Friday 4/7 - Thursday 4/13
By Cara Jepsen
7 FRIDAY In today's tight labor market, skilled workers can allegedly write their own tickets. But can they really? And will they continue to have that luxury when the economy dips? Today a group of experts, including Jonathan Hiatt of the AFL-CIO, United Airlines human resources senior VP William P. Hobgood, and Cornell labor law professor Katherine Stone, will discuss Labor Relations in the Rapidly Changing Workplace of the New Millennium. They'll talk from 11:30 to 1 today in the Ogilvie Auditorium at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams (312-906-5090).
When Peoria native Alan Gillett brought his country-soul-karaoke-dance act to the cable-access Chic-a-Go-Go a few months ago, the show's dancers didn't know what to make of his awkward, unself-conscious performance. "They were confused by him," says coproducer Jake Austen. "You sort of want to laugh at him at the beginning. But he's so earnest and happy, he wins you over." Gillett, whose appearances on Nashville cable access have become staples on Comedy Central's Daily Show, will make his Chicago club debut at tonight's Chic-a-Go-Go Variety Show. Miss Mia and the puppet Ratso from the TV show will emcee; other performers include Cats & Jammers, the Goblins, Cynthia Plaster Caster, M.O.T.O., and Kim. Tom Dunning will screen his video about stalking the British teen band Boyzone, and Rusty Nails and Charles Irvin will show films and videos. It starts at 9 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia (773-227-4433). It's $6; you must be 21 or over.
8 SATURDAY The speakers at today's Objects of Desire: Homosexualities and the History of Collecting conference will examine the connection between sexual desire and the desire for...stuff. Participants include U. of C. medievalist Michael Camille on "The Homosexual Hours of the Duc de Berry," Rebecca Zorach on "Strange Objects, Ephemeral Interiors, and the Artificial Lesbian in the Renaissance," Northwestern professor Whitney Davis on "The Collection and Cultivation of Homoeroticism in the Nineteenth Century," and a half dozen international academics. The free conference takes place from 9 to 6 in room 115 of the U. of C.'s Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center, 924 E. 57th. Call 773-834-4509 for more info.
"We'd like to reach out to all other people who are dissatisfied with an insular lifestyle directed toward consumption," says Qumbya Cooperative Housing member Nancy Chiu. The 11-year-old co-op is owned and operated by a diverse group of residents who share chores, expenses, decision making, and nightly vegetarian meals. The curious can check out their third and newest building today at 5225 S. Blackstone, where they're hosting a free open house from 3 to 6. Call 773-643-8854.
9 SUNDAY The filming of the 1926 silent masterpiece Ben-Hur was a $4 million nightmare, marked by a two-year shoot in Italy beset by labor and political disputes and a sea battle sequence that had to be shot over and over again because fishing boats kept floating into the frame. Most of the resulting footage was then scrapped and reshot in the U.S., with Ramon Navarro replacing George Walsh in the title role and director Fred Niblo taking over from Charles Brabin. Today's rare screening of Ben-Hur will be accompanied by organist Jay Warren on the Mighty Wurlitzer, playing an original score he composed for the film. It's at 2:30 at the Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect in Park Ridge (847-604-2234). Tickets are $10 at the door.
Today, on what would have been Paul Robeson's 102nd birthday, Sterling Stuckey, author, professor, and visiting fellow at Columbia College's Center for Black Music Research, will discuss Robeson's legacy in a lecture called Paul Robeson, Richard Wright, and Black Intellectual and Cultural History. Columbia College professor Cheryl Johnson-Odim will respond. It's free and starts at 3 at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. Call 312-344-7559 for more information.
10 MONDAY Slow and steady may not always win the race, but 95 percent of the people who sign up for Jeff Galloway's methodical marathon training program make it to the finish line. The former Olympian discusses his training program in a free running clinic today from 6 to 6:45 at the Sears Tower Conference Center in suite 3350 at 233 S. Wacker. It's followed at 7 by a two-hour seminar that'll set you back $49. Call 773-509-4922 for more.
11 TUESDAY The character of Sherlock Holmes was based on real-life doctor and Edinburgh University lecturer Joseph Bell. As Arthur Conan Doyle once described him, "He would sit in his chair with fingers together--he was very dextrous with his hands--and just look at the man or woman before him. He was most kind and painstaking with his students--a real good friend--and when I took my degree and went to Africa the remarkable individuality and discriminating tact of my old master made a deep and lasting impression on me, though I had not the faintest idea that it would one day lead me to forsake medicine for story-writing." Tonight Ely Liebow, author of Doctor Joe Bell: Model for Sherlock Holmes, will give a lecture on the real Sherlock Holmes. The Society of Midland Authors-sponsored event will start at 5:30 with a cocktail reception; the program starts at 6 at the Cliff Dwellers Club on the 22nd floor of the Borg-Warner Building, 200 S. Michigan (312-922-8080). It's $10, free for SMA members.
12 WEDNESDAY The city of Rome has been rebuilt over and over again--but always within its ancient borders. Today Cornell University professor and author Roger Trancik will discuss and present the new CD-ROM Layers of Rome, which traces the development of the city from antiquity to the present. It's at 6 at the Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton. It's free; call 312-787-4071.
Instead of just moaning about how people are apathetic and don't talk to each other anymore, adjunct professor-about-town Anil Lal will examine the link between not talking and not voting in a free lecture sponsored by the Open University of the Left called Avoiding Politics: Daily American Discourse at the End of the 20th Century. It's at 6:30 PM at the Lincoln Park branch library, 1150 W. Fullerton (773-486-1823).
13 THURSDAY Long before Al Capone made a name for himself, Chicago had a crime boss named Mike McDonald, who specialized in gambling and owned a short-lived racetrack in Garfield Park. "He was the first one to systematize payoffs to politicians and the police and form a syndicate," says Richard Lindberg, author of numerous books on Chicago's underworld, most recently Return to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Infamous Places in Chicago. Lindberg will present a lecture and slide show called Gaslight Chicago: Crime Before Capone and sign copies of his new book tonight at 6:30 at a free event at Eli's Cheesecake World Cafe and Visitor's Center, 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr. Call the Austin Irving Public Library at 312-744-6222 for more info.
In the 1880s Native American artist Silver Horn started painting on animal hides, depicting Kiowa history, daily life, and religious ceremonies. Later he drew scenes of war and the shift to reservation life. These were on paper and notebooks obtained from white settlers. A rarely seen collection of his work, including four sketchbooks full of his reflections on tribal myth and the peyote religion (on loan from the Field Museum), make up the new exhibit Transforming Images: The Art of Silver Horn and His Successors. Plains Indians art expert Janet Berlo will give a talk about Silver Horn tonight at 5 in room 115 of the Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center, 924 E. 57th. It'll be followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 at the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood. Both events are free. Call 773-702-0200.