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Friday 1/8 - Thursday 1/14

JANUARY

By Cara Jepsen

8 FRIDAY At the beginning of the century, door-to-door salesmen could make a pretty penny peddling stereoscopes, which worked much like the View-Masters of later years. The accompanying stereograph photos were taken with a two-lens camera, which is what artist Todd Hochberg uses to make his modern-day color stereographs. His work, along with cyanotype (blue-toned) prints by Kelly McKaig, brown-toned photos by Kellie Murphy-Klein, and Dan Cochrane's photographic manipulations, make up the new exhibit Homage/The Vintage Photograph: Early Photographic Processes and Alterations. It's accompanied by "Sideshow: Anonymous Vernacular Photography (1910-1970)" at Yello Gallery, 1630 N. Milwaukee. Tonight's free opening reception is from 6 to 10; the exhibit, organized by the Aron Packer Gallery, runs through the end of the month. Call 773-235-9731 for more.

9 SATURDAY The ornate Civic Opera House was the brainchild of billionaire Samuel Insull, who successfully lured the Chicago Civic Opera away from its home at Louis Sullivan's Auditorium Building. The theater, which opened in 1929, boasts Austrian crystal chandeliers, stenciled ceilings, and the famous painted fire curtain depicting a scene from Aida. In 1993 the Lyric Opera bought the space and began a recently completed $50 million renovation that included the creation of a massive rehearsal hall and a stage-level scenery-handling area--which means that expensive sets no longer have to wait their turn on the sidewalk outside. The curious will have a chance to see the sets, as well as the wardrobe department, prop rooms, and a diva's-eye view of the audience, at today's backstage tour of the Lyric Opera. It's from 10:30 to 1:30 at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker, and will include talks and demonstrations by Lyric staff members. The cost is $22 per person; lunch is an additional $8. Call 312-332-2244, ext. 222, for reservations, which are required. The tour will also be offered February 21 and March 7.

10 SUNDAY The Broadway United Methodist Church in Lakeview has 185 members, nearly one-third of whom identify themselves as gay or lesbian. For the past three decades its current pastor, Reverend Gregory Dell, has been conducting same-sex commitment ceremonies. He continued to do so after the church's judicial council decided in August to prohibit same-sex unions. Church elders charged Dell with disobedience, and he faces a trial later this year. In the meantime his old Oak Park congregation has organized a benefit for the straight, married pastor. Today's With Fond Regards to Broadway fund-raiser will be hosted by LesBiGay Radio and includes performances by the Windy City Slickers and the Broadway Review; a reception will follow. The festivities start at 3 at the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, 405 S. Euclid in Oak Park (708-848-7360). Tickets are $15.

11 MONDAY Since 1986, the Chicago Sinfonietta has sought out works that reflect the city's diverse population. Tonight it will perform African-American composer Adolphus Hailstork's An American Port of Call as part of its "African Heritage Series" tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The program will also include the finale from William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony as well as Hale Smith's occasionally jazzy arrangements of both traditional spirituals and A Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland. The concert, which features soprano Angela Brown, will be conducted by Sinfonietta music director Paul Freeman and starts at 7:30 in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets are $17 to $38 (the concert will be performed again next Sunday at Dominican University). Call 312-857-1062 for more.

12 TUESDAY For his video Carrie Yellow, artist John Kramer remade the infamous prom scene from the 1976 Brian De Palma film using only the title color. So instead of being drenched in a bucket of pig's blood, Carrie is showered with something a bit more, er, golden. Tonight some of Kramer's videos, which address homosexuality, AIDS, addiction, and compulsion, will be shown at Lawrence Steger's new monthly cabaret, the "Faux Show." This month's installment, dubbed (Not the) New Millennium Faux Shoe, features Douglas Grew as cohost and new work by Peter Carpenter and Margaret Goddard. The festivities will be followed by Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Todd Haynes's notorious early feature. It all starts at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Tickets are $8.

13 WEDNESDAY When the USSR beat the U.S. into space with the successful launch of Sputnik I in 1957, our government worried that America's young brains were rotting and began to focus on improving children's scores in math and science. Meanwhile suburban growth and the baby boom created a need for new schools, and modernist architecture's functionality and cost-effectiveness appealed to many districts. Tonight Harvard University professor and practicing architect Hashim Sarkis will discuss the impact of cultural, educational, political, and architectural issues on schools in a free lecture that one hopes will not be as dry as its title, When Schools Were Modern: Educational Facilities in the U.S. During the 1950s and 1960s. It's at 6 at the Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton (312-787-4071). The accompanying exhibition runs through February 25.

14 THURSDAY The cold war is a thing of the past, but the opening of the Iron Curtain has cost Russia dearly: these days the issue is not space exploration but food procurement. As President Boris Yeltsin said in his New Year's Eve address to the nation, "It was not an easy year for the country, for many of you, and even for me." Nonetheless, Moscow will be the focus of the Chicago Cultural Center's current "A World in a Weekend" festival of film, dance, art, and music. It starts this morning at 11 when La Maison Russe curator Marsha Furmanova hosts a "City in a Suitcase" presentation on Russian artifacts, icons, and clothes. Russian emigre Julia Loktev's documentary about her father's 1989 car accident and subsequent coma, Moment of Impact, will screen tonight at 6:30. The festival continues through Sunday with live music, poetry, and animation. All events are at the center (78 E. Washington) and are free. Call 312-744-6630 for more.

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