Friday 8/16 - Thursday 8/22
16 FRIDAY The inspiration for The Geography Project, a new performance installation by the multidisciplinary 5x5 arts group, comes from Chris Marker's seminal 1964 short film La jetee, a moody postnuclear tale told through still photographs. "We wanted to see if there was a way to connect that kind of still filmic imagery with movement--to explore how it transfers to a live medium," says production manager Bridget Kies. "The story is apocalyptic and is kind of relevant now. It's also mysterious. But what we're doing is not necessarily a live version of the film." It will, however, be "stark and minimal" and "very movement oriented." The piece was created by Kelly Cooper and features performances by Kies, Cory Schiffern, and Jeanne-Patrice Dohm, sound by Brian Klein, and lighting by Jane Kordylewski. It'll be on view tonight from 7 to 10 and tomorrow from noon to 2 at ATC Space, 1579 N. Milwaukee, room 352 (773-342-6777). There's a suggested donation of $5.
17 SATURDAY Perhaps the mayor should consider designating August 17 Drepung Gomang Monastery Day--the touring Tibetan Buddhist monks from that overcrowded and underfunded Indian monastery are participating in no fewer than three events today. At noon they'll perform a ritual dismantling of a sand mandala--meant to symbolize the impermanence of the material world--that they've been working on since Tuesday at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630); it's free to watch. Then from 2 to 4 they'll lead a chanting workshop at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707); the suggested donation for the session is $25. After a few hours off they'll perform at 7:30 as part of "Voices Across Faith: An Evening of Music Celebrating the World's Diverse Spiritual Traditions" at Unity in Chicago, 1925 W. Thome. They'll be joined by a Sikh devotional singing group, the multifaith One Human Family Workshop Choir, local Sanskrit chanting group Devi 2000, cantor Deborah Bard, and poet-musician Richard Fammeree. The suggested donation is $15, and reservations are recommended; call 312-629-2990, ext. 13. For more on the monks go to www.gomang.org.
The Chicago Coalition Against U.S. Militarism was formed nine months before September 11 in response to what its members saw as America's increased warmongering abroad and militarization at home. So far the group has sponsored a forum on U.S. actions in Korea, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, coordinated some International Women's Day events, and started an offshoot project, the Anti-Boeing Coalition. Tonight's fund-raiser includes music, dance, and poetry and also benefits the Palestinian Aid Society. It's from 5 to 7:30 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; tickets are $10 or pay what you can. For more information call 773-278-6706.
18 SUNDAY "Much of what happened to the Halsted-Roosevelt neighborhood transpired because its residents were poor and relatively powerless. More upscale neighborhoods, middle-class or affluent, would have had more clout to fight and defeat an effort by the city to put an expressway and a university where their homes and businesses stood." So says Roosevelt University anthropology lecturer Carolyn Eastwood, who spent over two years interviewing the four subjects of her new book, Near West Side Stories: Struggles for Community in Chicago's Maxwell Street Neighborhood. Through the words of Harold Fox, the bandleader and activist who invented the zoot suit, and fellow activists Florence Scala, Nate Duncan, and Hilda Portillo, she examines how the Jewish, Italian, African-American, and Mexican communities around Halsted and Roosevelt have been galvanized, transformed, and ultimately destabilized over the last 50 years by the creation and expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, the construction of the Dan Ryan, and the closing of Saint Francis of Assisi Church. Eastwood will discuss her work this morning from 9 to 11 at Al Perez's bookstall near the corner of 14th and Canal at the new Maxwell Street Market. It's free; for more call 773-583-7800.
19 MONDAY Since it opened in the 1960s, the Jane Addams Center's Hattie Callner theater has been home to several troupes, including Steppenwolf, About Face, Bailiwick, and Famous Door. Members from each company will reminisce about the good old days and perform a short scene from a play presented in the space at tonight's send-off for the theater and the Jane Addams Center, which has been sold and will close later this month. Hosted by the Tribune's Rick Kogan and Reader critic Albert Williams, the event includes appearances by Steppenwolf's Jeff Perry, Martha Lavey, and Rondi Reed and a performance by composer Alaric "Rokko" Jans. The House That Jane Built: A Living History of the Hattie Callner Memorial Theater starts at 7:30 at 3212 N. Broadway. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door ($15 if you're in the business); for more information call 773-784-8565, ext. 124.
20 TUESDAY Unsuspecting visitors to the Lincoln Park Conservatory may be stymied by the yellowing front-page headlines in the lobby display case ("Society Garlic Scandal Reeks"), the silver high-heeled shoe floating on a lily pad in the pond, the long line of black umbrellas at the entrance to the Fern Room, and the pair of Bakelite talk-a-phone speakers having a conversation inside. All are part of a film noir-inspired installation called Something More Than Night. The creators, Ellen Rothenberg, Terri Kapsalis, and John Corbett, point out that the conservatory is a naturally noirish setting when you consider such noir-era titles as The Blue Dahlia and The Blue Gardenia, not to mention pivotal scenes in The Big Sleep and Suddenly, Last Summer that take place in botanical gardens. The installation runs through September 22; the conservatory is open today (and every day) from 9 to 5 at 2391 N. Stockton (312-742-7736). It's free.
21 WEDNESDAY The stallion Conversano II Belvedera, aka "Moose," has been performing jumps and intricate dance steps in each of the Tempel Lipizzans' 20 seasons of performances. This month you can see him in "Ballet of the White Stallions," in which the rare, high-stepping horses dance a quadrille. During the show trainers will also trot out the seven new foals born at Tempel Farms this spring. After performances visitors are invited to tour the grounds, buy lunch, and eyeball the antique carriage collection. Shows are Wednesdays at 10:30 and Sundays at 1 at the farms, 17000 Wadsworth Road in Wadsworth. Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $8 for children. For more info call 847-623-7272 or see www.tempelfarms.com.
22 THURSDAY Redmoon Theater's production, Nina, being performed in Humboldt Park, is the first of three different versions director Jim Lasko plans to stage of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Variants two and three will premiere next year at the Steppenwolf Studio Theatre in the spring and at another outdoor venue in the summer; a spokesperson promises the latter will be "bigger than any other outdoor performance we've ever done." In addition to the company's usual emphasis on spectacle, this production has characters that actually interact and speak lines of Chekhov's dialogue. The show opened August 9; tonight's performance is at 7 in front of the recently restored Humboldt Park boathouse, 1351 N. Sacramento. (In case of rain, tickets will be honored at another performance; the show runs Thursday through Sunday until August 25.) Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For reservations call 773-388-9031.