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27 FRIDAY Say the word "bully" and chances are a mean little boy comes to mind. But longtime school social worker Joan Lampert has noticed that girls bully too. For them, bullying is "frequently experienced in the context of female friendship and involves deep feelings of betrayal." She'll lead a discussion of girls' experiences as bullies, targets, and bystanders ("Not for Boys Only") at 10 today as part of the Women's Day event at Oakton Community College. The daylong program of six one-hour presentations includes a keynote performance by singer-songwriter Kristin Lems at 1. Registration begins at 8 AM at the college, 1600 E. Golf in Des Plaines. The cost for the day, including lunch, is $40. Call 847-635-1745.

For the last four months, the Japanese experimental theater group OM-2 and a group of local performers overseen by Neo-Futurist Anita Loomis have been rehearsing--in separate time zones--Convulsions of Mr. K, which uses text, sound, light, movement, and video to examine the anxiety of modern life. At the beginning of October they met up to integrate their dual perspectives on the work. In January the local group, including Loomis, Connor Kalista, Courtney Evans, Brooke Chaffee, and Tyler Myers, will travel to Japan for a series of performances. The piece premiered in Chicago last night; you can see it tonight and tomorrow night at 8 and Sunday at 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago in Chicago. Tickets are $18, $16 for students and seniors; call 312-397-4010.

28 SATURDAY Compared to their sedentary counterparts, girls who participate in sports are far less likely to be anorexic or depressed or to get knocked up. A group of Outward Bound instructors is getting the word out with Girls on the Move, a ten-week educational bike trip from Portland, Oregon, to New York City. Today anyone over the age of nine can join the 55 women on the ride (who range in age from 17 to 72) for a five-mile cycle through Lincoln Park. That'll be followed by a festival designed to empower and boost self-esteem with challenges like three climbing walls and guest appearances by musicians R-Angels, Angela Via, and Corey Harris, Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, actress Amy Jo Johnson (from Felicity), plus-size model and motivational speaker Kelly Repassy, and authors Shelly Frost and Carolyn Mackler. The ride is from 8:30 to 10 (helmets required) and the festival runs from 10 to 2 at Montrose Beach, near Montrose Avenue and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It's free; call 800-437-6071 for more information.

Maverick Viennese composer Heinz Karl Gruber drew on the dark nursery rhymes of poet H.C. Artmann for the libretto of his neo-Gothic Frankenstein!!, which includes such macabre imagery as: "Gret Muller is my name / nipping neckies is my game, / little vampire teeth to bite / little sharpened nails to fight." Gruber will perform the 1978 "speech-song"--backed by chamber ensemble Fulcrum Point--at its Chicago premiere today as part of a Performing Arts Chicago event called I Married a Monster! The program also includes a performance of Randall Woolf's My Insect Bride, a piece for Hohner Clavinet, winds, and strings, inspired by the movie The Fly, and a screening of James Whale's 1935 Bride of Frankenstein. It starts at 2 at the Field Museum's Simpson Theatre, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Tickets are $15, $10 for students, seniors, and children, and include admission to the museum. Call PAC at 773-722-5463 for more.

29 SUNDAY Five years in the making, the 1933 World's Fair Jewish Day show, The Romance of a People, boasted a cast of 3,500 performers who depicted 5,000 years of Jewish history in song and dance. Today one of the original performers, now in her 90s, will recall the pageant and perform excerpts of it with friends and family of other original performers. It's at 2 at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark, Chicago. It's free; call 312-663-5634.

The Chicago Cultural Center has pulled off a Halloween coup by getting the Austin, Texas, avant-punk/jazz/klezmer combo Brown Whornet to perform their new soundtrack for the creepiest vampire film of them all, F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (the making of which inspired the new John Malkovich/Willem Dafoe film Shadow of the Vampire). Unfortunately they're showing the film on video, but it is free. It's at 5 and 7 tonight in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Chicago (312-744-6630).

Ever notice how some people's names are uncannily suited to their jobs? A scientist named "Quest," for example, or an astronaut named "Ride." Roland Quest attended Elmhurst College in the 1930s before going on to study physics at Washington University and the University of Illinois. He went to work for McDonnell Douglas, where he helped design the first space shuttle. For the last five years, the college has presented an annual lecture endowed by him. This year's speaker is someone with a direct connection to Quest's work: the first American woman in space, Sally Ride. Now president of an Internet company,, Ride, said to be a riveting speaker, will talk about "Leadership and America's Future in Space" at 7 in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel at the college, 190 Prospect in Elmhurst. It's free. Call 630-617-3033.

30 MONDAY Jamie Oliver, England's hugely popular "naked chef," is young and good-looking, but his nickname refers to his culinary technique, not some fetish for nude cooking. "It's basically stripping back to the essentials," he says of his The Naked Chef cookbook and G-rated television show. His recipes--mostly modern Italian standards--champion the pleasures of straightforward preparations and fresh, raw ingredients. Oliver will discuss and sign his book tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan, Chicago (312-573-0564). It's free.

31 TUESDAY "Our goal is to get mothers across America to masturbate....We hereby proclaim full-out war against the false Puritan propriety and hypocrisy....It all starts with us putting our sexuality back into our own hands. And I mean our own hands," says performance poet Liz Belile, the force behind the "pornerotic" Houston-based reading series and CD anthology Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn. She and contributors Carlisle Vandervoort, Sassy Johnson, Michelle Glaw, and Tatiana de la Tierra will read their naughty works for free tonight at 6 at Quimby's, 1854 W. North, Chicago (773-342-0910). They'll also read at a benefit for Women in the Director's Chair Monday, October 30, at 7:30 at the WIDC Theater, 941 W. Lawrence, Chicago. Tickets for that event are $12 (773-907-0610).


1 WEDNESDAY Tickets went like hotcakes when Rudolph Wurlitzer and Philip Glass's new chamber opera based on Franz Kafka's ominous parable of capital punishment In the Penal Colony made its recent world premiere in Seattle. Previews for the show's Chicago run start tonight at 7:30 (it opens November 11) at the Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis, Chicago. Tickets are $24. Call 773-753-4472. Across town, tickets to Lookingglass's production of Kafka's Metamorphosis, which opens Saturday at the Ruth Page Center, 1016 N. Dearborn, Chicago, are proving popular as well. Call 773-477-8088 for more.

2 THURSDAY A year ago, Washington state weaver Anita Luvera Mayer met with members of three Illinois fiber art guilds to explain her concept of "mantles for women"--long vests that resemble religious garments but are personal art objects, each symbolizing and celebrating a woman's passage through life. Mayer will explain her Mantle Project again and 20 mantles made over the last year by members of the guilds will be on display at this weekend's Fine Art of Fiber at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The four-day event, including lectures, exhibits, and sales, is sponsored by Illinois Quilters, the North Suburban Needle Arts Guild, and the North Shore Weavers Guild. Mayer's lecture begins at 1:30 today in the Alsdorf Auditorium of the garden's education center; the mantles hang in the center's exhibit hall. It's free, but parking is $7. The garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe. Call 847-835-5440 for more information.

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