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You can hop on the old-school party train tonight at Soul Explosion, a concert with Morris Day & the Time, Rose Royce, the Gap Band, and the SOS Band. It starts at 7 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State in Chicago. Tickets range from $35 to $55; call 312-263-1138 or 312-902-1500.

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb began working as a team in 1962. In the years that followed, they wrote songs for nearly a dozen Broadway shows--among them Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Chicago--along with a raft of film scores and compositions, including their best-known, "New York, New York." Tonight Glen Ellyn's Village Theatre Guild, a 40-year-old all-volunteer troupe that owns and operates its own venue and casts each show through open auditions, opens a cabaret-style revue of their music, And The World Goes 'Round. Directed by Carol Stream music teacher Douglas Orlyk, the show runs Friday and Saturday at 8 through June 12, with an additional performance Saturday, June 5, at 3. The theater is at the corner of Park and Butterfield in Glen Ellyn, and tickets are $18; call 630-469-8230.


This afternoon Shozo Sato, a theater director known for his Kabuki versions of Western classics like Macbeth and Medea, will give a free slide lecture on the ancient art of serving tea. He'll explain how the steps of the ceremony relate to Zen philosophy and will show slides of tea bowls from Korea, China, and Japan as well as textiles used in the ritual. Sato, a visiting professor at Northwestern University, recently returned from his native Japan, where he was presented with the highest honor in Japanese arts by the emperor. Sense of Beauty Through the Tea Ceremony starts at 1 in the McCormick Auditorium of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive in Evanston on the Northwestern campus; call 847-467-3005.

Bibliophiles too impatient to wait for the Printers Row Book Fair next month can get a jump on their collecting at the Midwest Bookhunters Spring Fair, which starts today. It features the usual mix of rare, out-of-print, and used books from dealers in Illinois and nearby states, but unlike Printers Row, it costs money to get in: $6 for both days ($4 for students). It's from 4 to 8 PM today and 10 to 4 tomorrow at Loyola University's Joseph J. Gentile Center, 6525 N. Sheridan in Chicago. Call 773-989-2200 or go to

"You can dance to this music," Walter Clark says of the jazz he'll be playing for An Evening at Birdland at Evanston's Fleetwood-Jourdain Center tonight. Over the years it's been "concertized," he acknowledges. "But when I would go to see Charlie Parker or any of these other musicians, it would be a dance." With that in mind, Clark, a saxophone player and former junior-high math and science teacher, is preparing dance tips and a little historical commentary. He'll lead the Walter Clark Jazz Quintet, with trumpeter Malachi Thompson (once his math student) and vocalist Senabella, in two 45-minute sets; the center will be done up to re-create the atmosphere of the legendary New York club in its mid-20th-century heyday. It starts at 8 tonight at 1655 Foster in Evanston. Admission is $10 and you must be 21 or older. Call 847-328-4540 for more information.


The second annual Andersonville Bike Week kicks off at 10 AM today behind the U.S. Bank at 5340 N. Clark in Chicago with a clinic on basic bike maintenance; at 6 PM there's a party at T's Bar and Restaurant, 5025 N. Clark, with free nibbles and music by John Greenfield's Rock Band. Other activities throughout the week include free massages and Reiki sessions, a spinning class, and a bike tour of Andersonville and Edgewater. In addition bikers riding to work Monday through Friday can stop by the Bike Week booth at Clark and Berwyn between 7 and 10 AM for a free breakfast, water bottle, and raffle ticket. The full schedule of events is at; call 773-728-2995.


At the behest of the University of Chicago's student-run Smart Museum Activities Committee, outgoing Smart director Kimerly Rorschach and Renaissance Society director Susanne Ghez will talk today about their jobs as heads of arts institutions: what they like about them, what they don't, how they got where they are, and what they actually do all day. The free Art Talk, part of the U. of C.'s weeklong Festival of the Arts, starts at 5:30 PM at the Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood in Chicago; refreshments will be served. Call 773-702-0200.


While many of the 80 photographs that make up Roni Horn's series Some Thames are concentrated in a gallery at the Art Institute, others are installed throughout the museum--in some cases even replacing other objects--to simulate a river meandering through a town. To mark today's opening of the exhibit Focus: Roni Horn, she'll present a spoken-word performance called Saying Water, in which she'll explore a favorite theme--"the visual and literary qualities of opaque water"--by relating stories from the Thames's history and her own observations of the English river. It starts at 6 PM at the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan in Chicago, and it's free; call 312-443-3600.


Boys and beginners are welcome at the Kelly Girls' weekly knitting klatch, where members have been stitching and bitching for over a year now. The group--which took its name from the iconic temp firm in an "ironic tribute to these pioneering 'girls'"--has been meeting for the last few months at 7:15 PM Wednesdays at Cosmicafe, 1944 W. Montrose in Chicago, 773-728-2233. "We have several experienced knitters in the group who are always happy to teach people to knit or to help explain patterns or projects," says Hilary Leon, who has more info on her Web site, Admission is free, coffee is not.


Tonight from 7 to 9 the Hideout hosts a free listening party in honor of the release of Don't Cry to Me: Songs From the Film "King of Bluegrass," the sound track to George Goehl's 2003 documentary celebrating bluegrass pioneer Jimmy Martin. Featuring ten previously unreleased songs and five DVD clips from the movie, Don't Cry to Me was released this month by Thrill Jockey. The party will include a potluck and live performances of Martin songs by former members of Goehl's old band, Ground Speed. It's at 1354 W. Wabansia in Chicago; see for more.

Last month Bob Edwards, longtime host of NPR's Morning Edition, signed off for the last time. Edwards, who was removed from the position he'd held for almost 25 years in the name of keeping the broadcast fresh, is now a senior correspondent for NPR News, but it was no secret that he had hoped to keep his morning post. He's in Chicago tonight to read from his new book, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism, and talk about the state of the art with Chicago Public Radio's Lisa Labuz. The presentation starts at 7 at the Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington in Chicago. Tickets are $20; call 312-948-4800.


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