Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—February 16, 2007

By Eric Benson

Friday/ February 16

University Theater presents two short and innovative plays as part of “Lost and Found,” its second and final workshop week of the quarter. The first play, The No Way Home, is an adaptation of the lyrics and spirit of the ever-gritty American crooner Tom Waits. The second, A One-Hour Cutting of Antigone, is a strident re-imagining of Sophocles’ great tragedy. Together, they should not be missed. (First Floor Theater, Reynolds Club, 8 p.m., $6)

Fortune-telling, belly-dancing, face-painting, fried chicken, jambalaya—all this could be yours if you mosey on over to Ida Noyes for a bit of Big Easy charm. COUP is celebrating Mardi Gras in classic COUP style, which means it’s free and the joint will be jumpin’. (Ida Noyes Hall, 9 p.m., free)

Le Vorris & Vox Circus glides into the neo-gothic cavern of Rockefeller Chapel for Avian, its winter spectacle. The circus will feature juggling, contortion, long-legged stilts, and much more all in celebration of the grace and beauty of our winged friends in the sky. (Rockefeller Chapel, 8 p.m., also 2/17, free)

El Topo, the story of a wise gun-slinging sage and his battles with four sinister adversaries, has been an international cult classic since its release in 1970. You can catch its dazzling array of bloodshed, tumbleweed, and Mexican wisdom at the Music Box for a riveting midnight showing. (Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue, midnight, also 2/17, $9.25)

Saturday/ February 17

The University of Chicago Japanese Animation Society proudly presents the UChi-Con Anime Convention, a day of lectures and panel discussion dedicated to the expanding and vital art of anime. In addition to talks like “The Quick and the Undead: Visual and Political Dynamics in Blood: The Last Vampire,” the convention will feature screenings and a video-game tournament. (Biological Sciences Learning Center, noon, free)

Pianist Keith Jarrett has played with nearly every name in jazz over his illustrious career, but he’s most famous for his rambling, intense, and often spectacular solo recitals. Jarrett is still at the top of his game, as evidenced by his most recent release, The Carnegie Hall Concert. His performance in Chicago will be his only solo performance in America this year. (Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue, 8 p.m., $45+)

Sunday/ February 18

Automakers from all over the world have descended on Chicago to showcase cars of the present and the future. This is the last day to catch the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, which is massive enough to become a full day activity. (McCormick Place, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, 10 a.m., $10)

Tea has become the hot beverage of the moment, outpacing coffee in trendiness and sex appeal. Now, 57th Street Books is jumping on the bandwagon, hosting a presentation by Susan Blumberg on the history of tea and tea culture in Chicago. The presentation, based on Blumberg’s recent book All the Tea in Chicago, will be followed by a tasting of Chinese tea and pastries. (57th Street Books, 1301 East 57th Street, 3 p.m., free)

Monday/ February 19

Facets presents a weeklong celebration of Czech modernist film. One of the strongest and most haunting movies in the series is Crisis, Herbert Kline’s 1938 study of the rise of Nazism and its effect on Czechoslovakia. This is both an historical relic and a film of lasting power. (Facets Cinematheque, 1517 West Fullerton Avenue, 8:45 p.m., $9)

Tuesday/ February 20

The 1948 John Wayne–Howard Hawkes classic Red River is the story of a cattle drive and the violence that follows it. It’s one of the truly classic Westerns, featuring one of America’s archetypal stars and directed by one of America’s premier storytellers. Doc will screen the film for free as part of its 75th anniversary. Professor Robert Pippin, who selected this film at Doc’s invitation, has supplied a DVD with his commentary. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7 p.m., free)

Wednesday/ February 21

The avant-garde quartet of Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, and Joe Adamik strides down to the South Side for a performance at Fred Anderson’s Velvet Lounge. All the players are stalwarts of the Chicago improvised music scene, and are versed in everything from free jazz to funk. Expect an evening of hard grooves and diverse musical influences. (Velvet Lounge, 67 East Cermak Road, 9 p.m., 21+, $10)

Thursday/ February 22

The Chicago Society presents “Intellectual Property in the Digital Age,” a panel discussion on the future of copyrighted material in the age of YouTube. The panel, featuring two scholars and one music impresario, should foster lively debate. (Social Sciences 122, 7 p.m., free)