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Friday 3/31 - Thursday 4/6

MARCH

By Cara Jepsen

31 FRIDAY Earlier this month the University of Chicago confirmed that it plans to close International House--the 70-year-old residential facility housing nearly 500 American and foreign graduate students--on June 30. The latest in a series of demonstrations to save I-House takes place today at 11:30 AM at 1414 E. 59th, in front of the building in question. After meeting there, protesters will make their way toward the administration building at 58th and Ellis. It's free. Later tonight I-House hosts a party in its Assembly Hall from 9 to 2 AM; suggested donation is $5. Call 773-753-2270 for more info.

Unlike its undergraduate scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, the University of Illinois at Chicago's brand-new lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender award is designed to encourage graduate-level research in the area of LGBT studies. In other words, you don't have to be L, G, B, or T to get it. Tonight comedian Kate Clinton, whom the Los Angeles Times once called "the lesbian you want to take home to your parents," will perform her new show, Y2K8.comedy, and attend a benefit reception for the program. The free performance is at 8 in the Illinois Room of UIC's Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. The reception follows; suggested donation is $35. Call 312-413-9862.

"Nobody's Del stories compare to my Del stories," says impresario and bon vivant Michael Flores of his performance piece/seance/send-up, Bring Me the Head of Del Close. The talk-show-formatted production will feature a parade of ever-changing guests trading stories about the late comedy legend. Tonight's opening performance features Kim "Howard" Johnson, coauthor (with Close and Charna Halpern) of a book on the long-form improv style known as the Harold. Flores is "the least likable host in talk show history"; Casolando front man Carlos Ortega provides the music. It's at midnight at the Playground, 3341 N. Lincoln (773-250-3004). Tickets are $7 (or $4 if you see Bettie Page Uncensored at 10:30). (A more conventional take on the unconventional comedian, Will Clinger's The Legend of Del Close, airs Sunday night at 10:30 on Channel 11).

APRIL

1 SATURDAY Is free speech a good idea? That's the title of today's lecture by UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean and major-league wonk Stanley Fish. One of Fish's many books is 1994's There's No Such Thing as Free Speech: And It's a Good Thing, Too. He'll elaborate from 10 to noon in Room 250 of UIC's Behavioral Sciences Building, 1007 W. Harrison. It's free. Call 312-413-3470 for more.

A few years back Mike Houlihan mined his south-side Irish upbringing for the popular one-man show Goin' East on Ashland. Now he's back with Mickey Finn, an updated hard-boiler about a beautiful woman and the four men who love her. The first preview performance is tonight at 9 and the show runs through April 30 at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted (312-988-9000). Tickets are $40 Friday through Sunday, $30 Tuesday through Thursday.

Today's holiday has roots in ancient Rome, where Hilaria was celebrated on March 25, and India, where they celebrate Huli on March 31. Tonight the Radical Faeries weigh in with the F¾st of Foools Fr¾ky Sh¾ky Cabar¾t, an avant-garde variety show hosted by Fausto Fernos and Asimina Chremos. Performers include Jo-Jo, Silky Jumbo, Victoria Lamarr, and Joseph Ravens. It's at 9 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. Tickets are $10. Call 312-362-9707.

2 SUNDAY After winning the lottery in Charleston, South Carolina, the enslaved Denmark Vesey purchased his freedom and went on to start the first independent black church in Charleston. In 1822, after his parishioners were fined, beaten, and harassed by the local authorities, Vesey planned an uprising that was stopped before it started. He and 35 others were tried in a closed court and hanged. His story is the inspiration for composer Walter Robinson's gospel opera Look What a Wonder. Robinson will be at today's performance, sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves, in the Arthur Rubloff Auditorium at the Chicago Historical Society at North and Clark. It's at 3. Admission is $12, $5 for kids. The opera will also be performed Saturday night at 7. Call 312-642-4600.

"Even two years after the accident, my condition allowed me to film only one or two days a week, which made it difficult to retain a crew for the entire shoot," says management consultant turned DIY filmmaker Danny Yoon, who was hit by a car and suffered a severe concussion three years ago. After losing his job and his girlfriend, Yoon decided to make a film based on what happened. He'll discuss the making of Post Concussion, along with other filmmakers featured at this year's Asian American Showcase festival, today at 4. Other participants include Deann Borshay Liem, Srikar Srinath, Masahiro Sugano, Nathan Adolfson, and Justin Lin. It's at the Film Center, at Columbus and Jackson, and admission is free. Yoon will also be at Saturday's 8 PM screening of his movie; admission is $7. Call 312-443-3737.

3 MONDAY Saint Lucia-born Derek Walcott's new book-length poem Tiepolo's Hound examines the Nobel Prize-winner's identification with Saint Thomas-born 19th-century artist Camille Pissarro--three of whose paintings are included in the Art Institute's new Sara Lee-endowed "Monet to Moore" exhibit. Walcott will read from the as-yet-unavailable poem and give a slide presentation of his own watercolors tonight at 6 in the museum's Rubloff Auditorium, 220 S. Columbus. It's free. Call 312-443-3680 for more.

A diverse group of escorts, strippers, dominatrices, masseurs, and streetwalkers, as well as a sperm donor, a sex educator, an adult-video-store clerk, and an outreach worker told naughty stories about their customers to writer Matt Bernstein Sycamore, who collected them in his new book, Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write About Their Clients. Sycamore, himself a former call boy, stripper, phone sex operator, porn model, and street hustler, will discuss his work tonight at 7:30 at Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway. Call 773-883-9119.

4 TUESDAY In his new book, Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture, Reader staff writer John Conroy examines three cases--in Israel, in Northern Ireland, and at Chicago's own Area Two police station--to find out why regular folks become sadists and how they get away with it. Conroy, who interviewed both torture victims and torturers, will discuss the book tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It's free.

5 WEDNESDAY Does off-Loop theater maintain its indie cred if it's performed downtown? Maybe, if it's at a city-sponsored 99-seat storefront venue. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs' new Storefront Theater opens tonight at 7 with a production of Kurt Weill Cabaret Nights, featuring performers Jenny and Bryn Magnus, Jeff Dorchen, Vernon Tonges, Nia O'Reilly-Amandes, the Jim Gailloreto Quartet, Kenneth Gayle, Grazyna Auguscik, and the Ken and Jim Show. The theater is in the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. Tickets are $10. Call 312-742-8497.

6 THURSDAY Playwright Maria Irene Fornes is in the midst of a three-day residency at Northwestern's School of Speech, where she's conducting intensive writing workshops with lucky NU students. Tonight at 7:30 the author of Fefu and Her Friends and Promenade will sit on a panel that also includes local playwright-director Mary Zimmerman, Goodman Theatre associate artistic director Michael Maggio, and Northwestern theater professor Cindy Gold. It takes place at the Josephine Louis Theatre in the Theatre and Interpretation Center, 1979 South Campus Drive in Evanston, and will be followed by a reception. Reservations are required (847-491-3751). It's free.

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