By Cara Jepsen
Osaka Mikoshi, a Japanese women's dance troupe whose members perform while carrying a 450-pound shrine on their shoulders, will entertain at 10:30 and 2 today, tomorrow, and Sunday as part of the Japan Festival at the Field Museum. The fest also includes Japanese films for children, performances by taiko drummers, and demonstrations of paper-doll making and martial arts. It runs from 10 to 4:30 today through Sunday at the museum, Roosevelt and Lake Shore Drive. An admission charge of $5--$3 for students and children--gets you into the museum and fest. Call 332-6199 for exact times.
I once knew a guy whose roommate had the most fabulous collection of Barbie dolls, clothes, and accessories. A large hall closet served as a showcase for the dolls, with a different scene on each shelf. The Joe & Marl All-Barbie Doll Sale and Show will be a far cry from the wonders of that closet, but at least it's something. It promises Barbies of all styles, from the stiff-kneed 1959 version to the strange permutations we see at toy stores today. Joe Blitman and Marl Davidson will also conduct free Barbie appraisals. It takes place from 10 to 4 today at the Ramada Plaza Hotel O'Hare, 6600 N. Mannheim in Rosemont. Admission is $5, $2 for children. Call 708-827-5131.
While the lower forms of humanity are across town sweating and waiting in line to buy $3 pickles on a stick, the city's snootier residents will be sipping champagne and discussing art at this weekend's Newberry Festival of the Arts, billed as an "upscale festival of the arts as unique as the Gold Coast itself." Live classical music and gourmet food will enhance the mood of the festival, which features work by painters, sculptors, designers, and photographers. Musical guests include violinist and media darling Rachel Barton, who performs at 6 this evening. The festival takes place today and tomorrow from noon to dusk at Washington Square Park, Clark and Delaware. Admission is $4, $2 for children and seniors. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the park, which is the oldest in the city. Call 642-7007.
A few years ago women in New York starting holding an annual dyke march to protest male-dominated gay pride parades. As usual Chicago has taken a while to catch up. But in response to the harassment of a number of hairy-pitted, topless female marchers in last year's pride parade, the Lesbian Avengers have organized the Chicago Dyke March, which promises a safe forum for women of all shapes, sizes, and stages of undress. A kickoff rally starts tonight at 7:30 at Broadway and Melrose. The parade starts at 8 and will move south on Broadway to Diversey and then east to a postmarch rally in Lincoln Park. It's free; call 409-3705.
The mid-south-side neighborhood once known as Bronzeville encompasses a three-and-a-half-mile strip of century-old mansions and graystones that was the center of Chicago's thriving black middle-class community during the first half of the century; activist Ida B. Wells, publisher John H. Johnson, and author Richard Wright once called the neighborhood home. While many of the buildings are now in disrepair, there has been a move toward restoration in recent years. Today's Restoring Bronzeville historic house tour will offer attendees the chance to look at some of those newly restored and remodeled homes and landmarks as well as some projects in progress. Buses will depart from Corpus Christi Church, 50th and King Drive, at 1. The tour ends at 5 with a party in the church courtyard. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 today. Call 924-1330.
On a certain level Candace Gingrich is to Newt what Billy Carter was to Jimmy--only she's an articulate lesbian activist, not a buffoon. The Speaker of the House's half sister will be the special guest at the Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade today. Gingrich will speak at a rally afterward. The parade starts at 2 from the corner of Halsted and Belmont and travels north on Halsted, south on Broadway, and then east on Diversey to Sheridan. The rally, which will include musical entertainment, takes place in Lincoln Park, at 3000 N. Lake Shore Drive. It's free; call 348-8243.
Quilting is one of those American pastimes that no one I know seems to have the time or patience for these days. But the Pea Ridge Purties quiltmakers in the Appalachian Mountains are carrying on the tradition. An exhibit of their work, American Traditions: Pea Ridge Purties Mini-Quilts, opens today and features small quilts with patriotic themes. The baby-size quilts are made of calicoes and broadcloth and aged with natural dyes. The exhibit, which runs through July 31, is open from 10 to 7 at Sawbridge Studios, 406 N. Clark. It's free; call 828-0055.
Racial freedom and critical attention were among the reasons Paris became a mecca for African-American artists after World War II. Explorations in the City of Light: African-American Artists in Paris, 1945-1965, an exhibit opening today at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, features 70 paintings and sculptures from seven artists who worked in Paris during that period: Barbara Chase-Riboud, Harold Cousins, Beauford Delaney, Herbert Gentry, Lois Mailou Jones, Larry Potter, and School of the Art Institute alum Edward Clark. The exhibit, which runs through August 29, can be seen today from 10 to 7. It's free; call 744-1424.
Sculptor and painter Natalie Niblack paints on paper castings of male torsos and says her sculptures question the patriarchal assumption of dominance over nature. Ann Rosenthal uses brightly colored photocopied images to focus on environmental abuse and society's capacity for self-destruction. The work of the two Seattle artists will be featured in "Views of the Fatherland," which opens today from 11 to 5. The exhibit, which examines public and private relationships to the land, runs through July 27 at Artemisia, 700 N. Carpenter. It's free; call 226-7323.
No Fourth of July celebration is complete without fireworks--the night before the big day. This evening's Independence Eve Fireworks Spectacular features music by the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and the United States Army Chorus. The festivities start tonight at 7:30 in Grant Park, Columbus at Jackson. Fireworks begin at 9:30. It's free; call 744-3370.
For the last 15 years FitzGerald's has been the home of the American Music Festival, a Fourth of July roots-rock extravaganza that attracts a plethora of beer-drinking music aficionados. The fest, which kicks off today and runs through Saturday, has two stages--one in the club and one in the parking lot; there's also a Cajun-American barbecue each day. Today's performers are the Chuck Hedges Quintet, the Derailers, Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys, Alejandro Escovedo, and an unannounced group from Austin. It runs from 4:30 PM to 2 AM at FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt Road in Berwyn. Tickets are $15, $12 for those who arrive before 6. Call 708-788-6670.
Every year around this time my grandmother dragged me and my cousins to the drum and bugle corps competition at the local high school football field. Although we always put up a fuss about going, it was usually pretty cool--all the bright flags, the drums, the precision, the music that sounded like Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk." Tonight a drum and bugle corps competition pits the Rosemont Cavaliers, who won last year's international world championship, against seven other groups. It takes place at 7 at Dyche Stadium at Northwestern University, 1501 Central in Evanston. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door; $5 in advance for children, $7 at the door. Call 847-328-2082.
Will County offers an alternative to the loud, scary, city-under-siege circle of hell that is the Fourth of July in Chicago. Crappie, largemouth bass, bluegills, and channel catfish are among the fish in Monee Reservoir, which is operated by the Will County Forest Preserve. Visitors can rent pedal boats, rowboats, and fishing poles and purchase fishing supplies and state fishing licenses. The lake is open from 6 AM to 8 PM and is located on Ridgeland Avenue, west of Route 50 and south of Pauling Road. There's no entrance fee. Call 708-534-8499.