Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—May 23, 2008

Stuff happens.

By Ben Rossi

Friday / May 23

XPerience Chicago, an ORCSA program dedicated to providing cheap opportunities for students to explore the city’s cultural life, takes us down to Avenue Q tonight. It’s a hit Broadway show about raunchy puppets living on the edge of Manhattan. Think Rent but without the AIDS gravitas dampening the laughter. (Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph Street, 7:30 p.m., $10)

Brand new works by University of Chicago graduate student composers get a world-class premiere featuring Contempo’s famous artists-in-residence, eighth blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet. Cliff Colnot conducts this performance at Roosevelt University’s Ganz Hall. (430 South Michigan Avenue, 7th floor, 7:30 p.m., free)

Saturday / May 24

Leslie Lee’s Tony-nominated The First Breeze of Summer dramatizes the life and loves of a black matriarch who, one hot June day, reflects on her youth and romances while the simmering contretemps between her husband and sons comes to a boil. (Court Theatre, 8 p.m., $10 for students)

Sunday / May 25

Nosferatu, an almost mythical film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula made by a financially insolvent Weimar studio, has survived many decades of obscurity in pirated copies screened in darkened apartments to a few pale, transfixed initiates. Daniel Sefik provides piano accompaniment. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7:00 p.m., $5)

Monday / May 26

Mary Ellen Bute was a pioneering abstract filmmaker who, late in her career, set out to create an adaptation of James Joyce’s infamously dense Finnegan’s Wake. Over two years in the making, her Passages from Finnegan’s Wake captures the surreal, allusive quality of Joyce’s prose in striking images and compelling acting. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7:00 p.m., $5)

Tuesday / May 27

John French Sloan’s classic impressions of New York helped define the city’s image in the public imagination—and launched the Ashcan School of realism. The Smart Museum of Art’s exhibition, Seeing the City: Sloan’s New York, brought together by the Delaware Art Museum, culls material from 1900 to 1930 in order to show just how much Sloan’s highly personal vision of New York differed from the New York of his day. (Smart Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free)

Wednesday / May 28

Dare to indulge in some idol worship, again at the Smart Museum, at their new exhibition entitled Idol Anxiety. The show explores various conflicting attitudes towards sacred objects from the Mesopotamian tradition, through the classical era, and on to the Italian Renaissance. (Smart Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free)

Thursday / May 29

A U of C graduate and Illinois native, Kalisha Buckhanon made a splash with her first novel, Upstate, which garnered a truckload of awards. Now she’s back with Conception, about a black girl growing up in 1992 Chicago who receives a much-needed injection of hope when her free-spirited aunt saunters into her life. She’ll be reading passages from the novel in an event hosted by the Center for Gender Studies. (5733 South University Avenue, 12:30 p.m., free)

A classic 1966 installment of the Godzilla series, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster tells the story of a group of teenagers stranded on an island run by terrorists who are themselves terrorized by Ebirah the sea monster (where were you when the towers fell, Ebirah?). Everyone’s only hope is to awaken Godzilla. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 9:30 p.m., $5)

The conclusion of a three-part film series of screenings and discussions hosted by Students for a Democratic Society, 1969’s Hum 255 documents the 1968 University of Chicago takeover, when striking students seized an administration building. (Stuart Hall, room 104, 7:00 p.m., free)