Friday 9/24 - Thursday 9/30
By Cara Jepsen
24 FRIDAY A woman and her son new to the Chicago burbs befriend their neighbors, a single father and his hyperactive son. One of the boys is accidentally killed when the kids play with a hunting bow, and the aftermath of the tragedy is the focus of Maxine Chernoff's new book, A Boy in Winter. She'll read from it tonight at 7:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5223 N. Clark (773-769-9299). It's free.
Before Our Bodies, Ourselves, some women got their information from a series of books aimed at housewives called Woman Alive. The guides explained "things like how to deal with a husband who does a lot of business travel; how to feed the kids, clean the house, and think about a career; and what to do if your husband leaves you," says writer Allen Conkle, who started collecting the books after tripping across one in a thrift store several years back. He based his new show, Woman Alive: A Mockudrama, on their contents. The play opens tonight at 8:30 at SweetCorn Playhouse, 5113 N. Clark. Tickets are $8; call 773-665-0126.
25 SATURDAY Comedian Margaret Cho, star of the short-lived sitcom American Girl, lost 30 pounds in two weeks and ended up in the hospital with kidney failure after a network exec complained her face was "too round." The obligatory battle with drugs and alcohol that followed added to the material for her subsequent comeback, which culminated in an off-Broadway show. She'll perform tonight at 7:30 and 10:30 at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $21.50 to $36.50; call 773-472-0449. See the Critic's Choice in Section Two for more.
"Through alignment with natural law, citizens can be truly self-governing, and government can function with nature's efficiency," says the brochure for the Natural Law Party. In other words, the seven-year-old political movement promotes prevention-oriented health care and organic, sustainable agricultural practices, and is against the use of pesticides and medicines that cause side effects. Party member Jim Davis will explain how government can be "the collective consciousness of the people" tonight at 8 at the College of Complexes at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Admission is $3 plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120.
26 SUNDAY The devastation wrought by the Asian long-horned beetle doesn't seem to have put a damper on the annual Ravenswood Walking Tour, which takes place from 1 to 3:30 today. The free walk includes tours of factories and artists' studios, a concert at Century Mallet Instruments, and a visit to the Hermitage Avenue block party. Register at the parking lot at Wilson and Ravenswood; the tour kicks off from the Zephyr Ice Cream Restaurant across the street. Call 773-728-9769 for details.
In his new collection, Nappyheaded Blackgirls: New Aesthetic, A, poet Lasana Kazembe describes the title women as "nappyheaded neon fairies made up magically delicious / as nutritious as white hot sun rays on precious afrikan skin." Kazembe will read from and sign copies of the book today from 2 to 5 at Jazz 'n' Java, 3428 S. King Drive (312-791-1300). It's free.
Cartoonist Lynda Barry's new book, Cruddy, is told from the point of view of 16-year-old Roberta Rohbeson, an awkward teenager with a dad who is an alcoholic serial killer and a navy man "every goddamned inch right down to the end of my pecker." Barry, whose Ernie Pook's Comeek has appeared in the Reader since 1980, will read and sign copies of her books today at 3 at Borders Books & Music, 1629 Orrington in Evanston (847-733-8852). It's free.
27 MONDAY Tonight at 7 Falun Gong follower Andrew Cook will lead a free demonstration of the meditation method practiced by the sectarian group that's got the Chinese government all in a tizzy. It's at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North (312-951-7323), and it's free.
28 TUESDAY The way Latinos are portrayed in the mainstream media versus their coverage by Spanish-language outlets will be one of the topics at today's discussion, Latino Journalists' Perspectives on the U.S. Media. Panelists include Chicago Tribune urban affairs and immigration reporter Teresa Puente, Carlos Hernandez Gomez from Extra, and others. It's at 6 in the video theater at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Call 312-747-4791 for more.
For the last 40 years Karl Haas's syndicated radio show Adventures in Good Music, which airs here Monday through Friday at 5 AM and 7 PM on WNIB (97.1 FM), has made classical music fun--or at least accessible. Every day Haas--who began his career in Detroit and now works out of New York--explores a different topic, from humor in music to the history of the symphony. Tonight, as part of his 50th anniversary in radio, the Radio Hall of Famer will speak at the Museum of Broadcast Communications at the Chicago Cultural Center. An Evening With Karl Haas starts at 6 at the center, 78 E. Washington. It's free, but reservations are required; call 312-829-6023.
29 WEDNESDAY In 1973 Elaine Potter Richardson changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid out of respect for her family, who disapproved of her writing career. Most recently the Antigua-born author and former New Yorker staff writer edited last year's anthology My Favorite Plant: Writers and Gardeners on the Plants They Love. Kincaid, who compares gardening to writing, will discuss the latter tonight at 7:30 at Northeastern Illinois University's Alumni Hall, 5500 N. Saint Louis. Call 773-794-2787 for reservations for this free event.
A lecture about "the psychodynamic interplay of ego and subconsciousness," a story called "New and Used," and a treatment for something called the "Oprah Opera" are a few of the things on the menu for tonight's Cheryl Trykv Explosion. Altogether the sardonic performance artist will unveil five new stories and a radio skit. Andrew Kingsford, Laura Dame, and Katherine Chronis also perform. It's at 8 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia (773-227-4433). Admission is $10.
30 THURSDAY A few weeks ago the Reader's Ben Joravsky wrote about Captain Bill Pinkney, who hosted a shifting contingent of teachers on his voyage along the Middle Passage slave trade route. The trip, which students could track on an interactive Web site, included stops in Ghana, Senegal, Cuba, and Charleston, South Carolina. This morning at 10:30 the Museum of Science and Industry will hold a welcome-back pep rally for Pinkney, who's planning to follow the Amistad's route next spring. The rally is in the main rotunda of the museum, 57th and Lake Shore Drive (773-684-1414). It's free, as is admission to the museum today.