For the last 20 years, under the direction of Patrick Henry, the Free Street Theater pursued a portable, populist performance style. Henry died April 15 after a long bout with cancer, so this weekend's Free Street presentation of Project!, which Henry conceived and directed, will serve as a tribute to his memory. This "musical documentary" about life in Cabrini-Green, largely written and performed by project residents, plays tonight at 7 (as well as tomorrow at 2 and 7, and Sunday at 2) at the Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt at Lake Shore Drive. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for museum members, and $7 for children under 12; more information is available at 322-8854.
Many young Americans and Europeans have traveled to India and Nepal for enlightenment and adventure. Some have stayed. Freak Street to Goa: Immigrants on the Rajpath is a 60-minute documentary about the lives of four Westerners who chose to remain in the third world. Directed by Chicagoan John Caldwell and Indian-American John L. Pudaite (who will be present at the screening), the film will show tonight at 7 at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont. Admission is $4, $3 for Filmmakers members; call 281-8788 for more information.
Gertrude Stein's male subjectivity, androgyny in Navaho culture, Jean Genet's interaction with the Black Panther Party, and gay telephone party lines will be some of the topics at today's Gender (does not equal) Sexuality: A Symposium on Other Sexualities and the Arts at Northwestern University. Sponsored by Northwestern's Committee for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, the symposium will feature lectures, video and slide shows, and live performances by academic theorists and performance artists. It's scheduled for 10 AM to 10 PM at Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan in Evanston; admission is free. Call 743-1669.
The Chicago Academy of Sciences' popular Dino-Rama exhibit has moved up the evolutionary scale. The herd of robotic prehistoric creatures now features mammals, including a saber-toothed cat and a baby woolly mammoth and a seven-foot-tall "terror bird." The Dino-Rama: Wild & Woolly display opens today at 10 and will be open from 10 to 6 every day except Saturday and Monday, when it will be open 10 to 8. The show runs through September 4 at 2001 N. Clark. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and children under 17; for more information call 871-3466.
The Chicago River doesn't see much excitement now other than being dyed green every Saint Patrick's Day, but it was once one of the world's busiest waterways. The Friends of the Chicago River opens its 1989 season of river-trail walks today with a two-hour guided tour of the river's main branch. The tour group meets at 10 at Pioneer Court, the plaza in front of 401 N. Michigan, before proceeding west to the Merchandise Mart. The cost is $5 to the general public, $3 to FOCR members; call 939-0490.
New York composer and performer Elliott Sharp--whose works are written for conventional, custom-built, and electronic instruments--makes his local debut tonight in New Music Chicago's 1989 spring festival, the city's premier showcase of avant-garde music. The concert--which starts at 8 PM at the Randolph Street Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee includes a string quartet played by local musicians and a series of solo "duets," in which Sharp accompanies himself with a computer and Mirage sampler. Tickets are $6, $4 for students and RSG members. For reservations call 666-7737.
The effect of the Jewish vote in the recent elections has been much discussed, but former Fifth Ward alderman Leon M. Despres' talk Jews in Chicago Politics, 1920- promises insights into issues overlooked by run-of-the-mill commentators. A practicing Chicago attorney since 1929, Despres was Mayor Richard J. Daley's principal (and sometimes sole) critic. The lecture, sponsored by the Chicago Jewish Historical Society, is free and begins at 2 at Congregation B'nai Zion, 6759 N. Greenview. For more information call 263-0005.
For nearly 20 years Pandit Pran Nath was the servant and student of Abdul Waheed Khan, a master of the most influential classical Indian vocal tradition. At his teacher's bidding Pran Nath gave up his ascetic life to perform around the world, and has been revered for years in India. He makes his long-overdue Chicago debut tonight accompanied by three musicians, including American composer Terry Riley. The performance, sponsored by Chamber Music Chicago as part of its DejAvant 89 series, begins at 8 at the Royal-George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. Tickets are $18.50. Call 242-6237 for more information.
Since 1984 Chicago has lost ten inner-city hospitals to financial problems. The effects of the loss of neighborhoodbased health-care providers will be discussed by a panel today from 12 to 2. Hospital Closings: The Ripple Effect on Neighborhoods is sponsored by the Community Renewal Society and the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs; speakers include Crain's Chicago Business health writer Arsenio Oloroso Jr. and longtime public-health activist Dr. Quentin Young. The free discussion will be held at the Loop YWCA, 180 N. Wabash. Call 427-4830 or 782-3511.
In Woman on the Edge of Time and her other novels and poetry collections, Marge Piercy combines a feminist social viewpoint with an emotionally charged dramatic sense that separates her writing from that of many other feminists. She will speak tonight as part of "The Engaged Artist: The Arts and Social Change," a lecture series sponsored by DePaul University. Her free talk begins at 7 at the Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Seminary. Call 341-8246.
The recent elections in Russia have generated new awareness of the atmosphere in the USSR, so the timing is right for the Glasnost Film Festival, which opens today at Facets Multimedia (1517 W. Fullerton) and runs through Saturday. More than 20 films will be screened. Tonight's 7:30 program includes three films about the lingering trauma of the Stalin era and a documentary about contemporary youth in Russia. Tickets are $5, $3 for Facets members; call 281-4114 for more.
The solar-powered, one-seat GM Sunraycer has a state-of-the-art lightweight aerodynamic design and solar-powered electric batteries. This car's top speed is 48.7 miles per hour--a world record for a solar-powered car. But it'll be stationary now through May 29 at the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street at Lake Shore Drive. Museum hours are 9:30 to 4 Monday through Friday, and 9:30 to 5:30 Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free; call 684-7414.
Poet, playwright, and short-story writer Angela Jackson was born in Mississippi but grew up on the south side. She draws on both in her work, about which she'll talk at 12:15 in the theater of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The free event is part of the library's "Writers in Conversation" series. More information is available at 269-2880.
During his senior year at Iowa State University in the 1960s, Verne Lyon was recruited by the CIA. His assignments included spying on college protesters and becoming a "deep cover" case officer in Cuba and Central America. Lyon eventually quit the agency and spent time in federal prison on what he says were rigged charges. He now helps Latin American political refugees relocate to the U.S. A founding member of the Association for National Security, an organization that exposes and criticizes CIA covert action, Lyon will speak tonight at 7:30 at the First Baptist Church of Evanston, 607 Lake in Evanston. The event, which also features folksinger Kristin Lems, is a benefit for a group of ten Northwestern University students who are facing trial for protesting CIA recruitment on campus. The Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Defense Fund, the sponsor, suggests donations of $10, $20, or $50. Call 939-0675.