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Friday 8/27 - Thursday 9/2

AUGUST

By Cara Jepsen

27 FRIDAY Ukrainian writer Mykola Khvylovy's 1924 short novel Me focused on a member of the communist secret police who must choose between his political beliefs and his mother's life. The story reflected Khvylovy's own growing disillusionment with Soviet authorities who banned the work of artists opposed to Ukrainian assimilation. Tonight TheaterClub/Kyiv will perform a one-hour show based on the novel as part of the Chicago Cultural Center's "World in a Weekend" series on Kiev. Performances are in Ukrainian with English subtitles. It's at 8:30 (and at 7 tomorrow and 5 on Sunday) at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). It's free.

"We attack with laughter and reason, in song and in mime, every form of oppression and injustice," said Italian playwright Dario Fo when he accepted the Nobel Prize for literature in 1997. He was speaking of his collaboration with his wife, Franca Rame, and their use of satire. The pair wrote the five sexually charged monologues that make up Orgasmo Adulto Escapes From the Zoo. Italian actress Francesca Fanti stars in the one-woman show. It opens tonight at 8 at the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont. Tickets are $18.50. Call 773-327-5252.

28 SATURDAY Tickets to see the Dalai Lama speak at the Field Museum are sold out, but at press time there were still seats left for a panel discussion he'll take part in this afternoon. Joining him to discuss "Facing the 21st Century: Bridging Personal Consciousness and Global Concerns" will be Emotional Intelligence author Daniel Goleman, University of Chicago astronomy and astrophysics chair Michael Turner, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills. Bill Kurtis moderates; the $125 tickets benefit the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago. It's from 1:30 to 3 in the James Simpson Theatre in the Field Museum, Roosevelt Road and Lake Shore Drive. Call 312-665-7552 for tickets.

Local artist Michael Hernandez de Luna convinced 60 artists, including Andres Serrano and J.S.G. Boggs, to use the form of the Mexican retablo, a small religious painting on metal, to explore sexual themes. The results, which de Luna calls "sextablos," range from cartoonlike to dead serious. They're on view at a new exhibit called Sextablos: Works on Metal. The free opening reception is tonight from 5 to 11 (the exhibit runs through October 16) at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5307 S. Hyde Park Boulevard (773-324-5520).

29 SUNDAY Along with traditional contests like steer and bareback bronco riding, barrel racing, chute dogging, and team roping, this weekend's Windy City Rodeo offers some unusual twists--such as the wild drag race, steer decorating, and goat dressing. The Illinois Gay Rodeo Association-sanctioned event takes place Saturday and today from 10 to 5 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, Route 120 at Route 45 in Grayslake. Tickets are $15 per day and benefit six local charities. Call 773-529-4962 for details.

A few weeks ago Lisa Alvarado told the Reader's Ben Joravsky about her new chapbook of poems, The Housekeeper's Diary, based on her experiences working as a maid for an affluent Gold Coast family. She'll read from it at tonight's book-release party and benefit for her independent publishing house, La Onda Negra Press. Other readers include Marvin Tate, Elizabeth Marino, Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, and Cassandra Fay Smith. Singer Allyssa Y. Jones will also perform. It's from 5 to 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Admission is $10, which includes a buffet.

30 MONDAY Eight performers from Thresholds psychiatric rehabilitation center spent three months in workshops with professional actors to create It All Started With an Apple, a theater piece based on memories of food. "It was practical," says director Larry Grimm. "The theater had another show that had a kitchen as a set." It'll be performed tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday at 8 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells. Tickets are $5; call 773-281-3800, ext. 2705.

Thirty-five years ago B-movie director Larry Buchanan (Mars Needs Women) went to Texas to make the Bare Witch Project. According to the Psychotronic Film Society, The Naked Witch is based on a "'factual' witch legend." It'll be screened tonight at 8 on video at the Liar's Club, 1665 W. Fullerton. Admission is free. Call 773-665-1110 for more.

31 TUESDAY Lawrence Friedman, author of Identity's Architect: A Biography of Erik Erikson, says that some of the late psychologist's theories about juvenile crime may help shed light on contemporary tragedies. Friedman will elaborate tonight at a discussion called Avoiding Littletons in the New School Year: Erik Erikson's Perspectives on Parenting and Juvenile Delinquency, at which he'll also sign copies of his book. The free event starts at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564).

After the United Methodist Church suspended the Reverend Gregory Dell last month for performing a marriage ceremony between two gay men, his congregation at the Broadway United Methodist Church hired him as director of All Things Charity, a national organization formed in resistance to the church's policies on sexual orientation. Dell will give a free lecture on "Taking a Stand" tonight from 7 to 9 at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. Call 773-792-4140 for more.

SEPTEMBER

1 WEDNESDAY The 32 100-foot-long strings of Bill Close's giant Earth Harp 1999 run from the top of the northwest corner of the Field Museum down to the terrace. Today through the end of September Close or other members of the MASS Ensemble will be on hand from 11 to 3 to show museum visitors how to move their hands along the strings to play it. The group will give a free performance at 8 next Saturday, when the museum opens its "Sounds From the Vaults" exhibit, in which visitors can digitally "play" ancient instruments. They're at the Field Museum, Roosevelt at Lake Shore Drive (312-665-7100).

2 THURSDAY Not all of the projects that are part of the near-south-side building boom are for wealthy tenants: a new nine-story building on Wabash will house single-room-occupancy units, in an attempt to preserve the area's social diversity. Architect Ben Weese of Weese Langley Architects will discuss that plan and the Art Institute's renovation of its Allerton building at a Friends of Downtown brown-bag lunch. It's at noon at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 312-726-4031 for details.

In Volker Schlondorff's film The Ogre (1996), John Malkovich stars as a man who is, depending on your point of view, either a child-snatching Nazi monster or a vulnerable soul who loves children but shows it in all the wrong ways. It will be screened tonight at 6:30 and 8:45 at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton (773-281-4114).

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