Friday 1/21 - Thursday 1/27
By Cara Jepsen
21 FRIDAY Since it was founded by Quakers in 1917 the American Friends Service Committee has worked with Japanese-Americans imprisoned in internment camps and with Jesse Jackson to end housing segregation. The group is currently zeroing in on world trade, hoping the spread of capitalism will encourage the spread of human rights. Today AFSC leaders from all over the globe will ad-dress that topic at an event called "Today Seattle: Tomorrow the World." It's from 7 to 9 at Grace Place, 637 W. Dearborn. The $5 admission fee includes a light dinner. Call 312-427-2533 to RSVP.
Irish theater darling Joe Dowling directs Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Dowling says his version--which partly takes place atop a giant motorized electric-blue flower--was inspired by the works of Hieronymus Bosch. Preview performances begin tonight at 7:30 at the CST, 800 E. Grand. Tickets are $23; call 312-595-5600.
22 SATURDAY Two authorities on another genius of the arts hit town today for a symposium called An Afternoon's Insight...Mozart. Biographer Maynard Solomon and musician Neal Zaslaw will discuss myths about Amadeus as well as the ways he changed music. Afterward members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform some of his chamber music. It's from 2 to 5:30 at Symphony Center's Grainger Ballroom, 220 S. Michigan. Admission is $5, which also gets you into a preconcert conversation with Daniel Barenboim at 6:45. For $16 more you can preorder a box dinner. The Mozart and Bruckner concert at 8 requires a separate admission. Call 312-294-3000.
There are more than 20 microbreweries in the Chicago area, and tonight suds lovers will get to sample them all at the Chicagoland Brewpub Shootout. It's from 5 to 10 at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Admission is $35, which includes pub grub. Call 847-692-2337 for more information.
Election time is approaching, and tax preparer Joseph W. Soper isn't too impressed. He'll speak on The Idiocy of the Tax Proposals by the Presidential Candidates tonight at the College of Complexes. It starts at 8 at Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Audience members will be allowed to add their two cents afterward. Tuition is $3 plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120.
The San Francisco-based "all-projector ensemble" Wet Gate scratches, bleaches, and otherwise alters the audio tracks of found film footage, which they "play" on 16-millimeter projectors. England's Vicki Bennett, also known as People Like Us, strings together old recordings, radio broadcasts, and pop-culture sound bites to form an intricate carpet of sound. The Chicago Underground Film Festival and the electronic music project /bin have brought them to town; they'll perform tonight at at 9 at Subterranean, 2011 W. North (773-278-6600). Admission is $10; you must be 21.
23 SUNDAY In the late 60s several cutting-edge shows at the Hyde Park Art Center introduced the work of a new generation of painters who combined a pop sensibility with a mocking coarseness. Their figurative, physical style of painting--featured in shows with rock-band titles, such as the Hairy Who, Non-Plussed Some, and False Image--came to be associated with Chicago. Eighty-five works from 15 artists with connections to the imagist school, including Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, and Ed Paschke, make up Jumpin' Backflash: Original Imagist Artwork, 1966-1969. The free show also includes posters, photos, and other artifacts from the time. It opened yesterday and runs through April 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). Hours are from 11 to 5.
24 MONDAY The Lightbox Orchestra will provide the sound track for silent comedies by Charlie Chaplin and Mack Sennett and cartoons by Max and Dave Fleisher at an event called Nonsense. The movies start at 7 at the University of Chicago's Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th. Admission is $3; call 773-702-8575 for details.
25 TUESDAY In my experience, when a loved one dies, some people say the wrong thing to the survivors or worse, nothing at all. (My favorite zinger is from a cousin who wrote about my late father, "He was rich, but you had to love him!") For other foot-in-the-mouth types, Lynn Kelly's self-published paperback Don't Ask for the Dead Man's Golf Clubs provides plenty of appropriate responses to a difficult situation. She'll discuss it tonight at 7 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North (312-951-7323) and again tomorrow at 7:30 at Borders Books & Music, 49 S. Waukegan in Deerfield (847-559-1999). Both events are free.
26 WEDNESDAY The three members of Matapat are French-Canadian, but their music, a mix of pop and jazz, shows influences from Africa, Ireland, and Greece. Accordion player and percussionist Benoit Bourque's step-dancing re-sembles the jigs from Riverdance, though it too hails from Quebec. The group will perform at 7 at Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630); it's free. Folk musicians Ged Foley and Sandy Jones open. For more information, see the Critic's Choice in Section Three.
"Pastorally sensitive, humble, and politically shrewd" is how religion writer Tim Unsworth describes Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, who headed the Chicago archdiocese from 1983 to 1996. Unsworth, author of I Am Your Brother Joseph: Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, will discuss the influential bishop tonight at 7 at the Roden branch of the Chicago Public Library, 6083 N. Northwest Highway (312-744-1478). It's free.
27 THURSDAY The Year of the Dragon doesn't start until next month, but the Art Institute is getting an early start on the celebration. The dragon, "a creature of a very superior order of being," according to the mythical zoology of Japan, will wake up today at Silent Thunder: Ancient Japanese Dragon Dance, an event inspired by dances in honor of the creature that date back to the 15th century. The performance, which is in conjunction with an exhibit of the dragon in art, is at 12:15 in the Art Institute's Rubloff Audi-torium, Michigan and Adams. Ad-mission to the program is free. Call 312-443-3600.