Two original "uncensored" Beavis and Butt-head shorts by creator Mike Judge--"Peace, Love and Understanding" and the infamous "Frog Baseball"--highlight the fourth annual Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. The show is produced in San Diego by Mellow Manor Productions, which is also responsible for a straight festival of animation that's been touring art houses annually (though never in Chicago) for nearly 20 years; the ""sick and twisted" version, for the over-18 crowd, they say, includes shorts on subjects scatological, sexual, and snotty (literally, apparently; one piece is called "Spaghetti Snot"). They promise a barf bag to all who attend. The show runs at the Pipers Alley movie theater, Wells Street and North Avenue, through October 6. Admission is $7. Call 642-7500 or see Section Two's Showtimes page.
This year's edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival kicks off tonight at the First Chicago Center Theater, at Dearborn and Madison. Twenty-five bucks gets you El Maestro de Esgrima, a new swashbuckler by Pedro Olea set in 19th-century Spain, as well as a cheese 'n' champagne reception beforehand and apres film buffet and cocktails. Things get under way at 6:30. The fest continues with more than 80 films showing through October 4 at theaters around the city. Call 431-1330 or see Section Two for details.
When Oak Parker Michael Hays graduated from Rhode Island School of Design he made a bunch of pictures to go along with Pete Seeger's beloved tale Abiyoyo and started using them to shop for work as an illustrator. But people were so taken with his "dummies" they said he already had a book. Though plenty of other artists had approached the singer with the same idea over the years, Hays was the first to get the go-ahead. Now he teaches illustration at Columbia, but he'll be appearing at the Children's Bookstore, 2465 N. Lincoln, at 10:30 this morning with slides showing how the book about the giant got made. It's free; call 248-2665 for details.
Each year the Victory Gardens Theater's Casting Auction lets drama wannabes buy themselves a part in a play. This year's production--to be directed by Dennis Zacek--is Peter Pan, and Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael all get to fly! Captain Hook, Smee, Tinkerbell, and various parents, lost boys, and pirates don't, but the parts will all be up for grabs to the highest bidder. The auction's at 1 PM today at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, and the show's scheduled for November 20. Tickets to the auction ($25) and the show ($30), and the funds raised by the auction, will help cover the theater's operating expenses. Call 549-5788 for more.
If you don't blow your wad in Old Town, you can head over to the Clybourn corridor for Ren Ben 93, the Renaissance Society's annual benefit. The U. of C.'s contemporary art museum is putting on the block 60 "works on paper" by an array of artists, from Tony Fitzpatrick and Stanley Tigerman to Louise Bourgeois. The society says each piece will bring in something between $250 and $15,000. Cocktails are at 5, the auction's at 6, and dinner and dancing are from 7:30 on. Tix are $75; it all takes place at the Bossa Nova restaurant, 1960 N. Clybourn. Call 702-8670 for more.
Archaeologists recently found some mammoth bones bearing marks made by man-made tools in southern Wisconsin. While they haven't exactly found recipes for mammoth stew, the evidence does seem to suggest that the woolly beasts shared the turf with cheeseheads once upon a time. Daniel Joyce, the curator of the Kenosha Public Museum, will expatiate on this topic in a talk called People and Mammoth in the Midwest at 7:30 tonight as part of a meeting of the Chicago Archaeological Society. It's at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 2001 N. Clark, and it's free. There's a get-acquainted coffee reception beforehand. Call 508-3464 for more.
Every two years the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization passes out awards to the city's alderpeople with the best voting records, based on analyses of divided votes on ethics issues, utility matters, budget appropriations, and human rights legislation. The winners for 1992 and '93 are Helen Shiller, Larry Bloom, Jesse Evans, Joe Moore, Toni Preckwinkle, and John Steele. They'll be feted tonight at a do at Nick's Fishmarket, in the First National Bank plaza, Dearborn and Monroe. Kup will handle emcee duties. Things get under way at 6 and tickets are $25. Call 663-4203 for more.
Swatch is promising Magic Johnson will show up tonight at Planet Hollywood for a fund-raiser for the former Laker's personal foundation. The money will go to Chicago AIDS groups and the local Off the Street club, which tries to get west-side kids you know what. The $200 ticket gets a live auction of sports memorabilia, trips, and such, hanging around time with Magic, food, and more. Swatch is sponsoring so it can show off its new $50 stopwatch. It starts at 7. Planet Hollywood's at 633 N. Wells. Call 644-8600 for more.
When the Opera Factory presents a condensed version of Puccini's bloody and convoluted Tosca at the Harold Washington Library tonight, whatever will they leave out? The part where Tosca hears her lover at an assignation? The part where she finds out that it wasn't a tryst, but rather a meeting with an escaped political prisoner, but only after she's given away the hiding place in a jealous pique to the evil chief of police? The part where she offers her body to the cop to save her lover from the firing squad but stabs him instead, only to find that executioners have already done their job? The part where she tosses herself off the battlements? It seems like a fairly organic piece of work to us. Anyway, longtime Opera Factory soprano Donna Sadlicka plays the lead, Mark Zolezzi is the boyfriend, and Ian Geller is the bad guy. The show is conducted by Richard Boldrey. The free performance starts at 7 tonight in the theater of the library, 400 S. State. Call 761-1334 for more.
"The Venetian courtesan," write the folks at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, "has long captured the imagination as a female symbol of sexual license, elegance, beauty, and unruliness. What then to make of the cortigiana onesta . . . who recast virtue as intellectual integrity and offered wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life?" If you're interested, USC prof Margaret Rosenthal will be at the institute tonight to give a talk called The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in 16th Century Venice. It's at the institute, 500 N. Michigan, suite 1020, at 6:30, and it's free. They'll be passing out wine afterward. Call 822-9545 for more.
This week there are a couple of notable authors appearing at the Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark. Tonight at 7 Betty Friedan will talk and sign her new book, The Fountain of Age. Friedan, whose Feminine Mystique systematically analyzed her life as a suburban housewife, has now taken on the process of aging with a book that is reputed to combine scientific evidence with lots of interviews with regular folks. Tomorrow at 7:30 Kim Wozencraft reads from her new book, Notes From the Country Club. Her last book was the drug gothic Rush, which was made into the movie with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patrick; her new one is about a battered wife on trial for her husband's murder. Both events are free; call the store at 769-9299 for details.
Political cartoonist Greg Harris has organized a panel discussion called No More Blaxploitation: Fighting Negative Images of African Americans in the Media. Joining him at the Woodson Library, 9525 S. Halsted, will be filmmaker Darryl Roberts, WLS's Nate Clay, and Chicago Sun-Times reporter Minette McGhee. It's at 6 tonight, and it's free. Call 747-6910 for more.