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March

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Friday 6

Sure Holly Near plays "women's music": she does it well, too, and combines a fierce independence--she's sold over a million albums on her own label, Redwood Records--with a multitalented life as a singer, actor, businessperson, and activist. She's appearing tonight at Centre East, 7701 Lincoln in Skokie, at 8 courtesy of the Old Town School of Folk Music. Tickets are $15-$17.50; call 525-7793 for details.

Ah, the soap operas of times past! An evil uncle deprives Jason of his rightful throne and sends him on an arduous journey to find the Golden Fleece. Our heroine, Medea, helps Jason and even marries him, but he eventually dumps her, only to end up depressed about the whole affair, and kills himself. Drag Queen Medea, a modern-day and somewhat more perverse reading of the legend, is the brainchild of drag performer Randy Esslinger, who generally does business under the name Gurlette Hussy. In this version, Medea's a performer at a joint called Club Corinth and Jason is the club's owner. Esslinger's collaborators are Paddy Conaway, David Eckard, Jim Ochsenreiter, D. Travers Scott, and Beal Stafford. The show plays Friday and Saturday this weekend and next at Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport, starting at 8:30 each night. Tix are $8, $6 for students. Call 248-5238 for details.

Saturday 7

Funny how recent outrages sometimes make you forget some of the older ones--like the Chinese government's overrunning of Tibet in 1949. You can protest China's continuing occupation of Tibet with Chicago's Tibetan Resettlement Project outside the Chinese consulate, 104 S. Michigan, from 10 to 3 today. It's free. Call 664-8117 for details. The project--along with the American Refugee Committee--is also holding a forum on Tibet Thursday, March 12, at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker, in rooms G and H of Columbus Hall, at 5:30 PM. You can learn about plans to resettle 100 Tibetans in Chicago in 1992 and get an update on the current political situation in Lhasa. It's free, but reservations are needed. Call 708-328-1628 for more.

Sid Justice used to be a good guy, but two incidents turned him "bad," as they say in the pro wrestling world. First of all, at last month's Royal Rumble, a last-man-standing-wins free-for-all, he was blindsided by Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair emerged the winner. Then, after a lengthy World Wrestling Federation powwow, it was decreed that Hogan, rather than Justice, would battle Flair for the championship in Wrestlemania VIII, to be held at the Hoosier Dome later this month. All of this means that Justice will be out for blood when he and Flair face off against Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper at the top of a seven-bout WWF Superstars of Wrestling bill at the Rosemont Horizon, 6920 Mannheim in Rosemont, today at 1 PM. Tickets are $9-$18, available at the Horizon box office and through Ticketmaster, 559-1212. Call 708-635-6600 for details.

The Korean War took the lives of about two million North Koreans--not to mention a million and a half South Koreans and UN forces members (including nearly 55,000 Americans)--before the armistice was signed in 1953. (Among the war's lesser casualties was the career of General MacArthur, who got steamed that Truman wouldn't let him invade China.) You can reminisce about the good old days of the cold war as the Korean War Veterans Association commemorates the 42nd anniversary of North Korea's invasion of South Korea with a dinner and dance tonight in the Monte Vista Room of Heck's Banquet Hall, 5145 N. Milwaukee. Music will be courtesy of the Banjo Buddies Dixieland Band. The $30 ticket gets you dinner, an open bar, speeches, and dancing. Call 236-2222 for details.

Sunday 8

Ever wonder how the Up Down Tobacco Shop got its name? Turns out it used to be a two-floor emporium across the street: when it moved, it kept the name. Anyway, the shop's 12th annual Pipe Smoking Contest is today at noon at O'Brien's, 1528 N. Wells. Contestants get the official 3.3 grams of a high-grade blend made up especially for such events, and the last one done inhaling wins. It's reportedly a hoot to watch, which you can do for free; entry fee is $10. Call 337-8505 or 337-8025.

Monday 9

Sure Jerry Brown has occasionally acted like a fool: but for the eight years he served as governor of California, his work in the fields of labor, law, and the environment established his reputation as one of the most progressive governors of this century. (He was reelected in 1979 by the state's largest-ever margin.) His court appointments gave California arguably the most politically activist state supreme court the nation has ever seen; its rulings were so far to the left that the state's corporate class ultimately funded a successful recall election. All of which is to say that while Brown's somewhat quixotic campaign (he's limited contributions to his campaign to $100 a person) for the Democratic presidential nomination is something of a long shot, he's probably also one of the few in the race with anything remotely original to say. He has two scheduled appearances in town this week: tonight at the Red Lion, 2446 N. Lincoln, from 6 to 8, and tomorrow night, same time, at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. It's $10 to get in to either; since campaign-trail scheduling is often subject to change, it's probably a good idea to call the campaign office at 202-7055 the day before.

Tuesday 10

Andrew Jackson earned the most electoral votes in the 1824 election, but the House tossed the prize to runner-up John Quincy Adams, a slight from which Jackson never recovered. The firebrand populist took his revenge in 1828, campaigning endlessly against corruption in general, banks and Whigs in particular. So where is he when we need him? Presidential scholar Robert Remini, who's made his lifework the study of Jackson and his chief rival, the star-crossed Henry Clay, speaks tonight at the Inn at University Village, 625 S. Ashland, at 6:30; it's free, but call the University of Illinois at 413-3469 for reservations.

There's a tribute-cum-hero's send-off for gay activist Danny Sotomayor, who died of AIDS February 5, tonight at the Riviera, 4746 N. Broadway. On the program: a multimedia presentation incorporating excerpts from the documentary Short Fuse, video clips of some of Sotomayor's speeches and arrests, and the nationally syndicated cartoonist's artwork; music from singer and author (Surviving AIDS) Michael Callen; and talks and testimonials from friends and fellow activists. It's free, but plan to get hit up for donations to Cure AIDS Now, the group Sotomayor founded. Things run from 7 to 10; call 363-5453 for details.

Accomplished poet, novelist, jazz aficionado, and screenwriter Al Young will recite some of his bebop poetry at Columbia College's Ferguson Theater, 600 S. Michigan, tonight at 7. Some of it should be from his new collection of poetry, Heaven. It's free. Call 663-1600 ext. 218.

Wednesday 11

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's Lunchtime Lectures series kicks off today with real estate honcho Ted Peterson speaking on the development of Union Station. The talk is at 12:15 in the foundation center at 224 S. Michigan. Admission is $2, free to members. Next week, same time and place, State Street Council prez Sara Bode talks about the new designs for State Street; the week after features John Buenz talking about the new Sheraton at Columbus and the river. Call 326-1393 for details.

Thursday 12

The Inspiration Cafe is a special kind of soup kitchen--it feeds the homeless, but in a restaurant setting, which, the operators feel, preserves their clientele's self-respect. Working with shelters and drop-in centers, the cafe finds its customers by interviewing applicants and granting one-month meal tickets to those who demonstrate a desire to improve their lot and agree to abide by cafe rules. There'll be a major fund-raiser for the operation--they're looking to buy their own building, which could include both a cafe and a housing facility--at the Carl Hammer Gallery, 200 W. Superior, from 5:30 to 9 tonight. For $75 you get appetizers from the Vinci Restaurant, jazz from the Don Cagen Quartet, and hobnobbing with the likes of Ed Paschke, photographer Marc Hauser, and artist Mr. Imagination. Call the cafe at 878-0981 for details.

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