Friday 8/20 - Thursday 8/26
20 FRIDAY This weekend's Fest for Beatles Fans celebrates the Fab Four's American conquest. WXRT's Breakfast With the Beatles host Terri Hemmert emcees, and guests include Pete Best, the drummer famously replaced by Ringo Starr just before the group made it big, and broadcaster Larry Kane, who traveled with the band on its U.S. tours in 1964 and '65. Tonight's opening ceremony kicks off at 5 with remarks from Hemmert and features the Beatles cover band Liverpool at 9. The fest continues from noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday, August 21 and 22, with video screenings, auctions of Beatles paraphernalia, trivia contests, and a "Battle of the Beatles Bands." Tickets are $26 for tonight's show, $37 Saturday and Sunday. It's at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 9300 W. Bryn Mawr in Rosemont; call 866-843-3378.
The Ginza Holiday Festival features taiko drumming and odori (Japanese folk dance); master craftsmen practicing tree sculpting, embroidery, and "metal chasing" (engraving); and demonstrations of aikido, judo, karate, kendo, calligraphy, and flower arranging. Edibles include teriyaki chicken, vegetarian sushi, and kintoki, a type of snow cone topped with adzuki beans. The fest's at the Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee, from 5:30 to 9:30 tonight, 11:30 to 9 tomorrow, August 21, and 11:30 to 8 Sunday, August 22. Admission is $4, $3 for seniors and students, and free for kids under 12. Call 312-943-7801 for more.
21 SATURDAY "Don't be afraid of LA" is director John McNaughton's advice for local filmmakers. "You should go and see what it's all about." McNaughton first attracted attention in 1990 with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer; his other credits include the 1998 movie Wild Things, several episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street, and a documentary on painter George Condo. Now McNaughton calls Chicago home and LA his office. He'll talk with Screenwriters Group president Dan Decker, offering tips for those who'd like to break into the film industry, at Hollywood Speaks in Chicago. It's from 1 to 4 at the Westin Hotel, 909 N. Michigan. Tickets run from $39 to $59; call 773-348-8120 to reserve a spot.
At today's free open-water swim clinic certified triathalon coach Sharone Aharon attempts to make lake swimming less intimidating for beginners and more experienced triathletes alike, covering topics like assessing bodies of water and currents and getting in and out of the water quickly. It's this morning from 8 to 10 at the Ohio Street Beach, just north of Navy Pier. Call 773-944-5128 or see www.chicagotriclub.com. i Today architecture aficionados get a chance to nose around Oak Park's Erwin House, designed by George Washington Maher circa 1905 in a bold take on the Prairie School. The Sneak a Peek Empty House Tour runs from 10 to 3 at 530 N. Euclid in Oak Park. It's $5; call 708-848-0528.
22 SUNDAY Chicago musician Eric Bailey fronts a band playing classic rock of the 60s and 70s at today's fund-raiser for the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, American Music in Vietnam. Historian and Vietnam vet Robert Arnoldt will provide running commentary on the performance, which will be followed by a panel discussion featuring other vets. The event starts at 3 with a Vietnamese buffet; the performance and talks begin at 4:15. It's in the courtyard of the museum, 1801 S. Indiana, and it's $25. Call 312-326-0270 for info or tickets.
23 MONDAY Marlon Brando's performance as a bad-boy biker in 1953's The Wild One is worth watching if only as a reminder of the legendary actor's onetime physical charms. It shows tonight at 6:15 (and tomorrow, August 24, at 8:15) as part of the Gene Siskel Film Center's tribute to Brando, who died July 1. Also on tonight's bill: 1969's Queimada (also known as Burn!), in which Brando plays a British adventurer embroiled in a slave revolt in the Caribbean; see Jonathan Rosenbaum's review in this section for more. This is the first time the original uncut print has been shown in the U.S. Queimada starts at 8 tonight and plays again at 8:30 tomorrow. The Film Center is at 164 N. State, 312-846-2800. Tickets are $9, $5 for members.
24 TUESDAY While improv players were working for laughs at Chicago SketchFest this past January, videographer Blake Hollon was busy behind the scenes, gathering material for SketchFest: The Documentary, which premieres tonight at a very early preview party for next year's fest. It starts at 7:30 at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, and it's $15 in advance, $20 at the door. See www.chicagosketchfest.com or call 773-539-4596.
With selections from the likes of Maya Angelou, Wendell Berry, Marge Piercy, and Alice Walker, Paul Rogat Loeb's new anthology, The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, dishes up chicken soup for the aging lefty's soul. The Seattle-based author and activist gives a pep talk today at 5 in Roosevelt University's Congress Lounge, 430 S. Michigan, 312-341-6360. It's free.
25 WEDNESDAY Today DJ Frankie Knuckles gets a stretch of Jefferson near Adams renamed in his honor. Tonight the godfather of house--the genre named after the old Warehouse nightclub, where Knuckles spun from 1977 to '83--presides over the last installment of the "DJ Wednesdays" series, part of the city's SummerDance program. It's from 6:30 to 9:30 at Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden, on Michigan Avenue between Harrison and Balbo, and it's free. Call 312-742-4007 or see www.cityofchicago.org for more on SummerDance, which runs through August 29.
For some the answer isn't Bush or Kerry--or Nader. Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About gives us two talks by Revolutionary Communist Party USA chair Bob Avakian that outline his party's vision of an alternative. The documentary has its local premiere tonight at the 3 Penny, 2424 N. Lincoln. It's $10; call 773-489-0930.
26 THURSDAY No need to nod along uncomprehendingly as a waiter describes that 1999 Brunello di Montalcino as "chunky, with a complex nose": the class Wine Speak: Learning How to Taste and Talk About Wine demystifies oenophile-speak and includes a sampling of wines to help illustrate terms. It's tonight at 6:30 at Bin 36, 339 N. Dearborn, and it's $36; you can reserve a spot at 312-755-9463.