Friday 10/4 - Thursday 10/10
By Cara Jepsen
4 FRIDAY This summer a jury consisting of three adults and three children sifted through 350 films and videos from 40 countries to determine which 150 to include in this year's Chicago International Children's Film Festival. Kids who attend the ten-day event can vote on their favorite film; the most popular will be screened at the best-of-the-fest awards ceremony next Sunday, October 13. The festival also includes workshops, demonstrations, and appearances by actors and other film professionals. The event kicks off at tonight's reception at 6:30 at the First Chicago Center, One First National Plaza, 38 S. Dearborn; following the reception at 7:30 will be a screening of The Wind in the Willows, featuring the voices of Vanessa Redgrave and Michael Palin. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance; call 281-9075.
In his new book, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, Harvard professor, sociologist, and former University of Chicago faculty member William Julius Wilson examines what happens when blue-collar jobs leave the city and middle-class residents desert urban communities for the suburbs. Wilson, whom Time named one of America's 25 most influential people, will discuss his findings tonight at 7 at Breasted Hall in the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th. It's free; call 752-4381.
5 SATURDAY Monday marks the 125th anniversary of the great Chicago fire, which in 36 hours destroyed 25,000 buildings over 1,000 acres and caused $200 million in damage--in 1871 dollars. Today's commemoration at Rosehill Cemetery will begin with a slide show and lecture in May Chapel on the exhibit "Night of the Orange Rain: The Great Chicago Fire and Rebirth of a City," a photographic survey documenting the fire's devastation. Speakers include Chicago Fire Department historian Kenneth Little and Northwestern University professor Carl Smith, who wrote a book on the fire. After the lecture a parade will march to the cemetery's Fireman's Benevolent Monument for a memorial service honoring firefighters who died in the line of duty. The events begin at 10 at the cemetery, 5800 N. Ravenswood. It's free; call 561-5940.
Guests are encouraged to dress up in masks and costumes at Lookingglass Theatre's Mad Hatter's Ball! benefit tonight. The annual Alice in Wonderland-themed gala features a performance by the company and live music by Stubby Phillips and the Zydecats. The ball starts at 7 at the Palace Theater, Bismarck Hotel, 171 W. Randolph, and includes an open bar, silent auction, dancing, croquet, and dinner. Tickets are $75, $150 if you want to attend the champagne high tea at 6, or $25 if you arrive after 10 (open bar, dancing). Call 477-9257 for more.
6 SUNDAY Today is one of the last days you can register to vote before the November 5 elections. To make it easier, the Board of Election Commissioners has set up 500 registration sites around the city, including booths at Jewel/Osco, Dominick's, Wendy's, and Walgreens. You must be 18 and bring two pieces of ID, one with your home address. It's from 11 to 5 today, and it's free. Call 269-7900 for locations and more info.
Who was the real Mary Todd Lincoln and what did she have in common with other first ladies? Four panelists--including Jean Baker, author of Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography--will discuss the myths and facts today at a session called Maligned and Misunderstood? Mary Todd Lincoln and the Office of the First Lady, held in conjunction with the exhibit The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America, which runs through February 13. It's at 2 at the Chicago Historical Society at Clark Street and North Avenue. It's free with museum admission--$3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students, $1 for children 12 and under, and free for children 6 and under. Call 642-4600 for more.
7 MONDAY An estimated 3,000 women in the U.S. lose their lives to domestic violence each year. To remember those victims and observe the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Friends of Battered Women and Their Children will light up a one-mile stretch of Lake Shore Drive tonight with 3,000 luminarias (paper bags with sand and candles inside). There's no march or speakers, just a silent vigil that starts at 5 when the candles are lit and ends at 9 when they're extinguished. It takes place on Lake Shore Drive between North Avenue beach and Fullerton Avenue. It's free. Call 274-5232 if you'd like to volunteer to help light the candles.
8 TUESDAY "Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity." That's the motto for Noel Ignatiev's new book, Race Traitor, an anthology of poems, letters, essays, and interviews culled from the first five issues of a journal by the same name. It examines the white race as a historical rather than a natural category and calls for its abolition. Ignatiev, who also wrote How the Irish Became White, will discuss both books tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th Street. It's free; call 684-1300.
9 WEDNESDAY Husband-and-wife singing duo Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme recently created their own line of cookware--called the Gorme Collection, of course. Don't scoff--they actually won a design award. The happy couple will cook up a stir-fry, talk about what goes into designing pots and pans, and share their favorite recipes from noon to 1:30 today at Marshall Field's State Street store, 111 N. State. It's free; call 781-1000.
The latest celeb to jump on the autobiography bandwagon is Grammy-winning singer Patti LaBelle. Her memoir, Don't Block the Blessings, not only covers her more than three decades in the music business but also her extreme shyness growing up in southwest Philadelphia, her parents' violent breakup, and her three sisters' early death to cancer. She'll sign copies of her book at 7:30 at Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway. It's free; call 883-9119.
10 THURSDAY The truly depressed, of course, may not be able to pull themselves out of bed to attend today's depression screening at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. But for those who can make it, the screenings are free and confidential and will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 and 5 to 7 at the hospital, Superior and Fairbanks. Appointments are required; call 908-8400.
For the last three years the owners of Rosa's have been fighting a liquor license battle with the city that resulted in a 30-day suspension. Now that the legal disputes are over there are bills to pay and fun to be had. Tonight marks the end of the suspension and the beginning of Rosa's Family Reunion, a four-day event featuring blues performers, door prizes, a silent auction, a screening of a documentary about the club, and most important, mama Rosa's cooking. It starts at 6 at Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage, and includes performances by Lurrie Bell and Mack Simmons' Mojo Kings. The suggested donation is $10; call 342-0452 for more.
Dead Man Walking author Sister Helen Prejean, Roger & Me's Michael Moore, and linguist-philosopher Noam Chomsky are a few of the supporters of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, a network of activists who work to publicize death row cases and end capital punishment. Tonight Poi Energy Inc., the Waco Brothers, and Handsome Family play a Rock Against the Death Penalty benefit for CEDP. It starts at 9 at Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $8; call 409-7145.