Friday 7/25 - Thursday 7/31
By Cara Jepsen
25 FRIDAY Margaret Burroughs is a teacher, civil rights activist, painter, and writer whose famous poem "What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?" has been read into the Congressional Record and translated into a few languages. She's perhaps best known in Chicago as a founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History and the South Side Community Art Center. She'll be honored for her contributions to the city's black culture and art tonight at A Gathering of Utterers: A Soulful Evening of Poetry, Music, and Dance. The lineup includes actress Momma Kemba Johnson-Webb, poets Authens Smith and Emily Hooper-Lansana, singers Ebony Eason and Glenda Fairella Baker, and many others. It's from 6 to 9 at Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church, 3330 S. King Drive. It's $17; call 708-331-1116 for reservations and information.
26 SATURDAY Audience mem-bers are invited to heckle and jeer--er, cheer at the Newberry Library's annual Bughouse Square Debates. The square's tradition of public oration dates back to the pre-talk-radio era, when opinionated individuals would argue the issues of their day while standing on soapboxes. This year's windbags include Judge Eugene Pincham, Jay Miller of the Illinois ACLU, and Jim Tobin from the National Taxpayers United of Illinois; they'll discuss such issues as physician assisted suicide, the death penalty, and multiculturalism in language. The debates, hosted by Cindy Mitchell and Studs Terkel, will be held today from noon to 5 in Washington Square Park, across from the Newberry Library, 60 E. Walton. Also today the Newberry will conduct its annual book sale, which this year includes nearly 100,000 titles. It's from 10 to 5 today and from noon to 5 tomorrow on the first floor of the library. Both events are free; call 312-943-9090 for more.
27 SUNDAY On most Sunday nights you can hardly find a parking space on Devon between Western and California, let alone a seat at one of the strip's many restaurants. The smell of curry and sauerkraut fills the air, and the streets are crowded with hungry locals as well as "tourists" from other parts of the city. In case you've never been, this weekend marks the third annual Taste of Devon, where neophytes will get a chance to sample food, listen to music, watch Indian dancers, check out the area's international marketplace, and take a self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood. It takes place Saturday and today from 11 to 8 (music starts at 3 both days) at Devon and Rockwell. It's free. Call 773-743-6022.
One weekend a long, long time ago, my father shot a very large, very pregnant snapping turtle. Instead of burying the corpse, we put the thing in the freezer so my stepbrother could stuff it in his summer-school taxidermy class. On Monday we found that she had laid four perfect white eggs before exiting this cold world. I suspect that's not a story to tell the experts from the Chicago Herpetological Society, who will answer questions and discuss turtle-related topics today at the society's monthly All About Turtles get-together. It's from 1 to 3:30 at the North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski. It's free. Call 312-744-5472 for more.
28 MONDAY The setting is 1960s London, but you can forget about Austin Powers coming to the rescue in the low-budget movie Brothers in Trouble. Amir, a Pakistani immigrant, finds lodging in a depressing East End flat with 17 other illegal aliens. Like them, he lands a job working long hours for low pay at a dirty factory and spends his free time taking in Indian movie matinees and sharing a prostitute who does the rounds of the apartment at regular intervals. All hell breaks loose when the household's leader--played by renowned Indian actor Om Puri--brings home a white woman. Many of the actors are immigrants themselves and, according to the filmmakers, went through similar ordeals when they came to Britain. Brothers in Trouble screens tonight at 7 and 9 at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Admission is $7. Call 773-281-4114.
29 TUESDAY I guess there are still a few Chicagoans left who haven't seen Our Very Own Michael Flatley's bandannaed bouffant do, buff bum, and bouncy brand of Celtic stepping. His overexposed in-your-face-even-if-you-don't-want-it-there Lord of the Dance routine has been on just about every talk and awards show around. In case you've spent the past year in a coma, his shtick consists of 40 Irish step dancers staging a sexed-up version of their traditional jigs. It's presided over by Flatley, who, though he gets his fashion tips from Loverboy's Mike Reno, has a certain charisma that appeals to the crowd--and he can dance a record-breaking 28 taps per second. The show's engagement has been extended through August 2. Tonight's show is at 7:30 at the Rosemont Horizon, 6920 N. Mann-heim in Rosemont. Tickets are $24.50 to $54.50. Call 312-559-1212.
30 WEDNESDAY Local poet Natalie Kenvin's work has been described as "verses that fly like small fists." Her poems illuminate moments and feelings most of us would prefer to keep locked away in the backs of our brains. In "My Daughter Is Sleeping," she hits us with, "Her Body lies in a peel / Of skin. / Her neck is like the stem / Of a chrysanthemum. / Supple, brown, dead." When she's not packing a punch, Kenvin teaches ESL at Wilbur Wright College and coedits the No Roses Review. She'll read from her new collection Bruise Theory tonight and will be joined by fellow Chicago poets Julie Parson-Nesbitt and Cin Salach, who will also read from new collections. It starts tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. It's free. Call 773-684-1300.
31 THURSDAY Ironically, it was a PR person who put the flyer for tonight's Evening with John Stauber in my hands. Stauber, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, is also the coauthor of Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, a book which examines, among other things, how staged events and press releases fill TV screens and the pages of newspapers, once the domain of "real news." These days PR is so pervasive it's nearly impossible to detect. Stauber provides examples of "greenwashing"--the tactics corporations use to silence environmentalists, such as implementing cosmetic changes and creating sham "green" groups to fight the real ones. And, of course, he includes his own story, in which a major PR firm waged a campaign to keep his book from being published. Find out tonight whether he's a prophet or a run-of-the-mill conspiracy theorist when he speaks at 6 in the Hokin Hall Auditorium at Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash. It's free. Call 312-663-3225 for more information.