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**** Gay/les/bi/queer/trans content or interest . !!! = special interest.

Previews and Opening Nights

Jan 8, 2004: Behind Their Eyes: Stories of Afghan Women Alive and Among Us Three women portray the perils of living in Afghanistan while living under Taliban rule and their hope for the future. Traditional Afghan music and dancing, providing a poignant alternative to other media coverage. Storefront Thtr, Gallery 37 Ctr for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph St. Chicago-based director and writer, Cecilie Keenan,directs.

**** Jan 29: Pulp world premiere by Patricia Kane, comedy was a hit of About Face's Festival of New Plays at the MCA with a homage to lesbian pulp fiction novels from the 1950s. Tough, trash-talking Terry Logan takes up residency at The Well, a Chicago club for women who love women, where drag kings rule and forbidden lust lurks behind every innuendo and then the trouble rally begins. Featuring a cast of celebrated actresses and a jazzy score of hilarious drag kind nightclub acts, Pulp promises to heat up the cold Chicago night. Thru Mar 21, 2004 Victory Gardens Thtr (773) 871-3000

Jan 30: Moliere Comedies, The Two one-act plays: The School for Husbands and the Imaginary Cuckold. Thru Feb 22. Chicago Shakespeare Thtr (312) 595.5600

**** Jan 7: David Sedaris David Sedaris, the sardonic writer best known for his tales of working as Santa's elf at Macy's, cleaning apartments, trying to make his way in Paris and dealing with his mother, is headed for the Steppenwolf Upstairs Thtr, thru Jan 13. Sedaris will be part of the popular Traffic Series, reading from his new book-in-progress, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and engaging in an informal question-and-answer session after each reading.Steppenwolf Thtr 1650 N Halsted (312) 335-1650

!!!! Jan 16: Free Man of Color by Charles Smith A play about race, culture, the difference between education and assimilation in America. University President Robert Wilson was forced to reevaluate his abolitionist views, and John Newton Templeton, an ex-slave who graduated from Ohio University 37 years before the end of slavery, was forced to examine why he was chosen to be the first. Thru Feb 29. Victory Gardens 2257 N Lincoln, (773) 871-3000;

!!!! Jan 28: Blue/Orange Race, mental illness and human isolation in this story of two white psychiatrists who come to ideological blows over the treatment of Christopher, a delusional young Black patient in their care. Northlight Thtr 9501 Skokie Blvd

**** Feb 18: The Vagina Monologues V-Day is a worldwide movement to stop violence against women and girls. In 2004, hundreds of artistic and theatrical event will be held throughout the world to benefit anti-violence organizations. Benefit production and post reception benefits AIDS Foundation of Chicago and southwest Women Working Together at park West . Will feature more than 35 local businesswomen, journalists and on-profit executive. Voter registration will take place in the lobby before and after the performance. All female cast is multiracial, comes from all areas of the city and suburbs. Mary Morton produces. Park West 322 W. Armitage (312) 922-2322.

!!!! Feb 24: Burying the Bones World Premiere - A Downstage Left Level IV production One woman faces the secrets of a shattered country as she searches for the truth about her 'disappeared' husband through South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Thru April 3, 2004 Stage Left Thtr 3408 North Sheffield (773) 883-8830


!!!! Cooking' at the Cookery The Music and Times of Alberta Hunter from her early career in Chicago, to starring roles on Broadway and in Paris and London. After giving it all up at the age of 60 to start a new career as a nurse, Hunter makes her triumphant comeback in 1977 at Greenwich Village's The Cookery, where she shares the wild stories of her past, and belts out blues standards such as "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Sweet Georgia Brown." Two Drama Desk Nominations. Thru Jan 11, Northlight Thtr 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tix (847) 673-6300

!!!! Every Night When the Sun Goes Down drama but a man retuning from prison who decide to move beyond broken dreams. Set in a seedy 1950s hotel ina black neighborhood in a midwestern city. Thru Dec 29 eta Square 7558 S South Chicago Ave (773) 752-3955

!!!! Jammin' with Pops A new musical revue of songs by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Thru Jan 4 Apple Tree Thtr 595 Elm Place Suite 210, Highland Park, (847) 432-4335

!!!! Mama Said There'll Be Days Like This (The History of the Girl Groups) extended through Jan 28.Black Ensemble Thtr, 4520 N. Beacon (773) 769-4451

**** The SantaLand Diaries Off-the-wall depiction of dysfunctional holidays, based on the stories by humorist David Sedaris. Extended thru Dec 27 Chopin Thtr 1543 W. Division(312) 492-7150 x25

