Friday 5/22 - Thursday 5/28
By Cara Jepsen
22 FRIDAY In the days before VCRs, people went to see porn films in actual movie theaters, where they were treated to the larger-than-life frolics of mustachioed hunks and blue-eye-shadowed babes. Makeup and hair is about all the body covering you'll see in Skin Tight, which stars Annette Haven and Lisa DeLeeuw as two sex therapists who "counsel" clients with performance problems. The distributor's blurb says it best: "What they don't realize is that they have unleashed a dark and primitive passion in one man that won't be denied." As if they needed a plot. It screens tonight (and tomorrow) at midnight as part of the Music Box's "Boogie Midnights" X-rated weekend series, which runs through the beginning of June. The Music Box is at 3733 N. Southport; tickets are $7.75. Call 773-871-6604 for more.
23 SATURDAY See them ride their bikes up curbs and down stairs. See them plunge through a narrow tunnel called "the patch collector." See them pedal up a ramp and over a car. No, they aren't punk-rock mountain bikers a la Missy Giove--they're police officers from the city's bike patrol, and today a number of them will compete for prizes at the second annual Police Bike "Cop"-etition. "They're in a lot better shape than the average policeman," says Sergeant Tom Northfell of the CPD's bike patrol unit. (Remember that when you're running away from one.) See for yourself today when they compete at noon at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. It's free; bring your own doughnuts. Call 312-747-8250.
24 SUNDAY Nearly 30 years ago the Cosanti Foundation began constructing Arcosanti, an experimental town of compact, solar-powered buildings on 25 acres of a 4,060-acre land preserve in the high desert of Arizona. With an eye to blending architecture and ecology--"arcology"--Arcosanti's builders hope the town will someday house 7,000 people. In the meantime there are 60 permanent residents; a cafe, gallery, and bakery for tourists; and a revolving roster of workshop participants who work on the site. But it's not nirvana--Bob Rudner of the Chicago Greens says "it has no system for retirement, no real financial program for the needy, and is missing many aspects of a truly cooperative culture." Today he'll deliver his Green City Report with fellow Green Party activist Joe Pakovits at the free Chicago Greens monthly forum and potluck at 4 at Ann Sather restaurant, 929 W. Belmont. Call 773-918-8713 for more information.
25 MONDAY In the late 1940s real estate developer William Levitt created the first Levittown in Hempstead, Long Island. In case you weren't paying attention in history class, the suburban development consisted of rows upon rows of identical, mass-produced homes--the prototype of the modern subdivision. Three Levittowns were eventually produced; their graduates include Zippy creator Bill Griffith, who said growing up there "was like we were all acting in a TV sitcom," and 80s rocker Eddie Money, who enjoyed the experience. At least that's what they say in director John O'Hagan's 1997 documentary, Wonderland, which traces the suburban nightmare from its gestation to its current incarnation as home to a wildly disparate group of people. It's at 7 and 9 tonight (and plays through Thursday) at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $7. Call 773-281-4114.
26 TUESDAY For poet John Ashbery, writing is "ideas about thoughts. Thoughts is too grand a word." Ashbery's ideas have made him the only American poet to win the triple crown of verse--the Pulitzer, the National Book Critics Award, and the National Book Award--for one book, 1975's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. He'll read from his work tonight at the Poetry Center of Chicago's annual fund-raiser; afterward poet Mark Strand will join Ashbery for an onstage conversation, eliminating the awkward Q and A session that follows most of these events. It's at 6 in the Rubloff Auditorium of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive and Jackson. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 312-899-1229.
27 WEDNESDAY "Parenting has become a countercultural activity of the first order," write economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Harvard University professor Cornel West in the prologue to their new book, The War Against Parents: What We Can Do for America's Beleaguered Moms and Dads. According to the two scholars, those who procreate enjoyed big tax breaks and strong community support up until the early 1970s, when businesses and the government began cutting back on benefits (hmm--wasn't that when the women's movement took hold?). Tonight West and Hewlett will discuss the problem and its solution--a "parents' bill of rights," which includes paid parenting leave, support for fathers in custody battles, and family health coverage. The experts take the stage at 5:30 in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. It's free. Call 773-769-9299 or 312-747-4050 for more.
28 THURSDAY Discover your worth, reclaim your will, energize your body, manage your money, tame your mind, and trust your intuition. Those are the first 6 of author Dan Millman's 12 gateways to personal growth as outlined in his new book, Everyday Enlightenment. The next 6 steps instruct you to accept your emotions, face your fears, illuminate your shadow, embrace your sexuality, awaken your heart, and serve your world--in other words, grow up. Now that you know all 12, you won't have to pass through the unmentioned 13th gateway--"buy my book." Millman, who is best known for writing Way of the Peaceful Warrior, will discuss his prescription for living tonight from 7:30 to 10:30 in the auditorium of New Trier West Center, 7 Happ Road in Northfield. Tickets are $35; call 847-400-1898.