His Divaness the extraordinary RuPaul hits Unabridged Books tonight. "More than a supermodel," say the folks at the bookstore, "RuPaul is a role model who grew up in poverty and rose through the ranks to superstardom and a life of fame, riches, success, and (most importantly) glamour." The dance-pop star--singer of the hit "Supermodel"--will sign copies of his book Lettin' It All Hang Out at 7:30 at the store, 3521 N. Broadway. It's free; call 883-9119.
Tonight at the Old Town Barbara's Bookstore Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum delivers a personal travelogue, complete with slides, on his recent trip to France. He promises to include tales of the friends he saw and the parties he attended at the recent Cannes Film Festival, his impressions of the festival as an institution, his memories of having attended it in the 70s, and yes, even a few comments on the movies he saw there. His free talk, Report From Cannes, starts at 7:30 at the store, 1350 N. Wells. He'll also be signing copies of his books Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism and Moving Places: A Life at the Movies. Call 642-5044 for more.
Nightlines columnist Kathie Bergquist, known as a "semi-professional socializer," presents How to Meet Girls: Flick and Fauna Answer All, a theater piece running tonight through Sunday at Zebra Crossing Theatre. Drawing from "her many years of Mead-like sociological observations of lesbian bar and dating cultures," the show is at 8 PM nightly at the theater, 4223 N. Lincoln, and costs $8; call 248-6401.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which collects food for more than 500 local shelters, social agencies, soup kitchens, and pantries, is raising money today with its Walk to Fight Hunger. Channel Two's Corey McPherrin will be joining hundreds of walkers this morning at the totem pole in Lincoln Park at Addison. Registration is at 8:30; the 5K walk starts at 9:30. Call 247-3663 for information and pledge forms.
Labor, student, and community groups are assembling all over town today to march for governmental policies that create living-wage jobs. One group meets at 10:30 at Division, Milwaukee, and Ashland, another at 11 at 300 S. Ashland, and a third leaves from Racine and Madison at 11:30. All three convene at 12:30 in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, for a rally. Call 829-8300 or 455-1500.
You can sip wine, munch on pizza, and hear how to build up an art collection today as the New Group of the Museum of Contemporary Art offers its annual gallery walk in River North. The day starts at 11 AM with a talk by curator Amanda Cruz at Scoozi, 410 W. Huron. After brunch you'll get dragged around to about a half-dozen local galleries, including TBA Exhibition Space, Carl Hammer, Rhona Hoffman, Space, and Zolla/Lieberman. It's $25. Reservations must be made by 5 PM on Friday. Call 280-5167.
Consider this item more a warning than a recommendation: punster Robert Boxer and illustrator Darnell Towns will talk about their books Boxer's Shorts: More Than Just a Brief Attempt at Humor and Boxer's Shorts: Round 2 at Barnes & Noble today. Boxer, who's a Chicago allergist, has the dubious distinction of being named punster of the year by a group called the International Save the Pun Foundation; Towns is an animator and filmmaker as well as an illustrator. Their free talk starts at 3 at the store, 659 W. Diversey. Call 871-9004.
In conjunction with its exhibit GIs Remember: World War II and the Liberation of the Concentration Camps, the Spertus Museum offers a day of poetry, talk, and music starting at 1:30 with a reading from National Book Award-winning poet Lisel Mueller. A 2:15 symposium looks at the role of the arts in World War II, and at 4 the Chicago Winds Quartet presents "Music of the World War II Era," featuring works by Bernstein, Prokofiev, and Gershwin. It's all at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan. Admission to the concert is $15, $10 for members, $5 for students and seniors. The reading and symposium are free. Call Spertus at 322-1747 for info or Mostly Music at 667-1618 for concert tickets.
The Annoyance Theatre wants you to help send two fools to Scotland, by which it means it's trying to raise money to send its long-running presentation The Idiotic Death of Two Fools to the hep Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The play deals with some extreme tensions between two mistrustful roommates. If you see it tonight you also get to party with the Annoyance clan and grab up tickets for a raffle. Tickets are $10, but in keeping with the fund-raising nature of the event, they say they'll take more. It's at 8:30 at the theater, 3747 N. Clark. Call 929-6200 for more.
