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Friday 3/17 - Thursday 3/23

MARCH

by Mike Sula

17 FRIDAY When he was a lad, pirates kidnapped Saint Patrick from his father's seaside farm and sold him to a shepherd. Later a vision inspired him to devote his life to converting the idolatrous kings of Ireland to Catholicism. Snake driving was a sideline. Composer Liam Lawton's The Shepherd Boy synthesizes the myth of the man and his history in "an epic story of song." The world premiere, narrated by Gregory Peck and performed by the choir of Old Saint Patrick's Church and the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, is tonight at 8 at the Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets run $20 to $50. Call 312-294-3000.

The World Health Organization says that facial palsy in its early stages is among the 30-plus disorders that are particularly receptive to treatment by the manipulation of needles to regulate the flow of ch'i. Acupuncturist Alex Tiberi of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine touts needlework in a free lecture titled Chinese Medicine in America 2000, after which he'll entertain questions about the college's master's degree program. It's at 7 tonight in the Malcolm X College cultural center, 1900 W. Van Buren. Call the college at 800-729-0941 for more.

18 SATURDAY The annual lakefront smelt spawning season begins April 1, and for the next month millions of the fish will cloud the shoreline with roe and sperm. Henry's Sport & Bait Shop hosts a smelt-fishing clinic this morning in anticipation of this piscine rite of spring. The clinic starts at 10 at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive, and it's free. Call 312-225-8538.

19 SUNDAY McHenry County Conservation District ecologist Ed Collins can teach the budding naturalist to find clues in the landscape that reveal the ways land has been used in the past. His landscape genealogy class starts at 9 AM at the Field Museum (Roosevelt and Lake Shore Drive). It's $125, $105 for members. Call 312-665-7400 for more info.

A theory spelled out on a Michigan Avenue sandwich board argues that a communist impersonator has murdered Al Gore and assumed the vice POTUS position. Since the warm weather may be thawing sensitive executive branch conspiracies, now might be a good time to test Thomas Pynchon's portrayal of the father of our country as a Jewish, pork-eating pot farmer. Chicago Historical Society president Douglas Greenberg leads a panel discussion today titled George Washington: Challenging the Icon. It's at 2 in the Arthur Rubloff auditorium, 1601 N. Clark (312-642-4600), and it's free with the $5 museum admission.

Four feature-length Leprechaun films portraying the mythical creature as a murderous, foulmouthed monster have failed to dispel the cultural stereotype of cute Irish cereal mascot. The latest installment, 1996's Leprechaun 4: In Space, took a sci-fi approach, pitting the green guy against a group of red-blooded American space marines. It screens tonight at 6 for free at Delilah's, 2771 N. Lincoln (773-472-2771).

20 MONDAY While the Chicago Bar Association's first Interfaith Luncheon seems innocuous enough, touching on topics like income tax and liability issues, CBA president Kerry R. Peck ominously adds that it's just "the first step toward bringing the organized bar in Chicago and the religious community together." Hopefully keynote speakers Francis Cardinal George and the Reverend Jesse Jackson can explain what this could possibly mean. It all starts at 12:15 today at the Palmer House Hilton grand ballroom, 17 E. Monroe. Tickets are $45. Call 312-554-2000 for details.

In his 50-year career, prolific composer David Amram has created over 100 concert works, two operas, and the score for The Manchurian Candidate, and has collaborated with everyone from Jack Kerouac to Willie Nelson. Tonight, as part of Steppenwolf Theatre's "Traffic" series, he'll woodshed with National Poetry Slam champ Regie Gibson and guitarist Fareed Haque for a performance involving spoken word; jazz, folk, classical and Native American music; and Amram's Ode to Lord Buckley, his 1982 concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra. It's at 7:30 at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted (312-335-1650). Tickets are $25.

21 TUESDAY For her self-published Chicago Churches: A Photographic Essay, photographer Elizabeth Johnson spent two years shooting 100 local houses of worship--from Annunciation Cathedral to the Fun Church to Masjid al-Faatir to Vivekananda Temple. She'll show slides and sign copies of the book tonight at Barbara's Bookstore, 1100 Lake, Oak Park, at 7:30. It's free. Call 708-848-9140 for more.

22 WEDNESDAY Photographer Balthazar Korab made a name for himself documenting the design process of architect Eero Saarinen, best known for his TWA terminal at New York's JFK Airport. "To record architecture is to service the architect," says Korab. "To interpret architecture, one has to dig deeper to the essence of the idea and project it onto an image." Korab kicks off an exhibit of his photographs of Saarinen's work with a free lecture tonight on The Saarinen Effect. It's at 6 at the Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton. For more information call 312-787-4071.

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs' panel discussion Sweatshops in Chicago promises eyewitness accounts of subhuman labor conditions related within the cozy confines of a Lakeview public house. Rabbi Robert Marx moderates a group of activists and workers from the Chipico pickle factory and the Algroup Wheaton cosmetics and pharmaceutical packaging plant tonight at 6:30 at Fizz Bar and Grill, 3220 N. Lincoln (312-663-0960). It's $8.

23 THURSDAY In 1974 the U.S. army made up the word "funistrada" and GIs voted the nonexistent foodstuff more delicious than lima beans, proving that sometimes the way you sell an invention is more important than the thing itself. Marketing consultant Shirlee Hoffman will teach inventors how to effectively sell their miracle thingamajigs in today's edition of the Chicago Public Library's free Inventors Workshop. It starts at 4:30 in the Harold Washington Library Center's fourth-floor meeting room, 400 S. State. Call 312-747-4400.

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