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Friday 4

It's the 20th anniversary of Dance Marathon, the annual Northwestern University boogie-a-thon that over the past two decades has raised close to $2 million for various charities. (The recipient this year is the Leukemia Research Foundation.) More than 200 students will be dancing from 7 tonight through 1 AM Sunday in the Norris University Center, 1999 South Campus Drive. As usual there are other entertainments planned as well, including karaoke, a casino, performances of Schoolhouse Rock Live!, and live music. Most things are free; some have an admission charge. Call 708-491-2387 for details.

The Bop Shop salutes Frank Zappa tonight with an exhibit of portraits and visual interpretations of his work by members of the Colsons Truck Group and other local artists and an ad hoc group of local musicians playing his tunes. The free goings-on run from 7 to 9 at the club, 1807 W. Division. Call 235-3232 for more.

Saturday 5

"Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure / Like doth quit like, and measure still for measure." Those who wonder what the heck William Shakespeare was talking about in the lines that gave title to one of his more elegant comedies can check in at the Newberry Library's open forum series today, which features Shakespeare Repertory artistic director Barbara Gaines, Champaign English prof Carol Neely, and Loyola law school's Keith Cleveland talking, about Measure for Measure, which happens to be Shakespeare Rep's current production (at the Ruth Page Theater through March 20). The talk starts at 2 at the library, 60 W. Walton; they'd like a $3 donation. Call 642-2273 for details.

The Wood Street Gallery opens two exhibits today. The first, Local Heroes, showcases what it calls five "noteworthy and enduring" local artists. Featured: paintings by Marion Kryczka, Pat Olson, and Chuck Walker; paintings and prints by Will Petersen; and sculpture by Phil Schuster. The other show, The Human Condition: Cast in Glass, is of glass sculpture by Sharon Bladholm and Tim Tate. A free opening reception for both will be held from 4 to 8 at the gallery, 1239 N. Wood. They run through April 2; regular gallery hours are 1 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday. Call 227-3306.

1993 was one of those years for activist and artist Sunny Chapman: first her studio burned down, then she got hit by her bike. To help pay so some of her bills, friends and colleagues have put together It's About Sisterhood: A Benefit for Sunny Chapman. The evening starts at 6:30 with a viewing of artworks donated for a silent auction. At 8 there'll be entertainment from performance artists Paula Killen, Jenny Magnus, Rennie Sparks, and Heather Prete, followed by dancing to music from F-Scroll, the Howards, and Mint Aundry. It's at the Czar Bar, 1812 W. Division, and admission is $10. Call 578-1870 for more.

The Peking Acrobats, the 24-person troupe that specializes in awesomely conceived balancing and pyramid acts full of people and props, makes a rare stop in the area for a show tonight at the Paramount Arts Centre in Aurora. There'll also be a lot of high-wire walking, tumbling, and trick cycling at the show, which starts at 8. The theater is at 23 E. Galena in Aurora. Tickets are $16.50-$18.50, $2 less for kids. Call 708-896-6666.

Sunday 6

For its fifth annual Chocolate Dessert Classic fund-raiser, the Chicago Academy for the Arts has amassed more than 150,000 samples of desserts from an array of more than 30 local chefs and restaurants. For $7.50, $4 for kids under 13, you can watch the judges judge and sample the confections yourself. There'll also be seminars on baking with chocolate and entertainment for the kids. It's all from noon to 4 today at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker. Call 421-0202.

The author of Your Baby and Child and Babyhood has a new book out called Children First: What Our Society Must Do--and Is Not Doing--for Our Children. In it, Penelope Leach argues for a "child-focused" political program that addresses problems of poverty, homelessness, education, and more. The professional child psychologist talks today at 2 at the Barbara's Bookstore at 1100 Lake in Oak Park. It's free. Call 708-848-9140 for more.

Monday 7

What Northeastern is University hopes will be its first annual jazz festival kicks off today with a 3 PM performance by the NEIU Jazz Sextet, an aggregation of mostly university grad students, and a 7:30 PM show by local jazz pianist Ron Perrillo. Shows continue at the same times for two more days. Tomorrow it's Caravan Jazz, composed of NEIU alums, in the afternoon and then the big band Neon Jazz Orchestra in the evening. And on Wednesday things wind down with an early show by a quartet led by trumpeter Michael McLaughlin and a late set by the Barrett Deems Band. All the shows are free; they're in the university's auditorium, at 5500 N. Saint Louis. Call 794-3042.

Issue number eight of the literary and arts review Hyphen, just out, features an in-depth interview by Americo Paz with author Charles Johnson, known for the books Middle Passage and Oxherding Tale. Tonight the mag celebrates the issue with a party at Phyllis' Musical Inn, 1800 W. Division, where video maker Kurt Heintz of the Loofah Method will premiere his new video, Cucumbers. It's $2; things get under way at 8:30. Call 975-9097 for more.

Tuesday 8

What's Chicago's literary profile? Is there a viewpoint that reflects the cultural and intellectual outlook of the area? Should publishing reflect such a point of view, or should it tie into the broad national picture? Four reps from local publishing houses will talk about these issues and more at a panel discussion called Publishing Today: Chicago Publishers Speak Out. Anita Miller from Academy Chicago, Albert Whitman and Company's Kathy Tucker, Noble Press prez David Driver, and Nick Williams of Northwestern University Press will talk from 6 to 7:30 tonight at the 410 Club in the Wrigley Building, 410 N. Michigan. The $15 ticket includes wine and hors d'oeuvres. Call 944-7600 for reservations, 337-1482 for more info.

Wednesday 9

After Joseph McCarthy attacked Edward R. Murrow's devastating See It Now broadcast on him, Murrow said, "When the record is finally written, as it will be one day, it will answer the question who has helped the communist cause and who has served his country better, Senator McCarthy or I. I would like to be remembered by the answer to that question." In honor of the 40th anniversary of that broadcast, often called "television's finest hour," the Museum of Broadcast Communications is presenting a program tonight called Murrow Meets McCarthy: A Moment in Television History. Guests include Fred Friendly, former CBS news director and producer of See It Now; former FCC chairman Newton Minnow; and WBBM's Bill Kurtis. It starts at 6:30 at the museum, which is in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, and costs $15. Call 629-6023.

Thursday 10

Author Kathleen Norriss new book, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, came out of a trip she took back to her grandparents' house in northern South Dakota. There, say the folk at the church, she found "the contradictions of small-town life on the Great Plains, where gracious hospitality blends with provincial wariness, local history is valued but writers are suspect, and truth and myth collide." Norris will talk about her book and read some poetry at 7 PM at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut. The $12 admission fee includes a pretalk reception at 5:30. Call 787-2729, ext. 397,

If you missed the first performance of the Festival of Organ and Dance at the Saint Thomas Apostle Church last year you have a second chance tonight and tomorrow. The site-specific affair combines an organ concert by Thomas Weisflog and a performance by Maggie Kast's dance troupe supplemented by 20 extra dancers. The idea, say organizers, is to "saturate the space with movement, much as the organ saturates it with sound." The concert features music from Leo Sowerby and Jehan Alain, a set by Kim Snitker, and costumes by Caryn Weglarz. Tix are $9, $5 for seniors and students; the church is at 5472 S. Kimbark. The show starts at 8 both nights. Call 324-2626 for details.

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