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Friday 5/8 - Thursday 5/14

MAY

By Cara Jepsen

8 FRIDAY Sometimes starting over has its benefits. After being priced out of Wicker Park two years ago, HotHouse has moved to a location in the South Loop that boasts 8,000 square feet and two performance spaces. Its grand opening kicks off tonight with a New Orleans-style processional from HotHouse's old location to the new one. Revelers and drummers will board three trolleys at 5 outside 1565 N. Milwaukee (seating is first come, first served), and they'll arrive at approximately 6:30 at the new HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. Performances start at 7 and continue throughout the weekend; tonight's lineup includes 8 Bold Souls, Ensemble Descarga, Sterling Plumpp, and Barrie Cole. It's $12; call 312-362-9707.

How many Sherpas does it take to schlepp a 35-pound Imax camera to the top of Mount Everest? About six, if you also count the five-pound packs of film--each of which lasted all of 90 seconds--that were needed to make the new Omnimax feature film Everest. The big-big-screen film was shot in 1996, the year that eight climbers died in a disastrous storm (the Imax team helped rescue the survivors). Screenings start at 10 AM; the movie will alternate with another Imax film, Whales, every 50 minutes until 3, with additional shows at 3:50 and 4:40 Saturday and Sunday. It's at the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and Lake Shore Drive; admission is $12 for one film, $16 for both. Call 773-684-1414 for more.

9 SATURDAY "Every time Buddhism came to a different country, a different denomination was created," says Bob Leopold of the Buddhist Council of the Midwest. The one that gets the most press these days is Vajrayana Buddhism, as seen in the films Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet. You'll be able to find the Korean and Cambodian varieties, among others, today at the annual Visakha Festival, a celebration of Buddhist culture, religion, and teachings. The day begins at 9:30 with a service that includes meditation and chanting; the formal opening ceremony starts at 12:30 and will be followed by a series of lectures and meditation workshops from 1 to 6, including a taiko drumming session for children at 3. But wait, there's more: a cultural program that includes Thai dancers, Japanese folk songs, and a medley of Hawaiian music starts at 6:30 and ends at 10. It's all free at the Lake Street Church, 607 W. Lake in Evanston. Call 847-869-5806 for enlightenment.

When you think of art criticism in Chicago, think CACA. Today members of the newly formed Chicago Art Critics Association will present slide talks on local artists as part of Art 1998 Chicago, the four-day festival beginning on Friday. Participants and their subjects include Northwestern University professor James Yood on Hollis Sigler, Reader contributor Fred Camper on Walter Andersons, and New Art Examiner editor Kathryn Hixson on Kerry James Marshall, who's also profiled in this week's cover story. It's from 4 to 6 in room 325 at Navy Pier's Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand, and it's free with admission to the festival, which is $10, $7 for students and seniors. Call 312-587-3300 or see the art listings in Section Two for more information.

10 SUNDAY When Christina Crawford penned her best-selling 1978 memoir Mommie Dearest, she had no idea her reward would be an enduring reputation as a parent basher. A few years ago she bought back the rights to her book, added some new material, and created a literary "director's cut" of her chronicle of her relationship with her adoptive mother, Joan Crawford. Christina will be interviewed by Sun-Times gossip maven Bill Zwecker at tonight's Mother's Day With Christina Crawford extravaganza, which includes a screening of the 1982 film. The night is hosted by female impressionist Honey West, who will oversee a Joan Crawford look-alike contest. It starts at 9:30 at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. A portion of the $20 admission fee will be donated to Open Hand Chicago. Call 800-789-8536 for info. Crawford will also appear tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway. It's free. Call 773-883-9119.

11 MONDAY If you read the Reader's cover story about Pilsen two weeks ago, you know that standing between that neighborhood and the further expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago (ironically, home to one of the nation's best urban-studies graduate programs) are the remains of Maxwell Street. The market was moved to sterile Roosevelt Road a few years ago, but many of the neighborhood's historic buildings endure. You can check out what's left today (and throughout the week) at noon, when the Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition leads a tour of the neighborhood. The free excursion starts at Jim's Red Hots, 1320 S. Halsted. Call Lori Grove at 312-421-0078 for more information.

12 TUESDAY Though many women are bringing home the bacon these days, when it comes to saving for the kids' education, buying stocks, or planning for retirement, some don't know the difference between a T-bill and traif. A seminar and workshop tonight, Taking Control: Financial Management for Women, will help the clueless among us. It's from 6 to 9 at the Women's Business Development Center, 8 S. Michigan, suite 400. Registration is $40; call 312-853-3477, extension 0.

13 WEDNESDAY Always one or two steps ahead of The X-Files, Whitley Strieber wrote the 1987 book, Communion, that helped spark the nation's obsession with alien encounters. His latest effort, Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us, details the removal of an "alien" object from his body in 1987, offers the experiences of other alleged abductees who have had implants removed, and gives scientific analysis of the objects. The three-part tome also includes evidence of mind-control research by the government and enough conspiracy theories to keep Mulder and Scully busy for decades. Strieber will discuss his findings tonight at 7:30 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North. It's free. Call 312-951-7323.

14 THURSDAY Music is about money, and unsuspecting musicians are (gasp!) easy targets for the Colonel Tom Parkers of the world. That's more or less the premise behind DePaul University's music-business program, a collaboration between the school of music and college of commerce that combines creativity with business and legal expertise and, most important, marketing. In planning for Musicfest 98, the program's culmination, students learned the fine art of negotiating with club owners and bands and pestering the press for coverage. Tonight Falstaff, Reign Dog, Colfax Ave., and 500 West will perform starting at 8 at Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $6; prizes will be awarded throughout the evening. Call 773-325-4472.

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