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Friday 12/17 - Thursday 12/23

DECEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

17 FRIDAY Downstate artist Randolph Evans painted wildlife and landscapes--until he went to Vietnam as an army medic in 1969. Upon his return he abandoned ducks and barns for images from his tour, which he says helped him face reality. His most recent work addresses "what is left of the world after removing the rose-colored glasses." Evans will attend tonight's free opening reception for his new exhibit, "Another Bad Judgment Experiment." It's from 5:30 to 9 at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, 1801 S. Indiana; Evans's work will be displayed through February 18. Call 312-326-0270.

Music critics have waxed hyperbolic about "techno fox" DJ Rap, who before becoming a spinning and singing sensation was a London paralegal named Charissa Saverio. After her first rave experience she chucked the straight life and joined the techno revolution. Tonight she'll be at Aura, 640 N. Dearborn, to promote her debut album, Learning Curve. Doors open at 10 and the cover is $15. Call 312-266-2114.

18 SATURDAY The Hyde Park Art Center's new solstice ritual, Howl, has its roots in a South American tradition of symbolically ridding the community of evils for the New Year. For HPAC's version, a group of artists will combine performances with the burning of effigies representing "some of the darker ghosts of the past 2,000 years." Audience members can write down what they want to purge on a piece of paper and burn that too. Fausto Fernos of the Radical Faeries emcees the proceedings; artists include the Ever-So-Secret Order of the Lamprey, Katherine Chronis, Alan Bolle, Michael Bancroft, and Partners in Art. The free spectacle runs from 4:30 to 6:30 on the steps on the south side of the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and Lake Shore Drive. Call 773-324-5520.

There's so much stuff in the Museum of Contemporary Art's new exhibit One Hundred Years of Architecture that it had to be installed over the course of a few weeks. The whole thing is on view starting today: 21 chronological sections consisting of scale models, photos, drawings, artifacts, sketches, furniture, and film and video clips looking back at the century. It runs through February 27 (portions of the show will stay up through March 12) at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago (312-280-2660). It's open from 10 to 5 and admission is $7, $4.50 for students and seniors.

Despite the fact that Richie beat the pants off challenger Bobby Rush last time around with nearly 72 percent of the vote, the Daley machine is not impregnable. At least that's what 50th Ward Reform Party committeeman and onetime aldermanic candidate Tyrone Walls says: "When you consider that 56 percent of registered voters didn't even vote at all, Daley actually got 31 percent of the total potential vote." According to him, Daley is most vulnerable to a challenger from a different political party (i.e., Walls's). He'll elaborate further on The Myth of Daley's Invincibility tonight at 8 at the College of Complexes at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Tuition is $3 plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120 for more information.

19 SUNDAY Getting up before the crack of dawn is apparently no problem for fans of Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake's yearly Winter Solstice Percussion Concert: the 6:30 AM show usually sells out. Late risers and latecomers are advised that there will also be a sunset performance at 4 this afternoon, as well as shows at 4 and 8 Saturday at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tickets, $12, are required; call 773-871-5318 to reserve them.

Solstice celebrations continue with Redmoon Theater's eighth annual Winter Pageant, which focuses on the cycles of life and the seasons. This year the festival of puppetry, masks, and live music is based in part on a Logan Square mural that honors firefighters who died rescuing children. Performances are at 2 and 5 today (there are also performances on Thursday, December 16, Friday, and Saturday) at the Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie. Tickets are $8. Call 773-388-9031.

Over by the lakefront, Christmas Revels promises to be "an evening of medieval and renaissance carols, processionals, dance, and drama in celebration of winter solstice." The Revels concept of interaction between professional performers and community members was established in 1971 by singer John Langstaff in Cambridge, Massachusetts; since then Revels outposts have spread to eight other cities, including Chicago, the newest branch. Langstaff and Studs Terkel will appear at tonight's benefit performances, which are at 5:30 and 8 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Cannon Drive at Fullerton. Tickets are $40 and $20, $10 for children. Call 312-409-2807.

20 MONDAY "They're sure as hell not It's a Wonderful Life," says screenwriter and Columbia College professor Ron Falzone about The Other Christmas Movies he'll discuss today at the Chicago Cultural Center. "But they have the right Christmas issues in them--there's a real sense of spirit, hope, and forgiveness." His yuletide favorites include Holiday, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Fanny and Alexander, and others. He'll show clips and discuss his choices at his weekly film lecture. It's at 1 at the center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630), and it's free.

21 TUESDAY The new series Urban Griot Society, named after the West African term for a male storyteller, highlights the talents of writers and musicians of that gender; tonight's inaugural installment will star '99 poetry slam champ Roger Bonair-Agard, who hails from Harlem. Local poets Marlon Esguerra, Tyehimba Jess, and Quraysh Ali Lansana will also perform, backed by musicians George Blaise, Josh Abrams, Virus X, and Brother Lawrence. It starts with an open mike at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Admission is $7.

22 WEDNESDAY Perfect your gift-wrapping technique for a good cause: the Fairygodmother Foundation, which grants wishes to adults with terminal illnesses, is asking for volunteers to help them package presents in three-hour shifts today and tomorrow from 9 AM to 11 PM and Christmas Eve from 9 to 6 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan. Call 773-248-3950 to sign up.

23 THURSDAY Over the past 16 years the Music Box's annual Christmas Sing-along and Double Feature has turned into what theater co-owner Chris Carlo has dubbed "the Rocky Horror Christmas show." He cites regulars who adorn themselves with lightbulb earrings and strap-on antlers and say the lines with the actors--not to mention the enthusiastic, Santa-led caroling that takes place between the movies. The sing-along runs Tuesday through today; screenings of It's a Wonderful Life start each day at 4 and 9:45 and White Christmas is at 7. Tickets are $10 and available in advance by calling 312-559-1212 or on the day of the show at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport (773-871-6604).

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