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Friday 6/25 - Thursday 7/1

JUNE

By Cara Jepsen

25 FRIDAY Tonight local improvisers take their acts to the movies: cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, percussionist Michael Zerang, and guitarist Kevin Drumm will accompany four experimental films: Sidney Peterson's The Lead Shoes, from 1949; Hans Richter's 1928 movie, Ghosts Before Breakfast; Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, and James Agee's 1952 documentary about the Upper East Side, In the Street; and The Secret Garden by Phil Solomon, from 1988. Chicago Music/Experimental Film starts at 7 at the Kino-Eye Cinema at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; call 773-384-5533.

Synchronized swimming, first popularized in 40s movies by Esther Williams, received an infusion of attitude when Aerosmith incorporated it into its set at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards. Tonight 25 swimmers from Wright College's Center for Lifelong Learning will show off their moves in a water ballet called Gone Fishin'. It's at 7 at the Wright College north campus pool, 4300 N. Narragansett. Tickets are $3; call 773-481-8812.

During the renovation of its new space in Uptown, the Inspiration Cafe continued to serve breakfast daily and dinner four times a week in the basement of a church. The restaurant for the homeless will hold a fund-raiser in support of its new digs tonight from 9 to 11 at Circus, 901 W. Weed. Entertainment includes food, drinks, and music by Gayle Ritt. Tickets are $20; call 773-878-0981.

26 SATURDAY Ninety scroll paintings inspired by 17th-century Tibetan medical illustrations make up the Field Museum's new exhibit The Tibetan Art of Healing. Today's opening events include a mandala ceremony--in which a monk will begin creating the symbol for the universe using colored sand--plus storytelling, dance, and block-printing demonstrations. It all takes place from 10 to 2 at the museum, Roosevelt at Lake Shore Drive (312-322-9410). Admission is $7, $4 for students, seniors, and children.

Today entertainment attorneys Jim Zumwalt and Terri Baker, record producer Brad Wood, and Curt Smith of Tears for Fears will address "The Changing Face of the Music Industry" as part of this weekend's MOBfest, or Music Over Business Festival. Their panel's at 12:30; others, on "A & R in the New Millennium" and "Music and the Internet," follow. Admission to the three-day event, which also includes bands playing at several venues, is $50; today's panels take place at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn. Call 773-327-2529 for details.

For the past eight years the Neo-Futurists have created a special Les/Bi/Gay Pride edition of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind--"30 queer plays in 60 minutes"--in honor of the annual Gay Pride Parade (which is tomorrow). Tonight's performance at 8 benefits the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; there'll be another show at 11:30 as well as at 11:30 on Friday and 7 on Sunday. The Neo-Futurarium is at 5153 N. Ashland. Tickets are $4 plus the roll of a die ($5 to $10 total); call 773-275-5255.

27 SUNDAY At the center of this weekend's Street Machine Nationals custom car show are drag races featuring beefed-up rides from groups like the Chicago Wise Guys and the Nostalgia Super Stock Association as well as from regular folks who spend a lot of time in their garages. There will also be games, including volleyball and a spark-plug-change challenge. It's from 9 to 5 today (and Friday and Saturday) at Route 66 Raceway, 3200 S. Chicago in Joliet. Tickets are $16, $8 for children (two- and three-day passes are also available); call 317-236-6515.

Today performance artist Jack Peasley and poet and Critical Mass activist Jim Redd will present their work from 3 to 5 at the weekly North Avenue Beach Poets event. It happens under the willow trees south of the beach house at North and the lakefront. It's free; call 773-465-5460.

If you prefer to hear verse in smoky bars, winners of tonight's poetry slam finals at the Green Mill will go on to represent Chicago in the tenth annual national poetry slam championship held here in August. The elimination slam is at 7 at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway (773-878-5552); admission is $5.

28 MONDAY Organizers hope to collect 2,000 pints of blood at what they're billing as the world's largest blood drive. They'll attempt to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records (and cover an annual Fourth of July shortage) by luring people out with free food and health screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, and body fat. The drive is from 11 to 8 at Hyatt Regency Chicago's Wacker Hall, in the east tower at 141 E. Wacker. Call 800-486-0680 to make an appointment to donate.

29 TUESDAY In the 1860s wealthy citizens began settling into the area around Washington Square Park at Delaware and Dearborn. Most of their homes and churches burned down in the Chicago Fire, but the subsequent building boom traveled north and lasted well into the 1920s. Today's Gold Coast walking tour focuses on Astor Street. It starts at 6 at the Chicago Historical Society, Clark and North. It's $6. Call 312-642-4600, ext. 344, to sign up.

30 WEDNESDAY The Guild Complex's ongoing tenth anniversary celebration includes a multimedia event at the end of each month for ten months. The roster for tonight's installment, the fourth, features writer Sandra Jackson, Fred Lonberg-Holm's Light Box Orchestra, and Jesus "Chuy" Negrete, "one of the foremost authorities on Mexican-American folk songs." It's at 7:30 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division (773-296-1268, ext. 26); admission is $5.

For French television's "2000 Seen By..." film series, seven filmmakers created movies about what everyone keeps calling the last day of the millennium. The First Night of My Life, from Spain's Miguel Albaladejo, is a road movie set in a Madrid suburb. It will be shown with Tamas and Juli, a romance from Hungary's Ildiko Enyedi, at 9 tonight (and by itself tomorrow night) at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Admission is $7. Call 773-281-4114.

JULY

1 THURSDAY Sexuality, violence, human rights, gender, tolerance, and relationships are the issues addressed in First Breath, a show based on stories gathered in local workshops with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and "questioning" youth. This debut from the About Face Youth Theatre will be performed tonight at 8 (and runs through July 11) at the About Face Theatre, 3212 N. Broadway. Tickets are $16 to $26. Call 773-549-7943.

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