Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—October 5, 2007

By Ben Rossi

Friday, October 5

The acclaimed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chamber ensemble heralds the sweet embrace of the week’s end with a set of early works by Romantic composers Shostakovich and Mendelssohn, plus a more mature piece by Dvorák. Reviewers from Buffalo to Denver have raved like dervishes about this Britain-based group, and this is the last time you’ll be able to see them—at least until next year. (Mandel Hall, 7:30 p.m., $5 for students)

Looking for a block party with a spiritual vibe? Look no further than 818 Circus of the Spirit, an outdoor festival sponsored by Unity church. The party rages—no, flows—from 8:18 p.m. to midnight, offering not only dancing but drum circles, meditation, tarot card readings, bellydancing, henna, DJs, massage therapy, and other homeopathic goodies. Just leave the booze and cigarettes at home. (Unity Chicago, 1925 Thome Avenue between Devon and Ridge, 8:18 p.m., $8 for students)

Saturday, October 6

Remember how Shakespeare’s characters sometimes break into strange, barely rhyming ,and somewhat off-putting song? It may seem incredible to us that these ditties were actually Elizabethan “pop,” but if you were ever curious about what they really sounded like, the Newberry Consort can satisfy your interest. The concert at Fulton Recital Hall will follow a lecture by Ross Griffin on his new book, Shakespeare’s Songbook. (Fulton Recital Hall, 8 p.m., lecture at 7 p.m., tickets $11–40)

Sunday, October 7

Today is the last chance to see the Athenaeum Theatre’s Mitislave the Modern and Springtime, a duet of operettas by Frank Lehar. Both pieces are American premieres; Mitislave uses elements from The Merry Widow, while Springtime parodies a housing shortage in Vienna. (2936 North Southport Avenue, 2 p.m., $20)

At a particularly apropos time, the Gene Siskel Film Center is hosting its 18th Annual Festival of Films from Iran all this month. On Sunday it will show—in its American premiere—Dandelions Dance in the Wind, a coming-of-age story set in a railroad town north of Tehran. It’s a lyrical, winsome Sunday matinee. (164 North State Street, 3 p.m., $4 for students)

Monday, October 8

Aspiring undergrad auteurs, take heart: John Doe and the Anonymous Nothing, the B.A. project of CMS undergrad Jared Leibowich, will be screened at Doc tonight. The feature-length film, shot with an eBay-bought Super 8 camera, deals with the loneliness and freedom of growing up in the big city. Jared wrote the script at 17, shot the film at 19, and edited it at 20. There’s something intuitively attractive about a coming-of-age movie made while the director himself came of age. (Doc Films, 9 p.m., free)

James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA’s molecular structure (for which he picked up a Nobel Prize for Medicine), discusses his new memoir at International House. It’s called Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science. Of course, to avoid boring people is only the most important lesson for a scientistbut there will probably be pleanty about the scientific method and bioethics, to say the least. (International House, 6 p.m., free)

Tuesday, October 9

Carl Bernstein stops by the Michigan Avenue Borders to talk about his new book, A Woman in Charge, about the Hillary Clinton political machine. The book has received good reviews, and while Bernstein without Woodward may be like Abbott without Costello, anyone interested in our possible next president should make an appearance. (830 North Michigan Avenue, 7 p.m., free)

The Beat Kitchen showcases Chicago Underground Comedy, an off-beat comedic quintet at the forefront of “alt-comedy” in Chicago. Underground Comedy has some of the top comics in the city. And at five bucks a ticket, the show is easily one of the best values around. (2100 West Belmont Avenue, 9:30 p.m., 21+, $5)

Wednesday, October 10

The World Beyond the Headlines, a series of lectures sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Center for International Studies, presents Eboo Patel tonight. Patel is the executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a nonprofit encouraging the interfaith youth movement. He’ll talk about his new book, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. (International House, 6 p.m., free)

Willie Perdomo, a critically acclaimed spoken-word artist whose work has been featured on HBO and PBS, will perform some of his work at the Chicago Public Library branch in Humboldt Park. The event is part of the Illinois Humanities Council’s series Know More: Conversations That Matter, which explores the relationship between social issues and art. (1605 North Troy Street, 5:30 p.m., free)

Thursday, October 11

Steven Levitt is the U of C’s latest in a long line of intellectual superstars. His book, Freakonomics, captured the public’s imagination—a phrase that still sounds bizarre describing an economics book. The Chicago Society gives us an opportunity to hear Levitt and ask him questions. (Mandel Hall, 7 p.m., free)

New York rock band Interpol, riding a massive swell of success from their recently released album, appear at the Aragon. Interpol has been the darling of the indie-rock scene for some time, but with their new album they have struck out in a more radio-friendly direction. The Liars, a protean band formed in 2000, round out the ticket. (1106 West Lawrence Avenue, 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m., $27.50)