"There's more justice at the end of a nightstick than in all the courts of law," goes the saying. But The End of a Nightstick, a video by Peter Kuttner, Cindi Moran, and Eric Scholl, isn't about justice at all--it's about police brutality, Chicago style. The three use archival material, photos, depositions, and transcripts of interviews with prisoners to tell a story of "institutional racism and torture." It plays tonight and tomorrow at 8 at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont. Admission is $5. Call 281-8788 for details.
Maestro Subgum and the Whole is premiering the musical How Could Such a Monster Come to Be? tonight at Remains Theatre. The odd seven-member cabaret worked with local playwrights and frequent Maestro collaborators Bryn Magnus and Jeff Dorchen on the play, which tells the story of the band's semifictional lead singer, Lefty Fizzle. How Could Such a Monster Come to Be? runs through August 7 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 11. Each week a different special guest will have a role in the play; this weekend it's the performance art troupe the Loofah Method. Tix are $8; Remains is inside the mall at 1800 N. Clybourn. Call 335-9800 for details.
If you're interested in dinosaurs or bats, today's your day. First off, the largest mounted dinosaur in the Western Hemisphere bows at the Field Museum today: it's a four-story-high, 85-ton brachiosaurus, a long-necked beast more than twice as big as a brontosaurus. It was excavated in Colorado in 1900 by a Field Museum paleontologist. The museum's at Roosevelt Road and Lake Shore Drive, and it's open 9 to 5 every day; admission is $4, $2.50 for kids, students, and seniors, free on Thursdays. Call 922-9410. Also starting today is an exhibit at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 2001 N. Clark, that's intended to dispel the bad rep bats have--by showing that they're caring parents, that they keep certain bug populations down, and that only three of the 1,000 current species drink blood (which may still be three too many). Bats!!! runs through August 29. Hours are 10 to 5 every day. Admission is $1 for adults, 50 cents for kids and seniors. Call 871-2668 for more.
You've got a couple of choices for Fourth of July revelry today. There's the Chicago Historical Society's annual free Fourth of July Celebration, featuring a "patriotic oration" by Carol Moseley-Braun. Things get under way at 10:15 with the Chicago Pops Concert Band, followed by speeches, a parade, and other stuff; the society promises flags and balloons and asks kids to bring drums, horns, whistles, and kazoos. After everything ends (around noon), admission to the museum is free. It's at Clark and North; 642-4600. It's also Taste of Chicago's last day: WXRT's annual free concert presents Matthew Sweet, Belly, and the Jayhawks playing after 3 at the Petrillo Music Shell, Columbus and Jackson. The food fest closes at 8; ticket sales stop at 7:30. Call 744-3370 for more.
The Chicago Christian Industrial League is holding its sixth annual Alternative Taste of Chicago today; blues and rap bands will perform as the group presents free dinners to the homeless from 12:30 to 2:30 in the parking lot at Monroe and Halsted. The league needs volunteers and donations; call 421-0588 for more.
Hyphen magazine's monthly literary series at Augenblick continues tonight at 8:30. First up is playwright and poet Dwight Okita, who will read from his new collection of poetry, Crossing With the Light. Actress Lee Chen will read Okita's story "Richard Speck." Finally, Ann Hemenway will read from her work, with an open mike to follow. The reading's free; Augenblick is at 3907 N. Damen. Call 975-9097 for more.
Free Tuesdays are now the norm at the Adler Planetarium. Sponsoring the free days through the end of August is LCI International Communications, a new long-distance company. Sky shows are included in the free-admission plan; current shows include "African Skies," about African astronomy, and "3D Universe," which gives viewers vibrant views of the sun, moon, and stars with 3D glasses. The museum, at 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, is open from 9 to 5 today and every day; Fridays it's open till 9. Regular admission is $4, $2 if you're under 17 or over 65. Call 322-0300 for more.
The Harold Washington Library's exhibition Put the City Up: Chicago Commercial Architecture, 1820-1992 uses models, photographs, and drawings to survey the city's celebrated and inventive mania for building. It runs through July 17 in the main exhibit hall of the lower level at 400 S. State; today there's a 12:15 talk and tour led by curator Michael McDonough and Chicago Architecture Foundation docent Patricia Talbot. It's free. The library is open 11 to 7 Tuesday and Thursday and 9 to 5 Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Call 747-4800 for more.
Eight films analyzing everything from artist and jazz musician Larry Rivers to gentrification in Hoboken, New Jersey, to lethal injections in a Missouri prison make up the Film Center's New Directions Documentary Festival, running tonight through July 24. Larry Rivers Public and Private shows at 6 tonight and repeats Saturday at 4. For a complete schedule call the Film Center, at Columbus and Jackson, at 443-3733. Admission is $5.
Crews have been busy dismantling Block 37's downtown ice rink and reconfiguring the three-acre site in anticipation of the third year of Gallery 37, first lady Maggie Daley's summer arts program for kids. More than a dozen local art programs and hundreds of Chicago school kids will take over the gallery all summer long. Gallery 37 opens at 10 this morning; you're welcome to walk through any time between 10 and 4 weekdays or attend the program's free all-ages art classes, from 10 to 4 every Saturday through August 7. The site is on State Street between Randolph and Washington, across from Marshall Field's. Call 744-8925 for more.
For the last ten years the Uptown-based Beacon Street Gallery & Theatre has been hosting productions and performances as well as sponsoring programs and classes. Now it's the gallery's staff who take the spotlight in an exhibit called Art Workers of Beacon Street. The show features work by Beacon Street founder Pat Murphy along with pieces by Eugene Pine, Pay Yang, Sisavath Panyathip, and others. It's up through August 1; gallery hours are 11 to 5 Wednesday through Saturday. It's free. Beacon Street is at 4520 N. Beacon; call 528-4526 for more.
It's kind of hard to get excited about the official doings of the U.S. Navy these days, what with the unofficial ones--like the Tailhook scandal and the gay-bashing murder in Tokyo--getting so much attention. But those with a mind to can tour an authentic Navy tank landing ship, the USS Boulder, this week at Navy Pier, 500 E. Grand. The 500-foot boat, part of the Navy's surface fleet ported in Little Creek, Virginia, will be open for free visits from 1 to 7 today, tomorrow, and Saturday. There's a welcoming ceremony today at 2:30. Call 657-2178 for details.
Is it necessary to have separate research for kid victims of AIDS? Yes, says the Chicago Fundraising Committee to Benefit Pediatric AIDS. "HIV affects children differently than it does adults," says the group's mission statement. "Many treatments and drugs that have proven beneficial to adults are not effective or cannot be tolerated by children." They're holding a benefit party tonight at the Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln, with music from Mr. Blotto. Things get under way at 8, and admission is $15; call 587-1466 for details.
A decayed museum filled with the work of a fictional artist is the subject of Indecent at the Museum, or Water Music, an installation opening Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art by Russian artist Ilya Kabakov and Lithuanian composer Vladimir Tarasov. To kick the exhibit off, Kabakov (whom the MCA calls one of the most important Russian artists to emerge post glasnost) will perform tonight at the HotHouse, reading his story "Olga Georgievna, Something Is Boiling" to accompanying projections and music by Tarasov. The HotHouse is at 1565 N. Milwaukee; the show starts at 8:30 and costs $6. The installation is up through September 21; the museum is open 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 Sunday, and admission is $4, $2 for seniors and students. Call 280-2673 for more.