Friday 5/2 - Thursday 5/8
By Cara Jepsen
2 FRIDAY One of the drawings in Slowin' Down: The Art and Stories of Cook County Incarcerated Youth depicts a prison scene with a monsterish sheriff presiding over a group of dehumanized, faceless forms on the ground. It was made by a 17-year-old in Cook County Jail, and it's one of the paintings, drawings, masks, and prints made by kids who worked with art teacher Rebecca George while they were awaiting trial or sentencing. The exhibit includes a lot of self-portraits and descriptions of humiliation, confusion, family violence, peer pressure, loss, and suffering. It opens tonight from 5 to 8 at the ARC Gallery, 1040 W. Huron, and runs through May 31. The opening will feature a screening of two autobiographical videos, "My Life" and "My Name Is Shareka," made by two west-side girls when they were on probation. Call 312-733-2787 for more information.
3 SATURDAY "Vertically challenged" bantam B-ballers will have their day in court at this afternoon's Wallaby Station Hoopla, a basketball-skills competition for men five-foot-eight and shorter. Palming the ball won't win you any prizes, but making the most free throws and field goals will. One lucky pint-size player will be chosen each hour to attempt a three-quarter-court shot to win $10,000. There'll also be a special celebrity challenge for diminutive media types. It's from 2 to 6 today at the Deerfield Multiplex, 491 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield. The $20 entry fee ($10 if you register in advance) benefits the American Brain Tumor Association. It's free to watch. To register call 847-729-7333.
Over the past three years, a Woodlawn co-op has taught some 100 girls and boys to repair bikes. Instead of receiving a wage, the kids--who range in age from 9 to 16--receive credit that they can use to purchase items at the shop. Some have even stuck around long enough to earn a complete bike. The shop also sells a wide range of used and vintage bikes and offers complete repair service. Today volunteers, kids, and customers will celebrate the opening of the bike season at the Blackstone Avenue Bicycle Co-op's Spring Blowout. The event promises a bike rodeo, including races and wheelie contests, a rap open mike (beats and bikes will be provided for those without), a barbecue, and a bike raffle. It's free and takes place from 3 to 7 at the co-op, 6100 S. Blackstone. Call 773-241-5458.
4 SUNDAY In 1919 the Wingfoot Express, hailed as the largest, most sophisticated dirigible of its time, was launched from a hangar at 63rd and Cottage Grove. As it made a pass over downtown Chicago, a spark from one of its engines struck its skin and ignited 95,000 cubic feet of hydrogen. The whole thing exploded and landed on the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank at LaSalle and Jackson, trapping eight people inside. Thirteen people died in the disaster. Nearly 20 years later, the Hindenburg became the world's most famous flaming zeppelin, sounding the death knell for the dirigible travel industry. A group of speakers including historians and collectors discuss both disasters and Chicago's ties to them in a free multimedia show (including little-seen film clips and pieces of the Hindenburg) at the Great Airship Lighter Than Air Seminar. It's today--the 60th anniversary of the Hindenburg tragedy--from noon to 4:30 at Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N. Ravenswood. Call 773-561-5940 for more information.
5 MONDAY Tonight local writer and actor Mary Ruth Clarke will unveil her new play How Are We for Time. The humorous one-act is part of WBEZ's Stories on Stage, this week tagged The 50 Minute Hour: Tales of the Celebrated Talking Cure. The theme, if you haven't guessed, is psychotherapy. Other stories include a selection from John Guare's Bosoms and Neglect and Amy Bloom's "Psychoanalysis Changed My Life." It starts at 7:30 in the theater of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors. Call 312-397-4010.
6 TUESDAY When you're diagnosed with a terminal illness you have several choices: finish out your time in a long-term health care facility (read: nursing home), opt for medical treatment at home, or sign up for hospice care. The last is a patient-centered program that allows a team of nurses, aides, clergy, and social workers to act in conjunction with you, your family, and your doctor to ensure that your last days are as free as possible from physical and emotional pain. Tonight Martha Twaddle, medical director of Hospice of the North Shore, will address these alternatives when she discusses Ethics at the End-of-Life from 7:30 to 9 at the North Shore Senior Center, 7 Happ Road in Northfield. It's $7. To register, call 847-446-8765.
7 WEDNESDAY The Dance Theatre of Harlem's Dancing Through Barriers program was launched four years ago in South Africa, when the company's principal dancers went into townships to teach ballet to children who had never seen it before. The group has continued the program here in the segregated U.S. of A. They say today's lecture-demonstration by the multicultural company is designed to show kids the rewards of hard work and discipline. It's at 10 at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. It's free with admission to the museum ($3, $2 for students and seniors, and $1 for kids ages 6 through 13). Call 773-947-0600 for more.
8 THURSDAY Not all improv is the excruciating drivel you find on TV in the wee hours after Saturday Night Live. Joey Slotnick, Lauren Katz, and John Lehr's shtick has less in common with an all-request DJ than with the way seasoned jazz musicians work together; one of them will begin a scene and the other two will join in and trade off leads. The three met years ago in the improvisational group Ed and have since gone on to film and TV work. They're reunited for the next two weekends in a show called Slotnick Katz & Lehr. The first performance is tonight at 7:30 at the Steppenwolf Studio Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets are $10; call 312-335-1650.