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Friday 23

Publishers Weekly sez former Trib critic and Book World editor John Blades's first novel, Small Game, is a "highly enjoyable . . . surreal black comedy about contemporary life, old houses, and the depredations of squirrels." Wait a minute--squirrels? Blades, still familiar to readers as a Tempo section critic at large, signs his book this evening from 5:30 to 7 at Kroch's & Brentano's, 516 N. Michigan. He'll also read from the book at 7:30 on Thursday, November 5, at the Evanston branch, 1711 Sherman. Both events are free, but the book costs $19.95; call 321-0989 for more.

You've probably heard of clog dancing, but that's just one form of an international family of percussive dances: you've also got your Spanish flamenco, your Andean gaucho, Indian kathak, even tap dancing from the good old U.S. of A. The Ten Toe Percussion Ensemble will give a scintillating overview of the field tonight at 8 at Centre East, 7701 N. Lincoln in Skokie. The show, sponsored by the Old Town School of Folk Music, includes demonstrations of Irish step dancing, tap, flamenco, and English, French Canadian, and Appalachian clogging as well as a multicultural grand finale. Tickets range from $15 to $20. Call 525-7793 for more.

Tonight's your last chance to catch 11 Minutes Max!, a deliberately rushed potpourri of ten-minutes-plus performance that's been running for the past several Fridays at the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont. Tonight's lineup includes Scott Sandoe's ten-minute play "Lifer's Picnic"; a video performance called "Electragic" directed by Robin Stanton; "The Great Human Race," a story by Jill Wachholz; "A Spy: Hester Reeve Does the Doors," a video by Suzie Silver; performance artist Kaja Overstreet; and more. Paula Killen emcees; in keeping with the elevenish theme, the show starts at 11 and costs $11 per couple. Call 327-5252 for more.

Saturday 24

Roland Carter, who teaches at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, is in town today to give a Seminar on Negro Spirituals. It's sponsored by the R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts and meets from 9 to 3 at the Olivet Baptist Church, 3101 Martin Luther King Drive. It's $15, $12 for seniors and teens. For $4.50 more you get a buffet lunch. Call 568-9410 for more.

A coalition of gay and lesbian groups--from the Pink Angels to ACT-UP Chicago and Queer Nation--have teamed up for a Walk Without Fear march through Lakeview tonight at 7. Plans are to meet at the parking lot next to the Lakeview Library, 644 W. Belmont. Call 769-4876 for details.

"Since the early 1970s, media activists have been producing tapes that critique as well as offer alternatives to the network news. Loosely labeled "guerrilla television,' these tapes voice the issues specific to communities that have been under-represented or misrepresented by the mainstream." That's the Center for New Television describing the genesis of tonight's screening and panel discussion called Countermedia: Guerrilla Television and Alternative Newsgathering 1970-1992. Besides showing some prime examples of the form, the event will include panelists like producer Chris Bratton, the Video Data Bank's Kate Horsfield, and The 90s' Tom Weinberg. It all starts at 7:30 at 1440 N. Dayton; admission costs $6, $4 for members. Call 951-6868 for more.

Sunday 25

If any structure in Chicago is haunted, chances are it's the Clarke House, the city's oldest building. For four nights between now and Halloween, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will sponsor readings of some of Edgar Allan Poe's scariest ghost stories, delivered by the Metamorphosis Theater's Page Hearn. Shows take place at 6 tonight and Thursday and at 6 and 8 next Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31, at the house, 1800 S. Prairie (but use the entrance on 18th Street between Indiana and Prairie). It's $15, $12 for foundation members. Call 922-3432, extension 120, to make reservations.

Monday 26

Manny's Coffee Shop, just off Roosevelt Road at 1141 S. Jefferson, has been a politicians' and journalists' stopping-off place for 50 years. The joint was founded in 1942 by brothers Charlie and Jack Raskin and the latter's son, whose name was Manny. Manny died in 1983, but his wife, Arlene Mann, and son, Ken Raskin, have carried on. Tonight they celebrate the restaurant's half-century mark with a $40-a-head fund-raiser for the Chicago Academy for the Performing Arts. The ticket gets you some of Manny's delectables, beer and wine, and hobnobbing with some of the restaurant's loyal clientele from 5:30 to 7:30. Call 337-6186 for more.

The latest from poet, essayist, and theorist Susan Griffin, one of the most interesting writers in what's thought of as the "second wave" of feminist writing, is A Chorus of Stones, a lengthy essay on the relationship between war and gender. Tonight at 7:15 the Berkeley author will discuss her book and answer questions at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark. It's free; call 769-9299 for info.

Tuesday 27

The community group Lakefront SRO specializes in creating single-room-occupancy housing for homeless people. Their latest project has been the renovation of the 66-unit Miriam Apartments, reserved for homeless women. Mayor Daley will be on hand today for the opening celebration at 10 at 4707 N. Malden. It's free to go watch. Call 561-0900 for more.

Wednesday 28

The Maastricht Treaty--what's in it for us? Two speakers will attempt to answer that question today at 4 at a free UIC lecture. Michael Phillips, director of European Corporate Affairs for Motorola, and Christopher Sander, deputy consul general of the Chicago German consulate, will present their views on what effect the impending European economic union will have on American business. Reservations are required; it's in room 321 of the Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. Call 996-2700 to make reservations.

As travel has become more complicated and corporate, so have the scams. Tribune travel columnist Al Borcover tracks the shenanigans behind "free" Florida vacations or Bahamian cruises and all sorts of other ruses in a free talk today at 5:30 in the theater at the Cultural Center, 79 E. Washington. The Savvy Traveler-sponsored talk includes advice not only on how to spot the unscrupulous deals but also on how to find the real bargains. Call 263-2100 for details.

Milton Nascimento--enormously respected Brazilian pop star, inspiration for Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints, rain-forest activist, and more--returns to the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, tonight at 8. His newest record is the all-Portuguese Txai (pronounced "chi" to rhyme with "shy"), a set of eight songs each representing a different rain-forest Indian culture. Tickets range from $18.50 to $22.50. Call 472-0366 for more.

Thursday 29

Brandon Tartikoff, the NBC-TV wunderkind who's now the chairman of Paramount Pictures, will be the star speaker at a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences ("television arts"--now there's an oxymoron for you) "drop-in luncheon" today at the Chicago Marriott, 540 N. Michigan. Twenty-five bucks ($15 for NATAS members) gets you a cash bar at 11:30 and lunch and the talk at 12:30. Call 663-1600 for info or reservations.

More than 30 artists have been working since June to transform 32 rooms of the abandoned Augustana Hospital, 2035 N. Lincoln, into a haunted house. Along with a Frankenstein set--gorily situated in the old emergency room--expect a cemetary with mausoleums and "creatures from beyond," fog machines, and lots of fake blood. A "nonscary" area, with activities like pumpkin decorating and mask making, has been established for the timorous. Admission costs $5 for the haunted-house tour, $3 for the tamer stuff. It's from 4 to 11 today and tomorrow and from noon to 11 Halloween; call 929-1709.

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