Gabor's rich watercolor images of what he's seen in the southwest deserts are sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract. "It's a place, an event, a ticket there," said art critic John Berger of Gabor's work. The north-side artist's second solo show, "Different Places," opens today at the Nicole Gallery, 734 N. Wells, with a reception from 5 to 9. The free exhibit, which runs through July 1, can be viewed from 10:30 to 5 Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 to 4 Saturday, and by appointment. For more call 787-7716.
Saint Monica School--in the middle of a fax northwest enclave of Poles, Italians, and Irish--has only 250 students, but it fielded a basketball team that brought home a case full of trophies, including first place in its conference. Saint Monica is private, but it does offer financial assistance to those who need it--so fund-raisers are essential. Today's old-fashioned ice cream social, which runs from 6 to 9 PM, features face painting, a raffle, and live entertainment at the school, 5115 N. Mont Clare. Admission is free, but bring a few bucks to buy sundaes. Call 763-1661.
In Vito Acconci's Pryings, Acconci literally tries to get a woman to open her eyes to the world around her. That image will be juxtaposed with Race and Reason--an episode from a real neo-Nazi public-access program--in The Powers That Wanna Be, a program of ten videos on repression and censorship sponsored by the Randolph Street Gallery and the Center for New Television. Tomorrow night's Seducing the Censors program opens with another Acconci piece, Undertone, about Acconci's sexual fantasies. That will be followed by Take Off, in which Susan Mogul responds to Acconci by talking about her vibrator. Six other videos are also scheduled. Tomkins Square Police Riot, an uncut video of last summer's confrontation between New York's finest and the homeless, will also be screened both nights. The shows begin at 8 at RSG, 756 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $5, $3 for students and RSG and CNTV members. For more call 666-7737 or 427-5448.
Orquesta Aragon, the Cuban combo denied a visa by the INS, won't be at this year's Viva! Chicago, the city's first official salute to Latin music. But chances are excellent that Victor Parra and the Mambo Express will salute Aragon with their own renditions of "El Bodeguero," "Cachita," or another of Aragon's dozens of hits. Others on the bill are Ruben Blades, Angela Bofill, Cheo Feliciano, Brazilian spitfire Tania Maria, former Santana sidekick (and Sheila E.'s daddy) Pete Escovedo, and Wisconsin's own Sotavento. The free festival runs today and tomorrow from noon to 10:30 PM at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park, on the northeast comer of Columbus and Jackson. Call 744-3318.
Atheneum, a New York "middle" publishing house that printed poetry for years, recently stopped looking at verse manuscripts. The prestigious Louisiana State University Press has put out the word that now poets need not apply. But Thorntree Press is a local house dedicated exclusively to poetry. The first of the 12 books the press has published was Barry Goodman's You Are Involved In a Fable. Since then, the press has held a biannual contest, with awards given in Goodman's memory to four exemplary poets. Other competitors are invited to participate in a public reading, workshop, and buffet. You can join them today at 2:30 at the Highland Park Library, 494 Laurel in Highland Park. The event is free, but call 446-8099 for reservations.
Back in the 60s, police frequently raided gay bars and sometimes arrested any woman wearing a zipper on the front of her pants. So it became common practice, when warned of a raid, for lesbians to dash into the bathrooms and turn their pants around. That's one of the tidbits Marlene Zuccaro, artistic director of Zebra Theatre, picked up when she interviewed a quartet of gays and lesbians who were activists before 1969, when the Stonewall riots signaled a new era. Zuccaro used those interviews to help her develop Stonewall! A Celebration, a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month event featuring selections from several plays with gay themes and lots of dancing. The one-night-only performance at the theater, 4520 N. Beacon, begins at 7. Admission is $4. Call 769-5199.
UPI correspondent Helen Thomas--the White House institution with the red dress and gruff voice--has been with the wire service since 1943 and has covered every American president since Kennedy. She was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, the first woman president of the White House Correspondents Association, and the first woman member of the Gridiron Club. She'll be the keynote speaker at tonight's Midwest Women's Center's Tribute to Chicago Women, which will honor several locals, including Operation PUSH's Reverend Willie Barrow and Hispanic-health activist Aida Maisonet Giachello. Cocktails start at 5:30 at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan. Tickets are $150. Call 922-8530.
Since Lower Links debuted more than a year ago, owner Leigh Jones and her pals have put together complete shows every night with two or three different artists--that's nearly 400 programs! The only thing that's held up the hyperprogramming has been the Cubs night games, which strangle traffic in the club's neighborhood. All's clear tonight, when poets Raul Nino and Effie Mihopoulos read from their work; 8:30 at 954 W. Newport. Admission is $3. For more call 248-5238.
Andy Warhol giggled in his diary about the prices he was getting for silkscreened pieces, when the little dots of color would flake off in a few years. Work by Stephen Prina will never suffer that fate. Prina's monochrome paintings of corporate images are made with weather-resistant, glossy, green automobile paint that's guaranteed to last a lifetime (or the first ten thousand miles). Prina's work, on exhibit through July 7, can be seen free at the 333 Gallery at 333 W. Wacker, Monday through Friday from 11 to 6. Call 702-8670.
For years the most exciting election in the Puerto Rican community here hasn't been for alderman, committeeman, or any state position, but for the largely ceremonial post of president of the Puerto Rican Parade Committee. Charged with putting on the June parade that runs through downtown instead of the barrio, the committee has a tradition of having colorful characters and, well, spontaneity. The committee is responsible for today's free noon show Under the Picasso, a program of music and folk dancing in honor of Puerto Rican Heritage Week. It's at Daley Plaza, Washington between Dearborn and Clark. Call 346-3278.
Lynda Barry's first novel, The Good Times Are Killing Me, is a funny but often painful look at a young girl's life. Written in short, episodic takes, the book has been garnering good reviews and sales. It's also been adapted for the stage by the City Lit Theater's Arnold Aprill, who directs a cast of 15 and a bunch of gospel, country, and soul musicians through Barry's story. The curtain goes up at the Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, at 8 Thursday through Saturday, 7 on Sunday. Tickets are $12 on Thursdays and Sundays, $14 on Fridays and Saturdays. Call 271-1100 for reservations.
This is the stage where Vanessa Davis rocks, where Jan Hobson used to purr, and where Second City alums regularly stroll about, so think twice before you take up the Roxy's open mike. In the past the free spotlight has produced some real surprises. The audience is pretty diverse, and the bar offers a full menu too. There's no cover. It starts at 9:30 PM at 1505 W. Fullerton. For more call 472-8100.