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Friday 9/20 - Thursday 9/26

SEPTEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

20 FRIDAY In Randy Newman's Faust--a musical comedy written by Newman and David Mamet--Lucifer wants to get back into heaven so he can perfect his golf swing. To get his wish he makes a bet with God over who can win the soul of a man--a skeptical third-year Notre Dame freshman who responds to the offer of trading his soul for money, sex, and power with "What's the catch?" The play, whose score was also written by Newman, previews tonight at 8 at the Goodman Theatre, 200 S. Columbus. Tickets are $26 to $40. Call 443-3800 for tickets or info.

21 SATURDAY In 1913 Marcel Duchamp became the first artist to turn a found object into a piece of art with Bicycle Wheel. The Museum of Contemporary Art's new course Basketballs, High Heels, and Stuff off the Street: A History of the Found Object in Contemporary Art looks at the ramifications of Duchamp's work. It's taught by the School of the Art Institute's Lisa Wainwright, who's writing a book on the subject. The eight-week course starts today and meets Saturdays through November 9; classes run from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Mayer Education Center at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago. It's $160, $130 for members. Call 397-4010 for info or to register.

The 2,000-year-old Romanian tradition of stomping grapes barefoot will be re-created at this year's Taste of Romania. The festival--which drew 20,000 people last year and warranted the closing of Ashland Avenue--features such delicacies as spit-roasted pig, lamb, and ox, as well as folk art, live entertainment, and a hog-calling contest. It's today and tomorrow from 11 to 11 outside of Little Bucharest restaurant, 3001 N. Ashland. It's free; call 929-8640.

Founded in 1994 by Chicago poet Lisa Alvarado, La Onda Negra Press is devoted to publishing the work of local women of color. Its new anthology, Dark Water Speaking, features poetry by Alvarado, Emily Hooper-Lasana, Frances Calloway-Parks, Angela Shannon, Sulima Moya, and Susana Sandoval. Tonight's release party benefits La Onda Negra Press and includes food, a cash bar, a silent art auction, and readings by contributors and guest artists Rohan Preston, Quraysh Ali-Lasana, Glenda Baker, and Reggie Gibson. It's at 7:30 at Casa de Arte y Cultura, 1900 S. Carpenter. Tickets are $10. For more information call 243-4243.

"A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery," Nelson Algren wrote in his book-length essay Nonconformity: Writing on Writing. Examining the writer's relationship with the world, the essay was written between 1951 and 1953, as Algren's affair with Simone de Beauvoir was fizzling and the FBI was compiling a dossier on him. Amid accusations that Algren was a communist, Doubleday canceled its contract to publish the book. Seven Stories Press founder Daniel Simon discovered the manuscript in Ohio State University's special-collections library in 1986 and is now publishing the work for the first time. He'll sign copies of the book today from 3 to 5 at Quimby's Queer Store, 1328 N. Damen. It's free; call 342-0910. Then tonight, as part of the Nelson Algren Committee's seventh anniversary celebration, Simon will read from the book along with Algren cronies Stu McCarrell and Art Shay. That event takes place from 7:30 to 9:30 at the Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division. Admission is $3; call 235-3232.

Performance artist Joan Dickinson got the inspiration for her new site-specific piece Flower from such diverse sources as archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, Jan Vermeer's painting Woman Holding a Balance, the frescoes depicting the Eleusinian rites at the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii, and Dr. Seuss. Taking place in rural McHenry County--where Dickinson lives--the work focuses on rituals of feasting and the after-dinner stroll. It's tonight at 7 at the Pistakee Bog Wildlife Preserve; a bus to the performance will leave at 5:45 from the parking lot across the street from Randolph Street Gallery, 756 N. Milwaukee, and directions will also be available at that time (they will not be given over the phone). The performance is $10, and a seat on the bus is $2. Reservations are required, and you must pick up your tickets at the bus regardless of whether you're driving. Organizers suggest bug spray, comfortable shoes, a blanket, and a cup (for the feast part of the show). The rain date is tomorrow at 7. Call 506-1375 for reservations or info.

