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Friday 4/4 - Thursday 4/10

APRIL

4 FRIDAY Around the Coyote's new group show, April Is the Cruelest Month, takes its title from the first line of T.S. Eliot's 1922 poem The Waste Land, which explored themes of isolation, decadence, and sterility in the wake of World War I. "I believe we're at a crossroads right now, obviously, with Iraq and how we deal with the world," says curator Olga Stefan. "The war T.S. Eliot is discussing took place decades ago, but [the poem] is extremely appropriate now." The exhibit features pieces by 13 artists, including a sculpture by Adam Pincus that depicts Vice President Dick Cheney as a camp counselor posing for a picture with two unwilling charges--Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. "It's as if they're kids and he's forcing them to smile for the camera--as if putting them together means that they're actually friends," says Stefan. "But it's clear from the sculpture that they hate each other." The exhibit opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 10 and runs through April 25 at the ATC Space, 1579 N. Milwaukee, #352. For more information call 773-342-6777.

The first line of Britney Spears's 2001 hit Oops!...I Did It Again is "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah"--not exactly literature on a par with Eliot's masterpiece. Nonetheless Spears too is serving as the jumping-off point for a group show, this one opening today at the School of the Art Institute's 1926 Exhibition Studies Space. "The phrase lent itself to topics I was interested in--something that's sort of on the border of being sentimental and has to do with love and failure," says cocurator Ryan Weber. "Everyone will understand the backdrop of Britney Spears, but the idea was not to have this be an ironic show. It's more like taking a form like that and finding another way to address those topics." The exhibit runs through April 20 at 1926 N. Halsted; there's a free opening reception tonight from 6 to 9. Call 773-665-4802.

Based on a holdup by four members of Butch Cassidy's gang, Edwin S. Porter's revolutionary 1903 one-reeler The Great Train Robbery was the first film to use camera movement, editing, dramatic close-ups, and crosscutting--between the bandits and the posse chasing them--to move the story along. The 100-year-old short will be shown tonight on a century-old hand-cranked projector as part of the Silent Film Society of Chicago's annual gala benefit, which will also include screenings of Porter's 1902 short Life of an American Fireman and the 1920 feature The Toll Gate, with live piano accompaniment by David Drazin. The event starts at 7 with a buffet, wine, and dessert, and the films begin at 8:15 at the Society for Arts 1112 Gallery, 1112 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $60; call 773-205-7372 for reservations.

5 SATURDAY Between 1996 and 2001, someone was killed every 20 minutes in Colombia's ongoing armed conflict between right-wing paramilitary forces and left-wing guerrillas. In that same period, according to the Colombian Ministry of Development, one person was displaced every five minutes, and one was kidnapped every three hours. The UN Office of Human Rights in Colombia reported last month that since President Alvaro Uribe Velez declared a state of emergency last summer, human rights abuses have become even more widespread. Today PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez will give the keynote speech "Is the United States Media Paying Enough Attention to Latin America Post-September 11?" at a free daylong conference called Colombia: Confronting Conflict, Striving Towards Peace. Featured speakers include Colombian ambassador to the Organization of American States Horacio Serpa, U.S. ambassador to Colombia Anne Patterson, Colombian senator Rafael Pardo Rueda, and representatives from the Foundation for Democracy, Human Rights Watch, and Inter-American Dialogue. It's from 9 to 6:30 at the University of Chicago's International House, 1414 E. 59th; for reservations and more information call 773-753-2274.

Chicago's housing market has lost more than 40,000 rental units over the past 20 years and is slated to lose some 18,000 public housing units under the CHA's ongoing "Plan for Transformation." That puts the city's 600,000 renters in a tough situation, say the folks at the Metropolitan Tenants Organization. The advocacy group, which helps more than 11,000 renters through its hot line each year, will hold a dance party fund-raiser tonight from 9 to 1. It'll feature a raffle and a DJ spinning salsa, rock, hip-hop, and more. It's at Blackie's, 755 S. Clark, and there's a suggested donation of $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For more information call 773-292-4980, ext. 222, or go to www.tenantsrights.org.

