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Friday 12/10 - Thursday 12/16

DECEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

10 FRIDAY What would Karl Marx make of modern Manhattan? That's what historian Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States) explores in his one-man, one-act play Marx in Soho, in which the old radical decries contemporary capitalism and attempts to show that his theories are still relevant. Performances are Thursday, December 9, tonight, and tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Tickets are $12 at the door. Call 312-409-2806.

All we can find out about Karen Finley's performance tonight is that it's about "distorted personality disorders based on real-life experiences" and that honey will be involved. The infamous member of the NEA Four will perform tonight at 10 at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $15; Trailer Hitch opens. Call 773-489-3160. Finley may be basing her show on her latest book, Pooh Unplugged: An Unauthorized Memoir, in which Christopher Robin and friends are recast as bored, sexually excessive codependents. She'll read from it tomorrow night at 6 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells (312-642-5044). It's free.

11 SATURDAY At tonight's Dating Game With Cynthia Plaster Caster, the famous dick sculptress will choose from four eligible, anonymous young men, most of whom have something to do with the music business, in a live reenactment of the 60s game show. A screening of episodes of The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game from 1969 will follow. Rumor has it that a film crew will be shooting the whole thing for a documentary about Plaster Caster. The festivities start at 9 at Chris & Heather's Record Roundup, 2034 W. Montrose (773-271-5330). Admission is $7.

Nancy Andrews uses text from real Pilgrims' diaries in her latest movie, The Lost Colony, an Early American Mysterie, the fictional tale of a doomed settlement. The 16-millimeter film will be accompanied by a chorus, narration, and sound effects she says recall elements of vaudeville and early cinema. Performances are tonight at 7 and 9 at Cinema Borealis, 1550 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors. Call 773-404-0807.

12 SUNDAY As part of the worldwide observance of United Nations Human Rights Day, Ronald Precht, a former administrator for the United Nations Association of the USA, will discuss our progress in adhering to principles laid out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's at noon at the Baha'i House of Worship, 100 Linden in Wilmette. Call 847-853-2300 for details.

It's not about a little boy or a big governor, so it hasn't exactly made headlines here, but Cuba recently won a Swedish award for excellence in organic agriculture. Seems that once the USSR went to pieces, Cuban farmers lost access to pesticides and fertilizers and were forced to switch over to organic farming. Alison Meares of San Francisco's Food First saw the results firsthand on a clandestine trip there last March; today from 4 to 6:30 she'll show slides and discuss farming methods at an apartment on the second floor at 1250 N. Wood. It's free. Call 773-252-9982 for more information.

13 MONDAY Long before Joan of Arc became the stuff of legends and feature films, a young Sicilian woman named Lucia known for ministering to the poor and homeless was executed by the Romans around 300 AD. Her story first became popular in Sweden during the 17th and 18th centuries, and today the Saint Lucia Festival of Lights is synonymous with Christmastime in that country. Andersonville's version starts today at 4:45 at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark (773-728-8111), with a parade led by "Lucia girls" wearing white robes and crowns of lingonberry sprigs and candles, followed by a celebration at the museum at 5:30 with a telling of the saint's story. There will also be a concert and traditional snacks. Admission is $1 or a can of food. At 7 the Chicago Swedish Male Chorus and the Varblomman children's group perform at nearby Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster (773-561-8496). That's free. Then at 9 it's back to the museum for free glogg, courtesy of the Swedish consulate.

"One moment it's a mystery, the next a portrait of mental illness, the next a philosophical treatise on the nature of identity and objective truth," says director Katie Taber of Emmanuel Carrere's novel The Mustache, about a man who decides to go clean shaven as a surprise, only to have his friends and wife insist he's never been anything but. Things are more clear-cut in Taber's adaptation for the stage. The play opens tonight at 8 (and runs through January 16) at the Athenaeum Studio Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets are $15. (The January 3 show is two for one.) Call 312-902-1500.

14 TUESDAY Since it started in July, the E-mail discussion group ChicWit (which stands for Chicago Women in Technology) has grown to 450 members, who range from Web designers to a community of nuns. Today they'll hold their first in-person event: a discussion with Linda L. Darragh, associate director of the Women's Business Development Center, and Janet Ryan, president of the California-based consulting firm J.M. Ryan & Associates. Their topic will be "A Click to Success: Women Doing Business on the Internet." It's at 6:30 at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont, and it's free. Call 847-424-9633.

One of the goals of the Day Labor Project is to find permanent work for the people who work one day at a time for low wages, no benefits, and no security. Tonight state representative Sonia Silva, Wayne Heimbach from the Service Employees International Union Local 46, a representative from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and some laborers will discuss "Day Labor in Chicago: Its Uses and Abuses." There's a reception at 6:30, and the panel runs from 7 to 9 at the Unite Center, 333 S. Ashland. Call 312-666-3037 for more.

15 WEDNESDAY Fans of Steve Cushing's long-running WBEZ radio show Blues Before Sunrise (Saturday nights from midnight to 5) will get a chance to see the host live in action tonight when he presents a multimedia program called The Voice of the Blues. Besides music, it features slides and taped interviews with people like singer Alberta Hunter and harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, who grew up in Chicago. Cushing will also have photos, rare records, and music catalogs on hand. The free program is at 7 at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake in Oak Park. Call 708-383-8200, ext. 119.

16 THURSDAY When field biologist Peter Friederici writes about Chicago's suburban wilderness, he's not talking about Tinley Park dance clubs. Try freshwater mussels, passenger pigeons, and migrating ducks--subjects he's written about in the Reader and elsewhere. Friederici will sign and discuss his new collection of essays, The Suburban Wild, tonight at 7 at the Book Stall, 811 Elm in Winnetka (847-446-8880). It's free.

HotHouse director Marguerite Horberg enlisted her brother to help her raise some funds for the nonprofit cultural center. William Horberg just happens to be the producer of the new Matt Damon-Gwyneth Paltrow-Jude Law movie The Talented Mr. Ripley and arranged a benefit to correspond with the local premiere for the flick. The movie starts at 7 at McClurg Court, 330 E. Ohio. Tickets are $25, and for $15 more you can attend the postscreening party at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707), with director Anthony Minghella. The Guy Barker Quintet will perform songs from the movie score.

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