A four-week series of shows by cutting-edge performers from around the country begins this weekend at Randolph Street Gallery. The shows, organized by local performance artists Matthew Owens and Joan Dickinson, are collectively called Manipulations 2, because they encompass "a vast range of manipulations of text, object, sound, site, and psyche." The series kicks off with Frontiers, by the New Orleans performance duo Crisus (the moniker is a combination of the words "crisis" and "circus"), a show that reportedly involves blue light, "undulating banners," and the performers hanging upside down; it's tonight and tomorrow at 8. The series continues weekends through March 3 with artists Iris Moore (from Portland, Oregon), Stuart Sherman (from New York City), and locals Bill Close and Bill Wallace. Katherine Boyd (at left) performs tonight at 6. $6-$10 gets you in to see both Boyd and Crisus. The gallery is at 756 N. Milwaukee; the number is 666-7737.
If hearts is your game, you wont mind the long trip out to Joliet for the Twelfth Annual Hearts Tournament sponsored by the International Society of Hearts Players. Registration begins at 8:30 AM, games at 9. The entry fee is $10, $8 in advance. It's at the Louis Joliet Renaissance Center, 214 Ottawa in downtown Joliet. Call 815-741-2955 for more.
Chicagoan Gertrude Abercrombie--some of whose paintings are part of the current exhibit "The 'New Woman' in Chicago, 1910-1945: Paintings From Illinois Collections"--is also the subject of a slide talk today by Roosevelt University's Susan Weininger, who's spent ten years studying Abercrombie. Weininger shares a bill with Donna Blue Lachman, who'll discuss the lives of Frida Kahlo and Rosa Luxemburg at this free Chicago Area Women's History Conference event. It starts at 2 in the East Room on the first floor of the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. Call 938-0990.
The folks at the Improv Institute are celebrating their tenth birthday--and the 1,500 shows they've put on over the years, every single one made up on the spot--with a benefit performance and auction tonight. Ten bucks gets you into the show and a chance at goodies like a Chicago Bulls banner autographed by the team, tix to various theaters around town, and a dinner cruise. Doors at the theater, 2319 W. Belmont, open at 7; the auction starts at 8 and the show follows. Call 929-2323.
If you missed the original Annoyance Theatre version of The Real Live Brady Bunch, you might want to check out the touring production, which hits town--er, Merrillville--today. This cast'll do the Marsha's junior prom episode, complete with ex-Monkee Davy Jones reprising his original role. There's one show only, at 4 PM at the Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 and U.S. 30. Tickets are $19. Call 734-7266 or 219-769-6600.
The Chicago Songwriter's Collective, which puts on the weekly songwriters' showcase at the Clearwater Saloon, continues its work with a new series of monthly songwriting workshops. Singer-songwriter Mark Zeus, who hosts the showcases, will give a presentation and answer questions on the subject of demo production. It costs $2 and starts at 4 at the Grace Covenant Church, 4201 N. Monticello. At next month's meeting, same time and place on March 13, Jim Desmond will talk about method and inspiration. Call 539-7149.
Three local bands--steamy funkers Uptighty, the slightly off-beat Mint Aundry, and Fig Dish--rock Lounge Ax tonight as a benefit for the local chapter of CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. The money will send some Chicago observers to the upcoming Salvadoran elections. Tickets are being sold on a sliding scale, from $6 to $10. Lounge Ax is at 2438 N. Lincoln. It starts at 9. Call 227-2720.
For the first time in its 66-year history, the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament is allowing women to compete. Of 235 registrants so far, 25 are women; they'll compete in the novice division. Preliminary rounds start at the gym of the Saint Andrew Catholic Church, 3546 N. Paulina, at 7 tonight. Tickets are $5, $2 if you're under 17. The championships continue tomorrow and Wednesday and next Monday through Wednesday, February 21 through 23. Call 268-5104 for details.
Poet Edward Hirsch--who's regularly published in the New Yorker and the Nation and hosts the Art Institute's Lannan Literary Series--will be at the museum tonight giving the premiere reading from his new collection, Earthly Measures. Hirsch has some famous names in his camp: of his last book, Robert Penn Warren said, "I am convinced that the best poems here are unsurpassed in our time," and critic Harold Bloom says of the new work, "Edward Hirsch breaks through the ring of fire and finds his muse." It's a free 6 PM gig in the Price Auditorium of the museum, at Adams and Michigan. Call 443-3600.
A Chicago Headline Club meeting tonight takes a look at the city's women sports journalists. On the dais: Trib sports editor Margaret Holt, WMVP senior sports reporter Cheryl Raye, and Trib sports reporter Julie Deardorff. They'll talk about acceptance, both in locker rooms and in the newsroom; the cooperation of the various sports leagues; and how their gender works for or against them with female athletes. The program costs $8, $7 if you're a member of the sponsoring Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Publicists--er, Journalists. It starts at 6 in Room C on the second floor of the IBM building, 330 N. Wabash. Call 708-834-0090, ext. 435.
"This was not an honorary degree," Kurt Vonnegut said later of the anthropology degree the University of Chicago awarded him in 1971, "but an earned one, given on the basis of what the faculty committee called the anthropological basis of my novels. I snapped it up most cheerfully." But Vonnegut did attend the school, from 1945 to 1947, and wrote a master's thesis in anthropology. He also worked at City News Bureau as a police reporter. He's returning to his alma mater as a Marjorie Kovler Visiting Fellow and delivering a free lecture titled "Chicago" today at 4 in Swift Hall, 1025-35 E. 58th St. Call 702-9192.
Chicago is celebrating the 85th birthday of composer Elliott Carter this week with a pair of performances and a class taught by Carter himself. Tonight at 8, Chicago Pro Musica, the chamber ensemble formed by DePaul faculty member John Bruce Yeh, premieres Carter's work Quintet for Piano and Winds and plays half a dozen other Carter compositions at a free concert at the DePaul Concert Hall, 800 W. Belden. Carter will teach a master class for DePaul composition students at 10:30 AM tomorrow in the same place; that's free and open to the public too. Call 362-8373 for info on either event. Finally, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra takes on a new orchestral work by Carter, Partita, tomorrow night through Saturday, February 19, at Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan. Those shows are at 8 PM and tickets are $15-$65.50. Call 435-6666.
In the old days they called Louis Freeh the "nation's top crimebuster"; now he's just the FBI head known for being a refreshingly "straight arrow" appointee after the shenanigans of Reagan's William Webster. The ranking G-man hits town today for a talk before the Executives' Club of Chicago, at noon in the Grand Ballroom of the Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe. The $48 ticket ($38 for Executives' Club members) gets you lunch and Freeh's views on America's crime problem. Call the club at 263-3500.