6 SUNDAY Here's dinner theater at its most literal: in his new comedy show, Frankie J Supper-Star, Frank Janisch, the former CEO of ImprovOlympic and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, lampoons cooking-show conventions while concocting a four-course dinner in an open kitchen. The show also features songs from Jesus Christ Superstar and waiters dressed as apostles to dish up the results. In addition, each week Janisch will demonstrate how to use a different kitchen utensil that diners will get to take home. "The idea is to come religiously and build your own kitchen," says the show's manager. It opens tonight at 6:30 and continues Sunday nights in an open-ended run at Frankie J's on Broadway, 4437 N. Broadway. The $42.50 ticket includes food, tax, tip, and the implement of the week. For reservations call 773-769-2959.

7 MONDAY Third District Democratic representative Bill Lipinski recently sat out the 215 to 212 vote that passed Bush's new budget (which includes another substantial tax cut) through the House. Lipinski, who has represented the south side and southwest suburbs for 11 terms and is the senior Illinois member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will discuss recent O'Hare airport legislation today at noon at a City Club of Chicago public policy luncheon. It starts at 11:30 with a reception at Maggiano's Banquets, 111 W. Grand, and it's $45. Call 312-565-6500 or see www.cityclub-chicago.com for more information.

8 TUESDAY "If you're taught that you should be able to have an orgasm with intercourse and you want your partner to give you oral or manual stimulation for orgasm, you may feel like there's something wrong with you," said local anthropologist Lisa Douglass in a 1997 Reader story on her book Are We Having Fun Yet? The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Sex. "Women are overcoming that, and men are beginning to understand it. But it's time to get the whole sexual culture moving toward that understanding." The out-of-print guide, which was coauthored by Douglass's sociologist sister, Marcia, was recently repackaged as a paperback with a new title, The Sex You Want: A Lovers' Guide to Women's Sexual Pleasure. Douglass will discuss the book tonight from 7:30 to 9 at Early to Bed, 5232 N. Sheridan. It's free; call 773-271-1219.

9 WEDNESDAY When flutist Arn Chorn-Pond was nine, the Khmer Rouge took control of his native Cambodia and began a purge of artists and intellectuals that eventually killed 90 percent of that country's traditional musicians. Chorn-Pond survived four years in a death camp by playing propaganda songs and eventually made his way to the United States in 1979. He's now the director of the youth program of the Massachusetts-based Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, and in 1998 he founded the Cambodian Master Performers Program, which aims to preserve that country's cultural traditions by encouraging elderly musicians who survived the killing fields to pick up their instruments again. He'll give a lecture called Surviving and Healing Through Music today from 11:30 to 1 at Columbia College's Hokin Hall, 623 S. Wabash (312-344-7813). He'll also show a clip from Flute Player, a new documentary about his life; the film will be shown in its entirety on a double bill with Spencer Nakasako's Refugee tonight at 6 (and again on Saturday, April 12, at 4) as part of the Asian American Showcase at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Chorn-Pond and director Jocelyn S. Glatzer will attend tonight's screening. Tickets are $8; call 312-846-2800 or see the Movies sidebar for more information.

10 THURSDAY Lyon & Healy harps, Vienna Beef hot dogs, S-K hand tools, Strombecker Corp.'s Mr. Bubbles toys, Radio Flyer wagons, and Solo cups are among the locally made items featured in a new photography exhibit titled Made in Chicago: Seven Photographers Interpret Local Products. Featuring work by I. Carmen Quintana, Robert E. Potter III, Lorraine Hart, Loren Santow, Neil Schierstedt, Matthew Gilson, and Eric Futran, it opens today with a reception from 5 to 7 at City Gallery in the Water Tower, 806 N. Michigan. The free exhibit runs through June 30; call 312-742-0808.

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