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Friday 5/9 - Thursday 5/15

MAY

By Cara Jepsen

9 FRIDAY With a net worth of over a billion dollars, Indonesian developer Ciputra is one of those bona fide rags-to-riches stories: orphaned at the age of 12, Ciputra climbed out of poverty by convincing the government of Jakarta to go in with him on commercial real estate. His feats include the

development of 23 new cities and towns in his homeland. Aspiring Donald Trumps can hear him speak about the path to success tonight for free from 5 to 6 at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Crown Hall, 3360 S. State. Call 312-346-1500.

10 SATURDAY The old Riverview amusement park, once billed as the world's largest, was long ago replaced by a giant shopping area, but it lives in the hearts of countless city dwellers. They can (kind of) go home again tonight at Riverview Remembered: A Night of Nostalgia. The event will feature movies, slides, and organ music. It's tonight at 7:30 at the Gateway Theater, 5216 W. Lawrence. Tickets are $8 at the door‚ $7 in advance and for seniors. Call 773-763-3558 for more information.

11 SUNDAY "The hasheesh-eater knows what it is to be burned by salt fire, to smell colors, to see sounds, and much more frequently, to see feelings," wrote Fitz Hugh Ludlow in his 1857 book The Hasheesh Eater. By the 19th century, doctors also knew that hemp could treat headaches, nervous disorders, and insomnia. This weekend's free Back on the Grass! Windy City Hemp Fest will include an educational forum where the drug's medical, industrial, personal, and religious uses will be discussed. There'll also be bands, speakers, hemp vendors, drum circles, and people playing hackey-sack and fiddling with those sticks. It's from noon to 9 Saturday and today at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. For more details call 773-561-8337.

12 MONDAY Performance artist Sapphire's harrowing new novel involves Claireece Precious Jones, a poor, fat, illiterate, HIV-positive 16-year-old who was sexually molested by both parents. As if that weren't enough, Precious's mother beats her regularly, and Precious's two sons (one of whom has Down's syndrome) are the products of rape by her father. But Precious, who knows she's not stupid, forces herself to learn to read and write as the first step in rejecting the seemingly hopeless situation she's in. "You have to push," she explains. "And I do." The character was inspired in part by a woman Sapphire met while teaching literacy in an alternative public school program. She'll read from Push tonight at 7 at Breasted Hall in the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th. It's free; call 773-684-1300.

13 TUESDAY Was the concept of political correctness cooked up by conservatives trying to roll back the influence the left has had on college campuses since the 60s--an attempt to stifle debate and swing the pendulum back to a more mainstream, conservative way of thinking? Or do left-wing notions of multiculturalism dumb down admissions standards and stifle intellectual life on campus? Today John K. Wilson, author of The Myth of Political Correctness, and David O. Sacks, coauthor of The Diversity Myth, will go head-to-head in a free discussion on the topic of 'Political Correctness' on Campus: Myth or Reality? The sparks fly at 5 in the Chicago Authors Room at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. For more information, call 312-747-4600.

14 WEDNESDAY John M. Hagedorn, who has spent 15 years researching gangs in Milwaukee, says gang members are cut off from making any meaningful contributions to the mainstream political and economic spheres, so they've developed their own economy: at the heart of gang culture are old-fashioned American values like making money and trying to raise a family. Now, with gangs starting businesses and going into politics, one has to wonder if they're really going legit or just learning new ways to make a buck. Tonight at 7 Hagedorn will discuss Gangs, Jobs and Culture at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse at Blackhawk and Noble. A $5 donation is suggested. Call 773-278-0775 for more.

15 THURSDAY Compared to multiplexes, the Music Box theater is a piece of cinematic heaven. But the 650-seat north-side theater is dwarfed in comparison to the palaces built in the 20s and 30s. Theaters such as the Granada, the Uptown, the Nortown, the Oriental, and the Chicago were built to accommodate orchestras, stage shows, pipe organs, and thousands of audience members. What was it like going to the old palaces? Tonight Theatre Historical Society of America executive director Richard Sklenar will try to answer that question in a free slide show called Chicago Movie Palaces: The Architecture of Fantasy. It's at 7 at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln; call 312-744-7616.

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