Say you had your heart set on the Jefferson Airplane reunion concert at Alpine Valley tonight, and still can't believe it got canceled. And you just don't have the energy to get all the way up to Milwaukee to see the replacement show at the (much smaller) Riverside Theatre. Check out Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins, billed as a "reflection" on Woodstock by means of three days of "virtually nonstop theatrical entertainment." Which is a lot of reflecting. The Mary-Arrchie Theatre hosts; nearly two dozen other theater companies and performers will participate. Admission is $5 per show, a weekend pass is available for $25. It's at Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan; 7 PM to 2 AM tonight, noon to 3 AM Saturday, and noon to midnight Sunday. Info at 871-0442.
If you turn your nose up at Abbie and Woodstock, you've probably got a thing for trendy 80s art--techno-cheesecake stuff, such as Patrick Nagel's. Merrill Chase Galleries has it--a collection of jewelry creations that were "inspired" by the chilly Nagel. The free show opens tonight, 6 to 9 PM, with champagne as an added enticement, in Chase's Water Tower outlet, 845 N. Michigan. Jewelry available till supplies are gone. Call 337-6600.
It's always nice to see a community get together and work constructively on something special, like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. In this spirit, the Anti-Crime/Anti-Drug Coalition of the Garfield Park and Lawndale communities is holding a parade and rally against drugs, alcohol, and crime. Organizers promise Alderman Ed Smith, a rap contest, and free food and beverages. The free parade starts at 11 AM at the corner of West End and Kilpatrick, and will end at 100 N. Central Park, where the rally will be held. Call 722-7900.
Storyteller Burnum Burnum, a 53-year-old Australian aborigine, has worked for the government, studied law, played pro soccer, run for parliament, appeared in movies, and campaigned for aboriginal rights. (With a flair: on Australia's bicentennial he stood on the cliffs of Dover and claimed Britain for the aboriginals.) His first book, Burnum Burnum's Aboriginal Australia, was a hit down under. He'll spin stories for kids and explain the mystical concept of dreamtime at the Express-ways Children's Museum today at 2 PM. It's $2 for children, $3 for adults. The museum is in the North Pier Terminal at 435 E. Illinois. Call 527-1000.
You can get exercise two different ways today. You can join an estimated 4,000 triathletes in the Chicago Sun-Times Triathlon, billed as the world's largest. The course includes a 1.5-kilometer swim in Lake Michigan, a 40-kilometer bike ride down Lake Shore Drive, and a 10-kilometer run in Grant Park. The triathlon starts at 7 AM at the Ohio Street Beach (600 north). It was produced in cooperation with the mayor's special events office and Flair Sports Marketing, which seems to have worked overtime: sponsors, besides the Sun-Times, include Coors Light, Gatorade, AT&T, BMW, National Car Rental, WBBM, and the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The entry fee is $55. With a $50,000 purse, plenty of pros are entering, but there's room for amateurs as well: call 836-4388.
Triathletes will have to vie for space with those on a ten-kilometer walk to raise money for medical supplies to be sent to the Palestinians. The latest casualties of the 20-month-old intifada were a three-year-old girl and four men--all shot by Israeli soldiers during clashes with protesters--bringing the death count up to 536 Arabs and 38 Jews. The Palestinian American Youth Organization and the Palestine Solidarity Committee, who are sponsoring the walkathon, are looking for walkers and sponsors. The walk starts at 11 AM at Buckingham Fountain and will go up the lakefront to Montrose Harbor. Call 342-2986 for more information.
E quel che mi convien ritrar testeso / non porto voce mai, ne scrisse inconstro / ne fu per fantasia gia mai compreso. That's the voice of Dante promising in Paradiso to tell of something "never reported by a voice, inscribed by ink, nor conceived by the imagination." But like most poets, he's best experienced in the original. Italian--and Spanish, German, Japanese, French, and Russian--classes start September 6 at Harold Washington College. Registration starts today and runs from 12 to 6 Monday through Friday. Most classes are four credit hours, and the fee is $26 per hour. Classes generally meet twice a week in the early evening; morning hours are also available for Spanish and French. For more information call 984-2816 or drop by room 609 at the college, 30 E. Lake.
Dick Cavett and Ernie Hudson (who, you will recall, is a ghostbuster) will serve as masters of ceremonies in tonight's live taping at the Chicago Improv comedy club. The taping is for the "Evening at the Improv" comedy series, which airs on the A&E cable network--it's the first time the show has been shot outside LA. Shows tonight are at 7:30 (Hudson) and 10 PM (Cavett) at the club, 504 N. Wells. Admission is $5 with a two-drink minimum; call 527-2500 for more information.
Uneasy Silence is billed as a tragic romance between two homeless people as they "struggle to survive the violence of the streets and the ambivalence of government bureaucracies." The film was shot entirely in Chicago with a local cast and crew, and will be shown by Women in Film at the CineCenter, 1 E. Erie. The film's producers, Wanda Rohm and Robert Rothman, will answer questions after the screening, which begins at 6 PM. "Networking" commences a half hour earlier. it's $10, $3 for Women in Film members. For more information call 372-2376.
Mary Kay Blakely was a typical overstressed working mother in 1984, when a combination of stress and diabetes put her into a coma for nine days. She suggests that her brush with death was "my body's way of shutting down so I could heal." The longtime feminist writer--with credits in Ms., Vogue, Life, and the New York Times Book Review--will read from her new memoir, Wake Me When It's Over, at the Women & Children First bookstore, 1967 N. Halsted, at 7:30. It's free. Call 440-8824 for more details.
Our current position in the food chain can be looked at several ways. One is serious. Profits From Poison is a video documentary about pesticides banned in the U.S. that are nonetheless shipped overseas to countries that supply food back to America. The showing is sponsored by DePaul's University International Studies Program, and by Terra, an environmental group carrying on a campaign against the Rosemont-based Velsicol Corporation, a pesticide exporter. The video will be shown free at 7 PM in room 254 of DePaul's Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Seminary. For more information call 509-1808.
Then, of course, there's the not-serious look. Baked Alaska, or, This Oil Tastes Like Fish is the new revue by the northwest branch of Second City. The show opens tonight at 8:30, and continues on Friday and Saturday with shows at 8 and 10:30. Tickets are $5.50 tonight, $9 on Friday, $9.50 on Saturday. Second City Northwest is at 1701 W. Golf Road in Rolling Meadows; call 806-1555 for reservations.