22 SUNDAY Live dulcimer music, wagon rides, and apple cider made in an antique press are featured at this year's Apple Daze Festival. Visitors will also be able to pick apples, observe farm animals and bee hives, eat food cooked over an open fire, and watch the Rock N Ranch square dancers. It's from 10 to 6 today at County Line Orchard at 200 County Line Road (one mile south of route 6, about 40 minutes from Chicago) in Hobart, Indiana. Admission is free, parking is $1. Call 219-947-4477 for directions or info.

23 MONDAY Like trainspotting, shopping is a term for an illegal activity favored by disfranchised Brits as well as a title of a film. In director Paul Anderson's Shopping, however, instead of just stealing cars for kicks, alienated teens crash them through department-store windows, take what's inside, then try to escape the police in high-speed chases. The film centers on onetime king-shopper Billy, fresh out of prison and eager to regain his crown. It shows tonight at 7 and 9 at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $7, $5 for members. Call 281-4114 for more.

24 TUESDAY For years Mexican actress Ofelia Medina has worked for social justice in her country; to that end she founded the Trust for the Health of the Indigenous Children of Mexico. Today she'll discuss her experiences curating the traveling exhibition of murals, Colorin Colorado: The Art of Indian Children of Mexico, which is on display at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. She'll speak at 12:15 at the center's theater; a screening of her film Frida, a portrait of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, will follow at 1:15 (a second screening is offered at 5). Both events are free and part of Hispanic Heritage Month as well as the fourth International Congress of Educating Cities. For more information call 744-6630.

This year's edition of the annual literary magazine Fish Stories features work by 33 writers, including such literary luminaries as Tobias Wolff, Maxine Chernoff, and Yusef Komunyakaa. Local contributors including Robert Klein Engler, Jennifer Harris, Alex Sydorenko, and Julie Price Hutchinson will read from their work at tonight's release party. It takes place at 6 at the Newberry Library's A.C. McClurg Bookstore, 60 W. Walton. It's free; call 255-3520.

25 WEDNESDAY Vivian Westwood wannabes are invited to show their stuff at tonight's Breakthrough Fashion Design Search. Entrants must be 21 or older

and bring designs--not actual clothes--based on one of three themes: neo-preppy, 70s fever, or future/high-tech. A panel of judges, presided over by Cynthia Rowley, will decide who gets the prizes--$500 in cash and $1,000 earmarked to turn the winner's sketches into wearable designs for the final competition in New York. It's from noon to 2 at Club 720, 720 N. Wells. It's free. Call 397-0600 for more.

What was it like to be a "leatherman" before, during, and after the Stonewall riots? Artist and old-school leatherman J.P. Ranieri will discuss his experiences at tonight's Leather University of Chicago seminar, Leather History 101: Leather, Old Guard, and the Stonewall Riots. It's from 8 to 10 (registration at 7) at the Chicago Eagle, 5015 N. Clark. Admission is $3. For information call 728-0050.

26 THURSDAY Today is opening day of this year's Mammoth Music & Record Mart, which means for a fee you can get a head start on sifting through the huge cache of CDs, rare records, eight-tracks, musical instruments, sheet music, and audio and video equipment. Last year the 11-day fund-raiser brought in more than $280,000 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation, which fights Lou Gehrig's disease. It's from 11 to 9 at Old Orchard Mall, Golf Road and Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. Opening-day admission is $5; tomorrow through October 5 it's free; on the final day, October 6, when all items are at least 50 percent off, admission is $2. Call 847-674-6278 for more info.

If you miss tonight's total lunar eclipse, your next chance to see this rare celestial event won't be until January 21, 2000. The best place to view it, of course, is from the burbs, through a telescope. Tonight the Chicago Astronomical Society will set up scopes for your use in front of the Cernan Space Center in River Grove. (Or watch it at home; lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye.) The telescopes will be ready for viewing at 8 (the eclipse starts at 8:12) at the space center at Triton College, 2000 Fifth Avenue in River Grove. It's free; call 725-5618 for more. For those without wheels, the Adler Planetarium will also have telescopes out starting at about 8. It's at 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive (922-7827).

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