Friday 10/10 - Thursday 10/16
10 FRIDAY "As a storyteller, I strive to give a voice to the voiceless. As an artist, I seek to give a perspective from a different part of life's circle," says Native American storyteller, puppeteer, musician, and visual artist Dayton Edmonds. "The stories I tell and the artwork I create are to gently challenge people to grow." Edmonds, who belongs to the Caddo nation and currently lives in the Pacific northwest, learned his trade from his grandparents. He'll tell tales tonight from 7:30 to 9 at Broadway United Methodist Church, 3344 N. Broadway; tomorrow at the church he'll perform for kids at 1 and discuss multiculturalism, Native American history, and Columbus Day at 7. A retired Methodist missionary, Edmonds will also preach on Sunday, October 12, at the 9:15 and 11:15 services. All events are free; call 773-348-2679 for more information.
"There are a lot of poker books out there," says Jake Austen, "but they're all about how to win in Vegas, and have a lot of math and stuff." Austen, publisher of the zine Roctober and producer of the cable access show Chic-a-Go-Go, put together A Friendly Game of Poker: 52 Takes on the Neighborhood Game after the idea was tossed out by the host of his regular game--Chicago Review Press editor Yuval Taylor. The book, published by CRP last month, features contributions from 44 writers and artists on subjects ranging from appropriate poker drinks and snacks to how to kick an unwanted player out of the group to poker as a country-music metaphor. "The only way this book would help at a poker game would be as a conversation starter," says Austen. "Or you could use it for misdirection--like bring up an interesting story so the other players don't see that you have an inside straight." Austen, Taylor, and contributors Dan Kelly and Starlee Kine will read tonight at 7:30 at Quimby's, 1854 W. North. There'll also be music by one-man band Bud Melvin, Kenny Rogers karaoke, and a nickel poker game. It's free; call 773-342-0910.
11 SATURDAY The proposed West Loop Transportation Center--an ambitious four-level underground structure running along Canal Street that would link the Ogilvie Transportation Center to Union Station and include a busway, a high-speed rail port, and a new subway line offering express service to O'Hare--will be one of the topics on the docket today at the Midwest High Speed Rail Coalition's Fall Conference. It runs from 1 to 5 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan, and tickets are $20. For more information call 773-334-6758 or see www.midwesthsr.org.
12 SUNDAY "For too long progressives have walked fearful of their shadows, whimpering and whining about what's wrong and fighting amongst themselves over crumbs," says Texas-based populist Jim Hightower. "That time is over." For the last year or so, Hightower's been getting his message out via the Rolling Thunder Tour, which he modeled after the chautauquas--multiday festivals of music, theater, and public discourse--of the late 19th century. Speakers at today's local installment of the tour, Countdown to 2004: Reclaiming Our Democracy, include In These Times senior editor Salim Muwakkil, Chicago Media Watch president Liane Casten, and reps from Big Vote, BuzzFlash.com, the League of Women Voters, and the Midwest Democracy Center. There'll also be voter registration, a mock election, an open mike, and music. It runs from 11:30 AM to 8 PM at the World Folk Music Company, 1808 W. 103rd. Tickets are $5; call 773-235-4488 or go to www.rollingthundertour.org for more information.
13 MONDAY "Five hundred Italian grandmothers just seemed like a funny number to us," says a spokesperson for Joe DiPietro's stage show Over the River and Through the Woods, about a quartet of sly oldsters who try to keep their grandson from leaving town. DiPietro's hoping to get 500 nonnas to turn out and march with him in the 50th annual Columbus Day Parade; everyone who does will receive a free ticket to the show. He'll be organizing marchers at 11:30 AM at Columbus and Balbo (the parade starts at 12:30) in front of floats 22B and 22C. Call 773-477-7666 for more information.
Tonight at 7 writer and McSweeney's editor Dave Eggers will give a talk titled "Mark Twain's Journals and A Tramp Abroad: Is This Man Funny or Just Dead?" in room 107 of Northwestern University's Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan in Evanston. The lecture and reception that follows are free; call 847-491-3525.
When Theater Oobleck staged Known Unknowns--a collection of six short plays responding to the war in Iraq--in May, Reader critic Justin Hayford remarked: "It's rare for theater companies to respond so quickly to world events, and in this case the responses provide much food for thought." Seeing as how we're still in this quagmire, they probably still do. Tonight at 7 the company will remount the show at Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N. Glenwood, as part of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival; there's a second show on Monday, October 20, also at 7. Tickets are $12, or pay what you can; call 773-274-6660 for reservations.
14 TUESDAY The music of gay American modernists like Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein is "the music that's widely heard as signifying America's land and people," says University of Michigan music and women's studies professor Nadine Hubbs. "It's that simultaneously classical and populist idiom that's invoked when the U.S. Navy or the American Beef Council...wants us to picture America in its vast, rugged beauty, and in the strength and integrity of its people." Hubbs will elaborate today at a 3:30 lecture titled "Orchestrating National Identity: Queer Modernists' Creation of 'America's Sound,'" part of Queer Origins of Modern American Culture, a series of free talks sponsored by the University of Chicago's Lesbian and Gay Studies Project. It's at the University of Chicago's Classics Building, 1010 E. 59th. For more information on the series call 773-834-4509.
From October 1 through October 7 a series of cryptic ads in the New York Times Arts section asked testy questions such as "Dear 'Mr. President,' what is the 'special relationship' between the Bushes and the Saudi royal family?" They were all taken from a chapter in Michael Moore's new book, Dude, Where's My Country?, in which the professional rabble-rouser claims to provide the answers. Today at noon Moore will make a rare bookstore appearance at Borders Books & Music, 150 N. State. He'll sign copies of the book (or any of his other works as long as you buy a copy of the new one) from noon to 2:30; the bookstore advises getting in line by 1. Call 312-606-0750 for more information. Tonight at 7 Moore will speak at Northwestern University's McGaw Memorial Hall, 2705 Ashland in Evanston. Tickets are $10; call 847-491-2305.
15 WEDNESDAY Art Resources in Teaching has been providing
visual-art residency programs for Chicago schoolkids since 1894. These days their artists work with some 30,000 children in 110 schools, and next year they'll expand to the suburbs. Tonight the group is holding a fund-raiser where the speakers will be sculptor Martin Puryear (who's working on a piece honoring Jean Baptiste Point DuSable for the state of Illinois) and ceramic artist Ruth Duckworth, who'll be presented with the group's Arts in Education Award. It starts at 6 at the Art Institute's Rubloff Auditorium, 111 S. Michigan (enter on Columbus). Tickets are $25 for the lecture; $150 for the lecture and the reception with the artists that follows. Call 312-332-0355 for more.
16 THURSDAY Of the dozen firehouses being considered by the city for landmark status, four are privately owned and eight are still in use. The oldest of the active ones is the brick home of Engine 78, built across from Wrigley Field in 1915. "They each have so much character," says Chicago Department of Planning and Development architectural historian Heidi Sperry. "But I do like the one on Waveland." She'll give a free slide lecture on Chicago's Historic Firehouses today at 12:15 in the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington; call 312-922-1742 for more.