friday 7/21 - Thursday 7/27
By Cara Jepsen
21 FRIDAY The all-female spoken-word group the Morrigan takes its name from a Celtic goddess "whose horrible howl is said to have caused a hundred soldiers to die of fright." The troupe, whose members live in NYC and Chicago, has financed its current Wandering Uterus tour--32 shows in 55 days in a Ford van--by selling books and bumper stickers and soliciting donations from fans. Founders Andi Strickland, Marty McConnell, and Heather Gawrownski--and possibly others--will perform tonight at Gourmand Cafe, 728 S. Dearborn (312-427-2610). Sunday night they'll be joined by NYC poet Lynne Procope at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway (773-878-5552). Their final Chicago appearance is Monday at Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen (773-227-2277). All three free shows start at 7 PM.
No one knows more about "The Writer's Discipline" than the man who maintains a big-city law practice while turning out critically acclaimed, best-selling novels on a regular basis. Scott Turow will share his secrets at 7:30 tonight at the Hemingway Museum, 200 N. Oak Park in Oak Park. It's the kickoff lecture for the Hemingway 2000 Colloquium: Assessing the Man and His Work, to be held at the museum from 7:45 to 4:15 tomorrow, July 22. Admission for Turow's talk is $10. The colloquium, with discussions, papers, performances, and book signings, including one by Hemingway's niece, Hilary Hemingway, is $30 for nonmembers, $25 for members, and $20 for students. Call 708-848-2222 for more information.
22 SATURDAY Around World War I Russian avant-garde painters put the country at the forefront of contemporary art with the expressionist, constructivist, and "suprematist" movements, nonobjective abstract styles that emphasized geometric form. The traveling exhibition Painting Revolution: Kandinsky, Malevich and the Russian Avant-Garde showcases 85 of these works, on loan from the State Russian Museum of Saint Petersburg and 12 provincial museums. The paintings were in storage for most of the 20th century, ever since Stalin came to power, closed the museums, and made socialist realism the only state-sanctioned style. They didn't reappear until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The exhibit opens today at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630) and runs through October 8. A panel of art historians and museum professionals will discuss the movement's impact today at 1. It's free.
Tax preparer Joseph W. Soper has spent the past few weeks trying to ferret out the presidential candidates' tax policies. "Their Internet sites are usually running very vague or nonexistent information," he says. Of what he has seen, "Half their policies won't work.... Most talk about cuts and spending more money." But Soper does like what Republican long shot Alan Keyes has to say. He'll go into detail tonight at 8 at the College of Complexes forum at Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Admission is $3, plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120.
23 SUNDAY The Guinness World Record for the most people doing aerobics at the same time was set five years ago, in the Republic of Singapore. The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority hopes to break their record of 30,517 at today's 60-Minute Aerobic Challenge, in which people of all shapes, sizes, and genders are invited to jump and sweat to a program led by NBC fitness expert Donna Richardson. Registration is from 6 to 7:45 AM at Arvey Field near Roosevelt, Columbus, and Lake Shore Drive, and the actual aerobicizing is from 8 to 9. The $20 registration fee benefits the American Heart Association and the Mental Health Association in Illinois. Call 312-409-1143 for more.
Over the years the once hip NortHalsted Market Days has become one loud, crowded excuse to market beer, but there's still hope for the two-year-old Edgewater Days. This weekend "the most diverse neighborhood in Chicago" (in the local chamber's words) will host two music stages, a petting zoo, a bargain hunter's book sale at the Ger-ber/Hart Library and, of course, plenty of suds and grub. Today's music lineup includes the Polkaholics, Petra Luna, Pelvic Delta, Valerie James, and the Drovers. The street fair is today from 11 to 8 (and Saturday from 11 to 10) on Granville between Broadway and Kenmore (773-868-3010). Admission is a suggested $3 donation.
24 MONDAY The thing that keeps people coming back to Saint Stanislaus's annual carnival isn't just the bingo or the polka or the Tilt-A-Whirl, but the special hamburgers created by the church's "Marthas" (named for the patron saint of cooks). For the past 30 years they've handed the recipe down and kept it a secret from the rest of the world. Tonight the free festival is from 6:30 to 10:30, and features live music by Stas Bulanda's Dyno Chicago (polka) and the Billy Ray Valantine Band (rock). The festival runs through July 30, with a "polka mass" on July 29, at St. Stanislaus B. & M. Church, 5352 W. Belden. Call 773-237-5800.
25 TUESDAY The idea of literacy promoted in many westerns--that book learnin' "comes from the woman schoolteacher from the east"--is bunk, says Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. He'll discuss myth and reality in westerns, using clips from such films as Dead Man and McCabe & Mrs. Miller, tonight at 6 in a lecture called How the West Was Undone. It's part of the Terra Museum's exhibit "The American West: Out of Myth, Into Reality." It's at 664 N. Michigan (312-664-3939). Admission to the lecture is $7, $5 for members and educators, free for students.
26 WEDNESDAY When poet Mary Hawley was in her 20s, she used to quit her job every summer and travel, usually to Colombia. Then she got a "real" job at textbook publisher Scott Foresman in Glenview. Lucky for her, for the past two years she's been paid to travel for her job as editorial director. Last summer she went to Quebec, and she'll read at least one poem based on that experience tonight at an event called Continental Divide: Travel Poems and Other Tales of Lost Luggage. She'll be joined by poets Jim Banks, Terry Jacobus, Michael Watson, and Mike Puican. The evening will be hosted by Christopher Stewart and starts at 7:30 at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division. Admission is $5, or $3 for open-mike readers. Call 773-296-1268, ext. 26, for more information.
27 THURSDAY Food Network personality Bob Blumer, aka the
Surreal Gourmet, pulls into Borders Deerfield tonight in his "toastermobile"--an Air Stream trailer outfitted with an industrial kitchen and crowned with two huge pieces of toast--to promote his new book, Off the Eaten Path. Blumer's crisscrossing the continent for three months, on a mission to teach the masses how to "eat, drink, and live well beyond your means." Topics could include anything from the best way to poach a salmon in the dishwasher to discovering the hidden pleasures of stinky cheese. The free cooking demonstration and book signing starts at 7 at 49 S. Waukegan in Deerfield (847-559-1999).