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Friday 3/29 - Thursday 4/4

MARCH

29 FRIDAY Puppeteer Damien Hinojosa says his current show, Carnival of the Dead--which he organized and directed with his sister Raven--is a bit like a Latin American street carnival: "festive but also a little macabre." It was inspired, he says, by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano's Century of the Wind (the conclusion of his semifictional trilogy about the Americas, "Memory of Fire") and focuses on stories of death and injustice culled from the secret history of the 20th century. The show--featuring puppetry, performance, and Latin and New Orleans music--opened Thursday, March 28, and runs tonight, tomorrow, and Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, at 8 and Sunday, April 7, at 7 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. There's a suggested donation of $12; make reservations by calling 773-281-0824.

30 SATURDAY Four years and $80,000 worth of schoolin' wouldn't be complete without a chance to show off what's been learned, so every year the School of the Art Institute puts up a show for its graduating fine arts and interior architecture students. This year's SAIC Undergraduate Exhibition features the work of almost 300 students in disciplines ranging from sculpture, sound, and ceramics to fashion design, performance, and video. The show opens tonight with a free reception from 5 to 8 and continues with presentations and performances through April 12. It's at the school's Gallery 2, 847 W. Jackson, on the second, third, and tenth floors. The free exhibit is open 10 to 5 Monday through Saturday and 12 to 5 Sunday. Call 312-563-5167 for more information.

Since moving here from Monroe, Louisiana, in 1939, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson has been a witness to, participant in, or instigator of some of the finest moments in Chicago's jazz history. The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, founded in 1965 by Anderson and a passel of other free-jazz enthusiasts, has spawned a generation of innovators such as Mwata Bowden, Ed Wilkerson, and Ernest Dawkins, and the Velvet Lounge--the South Loop jazz club Anderson owns and runs--has been at the heart of the improv scene for 20 years. Tonight, in celebration of his 73rd birthday (which was last week), Anderson will step out from behind the bar and onto the HotHouse stage to play with old friends Roscoe Mitchell, Harrison Bankhead, Ari Brown, and Vincent Davis. The show costs $20, $15 for students, and gets under way at 9 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707).

31 SUNDAY "It's not about the Cubs," says Chicago director and beer vendor David Levenson of his feature-length video Wrigley Field: Beyond the Ivy. "It's about the culture surrounding Wrigley Field." The "fictional documentary," which was covered by the Reader when it premiered last October, depicts the "secret dream life of Wrigley Field" by looking into the lives of ballhawk Moe Mullins, Buffalo Grove artist Steve Wolf (who built the seven-foot-square model of the field now installed at the bar Murphy's Bleachers), a scalper, and a guy who lives across the street from the park. Featuring narration by actor William Petersen and original music by pianist Bradley Williams, it'll be shown today at 4:15 and 6:15 (and throughout the week leading up to this season's first game at Wrigley) at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State (312-846-2800). It's $8; see Section Two for other show times.

APRIL

1 MONDAY In 1998, at the height of the bubble economy, essayist and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich wondered how well the new wealth was trickling down to America's unskilled laborers. To find out, she exchanged her laptop for a Merry Maids uniform and lived the life herself, working for three months as a waitress, a maid, and a Wal-Mart "associate" and quickly discovering that even in those days of abundance a low-wage worker couldn't come close to making ends meet. "It is a shock," she wrote in 2001's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, a chronicle of her experiences, "to realize that 'trailer trash' has become, for me, a demographic category to aspire to." Ehrenreich, University of Chicago sociologist Saskia Sassen, and writer and Baffler editor Tom Frank will discuss globalization today at a panel entitled Corporate Culture in the Age of Enron. It gets under way at 6 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. It's free, but reservations are requested; call 847-242-9279.

And the nominees for funniest local news story of the last couple years are: residents of Rogers Park see Our Lady of Guadalupe in a tree; Oprah Winfrey-ignored author Lastmanout erects a billboard reading, "Hey Oprah! Ignore This!"; aldermen tell police to confiscate the bikes of cyclists riding on the sidewalk along Sheridan Road. The winners in this and three other categories (vote at www.academyoffools.com) will be announced at tonight's Academy of Fools Awards ceremony, a parody of the Academy Awards put on by the Noble Fool Theater Company to celebrate the opening of its new digs at 16 W. Randolph. The ceremony starts at 6 with a cocktail reception; it'll be hosted by Wild Chicago's Will Clinger and writer and comedian Aaron Freeman. It's 100 bucks a head, but attendees do get to walk down a red carpet under klieg lights and get besieged by hungry autograph seekers. Call 312-630-2631 for tickets.

2 TUESDAY "Food of the gods" was the name Swedish naturalist Linnaeus gave to the tree it's harvested from; in pre-Spanish days it was used by the Maya--in unsweetened, liquid form--as currency; nowadays, to the dismay of Yale University anthropologist Michael Coe, it's bastardized in the daily manufacture of more than 25 million Hershey's Kisses. It, of course, is chocolate, a delicacy whose tale Coe will tell today in a lecture entitled The True History of Chocolate, based on the 1996 book of the same name that he coauthored with his wife, Sophie. He'll speak at 6 in the Field Museum's James Simpson Theater, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Tickets are $12, $10 for students; call 312-665-7400 for more information.

3 WEDNESDAY "Of all the challenges confronting the Muslim world today," wrote Pakistan native and University of Louisville professor Riffat Hassan in a paper delivered at a Tunis conference in 1995, "perhaps the greatest is that of modernity. Muslims, in general, tend to think of 'modernity' in two ways: 1) as modernization, which is associated with science, technology and material progress, and 2) as Westernization, which is associated with promiscuity and all manner of social problems....While modernization is considered highly desirable, Westernization is not. What is important to note is that an emancipated Muslim woman is seen by many Muslims as a symbol not of modernization but of Westernization. Even today, when a Muslim boy returns from a western institution for higher education, he is considered modernized. A young girl in the same situation is considered Westernized." Tonight at 7:30 Hassan will give a talk called Muslim Responses to 9/11: The Rights of Women in Islamic Communities, the first in a series hosted by Elmhurst College called "Finding God at Elmhurst." It's in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center at the college, 190 Prospect in Elmhurst. It's free; call 630-617-3033 for more information.

4 THURSDAY In D.W. Griffith's 1919 silent melodrama Broken Blossoms, Lillian Gish, 23 at the time, plays 16-year-old Lucy, a cockney waif from London's waterfront. After running away from her abusive boxer father (Donald Crisp), Lucy befriends a Chinese shopkeeper (Richard Barthelmess) who provides a brief reprieve from her grim life. Famous for Henrick Sartov's soft-focus cinematography, Broken Blossoms is thought to be the first interracial love story--though the love is left unspoken--in American movies. A 35-millimeter print, accompanied by Dennis Scott on the Pickwick Theatre's 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer, will be shown. It's tonight at 7:30 at the Pickwick, 5 S. Prospect in Park Ridge (847-825-5800). Author and film historian Arnie Bernstein will introduce the film; tickets are $10, $8 in advance ($7 for students and seniors).

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