Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—May 11, 2007

By Ethan Stanislawski

Friday/ May 11

Restrictions by ORCSA will give this year’s Party on the Quads a different feel, as the party switches from Scav team-organized alcohol distribution to ID-checking, Pub-bought alcohol. However, that won’t stop Scavvers from showing up inebriated or this year’s party themes from being ridiculous—and amazing. (Social Science Quad, 10 p.m., free)

If you’re looking for a way to avoid Scav, look no further than the location of all the trouble from last year’s party. Cobb and the Renaissance Society host the U of C Dancers, who have put together an impressive show: Over Coffee. Featuring nine original modern dance pieces completely choreographed and performed by students, the show is a highlight of student dance this year that may otherwise fly under the radar. (Renaissance Society, 7 p.m., free; additional show Saturday at the Third Floor Theater of Ida Noyes, $3 for students, free)

University Theater (UT) rarely performs comedies, but this weekend they’re putting on one of the best comedies of the 20th century. Private Lives, the magnum opus of Noel Coward, features some of the wittiest and most captivating dialogue you will ever hear in the English language, as well as a cast and crew of UT veterans. (Francis X. Kinahan Third Floor Theater, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $6)

Saturday/ May 12

Today marks the beginning of Festival of the Arts (FOTA), and before the launch parties, you can hear student bands rock out on your way to lunch. Delta Kappa Epsilon hosts a Battle of the Bands Saturday afternoon on the Bartlett quad, featuring the best and the rest of the campus rock scene. They’ll be collecting donations for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The concert will launch DKE Week, yet another weeklong campus event. (Bartlett Quad, 1 p.m., $10 suggested donation)

FOTA officially begins in the evening with a Launch Party in the Hutch Courtyard. There’ll be free refreshments, of course, as well as dancing and a DJ. An hour-and-a-half into the party, FOTA’s Fashion Show will begin, featuring student designs. Couture connoisseurs rejoice: after Moda’s event on Thursday, it will be the second fashion show on campus in three days. (Hutchinson Courtyard, 9 p.m., free)

Sunday/ May 13

You can keep the FOTA momentum going on Sunday, when a performance piece that blurs the line between stage and film, which features puppets, hits the UT Shop. Michael Stevens, an experienced UT director with a penchant for the surreal, hosts Low Commotion, which will probably raise more commotion in the audience than the title indicates. (5245 S. Cottage Grove Ave., 8 p.m., free)

If you’d rather experience the classical scene, the highlight of this week occurs Sunday night, as the New Music Ensemble hosts a reunion you won’t want to miss. The Alumni Composer’s Concert features 7 U of C–associated composers, and will be your best chance to see some of the brightest Chicago Presents has to offer—not including composers who are six feet under. (Fulton Recital Hall, 8 p.m., free)

A Checkerboard Lounge favorite returns to his hometown this Mother’s Day, as Skinny Williams, who has performed with everyone from Chaka Khan to Bernie Mac, comes to Hyde Park. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound saxophonist may be one of Checkerboard’s best coups, as Williams is set to release his fifth album. (Checkerboard Lounge, 7:30 p.m., $5 for students)

Monday/ May 14

FOTA continues into the working week, as Monday brings us the best of what campus enthusiasts have to offer. DOVA (it’s now the Department of Visual Arts, not a committee) hosts its Senior Show, featuring the projects of fourth-years graduating with a degree in visual arts. For all the time you have spent or will spend slaving away in the Reg working on your B.A. thesis, I bet you wish your B.A. looked this pretty. (Hutchinson Courtyard, 6 p.m., free.

Tuesday/ May 15

Tuesday marks the highlight of this week’s Chicago rock concerts, as Morrissey, everyone’s favorite moper, comes to Chicago. While his former Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr has been topping the charts with Modest Mouse, Morrissey has been fighting off FBI anti-American activities investigations. After an exclusive U.S. concert at the Aragon Ballroom last November, Morrissey hits the smaller Auditorium Theater this time around, and wouldn’t you know it, tickets are still available. (50 East Congress Parkway, 8 p.m., $25-$63)

If you’re still looking for some FOTA love, you can head to Bartlett to see Baradla, a small-scale adaptation of a Czech surrealist novel. This is the second of three FOTA theater projects this week involving puppets. Considering that the novel involves drug addiction, murder, sex crimes, corruption, and dysfunctional family relationships, this puppet act may give Avenue Q a run for its money. (Bartlett Arts Rehearsal Space, 8 p.m., free)

Wednesday/ May 16

The first rule of being a Chuck Palahniuk fan: You don’t talk about being a Chuck Palahniuk fan. That is, unless you’re at the Borders in the Loop on Wednesday, as the Fight Club novelist and constant envelope-pusher comes to Chicago for a reading and book-signing event. True to Palahniuk form, his new novel, Rant, centers around an extremely efficient serial killer. (830 North Michigan Avenue, 7 p.m., free)

FOTA’s Wednesday event is an Open Mic, and similar to ones held in the past, this one will feature songs, poetry, performance, and stand-up comedy. Open mic audiences will be in for a treat, as Glass Eyeball, the U of C’s photography club, will hold a release party for this quarter’s copy of Iris magazine. (Hutchinson Courtyard, 8 p.m., free)

Thursday/ May 17

It may not be for the European soccer purists, but Major League Soccer (MLS) is quietly gaining popularity in the U.S. Tonight’s the night to see the Chicago Fire for a discounted ticket price—$1 hot dogs available!—on Xperience Chicago’s student night. They have a shiny new stadium in Bridgeview (near Midway Airport). Tonight they take on league rivals, FC Dallas. (7000 South Harlem Avenue, 7:30 p.m., $15)