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Friday 21

Getting soap, underwear, toothpaste, diapers, and other basics to local shelters for the homeless is the idea behind the collection drive that continues today under the auspices of the five-year-old Homeless Helpline. Bring your donations (new items only) to any of the following locations : University of Illinois at Chicago Agape House, 1046 W. Polk, from 9 to 3 today; University of Chicago Community Service Center, 1178 E. 58th St., from 9 to 6 today and tomorrow; DePaul University Stuart Center, 2324 N. Seminary, from 9 to 6:30 today; DePaul's downtown campus, 25 E. Jackson, fourth floor, from 9 to 9 today and 9 to 5 tomorrow; and the Baha'i Temple office, 112 Linden in Wilmette (right next door to the temple), from 7 to 3 today and tomorrow. Call 563-1600 for more details.

AlienNation, a new dance-theater piece playing tonight as part of the Blue Rider Theatre's Nights of the Blue Rider festival takes its inspiration from the reunification of Germany. Collaborators Johannes Birringer (theater director and video choreographer), Imma Sarries-Zgonc (dancer and choreographer), and Tara Peters (painter) took their inspiration from recent events in Europe and came up with this "bitter parody" of cultural integration in which a bureaucrat is sent to a foreign country on a mysterious political mission. Show times are 8 tonight and tomorrow and 7 Sunday; Nana Shineflug and the Chicago Moving Company share the bill all three nights.The theater is at 1822 S. Halsted; tickets are $10, $7 for students. Call 733-4668 for more info.

Saturday 22

"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice," Jimi Hendrix once said. "You sacrifice the things you love." A hand-colored photograph of Hendrix torching his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival is one of the 150-plus works in the Jimi Hendrix Exhibition, a traveling show of photos, lithographs, paintings, collages, and "manipulated art" memorializing the late great guitarist. It stops at the Dome Room, in Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn, today through June 19; hours are 10 AM to 4 AM Friday through Sunday, 10 to 10 Monday through Thursday. Naturally there's merchandise for sale: T-shirts, posters, and a CD. The Ultimate Experience, a new 20-song disc compiled by Alan Douglas and Chris Griffin for MCA Records, will be released at the same time this leg of the exhibit opens. Admission to the show is $3 Monday through Thursday, $5 Friday through Sunday; call 266-1944 for more info.

You don't have to know how to waltz, polka, or jig to attend tonight's ceili at the Irish American Heritage Center; a ceili is a traditional Irish country dance a lot like a square dance, so if you want to learn as you go it should be fairly easy. Or you can just watch the dancers and listen to the musicians, who include Martin Fahey, an accomplished player of accordion, piano, and a number of other instruments. It all starts at 9 at the center, 4626 N. Knox. Admission is free; call 282-7035 for details.

Sunday 23

With Maxwell Street Market on the verge of obliteration, a handful of groups have put together the Maxwell Street Market Colloquium, a day of free lectures, discussions, films, video, and slide shows about the market and its history. The folks at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Levine Hillel Center, the main organizers of the day's events, say they have two goals in mind: to interpret the market's historical significance and to propose ideas for conserving the site. Things get started at 9 AM with registration and a showing of video interviews with vendors done last year. Different programs start about every hour, and a reception with blues by Jimmy Davis finishes up the proceedings at 4:30. It all takes place at the university's Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted; call 829-1595.

Duke Ellington died 19 years ago tomorrow, and in commemoration former Ellington band member Clark Terry leads a 16-piece big band tonight in a program of the Duke's classics. The band will work from transcriptions of original recordings, and they'll also perform some original compositions by Terry. This musical tribute to Duke Ellington starts at 7 at the University of Chicago's Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. Tickets are $8-$40. Tomorrow a six-person panel including Terry, trumpeter Art Hoyle, and former Downbeat editor Art Lange will discuss Ellington's music at Goodspeed Recital Hall, 1050 E. 59th St., starting at 3. Admission is free. For more information on either event, call 702-8068 or 427-1676.

Monday 24

One way to show your support for gays in the military is to buy a ticket to Operation Pride, tonight's kickoff to Bailiwick Repertory's Pride Performance Series 1993. Proceeds go to the Human Rights Campaign Fund's Operation Lift the Ban, and performers include emcee and former Saturday Night Live-er Nora Dunn, who will do some of her better-known characters, and actors Paula Killen and Ted Bales, monologuist Cheryl Trykv, comedienne Marcia Wilkie, song stylist John "Sinatra" Connors, pianist Joe Tech, and the comedy troupe Boys in the Bathroom. Tickets are $25, and it starts at 8 at the Improv, 504 N. Wells. For more info call 782-6387.

Tuesday 25

Classical Heroines, Suicides, and Music is the morbid but intriguing title of today's free Chautauqua Chicago program in the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State. Lucretia and Dido are the women to be examined: soprano Dalia Kucenas will perform a cantata about Lucretia by Domenico Zipoli, pianist Enrique Alberto Arias will play a sonata based on the story of Dido by Muzio Clementi, and poet Susan Forster will read from Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece and Virgil's Aeneid. The program starts at 5:30 in the library auditorium. Call 747-4740 for more info.

Over the next two weeks a dozen artists from an assortment of foreign countries will be outfitting the walls of the new international terminal at O'Hare--which opens Thursday--with 12 four-by-nine-foot murals. Tonight Genesis Creative Oasis, the art-supply store that's donating all the materials for the project, is hosting a meet-the-artists reception at its 847 W. Jackson store. All of the artists, plus translators and representatives from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Sister Cities Program, will mingle with the crowd. It runs from 6 to 9; admission is free. Details at 738-5300.

Cook County Hospital has been performing abortions since last fall, but the use of federal and state medicaid funds for abortion is still prohibited. Should it be? Decide for yourself at tonight's public forum, The Issues of Public Funding and Reproductive Rights, sponsored by the Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago Catholic Women, the National Abortion Rights Action League of Illinois, the National Assembly of Religious Women, and the Women's Health Education Project. The discussion will also cover other subjects besides abortion, including access to public health care, health education, and the legislative process. There'll also be performances by Cindy Salach, Maria McCray, and Carmen Hudson, plus refreshments. It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 at the NARAL office, 100 E. Ohio, fourth floor. Admission is free; call 644-0972 for more.

Wednesday 26

If the first few warm weeks of spring have made you want to chuck the day job and head out cross-country on your bike, you may want to hear today's lecture on bicycle trips sponsored by the Savvy Traveller. Moira Brennan and Bill Green, who spent eight months pedaling from Chicago to San Francisco, stopping along the way to earn money, will talk about their trip and give advice about how, why, and with whom to make your own bike trip. Their talk starts at 5:30 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free; call 263-2100 for more info.

Thursday 27

Among the tomes for sale at this year's Chicago International Antiquarian Book Fair: one of 24 known copies of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, signed by Lincoln; Tribune Tower Competition, a 1992 volume containing all the designs submitted; and an original copy of Gone With the Wind signed by Margaret Mitchell. If these don't do anything for you, maybe miniature books or hand-tooled leather bindings will. The fair runs from 5 to 9 today, noon to 8 tomorrow, and noon to 5 Saturday at the Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe. Admission is $10 today for all three days or $5 tomorrow or Saturday only. Call 708-835-4990 for information.

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