Friday 11/17 - Thursday 11/23
By Cara Jepsen
17 FRIDAY The last of the many events inaugurating the Goodman Theatre's new $46 million, 170,000-square-foot downtown complex is open to all, and it starts tonight at 5, when an outdoor "moving sculpture" collaboration between Jellyeye Drum Ensemble and designer Mark Bazzant will take place in the lobby of the theater. Highlights of the 26-Hour Celebration include a sold-out installment of Milly's Orchid Show, improv by the Noble Fool Company and Schadenfreude (tonight at 7), a theater-themed film festival (from 1 to 6 AM), a sunrise breakfast and gospel jam with Calvin Bridges and the Chicago Praise Ensemble (tomorrow morning at 7), a stage combat workshop and demonstration by Babes With Blades (tomorrow afternoon at 1), and a reading of plays by Kenneth Sawyer Goodman--the theater's namesake--at 5. The free event runs through tomorrow night at 7 at the new theater at 170 N. Dearborn. Advance tickets are recommended, and will be available today from 10 to 4 at the theater's box office. Call 312-895-5406 for more.
18 SATURDAY "Mad Cowboy" Howard Lyman, the cattle-rancher-turned-vegetarian-activist who was Oprah Winfrey's codefendant in the 1998 libel suit brought by the National Cattleman's Association, has a new target--genetically engineered foods. "Americans tend to believe that we're protected by government agencies, but as was shown with the Kraft and Safeway taco shells, this stuff is slipping through the cracks," says Lyman, who will headline today's Conference for Conscious Living: Creating a Healthy, Sustainable, and Compassionate Life. Other speakers at the EarthSave-sponsored event include Ronnie Cummins, of the Organic Consumers Association and author of Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers, vegetarian historian Rynn Berry, and cookbook author Joanne Stepaniak. It's today from 9 to 6 at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, room 154, 2320 N. Kenmore. Admission is $60, $50 for students. Call 773-525-4032.
19 SUNDAY Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader may not have done as well in the election as he'd hoped, but that doesn't mean the movement's gone belly-up. "The same people who said 'Hold your nose and vote for Gore' are still part of the Green thing," says longtime Chicago Green Party activist Bob Rudner. "So are the people who didn't hold their noses and vote for Gore. We still have a fight on our hands, no matter what happens." At tonight's free potluck dinner, Where Do Greens Go From Here?, members will discuss the agenda for the Greens' annual meeting on December 2. Topics on the table include gentrification and the city's plan to revamp its zoning ordinance. It's from 4 to 7:30 at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont. Call 312-939-2539 for more.
20 MONDAY The Great Beast Theater describes its annual Beast Women Festival as a five-week showcase of "the strangest stuff the women can produce"--everything from song and dance to comedy, poetry, and performance art to straight drama. Tonight's lineup includes new participants Candis Hacker, Marianne Fieber, Ann Filmer, and Corinne Lysaught plus old hands Ava Johnson, Camille Larrea, and Kellyann Corcoran. It'll be hosted by Jill Erickson and starts at 8 on the second floor of the Inner Town Pub, 1935 W. Thomas; admission is $8. The festival runs Saturdays through Mondays (excluding Thanksgiving weekend) until December 18. Call 773-486-9250.
21 TUESDAY Two and a half years ago, when Milly's Orchid Show impresario Brigid Murphy began working on the script for her new short film, A Prince in the Projects, the futures of both Cabrini-Green and the nearby Noble Horse Stables were up in the air. These days Cabrini is slowly disappearing and the stables are no longer open to the public. The two locations are central to her plot, which is about a carriage driver (David Cale) who befriends a boy from the projects (Raphael Chestang). "The undercurrent is about gentrification," says Murphy, who made the family-friendly film to complete her MFA at Columbia College. She'll be joined by Cale and Chestang at a free screening tonight at 6 at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. Call 773-871-6604 for more information.
In his controversial new book, Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon, Patrick Tierney argues that the waves of researchers who have descended upon Venezuela's Yanomami Indians to test their theories about "uncivilized" humans have done far more harm than good. According to Tierney, journalists and scholars brought illness, staged events to prove their theories, introduced steel implements that critically altered the Yanomami lifestyle, and generally took advantage of the Indians for their own ends. He'll discuss his book, which has made huge waves in the anthropological community and been simultaneously nominated for a National Book Award and denounced as a hoax, tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It's free.
22 WEDNESDAY Luis Bunuel's 1932 short film Land Without Bread is a brutally explicit portrait of life in the remote Spanish region of Las Hurdes that shows villagers living in squalid conditions marked by disease and death. According to a new film by Dutch director Ramon Gieling, Buñuel gave locals a bad rap they still haven't lived down. The film that caused the stir (and marked Buñuel's transition from overt surrealism to a more realistic style) will be screened tonight (and Friday, November 17) along with 1951's A Woman Without Love as part of Facets' Luis Buñuel Film Festival, which runs through Sunday. It's at 6:30 at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $8; for schedule information, call 312-409-1757 or check out the movie listings in Section Two.
23 THURSDAY Ever since "The SantaLand Diaries"--David Sedaris's hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the world of Xmas elves--hit the airwaves several years ago, it's been impossible for me to think of the felt-clad helpers as anything other than a bunch of jaded smokers who secretly hate children. That's why I delight in the fact that the city's annual holiday parade is named for the army of yuletide imps who will frolic among its floats, marching bands, giant helium balloons, Rockettes, and equestrian units. Field's Jingle Elf Parade starts at 8:30 today at State and Congress, and travels north to Randolph. It's free, as is watching it at home on Channel Seven. Call 773-395-4809 for more.