Friday 8/14 - Thursday 8/20
By Cara Jepsen
14 FRIDAY In the 1980s the CIA, DEA, and FBI knew about and did nothing to stop a major Latin America-to-LA drug ring that was helping to supply weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua. That's one of the claims made by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb in his new book, Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, which came out of a series of articles he wrote in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News. Webb, who subsequently lost his job and now works for a California state task force on government oversight, will talk at a Chicago Media Watch event tonight at 7 at Ann Sather restaurant, 929 W. Belmont. In These Times senior editor Salim Muwakkil will moderate the discussion; admission is $10. Call 773-604-1910 for more.
15 SATURDAY Do theater companies need to be Net savvy? What's the best way to raise funds to put on a show, and how do you fill the seats? And just who are the movers and shakers in Chicago theater? Such questions will be discussed, if not answered, at the League of Chicago Theatres' "Facing the Future: Challenge and Change" conference. Panelists will include the Annoyance Theatre's Mick Napier, the Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio, Stagebill's Shira Kalish, the ETA Creative Arts Foundation's Runako Jahi, and Reader theater critic Albert Williams; they'll take on topics like "Back to the Future: Personal Stories From Off-Loop History" and "Competing With 'Titanic' Expectations." It's from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM today at the Northwestern University Theatre and Interpretation Center, 1979 South Campus Drive in Evanston. The whole conference costs $60, which includes food and admission to Friday's 7 PM keynote speech by Theatre Communications Group executive director Ben Cameron and a party later that night from 8:30 to 11 at the Goodman. It's $15 for the party only. Call 312-922-7201 to register.
If you like to watch death-defying acts but Cirque du Soleil's not in your budget, consider the Stars and Bars skateboarding tour. They're both set up in parking lots, but this event's free. The five pro skateboarders on tour are Tim Brauch, Chad Knight, Kris Markovich, Geoff Rowley, and Charlie Wilkins, and they'll perform on ramps and a street course that includes rails and something called a "fun box." DJ Jesse de la Pe–a will provide the tunes. The demonstration is from 2:30 to 5:30 in the lot at the corner of Wells and Locust. Call 312-573-9996 for more information.
16 SUNDAY Traditional Korean drumming draws inspiration from nature and daily life. Rain is symbolized by the hourglass drum, or changgo; the small hand gong, or kkwaenggari, stands for lightning; the large drum, or buk, represents thunder; and the large gong, or ching, symbolizes wind. The four instruments will work together during a Korean dance at this weekend's Korean Street Festival. Other diversions include a folk dance, a floral fan dance, a tae kwon do demonstration, and a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. Of course, food and drink will be available. The festival is from 11 to 8 today (and from 11 to 9 Saturday) on Bryn Mawr between Kedzie and Central Park avenues. Admission is free. Call 773-583-1700.
17 MONDAY Remember back in June when you said you were going to make the most of this summer? Well, it might be too late for that weeklong Colorado camping trip, but there's plenty of time left to enjoy the weather and explore the city. Rainbow Park and Beach, one of the south side's best-kept secrets (to north-siders at least), boasts nearly seven blocks of sandy shoreline, a couple of acres of green space, and a fabulous view of the skyline. Recently the Park District broke ground for a new field house that will include a pool and a gym. In the meantime folks meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the old field house for an hour-long walk around the grounds. There's one tonight from 6:30 to 7:30 at the park, 2873 E. 76th. It's free, but you should show up early to register. Call 312-747-6625.
18 TUESDAY The multi-culti cast of characters in Ellis Cose's new novel, The Best Defense, includes African-American attorney Felicia Fontaine, Latino prosecutor Mario Santiago (who happens to be her ex), a defendant who is Slavic-American, and his wife, an Asian-American. "I wanted to reflect the real ethnic diversity of New York," says journalist Cose, whose nonfiction work includes Color Blind: Seeing Beyond Race in a Race-Obsessed World and A Man's World: How Real Is Male Privilege--and How High Is Its Price? "A less racially diverse cast of characters would not only have been less authentic, but would have offered less opportunity for conflict and nuance," he says. Cose will read from his latest tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th. It's free. Call 773-684-1300.
19 WEDNESDAY Most of us commoners will never fly on the Concorde: it's $9,165 for a round-trip ticket from New York to London. But the high price of high-speed travel hasn't stopped British Airways from launching a promotional campaign celebrating the supersonic cruiser's 21st birthday. At today's traveling Concorde '98...Ride the Rocket exhibit, the curious will be able to check out flight suits, models of the plane, and a simulated cockpit, as well as play Concorde trivia games and dress up as a space traveler to win ordinary plane tickets. And everyone can enter a drawing to win a trip for two on the extremely expensive jet. The free exhibit is open from 9 to 6 (the costume contest runs from 11:30 to 1:30) at Soldier Field's northeast parking lot, 1600 S. Lake Shore Drive. Call 800-247-9297.
20 THURSDAY In Reader contributor Adam Langer's new twist on the murder-mystery play, five theater critics and the editor of an alternative magazine are stuck in a room trying to figure out which of the six has written a mean-spirited play about them. And most have an ax to grind. "A lot of the characters are in criticism because they couldn't do something else with their lives," says Langer. They're not based on anyone in particular, he insists, "although I assume people will look at it, see themselves, and get pissed off." The Critics will be performed at 8 tonight (it runs through September 12) at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago. Tickets are $10, or $5 with a ticket to Seven Dates With Seven Writers--see the story on playwright Paula Kamen on these pages. Call 312-409-5156.