Friday 4/13 - Thursday 4/19
By Cara Jepsen
13 FRIDAY According to the lore of the Ashanti peoples of Ghana and the Ewe peoples of Ghana, Togo, and Benin, the idea for kente cloth was hatched 1,000 years ago, when West African hunters observed spiders making webs and returned to their villages to develop the technique of strip weaving. The new exhibition Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African-American Identity includes examples of the brightly colored cloth from both societies, as well as looms, photographs, and related exhibits. It opens today and runs through July 15 at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. Hours are 9 to 5 and admission is $8 for adults and $4 for students, children, and seniors. Call 312-922-9410.
"It's a flaming arrow aimed at the circled wagons of American justice," says former National Geographic staff writer Harvey Arden about Leonard Peltier's 1999 memoir, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. Arden edited the book for the imprisoned American Indian Movement activist, who was convicted in 1977 of killing two FBI agents during a 1973 shoot-out and whom Amnesty International and others consider a political prisoner. Arden, who has collaborated with Native American and aboriginal Australian writers on four other books, is currently developing a Web site (dreamkeepers.net) that will publish the stories of spiritual elders on-line. He'll give a talk tonight at 7 at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 2600 Central Park in Evanston. Admission is $10. He'll do it again tomorrow at the same time (and for the same price) at the Oak Brook Terrace Park District's Heritage Center, 1 S. 325 Ardmore in Oak Brook Terrace. Call 773-585-1744 for information on both events.
Although he made City Lights in 1931, at the dawn of the sound era, Charlie Chaplin eschewed spoken dialogue, using instead sound effects and an original score to tell the story of a tramp and a blind flower girl. Chaplin's score, which ranges from waltzes to boisterous action music, will be performed live tonight--with the sound effects intact--by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conducted by William Eddins) when the film is shown at Orchestra Hall. Instead of cartoons, the CSO will open the program with Ruth Crawford Seeger's Rissolty Rossolty and Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8 and Tuesday at 7:30 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan (312-294-3000). Tickets range from $20 to $105 and include a preconcert conversation with conductor and Chaplin expert Timothy Brock, who restored the score for Modern Times. It takes place an hour and 15 minutes before each performance.
14 SATURDAY Clog dancing, 12 hours of jug bands, loads of Dylan and Beatles covers, "live elevator music," and an open jam are all on the schedule for the Old Town School of Folk Music All-Night Party. But the real draw may be the "Who Wants to Be a Music Critic?" trivia quiz, with contestants such as booking agent Anastasia Davies, artist Tony Fitzpatrick, WXRT program director Norm Winer, Metro owner Joe Shanahan, Hideout co-owner Tim Tuten, and critics Aaron Cohen (Downbeat), Jim DeRogatis (Sun-Times), this paper's Neil Tesser and Peter Margasak, and a half dozen others; live music clues will be provided by Deanna Varagona, Diane Christiansen, Stephen Dawson, and Jon Langford. The party runs from 6 PM tonight to 6 AM tomorrow--the quiz from 7:45 to 9:15--at 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $5, $2 if you arrive after 2. Call 773-728-6000.
15 SUNDAY In 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill volunteered for an Earth First! tree sit intended to stop Pacific Lumber from clear-cutting California redwoods. She was told she might have to spend a few days up there; instead she lived 180 feet up a 1,000-year-old tree for two years, becoming a media darling--and angering some EF! members who thought she was showboating. Doug Wolens's documentary Butterfly chronicles Pacific Lumber's aggressive campaign to make her leave, the reactions of other activists and Humboldt County residents, and Hill's own upbringing as the child of traveling evangelists. It'll be screened today (and Saturday the 14th) at 11:30 AM at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Admission is $6.50; call 773-871-6604.
16 MONDAY Instead of dropping off last-minute tax returns, some folks will make the pilgrimage to the main post office tonight to protest the annual ordeal. "I haven't paid taxes since 1980," says one of the organizers of tonight's Celebration of Resistance antiwar tax protest. "I don't want to pay for prisons or war. I take the money I don't spend on taxes and put it into what I want to pay for--like soup kitchens." Like-minded individuals are invited to schlepp drums, banners, puppets, and food to the free protest, which starts at 6 at 433 W. Van Buren. For more information call 773-784-8065.
17 TUESDAY "What I love about Rebecca's writing is that she takes the very ordinary experience of loss of love and explodes it to almost mythic proportions--mutilations of the body, epic journeys, and resurrections. [It] condenses the experience into something more real than it was before," says About Face Theatre's Kyle Hall. He read Rebecca Brown's 1992 lesbian love story The Terrible Girls last year (after a nasty breakup) and adapted it into a new play that promises movement, music, drumming, and a cast of eight "fierce" females. Brown will join cast members for a free reading tonight at 6:30 at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North (773-342-0910). Brown will also give free readings tomorrow night at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-752-4381) and Friday night at 7:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark (773-769-9299). The play opens Thursday at 8 (and runs through May 27) at About Face Theatre, 3212 N. Broadway. Opening night tickets are $50 and include a postshow party at the Room, 5900 N. Broadway. Call 773-549-3290
or see www.aboutfacetheatre.com for more.
18 WEDNESDAY British historian Yaffa Claire Draznin started working on a book about great 19th-century women a few years ago, as a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago. However, she soon realized that the daily lives of ordinary women interested her more. For example, corset-clad gentlewomen set themselves loose in the new department stores. "The department stores came up with the idea that the customer was always right," she says. "These women couldn't believe it, because the woman was never right." They also provided lounges, lunchrooms, and bathrooms. "Before, women could never travel far, because there was no place to go to the bathroom. Nor were there many places they could go without an escort." Draznin, who also writes Victorian murder mysteries, will discuss her new book, Victorian London's Middle-Class Housewife: What She Did All Day, today at 12:15 in the Chicago Architecture Foundation lecture hall, off the atrium lobby of the Santa Fe Building, 224 S. Michigan (312-922-3432, ext. 239). It's free; bring your own lunch.
19 THURSDAY Marina City, the John Hancock Center, the Sears Tower, and the Promontory Apartments on South Lake Shore Drive are among the buildings that should be designated landmarks, says Jeanne Lambin, midwest field representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The concrete and glass Promontory Apartments building was the first high-rise built by Mies van der Rohe. Though the apartments are in excellent condition, landmark designation would mean that any future changes or renovations would have to be reviewed by the City Council. Lambin will give a free lecture called Our Future Landmarks today at noon at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E.Washington. Call 312-922-1742.