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December

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Friday 16

The new anarchists throw parties instead of bombs. The Autonomous Zone--which describes itself as an "antiauthoritarian community activist's resource center"--is hosting a shindig tonight at 8 to honor three of its members who are leaving town and heading west. The farewell party for Dina, Sprite, and Vic will feature performances by a cappella rapper Dwayne Andersen and poet Marvin Tate. Admission is $5, which includes a smorgasbord of vegetarian fare. Proceeds will go to support the A-Zone's lending library, meeting place, and "radical" learning programs; general meetings take place on the third Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. It's located at 2045 W. North. Call 278-2614 or 278-0775 for more.

The 16th holiday songfest of the Windy City Gay Chorus, Don We Now . . . , concludes its run at Uptown's Preston Bradley Community Center tonight. The 65-member men's chorus will perform a mix of holiday favorites at 8 PM. There'll also be classical offerings from the group's coed cousins in Unison and a selection of pop and jazz tunes from the Windy City Slickers. It's at the center, 941 W. Lawrence. Tickets cost $16; call 404-9242 for information.

Are you a fan of The Wild Room, NPR reporters Gary Covino and Ira Glass's ongoing experiment in free-form arts radio on WBEZ Friday nights? Then you may want to head over to the Lunar Cabaret tonight, where Glass is taping an episode. The Full Moon Vaudeville is slated to include a cross section of the cabaret's owner-performers and their associates, including Maestro Subgum and the Whole, Kate and Jamie O'Reilly, Jeff Dorchen, and Bryn Magnus. The event, a benefit for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, costs $7 (or a donation of nonperishable food items) and starts at 9 PM at 2827 N. Lincoln. Call 327-6666 for more.

Saturday 17

The Museum of Broadcast Communications says it's a fine place to stop and take a break from the rigors of holiday shopping, particularly if you're lugging kids along. Every Saturday morning from 10 to noon, the museum presents Olliefest, a selection of winners of the Ollie award (named after the hapless dragon in Kukla, Fran & Ollie), a biennial prize for quality children's programming. And every day they'll be showing notable Christmas TV shows, including A Very Brady Christmas, The Honeymooners' Christmas Party, and a rarely seen Christmas episode of Dragnet. The MBC is in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's open Monday through Saturday 10 to 4:30, Sunday noon to 5. Admission is free; call 629-6000 for information.

Hey gals, curious about that game with the orange ball your men spend all their time watching? The Chicago Bulls have just the answer for you. No, not a baseball bat to knock in the TV--it's the Chicago Bulls' 4th Annual Women's Basketball Clinic. Former Bulls John Paxson and Bob Love will be joined by ringers like Olympian Carol "the Blaze" Blazejowski and Tribune sportswriter Melissa Isaacson to help you on your passing, dribbling, and shooting; the $5 admission goes to the team's charity fund, CharitaBulls. Things get under way at 1:30 PM in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker; call 455-4000 for details. It's also time for the Chicago Bulls annual food drive. Volunteers will collect donations at all entrances to the United Center, 1901 W. Madison, starting at 6 before tonight's game.

Sunday 18

Chicago's two foremost explorers of world percussion are presenting their fourth annual Winter Solstice Concert tonight. Hamid Drake has toured with some of the world's leading experimental musicians; Michael Zerang plays in the Vandermark Quartet and Liof Munimula and organizes the Link's Hall Performance Series. The pair will focus on the ancient Mesopotamian frame drum and a variety of Middle Eastern, African, and East Indian instruments, including the dumbek, tabla, rukk, and tambor. It's at 4 this afternoon at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tix are $7, $5 for students and seniors; call 281-0824.

Monday 19

Yoko Noge's Monday-night blues jam at the HotHouse continues tonight as she celebrates the release of her first CD, called, appropriately, Yoko's Blue Monday Jam at HotHouse. It's coming out next month on Jazz Me records. Her weekly jam session--it's the last of the year, 'cause she's taking next week off--includes saxophonists Clark Dean and Sam Burkhardt along with a new lineup of guests each show. The cover charge is $5, and things get under way at 8:30 at the club, 1565 N. Milwaukee. Call 235-2334 for more.

Tuesday 20

Supporters of the workers who've been locked out of the Staley sugar plant in Decatur are happy that Miller has dumped Staley as a source for corn sweetener in its proudly proclaimed "union-made beer." But they note that 732 Staley strikers and their families, out of work for 16 months, are facing a long winter. They're organizing a caravan to Decatur today, where they'll meet up with other labor support groups from throughout the midwest. If you're interested in tagging along, meet at 12:30 PM at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 705, 300 S. Ashland. You can also drop off donations of canned goods at the New World Resource Center, 1476 W. Irving Park (348-3370) or the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood (465-8005). Call 549-3147 for more.

Wednesday 21

The Excalibur Shakespeare Company describes itself as "a multiracial, nonunion contemporary and classical chamber theater for hire." They're presenting an evening of holiday-themed theater, including a dramatic reading of poems and stories by Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales and More Tales, and a one-act by "little theater" playwright and Goodman Theatre namesake Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, Dust of the Road. The show runs Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 8 PM at Hidden Stages Chicago, 500 W. Cermak, through December 30. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 455-9031 for reservations.

"Everything sounds better when it's poured through the samba blender." That's Monty "Sugarloaf" Mattachine, band director of Samba-Bamba!, the half-jokey, half-serious samba assault machine now playing at Vinyl on Wednesday nights at 9:30. Mattachine is also known as Richard Knight, a longtime Chicago club impresario: in the band he's teamed with cabaret singer Kirsten Gustafson. The show's free. Vinyl, a restaurant and nightclub, is at 1615 N. Clybourn; call 587-8469 for more.

Thursday 22

Flamenco--the music and dance of the Gypsies--is said to have its roots in Andalusian, Arabic, and Jewish folk music, but some experts believe it was also influenced by Muslim religious chants. Local dancer and teacher Karen Stelling rounds up some friends for A Flamenco Holiday Celebration at 12:15 today in the theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. They'll perform to both Spanish holiday music and flamenco tunes, and Stelling will talk about Christmas traditions in Spain. It's free. Call 744-6630 for more.

"Some films cost an arm and a leg to produce," says local filmmaker Jerry Vasilatos. "Mine just cost a leg." The dark humor--Vasilatos did indeed lose a leg in a 1986 accident--is ameliorated by the fact that an out-of-court settlement allowed him to produce his dream project, a 48-minute short feature called Solstice, which has been picked up by the Lifetime cable channel for screening this holiday season. You can see Vasilatos's story of a Christmas Eve in Chicago on a big screen tonight at 7:30 with that other inspirational holiday offering, It's a Wonderful Life, at the Copernicus Cultural and Civic Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. There'll also be a holiday sing-along with organ accompaniment between the two films. Tickets cost $6, $5 for children and seniors; call 777-8898 for more.

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