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Friday 7/16 - Thursday 7/22


By Cara Jepsen

16 FRIDAY When the Chinese brought Buddhism to Japan 1,500 years ago they also brought tea, which monks used as a meditation aid. Eventually the nobility got wind of the stuff and began holding extravagant tea-tasting festivals. In answer to their "tea snobbery," 16th-century tea master Sen Rikyu set down the rules for the humble Japanese tea ceremony, which will be demonstrated today at the Japanese Information Center, suite 1000 at 737 N. Michigan. Chanoyu: Japanese Way of Tea takes place at noon and 7. Admission is $10, $5 for students. Call 773-794-0504.

Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, is meant to be recited by a son, but more and more wo-men are taking on the role. Today Rochelle L. Millen, professor of religion at Wittenberg University in Ohio, will discuss gender issues in Judaism at a lecture called Millennium Momentum: Women's Rights and Rites in Jewish Life. The discussion runs from noon to 2 at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan. Admission is $12, which includes lunch. Call 312-322-1769 for reservations.

Marlo Morgan claims her 1994 book Mutant Message Down Under is a memoir of her life-changing experience with an Australian aboriginal tribe, but aboriginal groups have protested what they say is a false, exploitative, and insulting piece of fiction. Nevertheless, Morgan's career as a dispenser of ancient platitudes appears to be flourishing. She'll lead a workshop on Your Life's Purpose, purportedly based on the aborigines' secrets for good living. It's from 7 to 10 at Transitions Learning Center, 1750 N. Kingsbury. Admission is $45. Call 312-952-7323 to sign up.

17 SATURDAY Tonight the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee and Casa Nicaragua will hold a fund-raiser for aid projects in Nicaragua and relief for victims of Hurricane Mitch. Performers include Chuy Negrete, Beatriz Badikian, and Carlos Cortez. It starts at 8 at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. Admission is $7 to $12 in advance or $9 to $14 at the door. Call 773-276-5626 for more.

Christina Dunne, a Second City alum, makes her living by creating mosaics on mirrors, birdbaths, vases, clocks, lamp bases, and tables and selling them for big bucks to people like Tom Hanks, Courteney Cox, and Shirley MacLaine. Dunne will discuss her mosaic crafts and give tips on customizing furniture Friday and today from 11 to 4 at Vintage Pine, 904 W. Blackhawk (312-943-9303). It's free.

For the past two weeks members of the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater have been leading classes in flamenco dance and singing, classical and regional Spanish dance, and castanets techniques at Northeastern Illinois University's American Spanish Dance Festival. As their finale this weekend, the group will perform for the public; tonight's "fiesta benefit" concert starts with a reception for the artists at 6:30, and the performance is at 8. Tickets are $25. It's in the NIU auditorium, 5500 N. Saint Louis. Call 773-794-2787.

18 SUNDAY Life will imitate Kevin Smith's film Chasing Amy, about the romantic life of a comic book artist, when Smith himself appears at this weekend's Wizard World: Chicago '99 comic convention. The promoters have also managed to gather an array of Star Wars actors that includes Ray Park (Darth Maul), David Prowse (Darth Vader), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). It takes place Friday and Saturday from 10 to 6 and today from 10 to 5 (Smith will sign comics at 11 and speak at noon) at the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Admission is $20 per day, or $40 for the whole shebang. Call 800-690-1669 for tickets.

The life of rebellious, debauched, brilliant French poet Charles Baudelaire is the subject of the 1991 film Les fleurs du mal, which takes its title from his best-known work. It will be shown today at noon in the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). At 2, UIC professor Marie-Odile Gauny Sweetser will discuss Baudelaire's writings. Both events are free, and part of the Cultural Center's "World in a Weekend" series installment on Paris.

19 MONDAY In East Timor, the UN has been hard at work organizing an August referendum on whether residents want to remain part of Indonesia, which annexed the country in 1976, or to become independent. But a few weeks ago, 100 pro-Indonesia militiamen attacked one of the UN's regional offices planning the vote. Today the East Timor Action Network will lead a protest at 3 at the Indonesian Consulate, 72 E. Randolph. It's free. Call 773-878-4033 for more.

20 TUESDAY If you can't schlepp to today's free collectible appraisal clinic at Butterfield & Dunning, that's OK--they also do photo appraisals via mail or E-mail. The auction house offers free appraisals on the first and third Tuesdays of every month from 9 to 1 at 441 W. Huron. Call 312-377-7500, ext. 434, for more.

David Greig's 1994 play Europe focuses on refugees fleeing an unnamed country who end up in an impoverished small town on the Macedonian border. It could have been written last month. Tickets for tonight's benefit preview are $25; that includes a reception before and after the play. Admission to the regular run is $10 to $15. It's at 8 at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre at Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan. Call 773-871-0442 for reservations.

21 WEDNESDAY The three things that affect the aging process most are hardening of the arteries, breakdown of the immune system, and social and environmental factors, says University of Chicago internist Michael Roizen. In his book Real Age: Are You as Young as You Can Be? Roizen suggests those old standbys--vitamins, exercise, less cholesterol and stress, and no smoking--to slow the process. He'll give more tips tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It's free.

During the two decades she's hosted NPR's Piano Jazz, Marian McPartland has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Andre Previn, and Tony Bennett, among many others. Tonight she'll join the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra to play standards by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin. The free concert starts at 7:30 at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson (312-742-4763).

22 THURSDAY Lifeguards from the city and the suburbs will rescue drowning "victims" and compete in paddleboard and rowing contests at tonight's preliminaries for the United States Lifesaving Association regional championship. They're at 6 PM at Montrose Beach, Montrose and the lakefront. It's free to watch. Call 312-747-0832.

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