At least 50,000 Iraqi killed horribly, some of them defenseless. Hundreds of thousands more wounded. And one of the cruelest jokes ever played on an already persecuted minority, leaving tens of thousands of Kurds homeless, starving, and vulnerable. What to do? Let's have a parade. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell will kick off Chicago's gala welcome to the Persian Gulf troops at noon at Wacker and Michigan. It's free; call 744-3315.
Tony Fitzpatrick and Jonathan Lavan's World Tattoo Gallery celebrates its first anniversary tonight with new work by a bunch of artists, including Claudia Fitch, Holly Morrison, Noreen Betjemann, Joanne Howard, Mira Modley, and even Karen Finley--who will show samples from a new sculpture called The Virgin Mary is Pro-Choice and Other Relevant Truths. Most of the other artists will be there too, plus a performance artist named GiO. A preview starts at 5, party at 8. It's free. The gallery's at 1255 S. Wabash; call 939-2222 for more.
The artist-author-philosopher responsible for Never Take Your Cat to a Salad Bar and Mercy, It's the Revolution and I'm in My Bathrobe is making a benefit appearance tonight at the Jayson Gallery, 1915 N. Clybourn. We're talking about Nicole Hollander, of course: the creator of Sylvia will be showing everything from rough sketches of strips to a life-sized Sylvia doll and talking about her work tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. It's free, but any donations go to the Chicago Abused Women Coalition. Call 489-6154 for details.
Oops! In 1971, Dhoruba Bin Wahad (ne Richard Moore), a Black Panther, was convicted of the attempted murder of a cop. Just last year he was let go--turned out he was framed by the FBI. Framing the Panthers in Black and White, a 30-minute video documentary by Annie Goldson and Chris Bratton, tells Moore's story. It plays tonight on a bill with the 50-minute American (In)justice, by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller, a look at COINTELPRO, the FBI's KGB-like search-and-destroy program that caught people like Wahad in its web. The program starts at 8 at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont. It's $4. Call 281-8788 for more information.
You can bump and grind with artists from all over the world at the annual Randolph Street Gallery Art Expo Party tonight. DJ Burle Avant spins discs: you pay $5 (which benefits Randolph Street, not Art Expo) and dance. At the gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee, tonight at 9. Call 666-7377 for more information.
Paula Killen's Music Kills a Memory is the story of three lost but defiant chantoozies--played by Killen, Shane Taylor, and Karol Kent--who meet at a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting and decide to take their act out on the road. It's an excuse for the trio to perform execution-style renditions of everything from "One More for the Road" to "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," to reflect on love and music, and to make jokes about stabbing your boyfriend. It's very funny; accompaniment is provided by Chuck Larkin as the gnomic Monty Carlisle. Showstopper: Kent and Taylor's roaring, simultaneous readings of "Piece of My Heart" and "Rainy Days and Mondays." The show plays tonight and the next three Saturdays at midnight at Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport. It's $5. Call 248-5238.
Swiss artist Miriam Cahn draws with her eyes closed, "letting her internal, mental pictures of nuclear and chemical holocaust be communicated to the drawings through her hands." Hmmm. Cahn's charcoal drawings and the work of about a dozen other artists make up A Swiss Dialectic, five simultaneous exhibits of contemporary Swiss art organized by the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Tonight's free opening reception goes from 5 to 7 at the society, 5811 S. Ellis. The shows run through June 23 at the Renaissance Society; the Museum of Contemporary Art, 237 E. Ontario; the 333 West Wacker Drive Gallery (where Cahn's drawings are); the Hyde Park Art Center, 1701 E. 53rd St.; and the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House, 5757 S. Woodlawn. Call 702-8670 for details.
Today and tomorow Kroch's & Brentano's Readers/Writers/Editors series brings a couple of authorial demi-stars to town. Tonight at 7:30, Mark Helprin, author of Winter's Tale, reads from his new book, Soldier of the Great War, in which Spanish soldier Alessandro Givliani tells a young boy the story of his life. And tomorrow the ever-fabulous Ann Beattie reads from a new collection of shorter works, What Was Mine and Other Stories, also at 7:30. They're both at the 2070 N. Clybourn store, and free. Call 525-2800 for details.
Sure, we're all part of the food chain, but how do you feel when you're at the god-awful bottom of it? Plankton Portraits: Life in a Water Drop--an exhibit of photos and videotapes of the hapless creatures--continues at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 2001 N. Clark, through January of next year. The microscopic portraits are of Chicago natives, collected by microbiologist Alex Rakosy from local ponds. The academy is open 10 to 5 daily; admission is $1 for adults, 50 cents for kids under 17 and seniors. Mondays are free. Call 871-2668 for details.
The Society of Midland Authors is holding its annual awards dinner tonight. Honorees include Scott Turow's Burden of Proof in the category of adult fiction (an award apparently given on the basis of sales) and Under God, an analysis of the underappreciated effect of religious beliefs on American politics by Garry Wills, noted political writer and prof at Northwestern, for nonfiction. Whodunit writer Sara Paretsky speaks on "Fear and the First Amendment." It all gets under way with a reception at 6 and dinner at 7 at the Drake, 140 E. Walton. Tickets are $35; call 708-383-7568 for more information.
More lit stuff, though less hoity-toity: bucking and positioning for the down 'n' dirty 1991 Poetry Slam continues. Tonight at Estelle's Cafe, 2031 W. North, the Wicker Park Poetry Project Preliminary Slam #2 unfolds as contestants vie to represent the project in the Team Chicago semifinals in August. Things start at 8:30; spectators get in free and all you need is some poetry to enter. Next week, same time and place, are the project finals. Call 489-4744 for details.
In the world of modern music composition, the names of normal instruments appended to words like "processed," "manipulated," and "extended" mean that someone's going at them with a computer. Tonight at Columbia College, there's a free concert by computer composers. The works include Howard Sandroff's "Tephilla," a work for solo computer-processed clarinet; Lawrence Fritts's "Tetraktys," a "microtonal" work for a computer-controlled synthesized orchestra; Gustavo Leone's "Prelude," a performance of electronically extended piano sounds; and Matthew Malsky's "Luckily, a Mountain Is a Mammal," a work for eight computer-controlled synthesizers. A ringer named Kim McCarthy is contributing "Prefatory," for soprano, three flutes, and no computer at all. Soloists include John Bruce Yeh on clarinet and Salvatore Spina on piano. It starts at 7:30 in the Hokin Annex, in Columbia's Wabash campus building, 623 S. Wabash. Call 663-1600, ext. 360, for details.
Father Marquette, Jane Addams, Mrs. O'Leary, Chief Blackhawk, and an unnamed figure called the Mayor--all crouched on an asphalt expanse--are the characters in a pair of one-act plays by Andrew Greeley and the busy Sara Paretsky in a benefit tonight for the Victory Gardens Theater. (Greeley wrote his play, and then Paretsky borrowed his characters.) Their playlets--along with another by architect Stanley Tigerman, which features Mies van der Rohe, Sullivan, Burnham, et al--will be performed by some noted Chicago actors as the centerpiece of a $100-a-head fund-raiser. Chicago Stories starts with cocktails at 6; dinner, a silent auction, and the entertainment follow. It's all at Quigley Preparatory Seminary, 103 E. Chesnut. Call 871-3000 for more info.