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Friday 12/8 - Thursday 12/14

DECEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

8 FRIDAY "Universal coverage for all" is the mantra of the Campaign for Better Health Care, a coalition of some 300 organizations and 1.4 million individuals statewide. Today the group hosts Collaborating for Universal Health Care, an annual meeting designed to "celebrate our victories and to kick off our millennium campaigns." It includes workshops on health-care issues, a panel on successful organizing strategies, and an awards luncheon. It's from 9:30 to 4:30 at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan. Tickets are $40; to register call 312-913-9449.

If you take Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, add Madonna, and stir in the Beatles, you'll get some idea of the impact pop singer Googoosh had on Iranian audiences before she was silenced by the Islamic revolution in 1979. The fundamentalist regime deemed women's voices "demonic" and prohibited them from singing in public. Googoosh was briefly jailed, and then spent most of the next 20 years reading on her couch. But seclusion only increased her popularity, and when Iran's new, reform-minded government returned her passport earlier this year, she embarked on a wildly successful world tour. Her story is the subject of Farhad Zamani's documentary Googoosh: Iran's Daughter, which will be screened tonight at 7 (and tomorrow at 3 and 7) at the Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute, Columbus and Jackson. Zamani will attend all three screenings. Tickets are $7; call 312-443-3737.

9 SATURDAY When he started shooting architecture in 1929, photographer Ken Hedrich eschewed the standard three-quarters view of a building for a more innovative approach emphasizing light, shadow, and detail. The 18 photographers who followed him at his firm, Hedrich Blessing, did the same; their work is collected in the new exhibit Building Images: Seventy Years of Hedrich Blessing Photography, which includes among its 450 photos images of local landmarks from the Rookery to the MCA. Today's opening activities include a talk on archiving and conserving photographs (at 11 AM) and tours throughout the day led by HB executives and exhibit curator Stanley Tigerman. At 3 PM, a group of HB photographers will participate in a roundtable discussion on the firm's history and sign copies of Building Images, a companion volume. The exhibit runs through July 8 at the Chicago Historical Society, 1601 N. Clark. Admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors, $1 for children; call 312-642-4600 for more.

Local artists and craftspeople will be selling their wares all over town this weekend, when the holiday gift fair season kicks into high gear. In Pilsen, over 50 area artists will open their studios today from 2 to 10 and tomorrow from noon to 7. You can pick up maps at Pilsen East Gallery, 1823 S. Halsted; call 312-226-6994 for more information. Across town, milliners, potters, and other local artisans will set up shop from 11 to 6 today and tomorrow at HotHouse, 30 E. Balbo (312-367-9707). Admission to both events is free. See the Galleries & Museums listings in Section Two for information on other seasonal artists' markets.

Shonen Knife, Kelly Hogan, Alejandro Escovedo, Bobby Conn, Oscar Brown Jr., Pansy Division, and polka king Li'l Wally are just a smattering of the live musical acts that folks of all ages have danced to over the last four years on the local cable access show Chic-A-Go-Go. Today's taping of the annual holiday and New Year's episodes will feature blueswomen Zora Young and Joan Baby. Dancers are invited to "dress casual or wear a costume, it's up to you." It's from noon to 3 at CAN-TV studios, 322 S. Green. (The show airs Tuesday nights at 8:30 and Wednesdays at 3:30 on cable channel 19). It's free; call 773-288-5448. Tomorrow hosts Miss Mia and Ratso will appear at the Hideout Holiday Kids Show, which starts at 4 at the club, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets are $4 for adults, free for kids; call 773-227-4433.

10 SUNDAY Over the past year--and especially over the last few weeks--we've seen enough legal maneuvering to fuel a decade of the Chicago Bar Association's satirical music reviews. This year's "Christmas Spirits" show is called 2001: A Case Odyssey, and it promises "parodies of political peccadilloes, governmental gaffes, legal lampooning, celebrity spoofs, and election intrigue." The final performances are Saturday at 8 and tonight at 7 at DePaul University's Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo. Tickets are $50, or $85 if you include a 5 o'clock dinner at the Chicago Hilton and Towers around the corner at 720 S. Michigan. Call 312-554-2000 for more.

Long before it was hip to hug trees, scientist and conservationist Aldo Leopold declared, "For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasqueflower is a right as inalienable as free speech." Leopold, whose famed "land ethic" argued that we are morally obligated to care for the land, worked for the U.S. Forest Service and served on the Wisconsin Conservation Commission until he died in 1948. Today Curt Meine, author of a biography of Leopold and coeditor of The Essential Aldo Leopold, will discuss his legacy at a lecture called Reimagining the Prairie: Aldo Leopold and the Origins of Prairie Restoration. It's at 3 at the Morton Arboretum's Thornhill Education Center, 4100 Route 53 in Lisle. It's free, but parking for nonmembers is $7. Call 630-968-0074.

11 MONDAY In her new show, What Ever: The Lost Christmas Episode, the multitalented Heather Woodbury gives a holiday update on the lives of Violet, Skeeter, Clove, and the other characters from her 1998 one-woman "performance novel," What Ever: An American Odyssey. Woodbury will also read from a work in progress, Tale of 2 Cities: An American Joyride on Multiple Tracks, in which she examines the 1957 bulldozing and redevelopment of neighborhoods in New York and LA. The performance is part of Steppenwolf Theatre's "Traffic" series; it's at 7:30 tonight at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets are $20. Call 312-335-1650.

12 TUESDAY For most of Second City's history, women's roles with the famed comedy troupe were pretty limited: there was usually an ingenue, who was invariably cute and blond, and some minor "character parts" dumped on the nonblond actresses. But in the early 90s, the group tried to shed its "white guys in ties" image by starting an outreach program and taking steps to create a more balanced ensemble. Tonight Second City tour codirector and main-stage alumna Susan Messing and Second City E.T.C. resident ensemble members Debra Downing and Abby Sher will discuss how women's roles in the company have evolved. It's part of a promotion for the new book The Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater and it starts at 7:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark (773-769-9299). It's free.

13 WEDNESDAY If you missed local filmmaker Tod Lending's Legacy in this year's Chicago International Film Festival, you'll get another chance to catch it today. The documentary, featured in these pages last October, follows five years in the lives of Henry Horner residents Dorothy Jackson, her two daughters, and two of her grandchildren as they struggle with the aftermath of the violent death of Terrell Collins, Jackson's 14-year-old grandson. The film screens tonight at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton (773-281-4114); tickets are $7. Lending will attend the screening.

14 THURSDAY A clown car, tunnels, moles, trash people, magic seeds, 50 kids, dozens of professional performers, and "a cafe that emerges on the back of a giant turtle" are the components of Redmoon Theater's Annual Winter Pageant, which this year addresses issues of earth and excess. It's tonight at 7:30 (and runs through the 17th) at the Pulaski Park Field House, 1419 W. Blackhawk. Tickets are $8; call 773-388-9031.

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