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Friday 4/9 - Thursday 4/15

APRIL

By Cara Jepsen

9 FRIDAY One hundred years ago University of Chicago graduate student Henry Chandler Cowles wrote a groundbreaking dissertation about plant communities at the Indiana Dunes that introduced the study of ecology. Today the Field Museum will salute him with a symposium called Ecology and the Chicago Region: From Cowles to Chicago Wilderness. It starts tonight with a reception at 5:30 and continues tomorrow with a day of field trips (one to the area Cowles studied) and symposia followed by dinner and a campfire. Symposia-only tuition is $40, $15 for students; the entire package is $60, $25 for students. It's at the museum, Roosevelt and Lake Shore Drive. Call 312-922-9410, ext. 550, to re gister.

The Chicago Latino Film Festival opens tonight at several locations, including Water Tower, which hosts a screening of last year's Divine. Directed by Arturo Ripstein, the movie follows fanatics awaiting the end of the world who journey to a small Mexican village, where they're given shelter by a priest obsessed with Charlton Heston and a dying nun who chooses a teenager from the sect as her successor. The movie will be shown tonight at 9 (and at 9 Sunday and Monday) at 835 N. Michigan. Tickets are $8; call 312-431-1330.

10 SATURDAY Today Illinois Sierra Club field representative Jack Darin will discuss Slumping Landfills, Dirty Water and Sprawl: Environmental Issues in the Illinois Legislature. The breakfast lecture, sponsored by the Democratic Party of Evanston, starts at 10 at DPOE headquarters, 826 Custer in Evanston (847-491-0865). Suggested donation is $5.

Hard to believe it's been five years since Kurt Cobain killed himself, prompting radio announcers to beg young listeners not to follow his final act with their own encore. His cousin Bev Cobain, a psychiatric nurse who's lost three family members to suicide, has written a book, When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens. Today she'll join Rock Against Depression founder Paul McComas at a free outdoor concert by his band Lithium at 1:30 at Fountain Square, Sherman and Davis in Evanston. (In case of rain the event will be held at Wheadon United Methodist Church, 2214 N. Ridge.) Call 847-491-1309 for details. Cobain will sign copies of her book Friday night at 8:30 at Barnes & Noble in Skokie's Old Orchard Mall (847-676-2230).

For his documentary-in-progress, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music, New York filmmaker Vivek Renjen Bald toured with musicians like Cornershop, Asian Dub Foundation, and DJ State of Bengal. Tonight Bald will show an hour-long segment of the movie at 6 at the Film Center at the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson (312-442-3737). Ustra and The Mischievous Ravi will also be screened at the Asian American Showcase event, followed by a 21-and-over party at Smart Bar, 3733 N. Clark. Admission (which includes the party) is $7. Call the showcase hot line, 773-871-1977, for more.

11 SUNDAY Sandra Binion's 1981 performance piece Suite for Bass and Ironing Bored combined live ironing and the sounds of a contrabass with a video of 42 Chicagoans as they pressed garments. Tonight she's reenacting the performance with Tatsu Aoki, who'll play the contrabass. "The piece now becomes especially dear because some of the ironers aren't with us anymore," says Binion. She'll also present 1996's Scrubbing the Floors (with the Revolution Ensemble String Quartet) and last year's Duras Piece (with Andrew Voigt on shakuhachi and Vincent Chancey on French horn). The free performances, part of the Cultural Center's World in a Weekend celebration of Gothenburg, Sweden (Binion is of Swedish descent), start at 6 in the center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).

At What Did She Say? An Evening of Poetry by Mary Oliver, performers will pay tribute to the award-winning writer through music, acting, and eurythmy, a mimelike stage art developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner that uses specific gestures to express minute details of words and music. The production starts at 3:30 today (and at 7:30 on Saturday) at the Chicago Waldorf School, 1300 W. Loyola. Tickets are $12, $10 for students; call 773-463-3286.

12 MONDAY Dollars and Dem-ocracy, the League of Women Voters, and Protestants for the Common Good are a few of the groups that have teamed up with the Illinois House Elections and Campaign Reform Committee to sponsor tonight's free public hearing on campaign finance reform. Representatives Mike Boland (chair of the committee), Julie Hamos, and Carol Ronen will attend. It starts at 7 at Galvin Auditorium in Loyola University's Sullivan Library, 6339 N. Sheridan. Call 312-683-5214 to reserve a seat.

13 TUESDAY The 21-year-old Hubbard Street Dance Chicago begins a three-week engagement at the Shubert Theatre tonight, where they'll perform Nacho Duato's Rassemblement ("The Gathering") for eight dancers with music by Haitian composer Toto Bissainthe, Jiri Kylian's Sechs Tanze, and the world premieres of Kevin O'Day's To Have and to Hold and local choreographer Harrison McEldowney's Group Therapy. The performance starts at 6:30 at the theater, 22 W. Monroe. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, which range from $12 to $35.

14 WEDNESDAY Scrub those vegetables: tonight Wisconsin organic farmer Renee Randall asks Are the Pesticides in Your Produce Poisoning You? The free 90-minute lecture starts at 7:15 at the John Merlo branch of the Chicago Public Library, 644 W. Belmont (773-248-8182).

Tonight is the public's last chance to see vagabond Voltaire theater's show Mickey Flynn's Unbelievable Circus Theatrical. The comedy troupe Nomenil, musician Eric Ziegenhagen, solo performer Jennifer Ostrega, and musical duo Strange Friends will perform, as will Ron Kelly, who'll do bits from his "one-fag show," Come Back to the 25 Cent Video Arcade Richard Locke, Richard Locke. It starts at 8 at the Ivanhoe Theater, 750 W. Wellington. Tickets are $10; call 312-409-4452.

15 THURSDAY Some of the best films are set over the course of one night, says local filmmaker Beatrice Bellino. Her six-week course, A Night of Madness, will focus on movies like Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, Martin Scorsese's After Hours, and Mike Nichols's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The three-hour class starts tonight at 7 (and meets every other Thursday) at the Oak Park Art League, 720 Chicago in Oak Park. Tuition is $60; call 708-386-9853 to sign up.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will give a presentation on The Future of Morality and the Power of Memory tonight, which falls between Holocaust Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day. He'll also be awarded an honorary doctorate at the free lecture, which begins at 7 at Loyola University's Joseph J. Gentile Center, 6525 N. Sheridan. Call 773-508-2193 for more.

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