Not to be outdone by Barry Williams, who authored a tell-all about his years as Greg Brady just last year, Russell Johnson has come out with Here on Gilligan's Isle: The Professor's Behind-the-Scenes Guide to "Gilligan's Island." He'll be at the Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway, at 7:30 tonight to talk about his book and his years on the show. It's free. Call 883-9119 for more.
The idea behind the Black Family Reunion Celebration--the brainchild of National Council of Negro Women prez Dorothy Height--is for black families to come together "to discover and share information, experience, and each other." It's catching on: more than six million people have attended the festivals in cities across the country since they started in 1986, and more than 50,000 people showed up for the celebration in Grant Park last year. This year's site is Arvey Field, in Grant Park at Roosevelt Road and Lake Shore Drive. A wide range of activities runs from 10 to 6 today, including dance workshops, mask making, storytelling sessions, free medical screenings, and seminars on teen sexuality and preventing drug abuse. Everything's free; call 565-5400 for more info.
Summer D-Tour '93 is the WestSide Gallery District Association's latest gallery walk. More than two dozen outfits that showcase the work of emerging artists in Bucktown and Wicker Park open their doors from noon to 8 today and tomorrow, from the Zeus Gallery (1820 W. Webster) on the north to Gallery 954 (954 W. Washington) on the south. Visit ten galleries and you can get a free drink at the closing party, 8:30 Sunday night at the Northside, 1635 N. Damen. (Visiting all 22 gets you a free dinner.) There's no admission charge to the galleries or the party; call 772-6965 or stop by any of the galleries for a map or details.
Two legendary Texans anchor the musical offerings of the Sheffield Garden Walk this weekend, taking place along Webster between Sheffield and Clifton. Passionate performer and songwriter Alejandro Escovedo performs at 5 tonight; rocker Joe Ely plays tomorrow night at 7, right after a set by Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans. There'll also be the usual street fair activities, with food, kid stuff, open gardens and garage sales in the surrounding neighborhood, and even free local architectural tours, leaving today at 2 and 4 and tomorrow at 1 and 3 from Sheffield and Webster. The event runs from noon to dusk both days; there's a $3 requested donation. Call 929-9255.
Classic-rock station WCKG's third annual Psychedelic Celebration rocks the World Music Theatre today. Starting at 3 you can see Robby Krieger, the Doors guitarist who wrote "Light My Fire"; an aggregation that bills itself as the Classic Rock All-Star Band and features Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly, Jerry Corbetta of Sugarloaf, Peter Rivera of Rare Earth, and Spencer Davis; Edgar Winter; Country Joe McDonald; and Joey Molland's Badfinger. Purveyors of tie-dye, candles, spin art, and other psychedelia will congregate in the venue's plaza all afternoon and evening (the gates open at noon). Tix are $5-$10; the World is at the intersection of I-80 and Harlem Avenue in far-southwest-suburban Tinley Park. Call 708-614-1616 for more.
The North Dearborn Garden Walk--this weekend's second such event--features more than 50 gardens along bosky Dearborn and State between North and Division. The organizers say it's the oldest garden walk in the country; this is the 35th annual. It runs from noon to 6, with music from the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and a tropical steel band, a carillon concert, a plant market, food and drink, and reps from the Park District and the Chicago Botanic Garden on hand to answer questions. It's $5; details at 472-6561.
Native Chicagoan Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, a writer on the TV series Angel Street and three in-progress movies, is back in town this weekend to talk to the Chicago Association of Black Filmmakers. He'll be at the group's 4 PM meeting today, at 116 W. Illinois, on the second floor. A reception starts at 3:30; it's $7, free to members. Next Sunday the group is hosting Anita W. Addison, an independent producer and the director of Harpo Studios' upcoming production of Alex Kotlowitz's book There Are No Children Here. Call 935-5993 to reserve a seat.
You may have read about Jorianne, the 40-year-old psychic from the south side, in Reader before; her shtick is reading the cream she pours into coffee. Jorianne thinks her powers may have come from a sharp blow to the head when she was seven, and she's currently working toward a degree in parapsychology at the Association for Research Enlightenment. She'll read your coffee, at ten bucks a cup, at an event to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, from 2 to 5 today at Caffe Classico, 161 W. Madison. Call 708-869-7363 for more.
For the exhibit Cul de Sac: A Street-Level Video Project, artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle and filmmaker Paul Teruel teamed up with more than a dozen west-side teenagers for a multimedia look at their neighborhood. The result is 15 video monitors playing everything from surveillance footage and aerial views of the neighborhood to interviews and statements from residents. The whole exhibit will be up through August 10 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 237 E. Ontario; museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 5, Sunday noon to 5. Today at 12:15, the museum's Rebecca Keller will give a 45-minute background briefing on the project. Suggested admission is $4, $2 for students and seniors, but Tuesdays are free. Call 280-5161 for more.
How did Styx's Dennis DeYoung get the role of Pontius Pilate in the current touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar? Maybe he lent the show the leftover sets from the Grand Illusion tour. The show--about the silliest current downtown theatrical offering in the $30-$50 range--features 50-ish Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson reprising their movie roles of JC and Judas, respectively, from 20 years ago. It was here in March, and now it's back for a one-week run at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, with performances tonight at 7:30, tomorrow at 2 and 8, Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 2 and 7. Call 443-1130 or 902-1500 for tickets.
"The unique thing about pig racing is that it puts pigs in a different perspective," says Carlota Robinson, owner of Robinson's Racing Pigs, coming to the Du Page County Fairgrounds today through Sunday. The pigs--who're running for an Oreo cookie at the end of the track--can take the 100 meters at 11 seconds, says Robinson, just a snout behind Florence Griffith Joyner. The pigs race today and Friday at 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6, 7, and 8; heats tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday are at 11:30, 1:30, 4:30, 6, 7, and 8. The fairgrounds are at 2015 W. Manchester in Wheaton; admission is $4, $2 if you're over 62, free if you're under 10. Call 708-668-6636.
Ed Baumann, legendary crime reporter for the old Chicago Daily News and the Tribune, gives accounts of the 171 Cook County executions he covered in his four decades on the job in his strange new book, May God Have Mercy on Your Soul. The Chicago Literary Society fetes Baumann tonight in a dinner at Mareva's, 1250 N. Milwaukee. Thirty-two bucks includes dinner, a talk by Baumann, and a copy of the book. Things get under way at 6:30; call 973-3523 for more.
For Memoryscape, an ambitiously conceived show at Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, a total of 20 artists have contributed work on the theme of memory--some with an installation, some with a performance, and some with both. The idea is to break down the wall between the two media. Beginning at 7 tonight you can enter and take in the static installations; at 8, 45 minutes of performances begin in various parts of the exhibit space, some simultaneous with others, some repeated at various times, in order to approximate the mind's alternation of clarity and cacophony. The show runs through Sunday, July 25, and then next Wednesday, July 28, through Sunday, August 1. The gallery's at 1967 South Campus Drive in Evanston. Admission is $7; call 708-491-8016 for details.