Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—January 12, 2007

By Eric Benson

Friday/ January 12

Director Darren Aronofsky kicks off Doc Films’ 75th anniversary celebration with a Q&A session and a screening of his latest film, The Fountain. Aronofsky directed the much-lauded Pi, for which he won the directing prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, and the deeply depressing Requiem for a Dream. The Fountain, which arrived in theaters last year after a vexed production that saw the slashing of its budget and the departure of its original stars, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, divided critics and fizzled at the box office. What’s clear now is that Aronofsky is not only one of the most ambitious and high-minded film directors working today, he’s also one of the most controversial. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 6 p.m., free)

The Chicago Arts District hosts 2nd Fridays, its monthly night of opening receptions at Pilsen galleries and artists’ studios. Over a dozen different galleries and many studios will host events, but the best place to get started is at the information booth on 18th and Halsted. (1821 South Halsted Avenue, 6 p.m., free)

The Music Box, always at the vanguard of unique and camp programming, presents a sing-along screening of the famed musical episode of the cult hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Buffy Sing-Along will feature subtitles to help the uninitiated and will be proceeded by a trivia contest. (Music Box, 3373 North Southport Avenue, midnight, $12, also 1/13)

Kuviasungnerk and Kangeiko, COUP’s annual winter festival, winds down with the famed Polar Bear Run through the Main Quads. If you want to kick off your weekend by seeing a throng of naked bodies run from Harper Memorial Library to Hull Gate, this is your ticket. (Main Quad, 3 p.m., free)

Saturday/ January 13

The Chinese Undergraduate Students Association, CUSA, presents its annual dinner feast and cultural show. The food will be plentiful, and the entertainment, Wu, promises dance and historical drama. (Dinner: Ida Noyes Hall, 5 p.m.; Show: Mandel Hall, 8 p.m., $12 inclusive)

Andrew Bird—the Chicago violinist, singer, and indie icon—usually plays at big theaters, but this weekend he’s returning to his roots and the friendly confines of the Hideout. Bird’s concert, which the Paulina Hollers will open, is already sold out, but if you can find a way to score some tickets, this is an event worth paying an arm and a leg for. (Hideout, 1354 West Wabanasia Avenue, 9 p.m., $16, 21+)

The Goodman Theater’s celebration of August Wilson gets underway with its staging of Wilson’s final play, Radio Golf. The play, the last in Wilson’s famed 10-part cycle of African-American life in the 20th Century, raises issues on the effects of gentrification in urban areas, but ultimately revolves around the relationship between two business partners. (Goodman Theatre, 175 North State Street, 8 p.m., $20-$68)

Sunday/ January 14

Faith Healer, Brian Friel’s Tony award–winning tale of the trials and travails of the artist’s life, had a stellar revival on Broadway last year and is now ready to grace the Chicago stage. Chris Hainsworth, Danica Ivancevic, and James Joseph may not be quite as starry a trio as the New York cast of Ralph Fiennes, Cherry Jones, and Ian McDiarmid, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be any less riveting in this play of four soaring monologues. (Chopin Theater, 1543 West Division Street, 3 p.m., $15)

As part of this week’s ongoing commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr., the University will present three one-hour-long South Side bus tours, highlighting sites that were crucial to the civil rights struggle and to King in particular. Harold Lucas, CEO of the Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council and a sage of South Side history, will lead and narrate the tours. (Reynolds Club, noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., free)

Monday/ January 15

Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and a life-long civil rights activist, will discuss the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and what remains to be done in the struggle for racial equality. Bond’s speech is the keynote event of the University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration week and will be followed by a reception. (Rockefeller Chapel, noon, free)

Tuesday/ January 16

Nonie Darwish, the author of Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror, will speak on her personal odyssey and political views in a talk presented by Chicago Friends of Israel. Darwish’s story of transformation, from daughter of an Egyptian jihad martyr to American neoconservative, is compelling and will likely arouse passionate responses of all stripes. (Social Sciences 122, 7 p.m., free)

Wednesday/ January 17

Fans of the grotesque will get another opportunity to savor Gunther Von Hagens’s eerily fascinating cadavers in Body Worlds 2. Von Hagens’s work, which has toured the world many times over, was recently featured in Casino Royale, gaining its widest exposure to date. You can catch the exhibit during the Museum of Science and Industry’s regular hours or during special evening sessions exclusively for Body Worlds. Through April 29. (Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Regular: 9 a.m., $19 student, $22 general; Evening: 5:30 p.m., $18 general)

Saxophonist Dave Rempis may be most famous for his association with Ken Vandermark, but he’s a formidable player in his own right, with improvisatory chops just as assured as those of his more famous mentor. Every Wednesday night this month, Rempis will headline at the Velvet Lounge; this week, he’ll be joined by bassist Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten and drummer Frank Rosaly. (Velvet Lounge, 57 East Cermak Road, $10, 21+)

Thursday/ January 18

Doc hosts the North American premiere of the Danish film All About Anna, a sexually explicit take on a well worn love-triangle plot. Anna headlines Doc’s ongoing Thursday night series “Cinematic Sexualities of the 21st Century” and, as befits a premiere of this magnitude, will have two screenings. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7 p.m., 9 p.m., $5)