Outlet hunters of the world, rejoice! The Lighthouse Place Center in Michigan City, Indiana--good outlet malls are always an hour out of town--has added 30 new outlet stores, bringing the total to close to 90. There's lots of foofaraw this weekend to celebrate the new stores, which include Eddie Bauer, Jordache, Geoffrey Beane, J. Crew, and Bugle Boy. Today through Sunday there's an exhibit called "The Magical World of Lionel Trains"--a massive rally of between six and ten trains going at once on a 42-foot trailer bed--on exhibit from 9 to 6 each day. Saturday, an extricationist named Matt Kalita performs at 1, and Sunday there's a performance by the Cole Marionettes. The center is at the corner of Sixth and Wabash in Michigan City. Call 800-634-2650 for directions or more information.
The Smart Bar opened, perched atop the building at 3730 N. Clark, in July 1982, but after an up-and-coming band called R.E.M. played there that August, the club moved (literally) underground, and owners "the Joes"--Shanahan and Prino--turned the main upstairs room, renamed Cabaret Metro, into one of the more noted concert venues in the U.S. (as a recent series of testimonials in Entertainment Weekly, Details, and Spin attest). The venue's ninth-anniversary party spans the weekend with three major shows--tonight the very hard rock of locals Naked Raygun, along with Coup de Grace and the Boll Weevils; Saturday Chicago's latest grunge-rock phenom, Urge Overkill, with Ned's Atomic Dustbin, the New Fast Automatic Daffodils, and the Climbing Vines; and Sunday Soul Asylum with the Jayhawks and Pearl Jam. The doors open at 9:30 each night, with music after 10:30. Tickets are $9 each night. Call 549-0203.
If, despite the corruption of apparently a great number of Sandinista leaders, you think the Nicaraguan revolution held--holds--promise, hie thee to a political forum and celebration dance to honor the revolution's 12th anniversary tonight. Casa Nicaragua and the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee promise "distinguished representatives of the international community" at a 6 PM forum to discuss the country's last 12 years of turmoil (much of it paid for with U.S. tax dollars). At 8 there's music from the Orquesta Nabori. It's at 1579 N. Milwaukee; tickets are $7-$15, a sliding scale based on ability to pay. Call 728-5561 or 276-5626 for details.
The Lambda Car Club bills itself as the only Chicago organization for gays and lesbians who're into antique cars; the club and its members will display their prized autos as part of the second annual Lambda Antique Car Show at the Roscoe Block Party, Roscoe between Halsted and Clark, today from 3 to 7. It's free. Call 281-3355.
The Grant Park Symphony's Concerts for Kids, Too! series continues tonight at 5 with "A Mini-History of Musical Theater." It covers the development of the American musical from its beginnings in opera through its various influences--modern jazz, blues, and gospel. The hour-long session is an accompaniment to Grant Park Symphony's celebration of the 100th birthday of Cole Porter, the scintillating pop sensibility behind Anything Goes, 50 Million Frenchmen, Kiss Me Kate, Out of This World, and lots of other musicals. The symphony plays at 7 in the Petrillo Bandshell, Columbus and Jackson in Grant Park. It's free. Call 819-0614 for more details.
One of Les Miz will be doing a one-woman show tonight to benefit Equity Fights AIDS, a fund-raising group founded by Actors' Equity. Anne Runolfsson is Les Miz's Fantine, the mother of Cosette; her show, More Self Help, is a light, autobiographically flavored evening of song and talk. Runolfsson is performing at Cairo, 720 N. Wells, tonight at 10; tickets are $5, and there's a two-drink minimum. Call 266-6620.
Facets is showing two documentaries on the plight of the Brazilian rain forest and its inhabitants this week. Voice of the Amazon is the story of the martyr Chico Mendes, a charismatic laborer who galvanized opposition to the exploitation of Brazil's forests and was murdered for his trouble in 1988. Contact: The Yanomami Indians of Brazil, narrated by actor Roy Scheider, is about the tribe of the title and how mere contact with civilization--through the passing of disease, primarily--has killed off an alarming number of its members. The two movies show nightly through Thursday at 7 and 9. Admission is $5. The theater's at 1517 W. Fullerton; call 281-9075 for more info.
A series of talks on Latin American art kicks off tonight at the Bertoncini Gallery, 734 N. Wells. Homage to Tamayo, 1899-1991 is the title of tonight's program, featuring a lecture by Marcella Slezac, a former art professor at the University of the Americas in Mexico City; she'll discuss the influence of the late Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo from 6 to 8. There's a reception afterward, and similar talks at the gallery Tuesday nights through September 30. Call 482-9494 for details. They're free.
Cheryl Trykv (pronounced "trick") is a performance poet whose acidic first-person accounts of travels into alien worlds--from personal relationships to middle America--are direct and refreshingly unsentimental, both thematically and structurally: she refuses to take refuge in flashy subject matter, flowery language, or meaningless tropes. Pal David Sedaris, currently expatriated in New York City, is even less abstract, whether he's reading a series of vicious modern urban epigrams from a "diary" or giving a lucidly amoral account of his stint as an elf at Macy's. The pair will read tonight at 8:30 at Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport. It's $7. Call 248-5238.
Madonna's version of the game Truth or Dare (in her movie of the same name) included flashes of nudity and a professional-looking demonstration of fellatio on a water bottle. The gang at Berlin will try to top that tonight with Truth or Dare Obsession, a presumably anything-goes contest that will include a panel of Madonna look-alikes and wannabes. The action starts at midnight; the club, at 954 W. Belmont, is open till 4. Admission is free; 348-4975 gets you details.
Today 35 tribespeople from the Indonesian rain forest take up residence at the Field Museum. The visitors, called the Asmat, live in the foothills of the Jayawijaya Mountains, in Irian Jaya (the western half of New Guinea, the part that belongs to Indonesia). The Asmat will be here for two weeks to demonstrate cultural rituals and show off their art, and translators will be on hand to help facilitate the process. Today at Stanley Field Hall there'll be music and dance at 11 and 2, with arts and crafts demonstrations going on all day. Similar programs run almost every day; call 922-9410 for details. The Field Museum is at Roosevelt Road and Lake Shore Drive; there's a $3 admission fee, $2 for kids and seniors, with a $10-per-family maximum.
Northwestern Hospital's "Conversations With a Doc" series features Focus on Hepatitis today. Gastroenterologist Daniel Ganger will talk about the disease's causes and treatment in a free lunch hour (noon to 1) affair in the Warner Room of the Wesley Pavilion, 250 E. Superior. It's free, and you can bring a lunch. Preregister at 908-7014.