Friday 12/12 - Thursday 12/18
By Cara Jepsen
12 FRIDAY Old Saint Nick supposedly lived between 300 AD and 342 AD, performing acts of kindness throughout the Roman Empire. Yet the first written accounts of his life are dated 500 years after his death. Tonight one of the nation's foremost medieval music groups, the Anonymous 4, will combine songs, literature, and history to tell some of the Legends of Saint Nicholas. And member Susan Hellauer points out that they are indeed legends: "Although the miraculous exploits to his credit are numerous, not a single contemporary account bears witness to them, or even to Nicholas's existence." So you may not want to bring the kids to the concert. It starts at 8 at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, Michigan at Delaware. Tickets are $15 in advance ($7 for students) and $18 ($8 students) at the door. Call 773-702-8068 for more.
13 SATURDAY Time between jobs can be horribly depressing, leading to feelings of inadequacy that won't help to end an employment search. The Robert Taylor Homes' Boys & Girls Club's Jobs- Path Program provides kits on job training and how to ace an interview. Proceeds from tonight's holiday celebration--which features Arnita Boswell, founder of the League of Black Women, and harpist Sadhana Mi--will go toward continuing the program. It's from 5 to 7 at C'est Si Bon, 5225 S. Harper. Admission is $15 and includes refreshments; attendees are also asked to donate a toilet item such as a hairbrush or soap. Call 773-643-5383 to register.
14 SUNDAY Over the past few weeks, students from Robert Morris College have been working with kids from the Logan Square Children's Art Class, Gallery 37, and DCFS programs to help create Redmoon Theater's annual Winter Pageant. The spectacle includes puppets, actors, live music, and performers on stilts and in masks; this year they tackle the story of creation using themes from nature and totems of birds, lizards, bugs, and other creatures. It's at 5 and 7:30 tonight at the Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie. Tickets are $7, which includes snacks. Call 773-388-9031 for more information.
15 MONDAY With a well-received debut CD, a write-up in Billboard, and a dance card full of upcoming appearances, Carlos Ortega's Latin combo Casolando was poised for success. It all came to a halt a few weeks ago when Ortega suddenly fell ill, losing the ability to move on his right side and suffering a loss of hearing, speech, and vision. He has spent over a month in therapy at Northwestern University's Rehabilitation Institute. The uninsured singer-songwriter hopes to return to performing early next year, but in the meantime the medical bills are piling up. Tonight a group of musician friends, including the Drapes, Black Family, Moonshine Willy, the Bells with Chris Connelly, and members of Casolando and Samba Bamba, will headline a benefit for Ortega called I Survived the 4th Floor World Tour. It's from 8 to midnight at the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee. Donations are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 312-635-7171.
16 TUESDAY Last year two 26-year-old friends hit the road in a borrowed car with a laptop computer, video cameras, and the names and phone numbers of 200 people they wanted to interview for a documentary about the American dream. Among the people Shainee Gabel and Kristin Hahn tracked down for Anthem were George Stephanopolous (whose interview was interrupted by the president), John Waters, Willie Nelson, Hunter S. Thompson, rapper Chuck D, Michael Stipe, Robert Redford, George McGovern, and a pessimistic-but-resigned 20-year-old gas station attendant in Pennsylvania. Any conclusions about the American dream? "I definitely think there is one," says Gabel. "But it's so different for different people." The film screens at 7 and 9:15 tonight at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $7. Call 773-281-4114.
17 WEDNESDAY "It is naturally difficult to learn to see anew, especially with regard to films in which conventions of romance and role playing have become an undiscriminated part of our culture, habitually accepted by millions of men and women. Seduced by the power of films to grasp the imagination, audiences seldom question repeated sexist stereotypes," writes film scholar Patricia Erens in the preface to the 1979 collection of essays, Sexual Stratagems: The World of Women in Film. The most common of those stereotypes include the child-woman, the fragile virgin, the career girl, the husband chaser, the whore, and the "mammary goddess." Today Erens will use examples from Rear Window, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Thelma & Louise in her talk, Gender and the Cinematic Gaze. It's at noon at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. It's $7, which includes admission to the museum. Call 312-280-2660.
18 THURSDAY The settlement pattern of most immigrant groups is as follows: start out in the city, stay as long as it takes to get on your feet, then move to a better neighborhood or, better yet, to the 'burbs. But the area's still-growing East Indian population bucked the pattern. Most arrived after 1965, when laws changed to make it easier for educated professionals to immigrate here, and settled where the jobs were in Du Page and Kane counties. Once established, they brought over their relatives, many of whom run the Devon Avenue shops that serve the community, according to the Illinois Ethnic Coalition's Cynthia Linton, author of The Ethnic Handbook: A Guide to the Cultures and Traditions of Chicago's Diverse Communities. She'll discuss the settlement patterns of several different groups today at a lecture entitled Ethnic Chicago: A Historical and Geographical Perspective. It's at 12:15 in the video theater of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. It's free. Call 312-726-5293.
You probably won't hear one Bing Crosby tune tonight when musician-DJ Don Hedeker, formerly of Algebra Suicide and lately of the Bouncing Balls and the Polkaholics, takes over the turntables to play wild and wacky Christmas songs at Club Foot. His eclectic yuletide collection includes new takes on the holiday by the Trashmen ("Dancing With Santa"), the Three Stooges ("I Gotta Cold for Christmas"), the Vandals ("Oi to the World"), the Celibate Rifles ("Merry Xmas Blues"), and the Youngsters ("Christmas in Jail"). Hedeker will also throw in some more traditional tunes by the Ronettes, Esquivel, and Herb Alpert. He spins tonight from 9 to 2 at Club Foot, 1824 W. Augusta. There's no cover. Call 773-489-0379.