Even the most intrepid garage-sale shopper (me, for example) may quail at the prospect of the World's Largest Garage Sale, which runs from 11 to 9 today and 11 to 6 tomorrow and Sunday, Sherman Avenue between Church and Davis in Evanston. All 540 stalls of the municipal parking garage will be filled with junk, stuff, and collectibles. Free; 328-1500 for details.
The Lyric Opera Center for American Artists presents a showcase series that kicks off with excerpts from Massenet's Manon and Gounod's Faust, 12:15 today at the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The center trains some of the country's most talented young opera singers, and this series, which continues through August, will give audiences a taste of opera classics and a chance to discover future stars. Free; more at 332-2244.
The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Chicago, 1017 N. LaSalle, is staging its annual Greek Food and Dance Festival, 4-11 today and tomorrow, noon-10 Sunday. Brush up on your Zorba routines with free Greek dancing lessons. More at 664-5485.
The Chicago Academy of Sciences presents The Earth First! Roadshow at 8 tonight, 2001 N. Clark. The international environmental movement Earth First has put together a multimedia presentation that outlines the destruction of, and efforts aimed at preserving, the Australian rain forest. A documentary film titled Earth First! will be the centerpiece of the evening aimed at increasing awareness about the rain forest issue. Admission is $3; 549-0606.
City dwellers are invited to join in the small-town fun during the 20th annual Sugar Grove Corn Boil, 10-8 today in Pavilion Park on Main Street behind the fire station in the village of Sugar Grove, which is located at the intersection of U.S. route 30 and Illinois routes 47 and 56. A craft and flea market, antique car show, and display of planes built by the Experimental Aircraft Association will run all day. Pork chop and roast beef sandwiches and brats will be grilled for lunch; blind baseball starts at 1 (the 16-inch softball beeps); corn and hot dogs cooked by an antique steam engine will be served starting at 4, and the fire department stages a water fight at 7. More at 466-4255.
More than 60 Anti-Cruelty Society volunteers will be on hand for DogWash '87, 10-3 in the parking lot of the society at Grand and Wells (rain date is August 1). Cost is by weight: $5 for critters 25 pounds and under, $8 for the 26- to 50-pound set, $10 for the big guys. Pets must be six months old, vaccinated, and have a nonaggressive personality. Details at 644-8338.
The third annual Mennonite festival and quilt sale will be held from 10 to 3 today at Francis Parker School, 330 W. Webster. Food, music, and crafts will be featured along with the auction, which starts at 11. Information at 629-3060.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is throwing a barbecue at the Clarke House, noon-4 today at 1800 S. Prairie. Rib tips will sizzle on the grill; tours of the city's oldest building will also be given. $5; 326-1393.
The huge selection of antiques and collectibles normally found at the Kane County Fairgrounds during the summer will pay a visit to the city when a couple of hundred dealers set up shop for the Kane County Flea Market at Navy Pier, noon-6 today and 9-6 tomorrow, Grand Avenue and Lake Michigan. Admission is $2; info at 377-2252.
Gardeners, architecture buffs, and the just-plain-nosy are likely to enjoy the Dearborn Garden Walk, which will be held from noon to 5 today on Dearborn from Division to Lincoln Park. Private gardens will be open to the public, there will be a plant sale, lots of entertainment for the kiddies, and refreshments served by Edwardo's and Nick's Fishmarket. $3 admission; information at 472-6556.
Jazz singer Rita Warford and bassist Richard Jess Brown Jr. will perform at 2 this afternoon at the Natalini Galleries, 716 N. Wells. Concerts are planned for Sundays through August 16. Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door. Details at 943-0684.
Five hundred or so sculptors and engineers in the 6-to-12 age bracket will display their talents in the Chicago Park District's annual sand modeling contest at 11 AM at North Avenue Beach. All projects must be completed by noon and are not likely to survive the afternoon, so don't delay if you want to take a look. Details at 294-2493.
The Film Center presents a benefit frozen yogurt social that starts with a premiere screening of Wolf at the Door, 6 PM, Columbus Drive at Jackson, and will be followed by dessert at the Cafe Le Jardin, 224 S. Michigan. The movie is described as a "revealing portrait" of Paul Gauguin's life and stars Donald Sutherland as the peregrinating painter. $15 covers the film and dessert; reserve at 443-3733.
A Summer Fanfare, a brass and organ concert of mostly baroque music, will be presented at 8 tonight at the Church of the Ascension, 1133 N. LaSalle. A raffle will be also be held, with proceeds to go to Chicago House, which provides housing and social services to people with AIDS and AIDS-related conditions. Trumpeter Roger Melka and organist James Rogner, conductor of the James Chorale, will be featured; they will be joined by Rex Martin and CSO members George Vosburgh, Gail Williams, and Charles Vernon. $20; 334-0557 for information.
Japanese Couture and Cuisine: An Evening of Japanese Traditions starts at 6 with a presentation by Nana Sullivan, owner of Toshiro, at the store, 3309 N. Clark, and continues with dinner at Shiroi Hana, 3242 N. Clark, at 7:30. Sullivan will describe the weave and dye techniques of shibori, kasuri, and sarasa, as well as sketch in the historical traditions of the Japanese farm country. $35 per person, which covers the program and dinner. The event is being held in conjunction with various classes and workshops on the Japanese influence at the Textile Arts Centre, 916 W. Diversey: details and reservations for tonight's program at 929-5655.
Star wishers and gazers can catch the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower--which reaches its peak of about 20 meteors an hour tonight--for the next week. It's best seen after midnight in the southeastern sky.
The Incredible Chinese Acrobats will enliven the Daley Civic Center Plaza with feats of balance and daring at noon today, Washington and Dearborn. Free; 346-3278.
White Sox great Minnie Minoso drops by the Imperial Convalescent and Geriatric Center, 1366 W. Fullerton, to visit with residents this evening. He'll be there from 6 to 7:30, and the public is welcome. Free; information at 935-7474.
Dempsey Travis moderates tonight's Jazz on Television seminar titled "The Chicago Style," 5:30 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 800 S. Wells. The program starts with a screening of material from various television shows, followed by the seminar and a second screening at 7 PM. Tickets are $5, $3 for museum members; 565-1950 for details.
The National Italian American Theater Company in cooperation with NAB Gallery presents a preview of Fred L. Gardaphe's one-act play Vinegar and Oil at 8 tonight, 1115 W. Grand; it continues Thursday-Saturday through August in the heart of one of Chicago's oldest Italian neighborhoods, where NAB has recently set up shop. Gardaphe, a scholar of Italian-American literature who teaches at Columbia College, describes his play as a "fiery after-dinner confrontation between two feisty Italian patriarchs" forced together by the marriage of their children. Tix are $5; reserve at 235-6435. If the weather, too, is fiery, continue the Italian motif with a posttheater detour to Mario's Italian Lemonade Stand, 1070 W. Taylor.