Today's a big day for radio-station holiday fund-raisers. First off, B-96's rather trying morning team, Eddie and Jobo, has settled in, as of 6 this morning, for a 75-hour marathon in the gymnasium of Schiller School, the elementary school near Cabrini-Green that Dantrell Davis was heading for when he was hit by a sniper. The pair will remain on the air through Monday morning, bringing on local celebrities and generally calling attention to the school. The fund-raising will be taken care of through a phone number (900-946-9000) that automatically puts a $10 charge on your phone bill. The gymnasium isn't open to the public, but you can listen in on 96.3 FM.
You can, however, visit big Eddie Schwartz as he conducts his first holiday food drive under the auspices of his new employer, radio station WLUP. The 11th annual Good Neighbor Food Drive--held over the past decade under the banner of his old station, WGN--will have Schwartz broadcasting in the Loop and greeting listeners who drop off food donations for the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation. Schwartz will be outside the County Building, 118 N. Clark, from 8 PM to 1 AM. For more info call 708-474-3663.
Anyone involved in almost any branch of entertainment might find relevance in the lessons of the Lookingglass Theatre's The Arabian Nights: that you need to lead your audience but also respect it; that there's a place in the world for comedy, tragedy, absurdism, even fart jokes; and that there are some stories you can simply never tell. On an almost unadorned set the ensemble--directed by adapter Mary Zimmerman--takes Scheherazade's stories and runs with them, borrowing from modern dance, ballet, and acrobatics to create fluid and emotional set pieces that salute the cacophony of stories through the ages, the evanescence of their creators, and the immortality of the word. The play is currently running at Remains Theatre, 1800 N. Clybourn, through at least December 20. It plays at 8 PM Thursday and Friday, 5 and 9 Saturday, and 3 and 7 Sunday. Tickets are $10 and $15. Call 335-9800 for details.
Speaking of the Remains Theatre, after the show at the Remains Bar, 1800 N. Clybourn, you can celebrate the latest all-acoustic release from the Art Thieves, purveyors of a jaunty cross-genre brand of folk, rock, jazz, and world music. At the party the group will perform their "gravity-defying" music, which is bound to include some selections from the new Flash of Two Worlds. The party starts about 10 PM; it's $4. Call 335-9800 for more.
Take a "D-tour" to the west side, say the organizers of the West Side Gallery D-Tour, an Around the Coyote-style gallery open house in Wicker Park today. From noon to 8 you can pop your head into more than two dozen studios and galleries clustered around the intersection of Damen, North, and Milwaukee, though some are as far south as Hubbard, others as far north as Webster. Shuttle buses will run throughout the day. A good place to start might be Idao Gallery, 2324 W. North; get a map and proceed from there. It's free: call 772-6965 for info.
SWR, a rather special new musical composition by Todd Merrell and Patrick Jordan, incorporates as "instruments" a tube-type shortwave radio receiver, a compressor, and digital processing. The object of the piece, as local experimental-music godfather Lou Mallozzi puts it, "does not ask the performers to achieve specific sounds as a result of playing, but rather to explore within highly defined limits the use of radio as a sound source." The pair performs the work at Cafe Voltaire, 3231 N. Clark, at 10:30 tonight. It's $5; call 348-6543 for more.
The Chicago Historical Society fetes local winners of American Institute of Architects awards today at 2 in the Education Conference Room of the society, 1601 N. Clark. Gunny Harboe, who headed up the Rookery restoration project, and Gregory Landahl, who designed the offices of H2O Plus, at 676 N. Michigan, and Miglin-Beitler, at 181 W. Madison, will discuss their designs at the event, which is free with admission to the society ($3, $2 from students and seniors, and a buck from kids). Call 642-4600 for info.
In Guys and Dolls you can see Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando speak without contractions as the latter assaults the virtue of Jean Simmons and the former searches for a safe place for the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York. And you can see it all in CinemaScope as Facets' two-week salute to Hollywood musicals continues, tonight and tomorrow at 7:30. Facets Multimedia is at 1517 W. Fullerton; it's $5, $3 for members. Call 281-4114 for details.
Yoko Noge and the Jazz Me Blues band is back in residence at HotHouse. Noge, saxophonist Clark Dean, and bassist Floyd MacDaniels just got back from a tour of Japan; they'll perform at the club, 1565 N. Milwaukee, every Monday night in December, with various guest stars and friends sitting in. Things get under way at 8; cover is $4. Call 235-2334 for more.
The Body Politic Theatre's ongoing Unknown Playwrights Staged Readings continues tonight with Grace, directed by Neil Wilson. The idea behind not revealing the playwright's name is that the anonymous writers can see how their stuff works out onstage and listen to the audience's comments in a round-table discussion afterward. The free performance starts at 8 at the theater, 2261 N. Lincoln. Call 348-7901 for more.
Ramsey Lewis, the Chicago-born jazz-pop legend of "The In Crowd" fame, kicks off a two-and-a-half-week-long run at the Catch nightclub in the downtown Hyatt tonight. The first show starts at 8 with Lewis and his current outfit, the Ramsey Lewis Quintet. Shows continue at 8 and 10 nightly (6 and 8 Sunday) through January 2. From December 20 through 27 he'll also jam with his original trio, with Eldee Young on bass and Red Holt on drums. Tix are $17.50 weeknights, $20 weekends; the Hyatt's at 151 E. Wacker. Call 565-1234 for details.
June Skinner Sawyers will discuss ten of the architects presented in her book, Chicago Portraits: Biographies of 250 Famous Chicagoans, at a lunch slide lecture at the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan. Sawyers, who's an associate editor at Loyola University Press and a contributor to the Trib, hits the stage at 12:15. It's free to foundation members, with a suggested donation of $2 for nonmembers; call 922-3432.
Folksingers Arnold and Sima Miller are back at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, for another free concert of Yiddish and Hebrew folk songs and some Hanukkah commentary. The pair have toured the U.S. and Israel and recorded several volumes of Yiddish folk songs. The show starts at 5:30; call 744-1424 for more.
Celebrated poet and writer Sandra Cisneros, who wrote the novel The House on Mango Street, a theatrical adaptation of which is now playing at the Edgewater Theatre Center, returns tonight to the city where she was born to read her poems and short stories at the Auditorium of the School of the Art Institute, Columbus and Jackson. Things get under way at 6; it's $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 368-0905 for more.
Don We Now XIV, the Windy City Gay Chorus's 14th annual holiday concert, plays tonight and tomorrow at 8 at the Preston Bradley Center, 901 W. Lawrence. The program includes Larry Moore's "Appalachian Carols," a new arrangement of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and a special appearance by UNISON: Windy City Lesbian/Gay Singers. Tix are $16; call 404-9242 for more.
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company returns to Chicago tonight and tomorrow for two performances sponsored by Performing Arts Chicago. A centerpiece of the show is "Last Night on Earth," a Jones-choreographed piece commemorating the AIDS-related death of his partner, Zane; the music accompanying it is by Kurt Weill, Koko Taylor, Nina Simone, and Dame Edith Sitwell. The ten-dancer company performs at 8 both nights at the Blackstone Theatre, DePaul University, 60 E. Balbo. Tix are $15, $20, and $25; call 242-6237 for details.