!!!! SOST, a look at the immigrant experience through the eyes of one family, traces the story of three Ethiopian sisters as they struggle to reconcile their relationships, and the reasons why they have come to America. The Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT) is a not-for-profit theatre with a focus on new work and collaborative art, to develop, nurture and sustain Afrikan Centered Theatre. Thru Jan 4. Opening night is a MPAACT benefit.Victory Gardens Studio Thtr. 2257 N Lincoln (312) 409-6724


!!!! **** Aldo Castillo Gallery Marcos Raya The Unreal World. Raya was born in 1948 in Irapuato, Mexico, and moved to Chicago in 1964. His paintings, collages and installations bring together old and new works in a variety of media that explores the sociological impact of technological change, with an idiosyncratic hybrid of Mexican folklore and American pop culture, influenced by Dada and Surrealism, infused with elements of Chicago-style pop-expressionism and Rascuachismo. His work is permanently at the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum of Chicago and The Menil Collection in Houston. Nov 21 thru Jan 31. 233 W. Huron St. (312) 337-2536

****Chicago Cultural Ctr Riva Lerrer: Circle Stories two exhibits, galleries to be announced Apr 3 thru May 30, 2004 (312) 744-6630 Chicago Cultural Ctr, 78 E. Washington St

!!!! DuSable Museum: Kwanzaa: The Exhibit, Chicago's largest Kwanzaa exhibition chronicles and highlights the history and philosophy of the holiday thru Jan 3. Bronzeville: Black Chicago in Pictures, 1941-1943 thru Feb 29, 2004. The Middle Passage: White Ships, Black Cargo An exhibition featuring the drawings of nationally acclaimed African-American artists Tom Feelings from the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.Mar 28, 2004 thri July 15. Open Storage: the African Collection The Museum's African collection representing over twenty years of collecting and never-before-seen artifacts. Developed by the DuSable Museum. Jun 2004 thru Oct. Permanent exhibits DuSable Treasures: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Art, Harold Washington in Office , Fight To Fly: Blacks in Aviation, Africa Speaks African art often proves to be functional in intent and/or use, like stools, chairs, combs, staffs and vessels, carved to articulate particular events or occasions and comprise much of the art of Africa. Ritual masks used in unions with spirit forces or mythical characters, carved figures (many of which function as surrogate spirit-ancestors) and the deity figures. 740 E 56th Place. (773) 947-0600 x272

!!!! Field Museum Permanent Exhibition: Africa, cultural, geographical, political and social diviersity. Dakar, Senegal, the Savanna, the Sahara. 1400 S Lake Shore Dr. (312) 922-9410

**** Fleur Fine Art Gallery Feminine Form explores material culture of feminity with paintings, mixed media and sewn collage. Opens Jan. 17. 1833 S. Halsted (773) 927-7164

!!!! Galería Tinta Roja, Institute of Puerto Rican Arts/Culture Galería Tinta Roja, 2701 West Division St (773) 384.4767

!!!! Havana Gallery Havana Holiday, paintings, drawings, prints and gift items by:Mary King and Janet Bloch, Pamela Callahan, Allison Hill, Bert Menco, John Walté , and Lauren Mathews (guest artist). Thru Jan 16, 2004. The gallery often features art by contemporary artists living in Cuba, a variety of styles, including portraiture, abstraction, Surrealism and landscape. Havana Gallery is able to promote Cuban art in the United States thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision that allows cultural exchange between the U.S. and Cuba and allowing generation of much-needed funds for artists on the island 1139 W Webster Ave. (773) 549-2492,,

!!!! Museum of Contemporary Art One True Thing, Meditations on Black Aesthetics Best known for his monumental paintings of subjects stemming from the Civil Rights movement and his experiences as an African American, Kerry James Marshall also works in sculpture, installation photography, video and printmaking. In this exhibition, he seeks to raise confounding question about the role of the artist and the development of Black aesthetics. Thru Jan 18, 220 E Chicago Ave (312) 280-2660

**** Museum of Science & Industry AIDS: The War Within Learn more about the AIDS lifecycle and how scientists are trying to stop the virus. Networld, experience an insider view of a virtual network. Ongoing. Also Time, more than 1000 timepieces. Ongoing. 57th and Lake Shore Dr (773) 684-1414

!!!! Nicole Gallery Haitian, African-American and other ethnic art. Jan Spivey Gilchrist and Evan Church thru Nov 15. 230 W Huron (312) 787-7716

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