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April 20, 2007

Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—April 20, 2007

Friday/ April 20

They’re baaaack. If you’ve been longing for campus improv, Off-Off Campus returns triumphantly this weekend, featuring their newest crop of talent. The 21st Generation takes the spotlight for their first stint as the featured act as they perform a revue of some of their best pieces. It’s incredible to think that a crazy idea spun by a founder of Second City and his students would now be old enough to drink. (University Church, 9 p.m., $4)

For a chilling night of theater, you don’t want to miss the opening weekend of the Steppenwolf’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank. The timeless story has been adapted to stage before (Natalie Portman once starred in the title role on Broadway), but Wendy Kesselman’s new adaptation ambitiously restores some of the more difficult parts of the story. (1650 North Halsted Street, 7:30 p.m., $50 online)

Saturday/ April 21

The U of C is graced by one of America’s leading playwrights Saturday, as Suzan Lori-Parks visits campus for the Court Theater’s contribution to the 365 Plays/365 Days project. Parks, who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Topdog/Underdog, set out two years ago to write a short play for each day of the year. April 18–22 will be performed Saturday by U of C students for the concluding evening of UT’s New Works Week, and Parks herself will show up for a post-show discussion. (Francis X. Kinahan Third Floor Theater, 7 p.m., $6)

Motet Choir sticks it to Mel Gibson Saturday night, performing a series of traditional sacred Jewish music for a concert titled Sim Shalom. This isn’t your ordinary Shabbat in synagogue; Motet will be performing more obscure, but still fascinating, music in the Jewish tradition. (Rockefeller Chapel, 8 p.m., $5 for students)

Fresh off the success of last year’s program about kink, BDSM is the feature of Vita’s second annual lecture series, entitled BDSM 102: The Art of Rope Bondage. Leon G., a well known Chicago bondage personality (at least in some circles), will be giving the lecture, which will feature demonstrations with eager students. Even if it’s not your thing, it will still be worth attending, if only to see which weird kid from your Hum class decides to show up. (Bartlett Arts Rehearsal Space, 6:30 p.m., 18+, free)

Sunday/ April 22

It’ll take more than two to tango on Sunday as the U of C Argentine Tango Club sponsors the day-long Chicago Mini Tango Festival. Festivities begin at 10 a.m., including a series of workshops throughout the day on topics including communication, improvisation, and the tango-waltz. Dancers of all levels of experience will be represented, so there’s no excuse not to dance your butt off, especially if you missed Dance Marathon last week. Spaces fill quickly, so you may want to get a pass for all of Sunday’s events. (Ida Noyes Hall, festivities begin at 10 a.m., $100 for Sunday pass, various prices for individual events)

The Checkerboard Lounge features another CheckerJazz event this Sunday, featuring alto saxophonist Audley Reid. Reid may be of special appeal to U of C students, as his website features quotes from Plato. That shouldn’t stop his unique blend of Jamaican/Cuban jazz from riling up the crowd members as their weekends draw to a close. (5201 South Harper Avenue, 7:30 p.m., $5 for students)

Monday/ April 23

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Conor Oberst is one of America’s premiere songwriters. While the comparisons to Bob Dylan may be a tad unfounded, his band Bright Eyes has gotten generally good reviews for their msot recent album, Cassadega. He’ll be hitting Chicago for a couple of nights beginning Monday, and it should be a compelling night, despite the screaming fangirls. (Riviera Theatre, 7 p.m., $26.50)

Tuesday/ April 24

Like the Aims of Education address, the Ryerson Lecture has become one of the foremost public events of the life of the mind, as innumerable distinguished University professors have given compelling talks in the past 33 years. This year should be no different, as Mark Siegler, a leading national figure in medical ethics and professor of surgery at the U of C, will be giving a lecture entitled “At the Crossroads of Organ Transplantation and Medical Ethics: A Century of Innovation at the University of Chicago.” (Max Palevsky Cinema, 5:30, free)

Borat wasn’t the only Jewish-themed, politically incorrect comedy to come out this year. West Bank Story, this year’s Oscar winner for Best Short Film, is a near shot-by-shot homage to West Side Story, except with Israelis and Palestinians in rival falafel stands. As crazy as it is, director Ari Sandel used his acceptance speech to make a call for peace, and Chicago Friends of Israel is taking that message to heart. It’ll be screening the film and raising money for charity. (Hutch Commons, 8 p.m., free)

Wednesday/ April 25

The Chicago Improv Fest rages on this week, and Wednesday brings us Chicago Night, featuring some of the brightest new faces in the city’s improv scene. The festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and it’s always exciting to see new talent from the city that invented improv comedy. (3408 North Sheffield Avenue, 7 p.m., $15)

Thursday/ April 26

Though somewhat obscured last year by Scav Hunt and FOTA, Take Back the Night is a Chicago tradition in its own right, working to end sexual violence and allow women to feel safe in their communities. The night kicks off around sunset with speakers, marching, and a candlelight vigil to promote women’s safety. (Bartlett Quad, 6 p.m., free)