October 18, 2007

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

Friday / October 19

On Friday and Saturday the Franke Institute for the Humanities hosts a series of all-day mega-symposia entitled “Anxiety, Urgency, Outrage, Hope: A Conference on Political Feeling.” An irritated, multidisciplinary swarm of academics will discuss emotion in the public sphere with the aid of scholarly papers and film. Another interesting aspect of the conference is that participants will post their papers, syllabi, and bibliographies on the website for the benefit of the Googling masses. (Joseph Regenstein Library S-118, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., free)

Come see the U of C’s very own improv group, Off-Off Campus, build comedic Rube Goldberg inventions in their new show, Danger Machine. The six 21st-generation players may give Chicago’s established improv clubs a run for their money. (University Church, 9 p.m., $4)

Saturday / October 20

Fresh from the political conference on Friday, make your way over to the Experimental Station for a discussion on social justice, human rights, and political power. Festival of Democracy: Unleashing Radical Imagination will feature prominent intellectuals like Rashid Khalidi and ex-radicals such as former Weathermen leader Bernardine Dohrn, who is now safely ensconced in Northwestern’s sacred grove. Young artists and a hip hop group will invigorate the day-long event, and dinner will be served. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. (6100 South Blackstone Avenue, 1 p.m.–9 p.m., free, call (312) 422-5580)

The Hypocrites, in their first show of the 2007–2008 season, have decided to don the dark mantle of Eugene O’Neill’s American tragedy with a rendition of his 1924 play, Desire Under the Elms. The play explores the mythic forces underlying contemporary life by portraying a dysfunctional New England family par excellence. A magnificent set design almost overpowers the acting, but this is an actor’s play if ever there was one. (1543 West Division Street, 8 p.m., $20)

Sunday / October 21

The Smart Museum, cracking open the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, has assembled a survey of drawings by European artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century in the exhibition Master Drawings. The show may give a more intimate view of some of our most beloved artists, like Degas and Watteau, because their preliminary sketches lack the polish of a finished painting. (Smart Museum of Art, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., free)

National Book Award–winner Andrea Barrett will be interviewed by Victoria Lautman, host of the Writers on the Record 98.7 WFMT radio segment, at the Lookingglass Theatre on Sunday. She will be talking about her new book, The Air We Breathe. Set in 1916, the novel chronicles the patriotic fervor leading up to America’s involvement in World War I. The event is free, but reservations are recommended. (821 North Michigan Avenue, 12 p.m., free, call (312) 832-6789)

Monday / October 22

Of the many current flashpoints of religious warfare in the world, the Balkans present perhaps the most intriguing combination of cultural conflict and connection. Time and the Sacred vividly illustrates this mix with pictures of religious art in the Republic of Macedonia, where Christians and Muslims have lived together in harmony for six centuries. (Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 8 a.m.­–4 p.m., free)

By giving urban Americans the chance to bask in the warm glow of Americana without the implied religious conservatism of most “Main Street, U.S.A.” kitsch shows, Garrison Keillor has become one of the most beloved personalities on radio. Recently, Keillor has also become a champion of poetry for the people. He’s in town to discuss his new book, Good Poems for Hard Times, at Borders Books & Music. (830 North Michigan Avenue, 12 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m., free)

Tuesday / October 23

The Special Collections Research Center has put together an exhibition of works from the Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica showing how 19th- and 20th-century Western Jews shaped their identities through interaction with the Orient. The Spirit of the Orient and Judaism reveals a fascinating bit of forgotten cultural history. Yeah, it’s at the Reg, but you know you’re going to be there anyway on a Monday afternoon. (Joseph Regenstein Library, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., free)

The University’s legendary Contempo, a chamber group dedicated to performing contemporary classical pieces, gives a performance at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park. The set will feature a mixed-media piece by composer Tamar Muskal, along with works by Bresnick, Harke, and de Mey. (Millennium Park, 7:30 p.m., $5 for students)

Wednesday / October 24

The Gene Siskel Film Center screens Hannah Takes the Stairs, a new sensation in the American indie film scene, all this week. Shot by former Southern Illinois University student Joe Swanberg and set in Chicago, the movie follows Hannah, a self-absorbed young woman, as she flits from one relationship to the next. (164 North State Street, 6:15 p.m., $7 for students)

Wednesday is the first day of University Theater workshops. The shows on view are The World According to Charles Barkley, Dutchman, and Red Horse Animation. (Reynolds Club First Floor Theater, 8 p.m., $6)

Thursday / October 25

Internationally acclaimed for his sensitivity and beauty of tone, violinist Wolfgang David will pair up with composer and pianist David Gompper for a performance of Bach, Korngold, and a piece by Gompper himself. The two have released two albums, Finnegan’s Wake and Star of the County Down, both of which show the duo’s affinity for American classical composers of the 20th century. (Fulton Recital Hall, 12:15 p.m., free)