 2145 Sheridan in Evanston. Medvedev is now a senior scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Free; more at 491-5000.
Les Dames D'Escoffier, a group of women chefs, restaurateurs, wine experts, and food consultants, are sponsoring a food and wine auction at 5:30 this evening in the Grand Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton, 160 E. Pearson. Julia Child is the honorary chairman; rare wines, priceless cookbooks, gourmet dinners, behind-the-scenes restaurant tours, travel packages, and more are to be auctioned to those with discriminating palates. Proceeds benefit students in the culinary and wine fields. $20 admission; more at 247-7070.
N.A.M.E. Gallery will convene a panel of artists and scholars to discuss the influence and use of ritual In the art making process, 7 PM at 361 W. Superior. An art therapist, anthropologist, sculptor, and several others will look at art as a healing ritual, in the religions of various African and New World cultures, and in ceremonial clothing. $2; more at 642-2776.
The Immediate Theatre presents John Guare's Bosoms and Neglect, a rather unsettling expedition into the arenas of love and death, opening at 8 tonight and continuing through June 28, 1146 W. Pratt. Tickets are $10-$12; reserve at 465-3107.
Graduates of the California Institute of the Arts are the featured artists in CalArts: Skeptical Belief(s), an exhibit of work on view through June 27 at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 5811 S. Ellis Avenue. All media are represented, including video, which will be screened in three parts on Thursdays at 7 -- tonight, June 4, and June 11. Individual videos can also be viewed by request on weekends for the duration of the exhibit. Free; 702-8670 for information.