As Letterman used to be fond of saying, "Dem bats is smart--they use radar." You can find out how smart today at Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats, an exhibition that recently opened at the Field Museum. The exhibit promises to dispel popular misconceptions about bats and show visitors the world as bats see it: upside down. It also includes live neotropical fruit bats on loan from Brookfield Zoo. Admission is $3 on top of the general admission price, which is $5 for adults and $3 for children, students, and seniors. General admission is free on Wednesday. The museum, Lake Shore Drive at Roosevelt, is open 9 to 5. Call 922-9410.
Berlin's Women Obsession night, the club's monthly lesbian luau, celebrates Gay and Lesbian Pride Week--which culminates in next Sunday's parade in Lakeview--with a performance by singer Cym Lajoy. The bar opens at 5 PM. Lajoy performs sometime after 11. It's free. Berlin is at 954 W. Belmont. Call 348-4975.
Chicago's chapter of the American Institute of Architects sponsors a lecture today--Mr. Daley's Neighborhood: A Look at Central Station, Dearborn Park II, and the Making of New City Neighborhoods--whose title refers to hizzoner's new digs in the south Loop. This evening's free talk is a tag-team affair, with both architect Laurence Booth and developer Dan McLean giving an overview of the redevelopment efforts in the area. It's at 5:30 PM in the second-floor theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 670-7770.
At the June meeting of the Chicago Area Internet Society (CAIS) Victoria Holland of Adobe will talk about using Adobe Acrobat to publish on the Web, and Chris Icide of Midwest Information Super Highway Access Group (MISHA) will discuss Web servers, how they work, and how to get your html documents on one. The group requests a $5 donation from working people, but they're willing to let students in free. Doors open at 6; the program starts at 6:30 in the Rubloff Auditorium of Loyola University's downtown campus, 25 E. Pearson. For further info about CAIS call 787-3966, ext. 200, or send E-mail to email@example.com.
Also in honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Week, Second City, which has never done a gay-themed revue before, preempts its regular show tonight for The Second City: Out of the Closet. The show starts at 8 at Second City E.T.C. at Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells. Admission is $12; proceeds benefit Season of Concern. Call 642-8189.
In early 1985, when Joliet native Father Lawrence Martin Jenco was director of Catholic Relief Services in Beirut, he was grabbed off the street and bundled into the trunk of a car by Shiite Muslims. He'd been mistaken for someone else but nonetheless endured a grueling 19-month captivity. The story of this ordeal--and of his evolving feelings toward his captors--make up Jenco's book Bound to Forgive: The Pilgrimage to Reconciliation of a Beirut Hostage. He'll talk about the book today at noon at the U.S. Catholic Bookstore, 205 W. Monroe. It's free. Call 855-1908.
Scarcely two weeks have gone by since tens of thousands of American booksellers took over McCormick Place for their annual convention and trade show; now nearly as many librarians are converging on the same hall for the 114th annual conference of the Chicago-based American Library Association, whose 55,000 members make it the largest library group in the world. The conference includes hundreds of panels, meetings, and programs and a 1,300-exhibit trade show; admission to the trade show is free of charge. Hours are 1 to 6 today, 8 to 6 Friday through Tuesday, and 8 to 1 Wednesday. Behind the scenes, those who've paid the full price of admission will give out the organization's Newberry and Caldecott medals for children's books and hear speakers like U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, National Endowment of the Humanities chair Sheldon Hackney, novelist Jane Hamilton, and locals like Studs Terkel, Michael Warr, and Angela Jackson. McCormick Place is at Cermak and Lake Shore Drive. Call 944-6780 for details and a complete schedule.
The New City YMCA Local Economic & Employment Development Council (LEED) received a grant from the city to work with businesses and residents to create a manageable plan for developing the manufacturing districts in the Clybourn and Elston corridors and on Goose Island. Tonight they're sponsoring a three-hour cruise through that area on the North Branch of the Chicago River. It leaves at 5:30 from 1300 N. North Branch. Tickets are $50 with proceeds going to benefit LEED's employment and training programs for residents of Cabrini-Green, West Town, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square. Call 266-5411 for reservations.