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Friday 27

Oak Forest's annual Gaelic Park Irish Fest advertises itself as the finest gathering of Irish entertainment in America, and backs up the promise with 18 acres of food, fun, and music. Headlining is Black 47, the acclaimed New York Irish rock 'n' roll band. Also appearing are Chicago's own Drovers, and many traditional artists as well, including Mary McConigle and Tommy Makem. The park is at 6119 W. 147th in Oak Forest; the fest runs 3 to 11:30 PM today, noon to 11:30 tomorrow and Sunday, and noon to 8 Monday. Admission is $8, which gets you an all-rides ticket to the carnival as well. Seniors are $5. Tickets are half price today from 3 to 4:30. Kids under 3 are admitted free. Call 708-687-9323 for more.

The expressionistic modern painting of Vankao Minh is the highlight of Traditional to Contemporary Vietnamese Painting: The Minh Family, an exhibit up through June 18 at the Beacon Street Gallery. Minh's sister, Phan Mai Cao, is exhibiting traditional silk paintings. The opening's from 6 to 8 at the gallery, 4520 N. Beacon, in the Uptown Hull House. It's free. Call 708-232-2728 for details.

"Hamlet, this is Dr. Carl." If what you think the world needs now is a Jungian version of Hamlet, get thee to Northwestern for the school's ongoing archetype-laden version of the tragedy. Hamlet's struggle, says director Ann Woodworth, is deeper than to kill or not to kill Claudius; it is based on his need to integrate his masculine and feminine sides. Accordingly, a woman plays the lead. The play closes this weekend with final shows tonight and tomorrow night at 8 and Sunday at 2. Tix are $12, $9 for faculty and staff, and $6 for students. The show's at the Josephine Louis Theatre, 1979 South Campus Drive in Evanston. Call 708-491-7282 for reservations.

Saturday 28

Shape-note singing originated as a way to help musically illiterate early Americans read music. While the a cappella form uses standard musical notation, the notes themselves are shaped in different ways to mark those that function as the tonic, the fifth, and so forth, no matter what key the song happens to be in. Chicago's Sacred Harp Singers--named after a 150-year-old songbook--hold an annual public shape-note gathering. This year it's today, from 9:30 to 3 PM at Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th,on the University of Chicago campus, and tomorrow at the same time at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. There's no charge, but visitors should be aware that it's not a concert per se; chances are that the people around you will be singing their hearts out. Lunch is potluck, so bring a dish. Call 276-4277.

Live Bait Theater's holding a gigantic yard sale; they say they've got clothes, furniture, jewelry, books, exercise equipment, and more. It's at 3914 N. Clark, from 10 to 4 today and tomorrow. Call 871-1212 for details.

Sunday 29

Last year, more than 1,100 people joined together for the AIDS Pastoral Care Network's annual Memorial Day candlelight vigil and march through Lincoln Park and Lakeview. This year, the event begins with an interfaith liturgy at Saint Clement Church, 642 W. Deming, at 6:30. It's free. Call 334-5333 for details.

Crews provide rap stars with a posse and also serve as incubators for up-and-coming performers--but they're almost always men's clubs. So women's music groups are trying to jump start the local hip-hop distaff with a series of open-mike nights at Cafe Voltaire. The series is called Funky Moonsistahs Rise & Fire. Artists include Mamazon, D Storm, MC Shaun, Akia, and others. It's at the cafe, 3230 N. Clark, at 7 tonight; the open-mike nights continue Wednesdays and Sundays at the same time through June 29. Admission is $6. Call 769-0025 for details.

Ray Lampley, who calls himself Prophet of the Most High God and hails from Oklahoma, says the big guy has some surprises on tap for us this summer in the form of earthquakes, storms, floods, droughts, and a blood-red moon. Lampley is speaking tonight in Executive Room 4 of the O'Hare Plaza Hotel, 5615 N. Cumberland, at 7:30. Apparently, his "sensational revelations will be of utmost interest to all people in this area." It's free. Call 918-657-2521 for details.

Monday 30

The Museum of Science and Industry says it's constructed the world's largest indoor maze for visitors' pleasure. The maze--made of bright purple and yellow movable canvas walls--fills up 2,400 square feet of space in the museum's west court. And it will be changing throughout the summer so determined mazemeisters can test their skills more than once. The museum's at 57th and Lake Shore Drive, and is open daily from 9:30 to 5:30. Admission is $5, $4 for seniors, $2 for kids 5 to 12; those under 5 get in free. Call 684-1414.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War is still going strong, and no wonder--America still has a southeast Asia problem. The group notes the country's escalating rhetoric against North Korea, continuing high rates of joblessness and homelessness for veterans, and the fact that the U.S. still hasn't officially recognized Vietnam. They're holding a rally at 11 AM at the city's Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Fountain, at Wacker and Wabash. It's free. Call 327-5756.

Tuesday 31

Exiled Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide--whose star seems to be falling among Washington politicos--speaks at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn, at 5:30 today. It's free, but the sponsoring Center for Latin American Studies suggests that you get there early. Call 702-8420 for details.

The vision of the assassination of John F. Kennedy proffered by John Malkovich in his theatrical adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel Libra focuses on the tragedy's fun-house mysteries: unexplained deaths, plots within plots within plots, unclear and unknowable motivations. And don't miss Laurie Metcalf's rococo turns as plotter David Ferrie and Lee Harvey Oswald's mother. The play--which Malkovich also directs--is up at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted, through June 26, with performances at 8 Tuesday through Friday, 5 and 9 PM Saturday, and at 3 and 7 PM Sunday. There are a few exceptions and matinees so call ahead, at 335-1888. Tickets are $22.50 to $32.


Wednesday 1

Acclaimed British playwright Alan Ayckbourn is in town to see the U.S. premiere of his play Communicating Doors at the International Theatre Festival. While he's here, he's also offering himself up for A Conversation With Alan Ayckbourn, at Northwestern University. His interrogator will be playwright and NU faculty member Charles Smith. It's at 2 today at the school's Josephine Louis Theatre, 1979 South Campus Drive in Evanston. It's free. Call 708-491-3751 for details.

At tonight's Chicago Composer's Consortium Spring Concert, the focus is on the music of member Andrew Imbrie. He will be at the Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn, at 7 to talk about his music; at 8, the In Terra Vox ensemble will perform two of his works, Roethke Songs and Three Pieces for Mixed Chorus. There'll also be music from Lawrence Axelrod and others. It's $10, $5 for students and seniors; 667-6347.

Thursday 2

Hedwig Dances's annual benefit tonight features a smorgasbord of performances from around the world. Dances in the Round will be hosted by former Hubbard Street principal dancer Claire Bataille, who'll introduce a variety of short pieces, from African dance by Amaniyea Payne to modern dance by Rebecca Rossen. It's at 5:30 tonight in the rotunda of the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Tickets are $25 to $100. The first 60 ticket purchasers also get to see the Hedwig Dance Lab's newest work, Seeing Triple, at 7:30. That show is in the Cultural Center's first-floor theater, and runs Thursday at 7:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8 this weekend and next. After tonight, tickets are $10, $6 for students and seniors. For reservations or info on either event, call 907-2192.

Curious about a face-lift but queasy about going under the knife? Grant Hospital is sponsoring a free lecture on nonsurgical face-lifts by dermatologist Jonith Breadon. It's at Grant Hospital, 550 W. Webster, in dayroom 3-south, at 6:30 PM. Call 883-3777 to register.

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