Voices STD (Stuff to Do)–May 26, 2006

By Stephanie Mielcarek

We’re nearing the home stretch to summer now. It’s almost time to buckle down and finally get to work, but in the meantime, there are lots of things to ward off impending finals—at least for a little while.

Friday, May 26

Say goodbye to the end of the quarter with one last a cappella concert with Ransom Notes and Yale’s Duke’s Men. Ransom Notes will premiere new pieces as well as perform some of the graduating seniors’ favorites. (BSLC 115, 8 p.m, $2 in advance, $3 at the door)

If you haven’t already, go see one of the last two performances (today and tomorrow) of UT’s production of No Exit. Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential masterpiece is directed by Steven Balady, whose last production, Heinrich Müller’s Hamletmachine in Winter 2005, had a manic energy that suits No Exit just as well. (Reynolds Club Third Floor Theater, 8 p.m., $10.)

Saturday, May 27

Now that we’ve got nice weather, this is your perfect chance to explore the neighborhood. For starters, check out “Art in Action,” an arts and activism festival sponsored by the South Side Solidarity Network with help from WHPK. The all-day event features music, dancing, circus performances, food, and tons of art, from murals to installation pieces and creative workshops. (6400 South Kimbark Avenue, 11 a.m.-–7 p.m., free)

If you’re awake and raring to go before the festival, head over to Washington Park to take the James T. Farrell walking tour. Farrell, a University of Chicago alumnus, was famous for his Studs Lonigan Trilogy, in which the park played a major role. 57th Street Books is offering a 20 percent discount to tour participants on all books mentioned on the tour, and snacks will be served. (Washington Park Fieldhouse, 5531 South King Drive, 10 a.m., free)

Later that night, trade your gym shoes for platform heels and head to Genderfuck, the U of C’s annual drag ball. Drag isn’t required, but this is a great chance to explore something new—and in public, too! DJ Boiwonder will be spinning. (Ida Noyes Cloister Club, 9 p.m.–midnight, free)

For even more free food and liberalism, head over to the UCDems’ Progressive Gala. This is what all the mysterious “A” signs around campus have been about—and to be honest, I’m still not quite sure just what the Gala entails. Student groups will perform, lecturers include sex ed pioneer Shelby Knox and the head of the Hip Hop Political Convention, Jay Woodson. Plus, there will be free food—which, really, is enough to make it worthwhile. (Hutch Commons, 8–11 p.m, free)

Sunday, May 28

Trusty, rusty old Schwinns, Dahon foldables and plain old mountain bikes are just some of the sights you’ll see on Lake Shore Drive this morning when bicyclists take over the streets for Bike the Drive. LSD will be closed to cars from 5:30–9:30 a.m., and a pancake breakfast will be served afterwards. However, the entrance fee is a whopping $40. So, I suggest biking the (free) lakeshore path uptown instead, giggling at all the suckers who paid good money to ride their own bicycles, and getting a $5.99 breakfast at IHOP. (3760 North Halsted Avenue, 5:30–9:30 a.m., $5.99 plus tax)

Monday, May 29

The Vegan Potluck this afternoon isn’t actually serving up vegans, but if you like your meals without meat or dairy, this might be your cup of tea (no milk, please). Bring a vegan dish to share. (the Point, 1:30 p.m., free)

Fire Escape Films has its final, and largest, festival of the year, screening most of the films that its filmmakers have worked on all year. Their Spring Film Festival should contain some of Fire Escape’s best films of the year, from first-years and experienced Fire Escape vets alike. (Doc, 9:30 p.m., $2)

Apparently most beers are vegan-friendly, so vegans and non-vegans alike might want to celebrate Memorial Day at the Drinking & Writing Brewery’s “Pub Crawl to Cure a Hangover,” starting at the Fireside and ending at the Hopleaf Bar. To register, send an e-mail to festival@drinkingandwriting.com (5736 North Clark Street, 2–6 p.m., free)

Tuesday, May 30

Catch ex–Food Network star Anthony Bourdain at Borders this evening. He’ll be signing copies of his book and speaking from his latest book, The Nasty Bits. (830 North Michigan Avenue, 7 p.m., free)

We’ve seen robots, gay hustlers, and wannabe pimps, and now, the Asian-American Cinema series winds down with The Motel, the story of a 13-year-old Chinese-American outcast who finds a friend in Sam Kim, an older Korean-American man. Director Michael Kang will attend. (Doc, 7 p.m., $4)

Alternately, take in Casablanca on the big screen at the Gene Siskel Film Center as part of the “Treasures from the Library of Congress” series. (164 North State Street, 6 p.m., $9, $5 for members)

Wednesday, May 31

UT presents Valparaiso, an absurd take on the American dream, beginning tonight. Written by Don DeLillo (whose piece Love-Lies-Bleeding is currently playing at Steppenwolf) and directed by Margaret Lebron, the play chronicles the media attention thrust upon a couple that takes a trip to Valparaiso, Indiana, only to end up in Valparaiso, Chile. (Reynolds Club Third Floor Theater, 8 p.m., $10)

Thursday, June 1

The Fourth Annual Slavic Show—a compilation of Slavic performances—takes place this evening, followed by a reception with tasty goodies. (Fulton Recital Hall, 5 p.m., free)

University Ballet presents “A Choreographer’s Showcase” of student work in classical and modern ballet tonight. (I-House Assembly Hall, 7:30 p.m., $5 with student ID, $7 without)

Their buzz may have died down, but The Walkmen are as good as ever. They play the Metro tonight, with Mazarin and Rockwell opening. Think Thax Douglas will grace the event with a poem? (3730 North Clark Street, doors 8 p.m., show 9 p.m., 18+, $16)

Have an event you’d like to see in STD? Email steffers@uchicago.edu