Stateville's Leisure Time Services Department keeps inmates busy with art classes and programs. And once a year the department sponsors an inmate art show, where you can check out the hard-timers' work and consider buying it. (Prices range from 3 bucks to 300.) One drawback: the show's down in Joliet, in the north wing of the Jefferson Square Mall, 2450 W. Jefferson. The show's open 10 to 7:30 today, 9:30 to 5:30 tomorrow. It's free to go look. Call 815-727-3607 for more.
"I tagged my name on sides of buses, trains, walls and etc, at the age of 13 thru 16," writes graffiti artist D-Zine, a bit awkwardly but proudly nonetheless. "This, however saved me from participating in gangs and probably death. Sadly enough, because of this form of art, the media only expresses how costly it is to clean up 'graffiti.'" The unapologetic little scofflaw promises a "new dimension in art" at a show opening tonight at the World Tattoo Gallery, 1255 S. Wabash. The show opens with a free reception from 5 to 8 with a party to follow ($5 cover). Regular gallery hours for the exhibit, which runs till May 1, are 12 to 5 Monday through Saturday. Call 939-2222.
"Funnier than Bill Clinton's economic plan and much less expensive" is how Aaron Freeman describes his new theatrical endeavor, his first since the amazing three-year run of Do the White Thing. In Disguised as a Grownup, a one-man revue of stand-up, songs, and skits, Freeman's assisted by a one-woman band, musical director Margaret Bell. The show plays in an open run at the Royal George Cabaret, 1641 N. Halsted, tonight and tomorrow at 6 and 8:30, Sunday at 3:30 and 6:30, and Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30. Tickets are $20, $25 on Saturday. Call 988-9000 for more.
The new performance group Spin 1/2 says its show has "a long title, a cast of 14 performance artists and musicians, a tripped-out electronic score, and a big dollop of "quantum philosophy."' The Collapsible Detachable Self-Cleaning Universe Show is a collection of sketches, monologues, poems, film, and performance pieces. Music is provided by the band King Spill. The show opens tonight and runs Friday and Saturday nights at 8 through May 8 at the Neo-Futurarium theater, 5153 N. Ashland. It's $8; call 784-0417.
Joan of Arc has been theatricalized many times and many ways: as Saint Joan, Saint Joan of the Stockyards, Jeanne d'Arc, and even La Pucelle. Joan's Trials: The Testimonies--a play "collected, reassembled, and written by A.C. Thomas with assistance from Shakespeare, Shaw, Twain, Anouilh, and Brecht"--puts one Joan Lark in a courtroom, facing her various biographers. The show opens tonight at 7 at the Live Theatre, 1234 Sherman in Evanston. Tix are $12; it runs tomorrow at 7, Monday at 8, and then Thursday to Saturday at 8 through May 15. Call 708-475-2570 for details.
Pat Woods, for 20 years an acclaimed singer of Irish ballads, headlines an All-Star Irish Concert tonight at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Woods, also known as "the bard from Armagh," tops a bill that includes the Trinity School of Irish Dancers, who will be accompanied by Brendan McKinney on flute and pipes, Pat Broaders on pipes and bazuki, and fiddler Tim Lansan. The show starts at 8; it's $10. Call 282-7045 for info.
Local weird-cinema buff Chip Hess is up to his old tricks, and tonight he presents Cinema Dementia, a cable-access program showcasing "the wild and the bizarre." Included on the show is the 1958 hemi-demi-semi classic The Astounding She-Monster, along with accompanying trailers and shorts introduced by host Hess. It's at 8 on Chicago Access channel 19, with a repeat at 5:43 PM--that's the time they gave us--on April 21. Call 348-2601 for more.
Paula Vogel, head of Brown University's Playwriting Workshop, imagines in her play The Baltimore Waltz a veteran schoolteacher who undertakes a fantastical journey with her terminally ill brother. Goodman Studio's production of the play is staged by Lookingglass Theatre's Mary Zimmerman, creator of the acclaimed Arabian Nights. The show opens tonight at 7 and runs through May 2. Tickets are $18 and $22. Regular performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 8, Saturday at 5 and 9, and Sunday at 2:30. The theater is at 200 S. Columbus; call 443-3800 for details.
Why did a group of artists--Manet, Cezanne, and Degas among them--suddenly get interested in painting women prostitutes in 19th-century France? In a free lecture today called Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era, Northwestern prof Hollis Clayson suggests that the women somehow became a symbol of modernity. It starts at 11:45 at Northwestern's Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, 1967 South Campus Dr. in Evanston. Call 708-491-4852.
Photographer and video maker William Wegman puts his photogenic pets to work once again, this time in a series of retellings of classic fairy tales with, of course, the characters played by his weimaraners. He'll sign the first entry of the series, Cinderella, in the Museum Shop at the Art Institute of Chicago, Adams and Michigan, at 5:30 this afternoon. It's free, but the book costs $16.95. Call 443-3600 for more.
Monologuist, actor, and author Eric Bogosian is back in town to read from his latest book, Notes From Underground. He'll be at Barbara's Bookstore, 3130 N. Broadway, at 7 tonight. It's free; call 477-0411 for details.
Harold Scheub, a professor of African languages and literature at the University of Wisconsin, will talk about the story-telling traditions of South Africa today at a free lecture called The Oral Traditions and Sounds of South Africa. On hand will be Ndikho and Nomusa Xaba performing music and poetry. It's at 5:30 in the second-floor theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 744-1424 for more.
A chatter of film critics convenes this evening at 6:30 to talk about the production, marketing, and distribution of both mainstream and independent cinema in a Chicago Film Critics Roundtable at Columbia College's Hokin Theater. In These Times's Patrick McGavin, New City's Ray Pride, the Southtown Economist's Scott Collins, and the Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum are slated to participate. It's free, on the first floor of Columbia's Wabash campus, 623 S. Wabash. Call 663-1600, ext. 302.
Part of the Names Project AIDS memorial quilt will be on display at Loyola today and tomorrow. An 800-panel section more than 14,000 square feet in size will be laid out in the George Halas Jr. Sports Center, 6525 N. Sheridan, from 9 to 9 today and tomorrow. It's free; call 508-3276 for details.
Members of the Communist Party of Illinois will spend income tax day rabble-rousing for more sensible use of tax dollars and a more equitable tax system in general, and who can disagree with them? The group, along with the Young Communist League and Jobs or Income Now, will gather at 4 in Federal Plaza, Dearborn and Jackson. Call 842-5770 for more.
In Women With Wings, author Mary Cadogan presents a complete history of aviatrixes, from early stunt pilots to moneyed private-plane owners in the Roaring 20s, stars like Amelia Earhart and Beryl Markham in the 30s, and fighter pilots in the Second World War. Cadogan tracks down artistic and literary portrayals of the flyers as well. She'll talk at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark, at 7:30 tonight; call 769-9299. Tomorrow she'll be at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 659 W. Diversey at 7. Call 871-9004 for details there. Both events are free.