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Friday 17

For the World Tattoo Gallery's December exhibit--Movie Monsters: The Theme Show--the gallery asked artists to "celebrate the goons of the big screen, from Frankenstein's monster to Hannibal the Cannibal." The show opens with a free reception tonight from 5 to 8, but that's just the start of the evening. The postopening party, from 8 PM on, features the New Duncan Imperials; that costs $5, but it's free if you come dressed in a monster costume for a contest the Imperials will judge. It's all at the gallery, 1255 S. Wabash. Call 939-2222 for more.

The Duncan YMCA's "Writer's Voice" series continues tonight with Sandra Cisneros, the Chicago-born self-described "migrant professor" who won the 1985 National Book Award for The House on Mango Street. Her latest volume of poetry, Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners, was just published by Northwestern University's TriQuarterly Press. She'll be reading with Hyde Park's Angela Jackson; the pair appear at the Y, 1001 W. Roosevelt, at 7. It's $7, $5 for Y members, students, and seniors. Call 738-5981 for more.

"Just how do anarchist heroin junkies celebrate the holiday of giving?" That's the dramatic question asked by Big Bang Spontaneous Theater in its production of A Sid and Nancy X-Mas, described as "an original tragic comedy with music." Sid, of course, is Sid Vicious, the notorious bassist for the Sex Pistols, who with girlfriend Nancy Spungen embarked on a heroin-soaked downward spiral that ended in early 1979 with Spungen dying of stab wounds and Vicious overdosing a few weeks later. A Sid and Nancy X-Mas was written by Kevin Scott and is directed by Jean Raymond. It's at Cafe Voltaire, 3231 N. Clark, tonight and tomorrow at 7, Sunday at 4:30, Tuesday at 9, and Thursday at 7. Admission is $5. Call 275-9021 for reservations or information.

Saturday 18

Flood, started by the art collective that calls itself Haha, is a collaborative gardening project that raises vegetables and medicinal herbs for people suffering from the effects of AIDS. The group also sponsors lectures and workshops about nutrition and AIDS. Berlin, the city's venerable gay disco, is hosting a benefit for Flood tonight. There'll be performances from Katherine Boyd and Robert Metrick, a video by Lawrence Steger, and a raffle. Admission is $10; things get under way at 6. Berlin's at 954 W. Belmont. Call 348-4975 for details.

Basil Dean's 1933 film of John Galsworthy's Loyalties, say the folks at the Film Center, is "one of the earliest attacks on the deep-seated anti-Semitism of the British ruling class." Nobel Prize winner and quintessential Victorian liberal Galsworthy fashioned a country-house burglary mystery with all the stock characters and one extra, a "dark, good-looking, rather Eastern young man," played in the movie by the exotic Basil Rathbone. A new 35-millimeter print of the seldom-seen film from the National Film Archive in London is being shown at the Film Center tonight at 6:30 and tomorrow at 2. Admission is $5, $3 for members of the Film Center or the co-sponsoring Spertus museum. The Film Center is at Columbus and Jackson. Call 443-3733.

Sunday 19

Symphony of the Shores, the young and aggressive classical-music combo, presents its second annual Holiday Classics and Pops Concert today in the Grand Ballroom of the North Shore Hilton, 9599 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. The 20-piece ensemble, led by musical director Steven Martyn Zike, is doing two shows; the first, at 2, is being billed as a family concert, with kids welcome to sing along and savor a visit from Santa. The 3:30 show is adults only. Tix are $15, $10 for kids. Call 708-869-3133 for more.

World music collaborators Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang are offering up their third annual Winter Solstice Percussion Concert today. The pair build their show around the 4,000-year-old frame drum and a vast selection of other percussion instruments from around the globe, including the dumbek, the tabla, the rukk, and the tambor. The show's on the second floor of Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, at 3:30. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 281-0824 for more info.

Monday 20

Two oddly named exhibits on the art of bookmaking organized by the Chicago Hand Bookbinders and the Guild of Bookworkers are up at the Newberry Library through the end of January. Finely Bound Two is an overview display of 33 examples of traditional, contemporary, and handmade books; Finely Bound Too is a national juried exhibition that explores the outer limits of hand bookbinding. They're both on display in the R.R. Donnelley and Hermon Dunlap Smith galleries of the library, 60 W. Walton. Viewing hours are Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 to 5, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 to 7:30. Admission's free. Call 943-9090, ext. 310, for details.

Celebrity bartenders and dealers for this year's World's Largest Office Party--the after-work networking session, drinking blast, dance fest, and casino night that benefits WGN's Neediest Kids Fund and the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities--include Tony and Tina from the play Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding, 'MAQ's Dick Kay, and Big John Howell from US99. It's at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker, and runs from 3:30 to 10:30 PM; tix are $8. Call 946-9567 for more.

Roger Corman's entry in the dinosaur-movie blockbuster sweepstakes is Carnosaur. The brand-new movie from the legendary low-budget, high-concept producer concerns a wacky doctor, played by Diane Ladd, and some genetically altered chicken eggs. The hatchlings grow very fast and concentrate mostly on feeding--mostly on humans. It's showing at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton, through December 30 at 7 and 9 Monday through Friday, 5:30 and 7:30 Sunday. (The theater's closed December 24 and 25.) Admission is $5, $3 for Facets members. Call 281-9075.

Tuesday 21

If there were a 13th day of Christmas, we're sure that it would involve 13 flutists fluting. You can expect a few more than that as the Sherwood Conservatory of Music, one of the oldest music schools in the country, presents its Sherwood Flute Choir, twittering away in the Hana Lounge of the Hotel Nikko, 320 N. Dearborn, from 11:30 to noon and from 12:30 to 1. It's free, though lunch in the Hana Lounge isn't. Call 427-6267.

Wednesday 22

In the last part of the 19th century and first part of the 20th, the Fante people of Ghana, on Africa's Gold Coast, formed political alliances with the British occupiers--and out of the contact between the two cultures grew a craft movement. Through February 13 the Chicago Cultural Center is displaying a selection of nearly 200 patchwork, appliqued, and embroidered flags from this period. Asafo! Fante Flags From Africa 1850-1957 is an international touring exhibition showing on the fourth-floor north gallery of the center, which is at 78 E. Washington; it's open 10 to 7 Monday through Thursday, 10 to 6 Friday, 10 to 5 Saturday, and noon to 5 Sunday. Admission is free. Call 346-3278 or 744-6630 for more.

Thursday 23

What does the Sound Therapy Research Institute do? Members say they're "inspired by the desire to reduce stress, promote wellness, and gain spiritual insight" though music, movement, "breath," and dialogue. What the group is calling its "first annual spiritual retreat" gets under way at the HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee, at 8 tonight. Cover is $10. Call 234-2334 for more.

The organizers of the weekly Chicago Songwriters' Showcase--who see high-profile traveling aggregations of out-of-town song-slingers roar through Chicago and get all the attention--say local tunesmiths can match the outsiders, hook for hook and lyric for lyric. Longtime singer-songwriter Mark Zeus hosts the showcase every Thursday night at the Clearwater Saloon, 3937 N. Lincoln; this week's version includes music from Mark Vickery of Word Bongo, Stephen Michael Wozny, Amy Lowe, and Third Person's Steve Hepler. Things get under way at 9:30, and there's a $1 cover. Call 549-5599 or 463-3594.

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