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FEBRUARY

20 FRIDAY

Isobel Neal closed her River North gallery in 1996, after ten years showcasing African-American artists. But the artists she represented kept on working, so when she was asked to curate a show for the Noyes Art Gallery this year, it gave her a chance to put some of their new work--like Preston Jackson's New Orleans-inspired bronze, La Placee--on display. Mirrors of the Spirit features sculpture, paintings, and ceramics by Mary Reed Daniels, Marva Jolly, Geraldine McCullough, Calvin Jones, John Rozelle, and Jackson. It continues at the gallery, 927 Noyes in Evanston, through March 17. It's free; hours are 10 to 6 daily. Call 847-448-8260.

In May 2002 Evanston lawyer Tommy Brewer was appointed special assistant state's attorney, one of seven brought on board to assist special prosecutor Edward Egan in investigating allegations of torture at Chicago's Area Two police headquarters. Sixteen months later he resigned to run against Cook County state's attorney Dick Devine in this year's election. Brewer, a former FBI agent who unsuccessfully challenged Cook County sheriff Michael Sheahan in the 1994 Democratic primary, hosts a fund-raiser tonight at 9 at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood in Chicago, with music by saxophonist Ray Silkman. There's no cover, but they're taking donations. See www.tommybrewer.com.

"We focus primarily on indie rock, but we all have an intense love/hate relationship with classic rock, as well as lots of other types of music," says Jake Brown, one of the founders of the three-year-old Web zine Glorious Noise. The site's content runs the gamut from ruminations on Janet Jackson's boob to an interview with the tour manager for an unknown, struggling band; there are also book and record reviews, discussion boards, and free, legal MP3s. The staff is throwing a birthday party tonight with the Millions, Riviera, and Quasar Wut-Wut; admission is $8, and all proceeds go to the new Elliott Smith Memorial Fund, which helps abused kids. It starts at 9:30 PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont in Chicago, 773-281-4444. You must be 21 or over to attend.

21 SATURDAY

Tonight's Self-Publisher's Event Council reading is the first to exclusively showcase local bloggers; till now the organization's been mostly about zines. But bloggers are "more vehemently self-published, and they're writing every day," says SPEC's Brent Ritzel, editor of Tail Spins and Zine Guide. "We'd like to include them in the community." Readers include Mimi Smartypants (smartypants.diaryland.com), whose blog full of observations about everything from her baby girl to Febreze commercials recently landed her a book deal; Lauriean Davis (www.shastamacnasty.com); and Sour Bob (www.sourbob.com). Ritzel and Andrew Huff, cofounder of the Chicago Web zine Gapers' Block, emcee. It starts at 7 PM in the upstairs gallery at Uncle Fun, 1338 W. Belmont in Chicago. Admission is $5, and the evening is BYOB. See www.selfpublishers.org.

Playwright Edward Albee has always aimed to provoke his audience into questioning the status quo, and his power to do so--decades after The Zoo Story and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?--remains undiminished. His Tony-winning 2002 play, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, may be his most disturbing work yet--ask anyone who saw the excellent Goodman Theatre production last fall. Tonight he'll discuss the state of the arts and the artist's responsibility to confront questions of morality in a lecture at Dominican University. An Evening With Edward Albee starts at 8 in the university's Lund Auditorium, 7900 W. Division in River Forest. Tickets range from $20 to $40. Call 708-524-6942.

22 SUNDAY

Within each of the four short dances that make up a set in the flamenco song-and-dance form known as sevillanas, a melodic theme is sung or played three times and then ends suddenly as the dancers strike a pose--it's Andalusian voguing, if you will. Tonight at HotHouse, Azucena Vega's Sol y Duende will demonstrate, accompanied by guitars, cajon drum, and lots of clapping. At 6:30 Vega leads a class in the form; at 7:30 she and the group perform. HotHouse is at 31 E. Balbo in Chicago. Admission is $12 and you must be 21 or over. Call 312-362-9707.

23 MONDAY

At 8 PM last night, four playwrights, four directors, and 14 performers got together to put on tonight's show: as participants in the 24 Hour Project, they signed on to write, stage, and perform four original 20-minute plays in one day. Sleeping was optional. Today's rehearsal is open to the public from 10 AM to 5 PM; the performance starts at 8. (There'll also be a live Webcast of the entire event at www.storefronttheater.org.) It's at the Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph in Chicago. Admission to the rehearsal is free; for the performances it's $12, or $20 for two people. Reservations are required for both; call 312-742-8497.

The big question about today's talk by New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., Journalism at the Turn of the Century, is whether he'll address the Jayson Blair debacle. Surely the ease with which that former star reporter hornswoggled his editors and duped his readers says something about the state of contemporary journalism. Sulzberger, who started at the paper of record as a Washington bureau correspondent in 1979, will speak at 4 PM at Northwestern University's McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 Campus Dr. in Evanston. It's free; call 847-491-5401 for more information.

24 TUESDAY

In Burying the Bones, a new drama by local playwright Margaret Lewis, a woman travels to postapartheid South Africa following a visit from the ghost of her missing husband. Director Kevin Heckman has said that though the play is set in a country seeking to rebuild itself after decades of brutal repression, it "offers a cautionary tale for America." The play opens tonight at 7:30 and runs through April 3 at Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield in Chicago. Tickets are $18 to $22; call 773-883-8830.

The 1980 samurai movie Shogun Assassin is "a Road Runner cartoon populated by hordes of anonymous extras, all spouting great fountains of orange Day-Glo blood as severed limbs fly everywhere," wrote Reader critic Dave Kehr. Based on the manga series Lone Wolf and Cub and clearly an inspiration for Kill Bill, it's apparently hard to find, but it'll be screened by the Psychotronic Film Society tonight at 8 PM on video at Brainstorm Comics, 1648 W. North in Chicago. The PFS's Brian Thomas will also be signing copies of his recently published guide to kung fu movies, VideoHound's Dragon: Asian Action & Cult Flicks. Admission is free, and it's BYOB. Call 773-384-8721 or see www.psychotronic.info.

25 WEDNESDAY

Skokie comics fan Sid Weiskirch has a complete collection of the work of Hal Foster, who was a commercial artist in Chicago in 1928 when he was asked to do some drawings for a new Sunday comic about a boy raised by apes. "Tarzan became a national phenomenon--it started the whole superhero thing," says Weiskirch, who laments that Foster has been forgotten in the city where he got his start since another of his strips, Prince Valiant, disappeared from the comics sections here. "There's a whole generation of people in Chicago who have never heard of this man. The Art Institute should have a gallery showing his work--he was a great artist." Weiskirch will try to rectify the situation tonight with his talk, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Sunday Comics. It's at 6:30 PM at the Chicago Artists' Coalition, 11 E. Hubbard in Chicago, on the seventh floor. Admission is free; call 312-670-2060.

26 THURSDAY

"It's like a book club for radio," say the organizers of the Third Coast Festival Listening Room, which brings together creators of radio documentaries and their fans. At tonight's installment, the first in this year's series, independent radio producer Dan Collison and filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams) will present excerpts from their work, talk about the ethics of the producer-subject relationship, and take questions from the audience. It runs from 7 to 9 PM at Steppenwolf's Garage Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted in Chicago. Tickets are $5, $3 for students; call 312-948-4682.

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