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Friday 5/14 - Thursday 5/20

MAY

By Cara Jepsen

14 FRIDAY Scientist Richard Dawkins, best known for coining the terms "memes" (units of cultural evolution) and "selfish genes" and for claiming that religions are best understood as "viruses of the mind," has been exploring the links between art, science, genetics, language, and reality. He'll read from his new book, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder, tonight at 6:30 at the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th. It's free; call 773-684-1300.

The repertoire of the 16-member Ensemble Stop-Time encompasses more than a century of African-American music--or, as the group likes to say, "everything from Jelly Roll Morton to Grandmaster Flash." Tonight the masters of music history will be joined by R & B vocalist Jerry "the Iceman" Butler and Ensemble Kalinda Chicago at the Stompin' at the Regal concert. It starts at 7:30 at the New Regal Theater, 1645 E. 79th. Tickets run $10 to $35; call 773-721-9301.

15 SATURDAY Beads, incense, tie-dye, hemp products, and you-know-what will be plentiful at this weekend's Windy City Hemp Fest. The free happening is from 11 to 9 today and tomorrow at Lincoln Park's Cricket Hill, near Montrose and Lake Shore Drive. Call 312-683-5172 for more.

The 60,000-member, 35-country Slow Food Movement promotes the propagation and leisurely consumption of regional cuisines and ingredients: "We are enslaved by speed," proclaims the group, "and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes, and forces us to eat Fast Foods." Founder Carlo Petrini will be honored tonight at Feast of the Senses: Art, Food & Wine, an exhibit of food-related art and food samples from Spiaggia, North Pond Cafe, Charlie Trotter's, Bittersweet, and Hot Cakes. It runs from 6 to 9 at Belloc Lowndes Fine Art and four other galleries at 300 W. Superior. Admission is $15 (a portion of which will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository). Call 733-645-3736 for reservations.

16 SUNDAY A "butter-colored" living room, a dramatic stone fireplace, and dining room walls the color of "toast with cinnamon sprinkles" are just a few highlights of the Lewis E. Russell-designed 1925 French eclectic-style house featured in this year's Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour. Prairie School, colonial revival, Chicago bungalow, and contemporary styles are also represented on the tour, as well as an English Gothic church. Tours run from 11 to 5 today, via guided bus or on your own. Tickets are $25, another two bucks for the bus ride; tours begin at the Beverly Art Center, 2153 W. 111th. Call 773-233-3100.

While you're in the neighborhood: Tonight at 5, photographer Mati Maldre will discuss Prairie School architect Walter Burley Griffin and sign copies of his book Walter Burley Griffin in America at Borders Books & Music, 2210 W. 95th. It's free. Call 773-445-5471.

Taken from a Web site for drummers: How many drummers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, as long as a roadie gets the ladder, sets it up, and puts the bulb in the socket for him. Conclusion: drummers may need help finding their way to this weekend's Vintage & Custom Drum Show, which will feature wares from some 50 exhibitors. It's Saturday from 10 to 5 and today from 10 to 3 at the Kane County Fairgrounds, on Randall Road between routes 38 and 64 in Saint Charles. Admission is $5; call 517-463-4757.

17 MONDAY Playwright Sam Shepard and musician T-Bone Burnett collaborated on The Tooth of Crime Second Dance, a 1997 version of Shepard's 1972 play The Tooth of Crime, which examined links among drugs, astrology, big business, and pop music. Tonight they'll perform selections from their play and from Shepard's Cruising Paradise, Motel Chronicles, and True West. The performance starts at 7:30 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets are $30. Call 312-335-1650.

18 TUESDAY The four-part Mexperimental Cinema series includes a selection of Mexican avant-garde films dating back to 1934. The first part, "Surveying the Terrain," screens at 7 tonight (the second part is tomorrow at 7, and the third and fourth follow next week). It includes work by Ruben Gamez, Antonio Reynoso, Silvia Gruner, and Ximena Cuevas. Jesse Lerner will give an overview of Mexican experimental cinema before tonight's screening, which takes place at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th. Tickets are $6 per program, $5 for students and seniors. For more info, see the Section Two movie listings. Call 312-738-1503 or 773-384-5533.

Three heavy-hitting female novelists will converge on the city tonight: You'll have to shell out to see Maxine Hong Kingston (Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book) discuss her work with author Larry Heinemann at a Poetry Center event, tonight at 6 at the Art Institute, Michigan and Adams. Tickets are $10 to $35; call 312-899-1229. Annie Proulx (The Shipping News) will give a free reading from her new short-story collection, Close Range: Wyoming Stories, at 6 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; call 312-747-4050. An hour later, Bebe Moore Campbell (Your Blues Ain't Like Mine) will give a free reading from Singing in the Comeback Choir at the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th; call 773-684-1300.

19 WEDNESDAY Alexander Polikoff, executive director of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, is best known for his legal work on the 1969 Gautreaux public-housing case, which relocated public-housing residents to integrated neighborhoods. Polikoff, 72, will step down from his post later this year but will continue as the group's attorney for the ongoing Gautreaux battle. Today he'll give a free lecture, "Justice and the Shape of the City," at 4 in room 155 of Northwestern University's Kresge Centennial Hall, 1859 N. Sheridan in Evanston. Call 847-491-3525.

Stephen Sondheim wrote his first musical, Saturday Night, in the mid-50s, but it hasn't been staged in America until now. The score for the musical, which takes place in New York during the Jazz Age, was orchestrated by Sondheim collaborator Jonathan Tunick especially for this production. It opens tonight at 8 at Pegasus Players, O'Rourke Performing Arts Center, Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson. Tickets are $17; call 773-878-9761.

20 THURSDAY Today a group of McDonald's shareholders will sit back at their annual meeting at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, while protesters outside condemn "a large number of violations against humans, earth, and animals," which they say include marketing junk food to children, destroying neighborhoods, and homogenizing other cultures. The free entertainment starts at 8:45 and ends at 12:30--just in time for lunch. Call 312-682-2821 for more.

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