13 FRIDAY Sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar has completely trained one person to play the challenging 700-year-old Indian instrument--his daughter, Anoushka, who began studying with him on a special "baby" sitar when she was nine. That was a decade ago; recently sitar aficionado George Harrison said that like her father, Anoushka "is the music." Tonight the pair play together as part of Full Circle: Ravi Shankar's 80th Birth Year Tour. It's at 8 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, Chicago. The only tickets remaining at press time are $69 stage seats; call 800-223-7114.
14 SATURDAY The Organ Historical Society's Autumn Organ Crawl of the Northern Suburbs offers organ lovers a chance to hear four great organs in four historic churches. It starts at 10 today at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Skokie (Niles Center and Galitz), where the instrument is a 1974 Phelps. The next stop, at 11:15, is at Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilmette (Wilmette and Park), to listen to a 1990 Evanston-made Bradford. They'll pause at noon while everyone gets lunch on their own (a fine excuse for a Dutch baby at Walker Brothers' Original Pancake House, 153 Green Bay in Wilmette). At 1:15 they'll reconvene at Evanston's First Congregational Church (Hinman near Grove), while the 1927 Skinner thunders, and at 2:15 they'll hear the one-of-a-kind four-keyboard Wiener in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Divine Word International (Waukegan and Techny) in Techny. The tour is free--you can do the whole thing or any part of it, but you must have your own transportation. Call 708-579-5433 for directions and more information.
Quick--what should tormented artists do when they're thinking of killing themselves? (Hint: The correct answer does not involve a razor blade.) In her new book, The Lost Soul Companion: Comfort and Constructive Advice for Struggling Actors, Musicians, Artists, Writers and Other Free Spirits, author Susan M. Brackney suggests a long list of tactics, from the annoying ("Create an elaborate hoax") and mundane ("Open the curtains") to the practical ("Let someone proofread your suicide note"). Brackney, a self-described depressive who plans to spend a lifetime on Zoloft, will share writing tips at Barnes & Noble's World's Largest Writing Workshop today at 2 and discuss survival strategies at 3 at the store at 659 W. Diversey in Chicago. Both events are free. Call 773-871-9004.
15 SUNDAY Real-life knights in shining armor were out of the picture by the 19th century, but that didn't mean chivalry had gone out of style. In fact, says art historian Debra Mancoff, this "emblem for masculinity" was depicted by Victorian gentlemen as akin to themselves in order to "defend and define their own masculinity." Today at 2 Mancoff, a Newberry Library scholar in residence, will discuss chivalry, male identity, and more at a slide lecture called Rescue Me! Victorian Medieval Masculinity at the Glessner House Museum, 1800 S. Prairie, Chicago. It's $10; call 312-326-1480.
Marlon Riggs's 1987 film Ethnic Notions was a groundbreaking study of representations of African-Americans from the 1820s to the 1960s. According to the distributor's summary: "In a searing procession of bigotry, loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, leering Coons, and wide-eyed Pickaninnies scroll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, household bric-a-brac, and children's rhymes" revealing the "deep-rooted stereotypes" and "grotesque caricatures" used to justify the oppression of blacks. The film will be shown at 2 today at the Oak Park Public Library, followed by a discussion led by Oak Park's Project Unity facilitators. It's free; the library is located at 834 Lake in Oak Park. Call 708-383-8200, ext. 119 for more.
16 MONDAY Is casting a vote for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader effectively the same as voting for George W.? Many progressive types say they feel compelled to vote for Gore because they think Bush would appoint conservative Supreme Court justices and endanger Roe v. Wade. But that might not be the case, say others. That contested 1973 decision was written by Justice Blackmun, a Nixon appointee, and as governor of Texas Bush has appointed moderates who've upheld a woman's right to choose. Tonight a group of local pundits will toss this and other questions around at a free debate called Should Progressives Support Nader or Gore? Arguing for Gore will be Denise Miles from the Black Radical Congress, Bruce Bostick from the United Steel Workers, and former In These Times publisher James Weinstein. Dr. Quentin Young from Physicians for a National Health Program, Chris Geovanis of the Chicago May Day Coalition, and Sam Smucker from the United Electrical Workers will speak in support of Nader. The debate, moderated by WVON personality Clifford Kelley, starts at 7 (doors open at 6:30) at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, Chicago. Call 773-486-1823 for more info.
The soon-to-debut Bridge magazine has as its heady goal the fusion of different disciplines in the humanities because, says editor Michael Workman, "separate fields of inquiry all terminate in human attempts at creativity." Tonight's prerelease party, dubbed Human on the Outside, doubles as a book release party for Workman's first novel, Relative Chill, and includes readings by Workman and Bridge contributors Cheryl Trykv, Reader staff writer Monica Kendrick, Rennie Sparks, and Greg Purcell with music by Vernon Tonges. Doors open at 8 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago (773-227-4433). Admission is $10; you must be 21.
17 TUESDAY Actor, playwright, and author Anna Deavere Smith opened her recent one-woman show, House Arrest, by "becoming"--down to the slightest facial tic and change of inflection--colorful cultural commentator Studs Terkel. For her new book based on that performance, Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines, Smith interviewed some 400 people, both famous and not, to examine the nature of power, communication, identity, and the presidency. The tables turn tonight at 6 when Smith, whose new film, Twilight: Los Angeles, opens soon, will be interviewed by Terkel himself. The free event is at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, Chicago (312-747-4080).
18 WEDNESDAY Monteverdi's Orfeo is one of the oldest operas on the books, and this year Chicago Opera Theater has collaborated with the Newberry Consort to create an orchestra of period instruments for the show, which will be conducted by early music specialist Jane Glover. The production should be "very sexy and different," says a spokesperson. It's directed by Diane Paulus, the brains behind the recent off-Broadway hit The Donkey Show. Orfeo opens tonight at 7:30 (and runs through October 28) at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago. Tickets are $27 to $56; call 312-704-8414.
19 THURSDAY The danceable old-time country music of the Volo Bogtrotters and the country blues of Devil in a Woodpile are among the Chicago-area fare on the program at tonight's benefit for Julius Trees Parrish, an autistic Oak Park five-year-old boy. Julius's mom is Irish folk singer Catherine Hall; his dad is Theodore Parrish of the traditional Hawiian group, Kupono. Both will perform, along with modern folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong. This is the second annual Julius benefit; proceeds go to a nonprofit fund that helps pay for his home-based therapy. The concert starts at 7 at FitzGerald's Night Club, 6615 W. Roosevelt in Berwyn. A donation of $15 per person is requested at the door. Call 708-788-2118 for information.