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Friday 1/26 - Thursday 2/1

JANUARY

By Cara Jepsen

26 FRIDAY "We are people of this generation, bred in modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit." So begins the Port Huron Statement, the 1962 manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical group whose original mission--to organize and empower poor communities--was eventually overwhelmed by its antiwar activities. Former SDS member Helen Garvy's documentary Rebels With a Cause relies on interviews with early key players such as Bernardine Dohrn and Tom Hayden to tell a story of 60s radicalism. Garvy and Dohrn will be joined by former SDSers Sue Klonsky, Carl Davidson, Robert Pardum, and Bill Ayers for discussions following this weekend's two screenings of the film. They're tonight at 6 and tomorrow at 3 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Columbus and Jackson. The film will also be shown at 6 PM Thursday, February 1. Tickets are $7; call 312-443-3733.

Native Americans have traditionally handed down their tribal history and culture through storytelling rituals held when birds and animals were migrating or hibernating and wouldn't be disturbed. Tonight Potawatomi tribal coordinator John Warren will join leaders from other Northern Plains tribes for a storytelling festival called Winter: A Time of Telling. Other performers include Michigan's White Thunder Drum and Chicago Urban Natives; there will also be traditional dances and crafts. It'll be emceed by John Low of Native American Educational Services and it starts at 7 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. Admission is $15, $10 for students and seniors, free for children 12 and under. Call 312-255-3700.

27 SATURDAY When local mystery writer Barbara D'Amato was working on her 1995 novel Hard Case, which is set in a trauma unit, she spent a lot of time doing on-site research. "Without that you don't have the lingo and the reality of how people relate to their jobs," she says. "It's kind of a strange phenomenon--when I go to these places, people tell me how to kill people." D'Amato, whose latest book, Authorized Personnel Only, brings back fictional Chicago cop Suze Figueroa (who first appeared in 1996's Killer.app), will give a free lecture called The Life and Times of a Mystery Author today at 2 at Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln (312-744-7616).

"I love silent film. I believe--though there are certainly many great talking films--that visually they were often more poetic and interesting than talkies. There they were at the height of their inventiveness, the possibilities were dazzling, and bang! along came sound. And disaster struck." So says Eleanor Antin, the producer, writer, and director of 1991's The Man Without a World, a silent comic melodrama set in a Polish village (in which Antin also plays a Gypsy ballerina). It'll be shown tonight with original live musical accompaniment by the New York City-based After Quartet. It's at 7 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Admission is free; call 312-744-6630.

28 SUNDAY According to the Chinese horoscope, the lunar year of the serpent is ideal for introspection and planning, but not for taking financial risks or keeping secrets. The year 4699, which started Wednesday, is also supposed to be marked by good art and political extremes; serpent babies are said to be good-looking, calm, intuitive, and stingy. But it's last year's 100-foot-long dragon--a symbol of good luck--that will lead today's annual Chinese New Year's Parade, which kicks off at 12:30 at 24th and Wentworth and then travels north on Wentworth to Cermak. It's free; call the Chinese Community Center at 312-225-6198 for more.

From 1935 to '38 photographer Roman Vishniac roamed eastern Europe taking pictures of Jewish children with a hidden camera because, he said, "I knew it was my task to make certain this vanished world did not totally disappear." Of the 15,000 photos he shot through a buttonhole of his coat, only 2,000 survived the war. Vishniac himself was interned in France, but eventually made his way to safety in New York. Fifty of his photos make up the new exhibit Roman Vishniac: Children of a Vanished World. It opens today with a reception at 1:15, which will be followed by a lecture by Vishniac's daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, and a performance of eastern European songs by the North American Choral Company at 2. The exhibit runs through August at the Spertus Museum, 618 S. Michigan. Regular museum admission is $5, $3 for children, students, and seniors; today only the exhibit and programs are free. Call 312-322-1747.

Giuseppe Verdi died 100 years ago in Milan, after four years of grief over the death of his second wife, singer Giuseppina Strepponi. Today at 3 the centennial will be marked with a speech by Bruno Bartoletti, artistic director emeritus of the Lyric Opera. It'll be followed by a free performance of some of Verdi's work for string quartet and his Songs for Piano and Voice. It's at the Chicago Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington (312-744-8074).

29 MONDAY Every couple of months the ETA Creative Arts Foundation stages a reading of a new play that's being considered for a full production. Afterward the audience is encouraged to tell the playwright, cast, and artistic director what they did and did not like; if something's unclear, the playwright may go back and rewrite. Tonight the group reads Lois Roach's drama Benita's Choice, about a woman examining the decisions she's made in life. It's at 7 at ETA Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago. Admission is $3. Call 773-752-3955.

30 TUESDAY Brothers Tom and David Gardner took the name The Motley Fool for their wildly successful financial advice Web site (www.fool.com), borrowing from Elizabethan drama, in which only the court jester could speak the truth to the crown without fearing for his neck. They cover everything from credit card debt to portfolio management, and have also produced two best-selling financial guides, The Motley Fool Investment Guide: How the Fools Beat Wall Street's Wise Men and How You Can Too and The Motley Fool: You Have More Than You Think--the Foolish Guide to Personal Finance. The Gardners will be in town tonight to discuss the revised editions of both books and provide tips for fiscal survival once the promised recession hits. It's at 7 PM at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564). Unlike Microsoft stock, it's free.

31 WEDNESDAY One suspects that most of the tired, moody, dejected, and easily distracted folks who are in dire need of treatment for seasonal affective disorder will be feeling too low to attend tonight's free seminar on the illness, which experts think is caused by a lack of sunlight. At 7:30 Dr. Alexander Golbin will explain treatment options, which range from taking walks in the afternoon to light- and sleep-therapy to medication. It's at the Sharfstein Academic Center at Rush North Shore Medical Center, 9600 Gross Point in Skokie; to register call 847-933-6000.

FEBRUARY

1 THURSDAY The title of Ridge Theatre's new multimedia production, Jennie Richee, comes from the name of Henry Darger's mythical battlefield where the seven blonde Vivian girls face off against the evil Glandelinian enslavers. Darger's fanciful 15,145-page illustrated work, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, which brought the Chicagoan posthumous fame as an "outsider artist," gets its first theatrical treatment with this weekend's production by the New York-based experimental group. The show's tonight at 8 and runs through Sunday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets are $18. Saturday at 2 there will be a roundtable discussion with playwright Mac Wellman, director Bob McGrath, composer Julia Wolfe, and producer William Murray on the making of Jennie Richee. Sunday at 2 Darger biographer Michael Bone-steel will discuss the artist's life. Both events are free. Call 312-397-4010 for more.

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