Friday 8/8 - Thursday 8/14
8 FRIDAY Wilmette artist Alex Ross--the minister's son who does Rockwell- and Dali-inspired portrayals of comic book good guys like Superman, Spider-Man, and Wonder Woman--is a featured guest at Wizard World 2003. Others on the roster for what's billed as "the world's largest pop culture expo" include Batman artist Jim Lee and Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. See www.wizarduniverse.com for the schedule of seminars, tournaments, auctions, and art classes. Expo hours are 10 to 6 today and Saturday, August 9, and 10 to 5 on Sunday, August 10, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd. in Rosemont. Tickets are $20 per day or $40 for a three-day pass; kids under 10 get in free with an adult. Call 800-991-7243.
9 SATURDAY Between 1903 and 1905, more than 7,000 Korean immigrants landed in Honolulu Harbor. Working on Hawaiian sugar plantations for a dollar a day, they helped finance Korea's war for independence from Japan. Today there are some two million Korean-Americans--51,400 in Illinois. This year's Korean Street Festival will include events marking the centennial of Korean immigration. There will be food, crafts, games of go and Korean chess, demonstrations of traditional wedding ceremonies and martial arts, a fashion show, and a concert by the percussive music and dance quartet Samulnori Hanmoi, from Korea. Local rockers Panda Panda, Jenny Choi, Chiyoko Yoshida, and others also perform. The festival runs today from 11 to 10 and tomorrow, August 10, from 11 to 9 on Bryn Mawr between Kedzie and Kimball. Admission is free; for more information call 773-583-1700 or see www.koreanfestival.org.
"Poetry slam activity has become international in scope," says local writer and Roosevelt University Learning Resource Center director Jeff Helgeson--especially since National Poetry Slam founder Marc Smith toured Europe last year. This afternoon European poets Pilote le Hot, K'TrinD, Ko Bylanzky, Verena Carl, Rayl Patzak, Jurg Halter, and Matthias Burki will discuss the state of spoken word overseas at a free book fair held in conjunction with the 2003 National Poetry Slam. The fair will also feature an African-American slam (at 1) and the "Feminist Hiss" slam (at 2:30). It runs from 11 to 4 and the panel discussion, moderated by Helgeson, starts at noon at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. For more information on the National Poetry Slam, see the sidebar in Performance or www.nps2003.com or call 708-848-8007. i Fifty-eight years ago today the U.S. dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki, which is why the antiwar group Not in Our Name chose this date to hold its resistance forum, the theme of which is Stop the U.S. War Machine. Speakers include Maoist political economist and author Raymond Lotta and gulf war conscientious objector Jeff Paterson; they'll discuss regime change, neocolonialism, and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of United Nations peacekeeping forces. There will also be performances by taiko drummers Patti and Emi Adachi and singer Louise Cloutier. It's from 1 to 5 at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore, room 154, and there's a suggested donation of $5. Call 312-942-1004 or see www.notinourname.net for more.
10 SUNDAY For Friends of the Chicago River's fourth annual Chicago River Flatwater Classic race for canoes and kayaks, they've added a Bicycle Escapade to the competition. Cyclists will be provided with a map and a scorecard and will parallel the boats' seven-mile trip downriver from the north side to Chinatown, taking the still-in-development Chicago River Trail when they can and detouring when they can't. They'll also have to answer questions about the river along the way to earn points toward winning the race. Registration is today from 8:30 to 9:30 and the heats begin at 10 at Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell. It's $30 per adult to enter either race ($25 in advance) and you have to bring your own boat or bike. There'll also be a noncompetitive Family Float (all seaworthy paddle-powered craft are eligible); the races will be followed by free canoe rides provided by the group Wilderness Inquiry, from about 2 to 4 at Ping Tom Memorial Park (19th and Wentworth). For more call 312-939-0490 or see www.chicagoriver.org.
11 MONDAY Rogue Theater Company has whittled George Bernard Shaw's four-hour 1903 comedy Man and Superman down to just two hours, axing the famous "Don Juan in Hell" dream interlude, among other things. "We decided that since it's an off-night run, people don't necessarily want to be getting out at midnight," says a Rogue spokesperson. "We decided to quicken the pace and keep the narrative flowing, and take out the side notes that Shaw tends to go off on." The play, about a rich, idle revolutionary who falls in love in spite of himself, fits the company's mission to produce plays "about rogues, rebels, misfits, and outcasts." It opens tonight and runs Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 7:30 PM through September 17 at the Playground Theater, 3341 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $10; for reservations call 773-450-0591.
12 TUESDAY The seniors committee of the local AFTRA/SAG chapter started presenting radio plays in 1997 as a way to keep up their dramatic chops. "Many of them did radio in the golden age of radio, and this was also a way to take it to a younger generation," says a spokesperson. Tonight at 7, 16 actors and a three-person sound effects crew will perform a radio version of Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel Brave New World in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free; call 312-744-6630.
Oak Park writer Barbara Croft uses the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition as a backdrop for her debut novel, Moon's Crossing, about a Civil War vet named Jim Moon who ditches his wife and son in Iowa to visit the fair. He decides to stay in Chicago, falling for a suffragist, meeting up with some shady characters, and getting involved in the Pullman strike of 1894. "The fact that people traveled to Chicago to see the White City invites familiar plots built around a journey, both literal and spiritual; the pilgrim seeking salvation, or, in a comic mode, the country bumpkin beguiled by the big city," writes Croft, who started working on the book in 1993. She'll give a free reading tonight at 7:30 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1100 Lake in Oak Park (708-848-9140).
13 WEDNESDAY As part of the Chicago Historical Society's three-year Teen Chicago project, local kids have been collecting oral histories from other residents. Eventually they'll create a Web site, printed publications, and an exhibit that will explore what it's like to grow up in Chicago. They'll be collecting memories at today's free outdoor Teen Chicago Steps Out dance party, which will feature food, live music, dance workshops and competitions, and spoken-word performances; guests include folks from the Old Town School of Folk Music, the University of Hip-Hop, Young Chicago Authors, and the Kapa Haka Dancers. It's from 3 to 9 at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark; call 312-642-4600.
14 THURSDAY Last year the Adler Planetarium's World's Largest Salsa Lesson drew more than 1,000 dancers. This year, "I'm assuming that if the weather is good we'll be having that number at least," says a spokesperson. The free outdoor event runs from 5 to 10; at 6:45 Maricza Valentin from the Latin Rhythms Dance Studio will give lessons. The music will be provided by Puerto Rican bomba quintet Nuestro Tambo as well as several DJs; Chicagoan Dino Latino will sing his hit song "El Verano." It's at the Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive. Call 312-922-7827 for more information.