The Museum of Contemporary Art shows off its wowza new building today in what's described as a family program about how a new museum is built. The session meets in the playground on Chicago Avenue just west of the new galleries under construction at 220 E. Chicago. Attendees will hear how the museum came to be and get a tour of the site. Things get under way at noon; it's free. Call 280-2660 for details.
We've seen plenty of book tours come through town, but this is the first magazine tour we've run across. Deneuve mag--the upscale lesbian-oriented monthly--has sent out a number of its top personnel to meet with readers in bookstores across the country this month. The entourage will be at People Like Us Books, 3321 N. Clark, from 6 to 8 tonight to answer questions, confer with prospective writers and photographers, and pass out copies of the magazine. It's free. Call 248-6363 for more.
With their show The Female Gaze, organizers at Woman Made Gallery are trying to take the nude out of the realm of "the male gaze." The show features male and female nudes by 15 artists from ten states working in everything from wood to multimedia. It opens tonight with a free reception from 7 to 10 at the gallery, 4646 N. Rockwell. The show runs through August 30. Call 588-4317 for more.
All but the most devoted conspiracists still believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in his nefarious deed, but a couple of recent books demonstrate that he had some weird dealings with intelligence agencies in both the U.S. and the former USSR. You've probably heard about Oswald's Tale, Norman Mailer's reconstruction of Oswald's life in Russia, based on newly opened KGB files. Now here's John M. Newman, a history and poli sci prof at the University of Maryland who has 20 years of military-intelligence experience under his belt, with his book Oswald and the CIA, which is also based on newly declassified files. Newman will give a free talk about his research at 7:30 this evening at Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey. Call 871-9004 for details.
If you're in the market for some home dungeon equipment or personal bondage devices and missed the S and M smorgasbord Bizarre-o-rama, take heart: it's time for Bizarre-o-rama 2. It's at the same location--5145 N. Milwaukee--and it's twice as big this time, organizers say. You can browse among leather ware, cuffs, collars, whips, clamps, and other possible components of your own personal fun machine from 10 to 4 today. Admission is $5; call 588-8242 for details.
The Last Pitcher Show, Lill Street Gallery's tribute to "one of pottery's most expressive forms," opens today with a free reception that's part of the center's ongoing 20th-anniversary activities. You can check out pitchers pitched by more than 30 sculptors from across the country, many of them Lill Street artists in residence, from noon to 4 at the gallery, 1021 W. Lill. Call 477-6185 for details.
The International Cinema Museum notes the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima today with a one-time-only lineup of films, including newsreels from 1945, an army documentary on the development and use of the bomb, propaganda cartoons from the era, a 16-minute look at the destruction of Kyoto narrated by Bing Crosby, and a government short on civil defense procedures hosted by Edward R. Murrow. The program, Atomic Sunday, starts at 2 at the museum, 319 W. Erie. It's $5, $3 for kids. Call 654-1426.
Meanwhile, down south at the University of Chicago--a key player in the development of the bomb--activists have two services planned to commemorate today's anniversary. At 3 the Henry Moore sculpture on Ellis between 56th and 57th, which marks the site of the first controlled nuclear reaction, will be decorated with paper cranes made by kids from all over the Chicago area. At 4:30 Studs Terkel emcees a ceremony in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn. Featured speakers include Hideko Tamura Snider, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, Leo Seren, a Manhattan Project scientist, and Kurt Vonnegut. It's free. Call 362-0050 for more.
Voices continue to be raised to protest the execution--just ten days away--of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the journalist convicted of murdering a Philadelphia police officer. Tonight at 7 his supporters, who call the planned execution a "legalized lynching," are holding a "multimedia theater and art event" complete with poetry, readings from Abu-Jamal's book Live From Death Row, computer hookups with support contingents in other cities, and an appearance by Aaron Freeman. It's at the Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont; admission is pay what you can. Call 883-1090.
Prolific and popular sci-fi novelist C.J. Cherryh stops in at 6 tonight at the SF shop Stars Our Destination, 1021 W. Belmont, to sign copies of her newest novel, Rider at the Gate, a fantasy that envisions a new universe where certain folks develop a psychic rapport with horses. She'll also be talking about her fantasy epic Fortress in the Eye of Time and other books. It's free. Call the store at 871-2722 for details.
Teresa Valentino says her one-woman show Fonky Ass Bitch "covers, among other things, her kooky father, the adventures of three young punkettes growing up in the New Town area, working on a construction site, and coming into her own as a woman of the 90s." The show's running Wednesdays at 7 through September 6 at Cafe Voltaire, 3231 N. Clark. Tickets are $8. Call 528-3136 for details.
For its annual Year/Book celebration the Guild Complex and Saint Xavier University let Illinois writers who've published a book this year take the stage. The lineup of readers thus far includes authors Reginald Gibbons (Sweetbitter), Mary Jane Miller (Going the Distance), Martin Litvin (The Impresario), and Daniel X. O'Neil (Memotoallemployees). The event is at 7:30 at the Pangaea Cafe and Gallery, 233 W. Huron. Admission is $4. Call 278-2210 for more.
Maggie Daley's summer arts program Gallery 37 gets its name from its site--the infamous block 37, directly across State from Marshall Field's--which was razed by developers but never built upon. Hosted by movie star Joan Cusak, this year's Gallery 37 fund-raiser, Art on the Block, features artwork from the high school kids who've worked at Gallery 37 all summer, a raffle, "carnival-type" food, and music from the Insiders. The event is from 5:30 to 9 tonight at the site; the entrance is on State between Randolph and Washington. Tickets are $30. Call 744-8925.
The celebrated Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil--whose new show Alegria gets reviewed by Achy Obejas in Section One this week--combines jaw-dropping acrobatics and tumbling with a dark, sometimes nightmarish art direction. While the group's extravagant high-wire technique can hardly be called subtle, its approach to clowning and lighting is somewhat reserved: the result is an alternately visceral and cerebral excitement. Tonight you can check out the show and benefit the Howard Brown Health Center. Tickets are $50 and $75, with the latter getting you preferred seating and a reception beforehand. The show starts at 7:30 at the Cirque du Soleil tent, just south of North Pier at 455 N. McClurg Court. Call the center at 871-5777 for more information.
So august a personage as Mikhail Gorbachev says that the new work by Sri Chinmoy, Garden of the Soul, "will be able to inspire . . . while simultaneously helping the noble cause of the spiritual renewal of mankind." The self-styled "meditation master" himself will be at Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey, at 8 tonight to talk about the book. It's free. Call 871-9004 for details.