Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—January 19, 2007

By Eric Benson

Friday/ January 19

Clue, the 1985 film based on the infamous Parker Brothers board game, is a freewheeling, kitschy ride of a movie that didn’t impress too many critics but has gained an avid cult following. The movie also has three different endings, each giving a different solution to this age-old whodunit. In keeping with the rest of weekend midnight series, which included a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sing-along last week, expect fervent fans and plenty of zany fun. (Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue, midnight, $9.25, also 1/20)

Uncle Vanya, perhaps Anton Chekov’s most celebrated work, has its last preview tonight—which means your last chance to see it for $30—in a co-production of the Court Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Charles Newell, a director seasoned in unconventional interpretations of classic fare, promises to make this a new and original rendition of Chekov’s classic. (Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue, 8 p.m., $30)

Saturday/ January 20

The annual International Food Festival brings a true gourmet touch to Ida Noyes Hall with a gastronomic tour-de-force that promises three hours of excellent eats. The global offerings will be prepared by a multitude of cultural and culinary RSOs. (Ida Noyes Hall, 7 p.m., free)

Wynton Marsalis is something of a lightning rod in the jazz community, but his musicianship is universally lauded. This weekend Marsalis comes westward for the Chicago premiere of his suite, All Rise. With the combined efforts of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, this should be a richly realized performance of one of Marsalis’s biggest works. (Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue, 8 p.m., $24+, also 1/19, 1/21)

Sunday/ January 21

Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows was filmed in 1969 but didn’t have its American premiere until last year. The film, a searching portrait of the doomed efforts of the French Resistance during World War II, made a lot of critics’ top 10 lists and has further boosted Melville’s already resurgent reputation. Doc will also screen the film on Saturday night in case you’re watching the Bears game. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 3 p.m., $5, also 1/20)

Comedian Bob Saget, known for his domestic turn on Full House and his raunchy stand-up act, comes to Mandel Hall for MAB’s winter show. Saget’s recent turn in The Aristocrats marked a new low (or was it high) for potty humor, and his new film Farce of the Penguins, a spoof of the noble documentary, promises to continue his recent trend toward the gutter. (Mandel Hall, 8 p.m. show, 7 p.m. doors, $20 student, $25 faculty/staff)

Monday/ January 22

The Chicago-based label Highwheel Records presents three of their top artists—Airiel, Walking Bicycles, and Arks—in a free concert at the Empty Bottle. Highwheel has made its name with finely produced records and seeing their artists free should be a treat. (Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western Avenue, 9:30 p.m., free, 21+)

Tuesday/ January 23

The Hyde Park Art Center presents Series A, a reading series dedicated to American experimental writing with an emphasis on the Midwest, which kicks off with appearances by poets Aaron Belz and Kristy Odelius. (Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Avenue, 7 p.m., free)

Wednesday/ January 24

As part of its on-going 75th anniversary celebration, Doc Films asked several esteemed professors to present their favorite films in a free screening. Wendy Doniger kicks off the series with a screening of David Cronenberg’s 1993 film M. Butterfly. The film, which documents an infamous recent occurrence of the transvestite bedtrick, was adapted from a successful play and presents its tragedy with plenty of dark laughs to go around. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7 p.m., free)

The seedy underbelly of New York has always been a favorite subject of books and film. A Pickpocket’s Tale: The Underworld of 19th Century New York is a recent book by Timothy J. Gilfoyle that tells the tale of George Appo, a conman who hung around with the likes of Bill the Butcher and Monk Eastman in the bloodiest epoch of Lower Manhattan. This is a reading for those of you who like the world of old-time mobsters running around in the era of Gangs of New York. (Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, 6 p.m., free)

Thursday/ January 25

MAKE Magazine, a Chicago literary publication, is having an issue release party at the Hideout, and you’re invited. Latin rocker Allá will perform along with avant-garde percussionists Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake and DJ Tony Sarabia, among others. It should be a rollicking good time, and you get your very own copy of the magazine with the price of admission. (Hideout, 1354 West Wabansia Avenue, 8 p.m., $7, 21+)