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PLANNER OUR CRITICS' CHOICES
CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The 37th annual festival swings into full gear this week with a strong schedule at several venues, including the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) and the Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.). Especially recommended are Sunday: Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Amelie" (France), Richard Linklater's "Waking Life" (U.S.), Darjean Omirbaev's "The Road" (Kazakhstan); Monday: "The Road," Hou Hsiao-hsien's "Millennium Mambo" (Taiwan), Fabian Bielinsky's "Nine Queens" (Argentina); Tuesday: "Millennium Mambo," Emir Kusturica's "Super 8 Stories" (Germany/Italy), Tsai Ming-liang's "What Time is it There?" (Taiwan); Wednesday: Jean-Luc Godard's "Band of Outsiders" (France), "What Time is it There?", "Super 8 Stories"; Thursday: "Amelie," Shohei Imamura's "Warm Water Under a Red Bridge"; Friday: tribute to Halle Berry, "Warm Water Under a Red Bridge," "Hi, Tereszka" (Poland); Saturday: "Hi, Tereszka," Patrice Chereau's "Intimacy" (France), Ashutosh Gowariker's "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India" (India). For schedules and ticket information, call 312-332-FILM or e-mail www.chicagofilmfestival.com.
-- Michael Wilmington
"African Modernism/Global Contexts: A Dialogue with African Artists," 6 p.m. Tuesday, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.; free; reservations required; 312-397-4010.
`Bertien van Manen'
The first major exhibition in the United States by a documentary photographer from the Netherlands; closes Saturday, Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan Ave.; free; 312-663-5554.
"The Emancipation of the Common Object: Sculpture by Victoria Fuller," common household objects transformed into poetic and ironic artworks; opens Saturday, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.; free; 312-744-6630.
"The Land Around Us: Landscapes from the Collection of the Illinois State Museum," 47 artists look at the land, dating from 1885 to the 1990s; final weeks, Illinois Gallery, 100 W. Randolph St., Suite 2-100; free; 312-814-5322.
-- Alan G. Artner
In his final tour of duty as music director, Wolfgang Sawallisch leads the famed ensemble in Elgar's "Enigma" Variations and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica"), at 3 p.m. Sunday at Symphony Center; $31-$79; 312-294-3000.
One of the world's truly great orchestras favors Chicago with a rare visit marking Claudio Abbado's final season as music director. In a departure from the originally scheduled program, he will direct Beethoven's Sixth ("Pastoral") and Seventh Symphonies; 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Symphony Center; $45-$110; 312-294-3000.
STRING QUARTETS GALORE
The splendid young Pacifica Quartet will present the premiere of Chicago composer Robert Lombardo's 1999 Quartet in its season-opener at 8 p.m. Sunday in Mandel Hall; $5 and $10; 773-702-8069. Pianist Menahem Pressler will join the Chicago String Quartet for its season opener, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the DePaul University Concert Hall; $8 to $28; 312-225-5226. Opening the U. of C. chamber music series will be the esteemed Tokyo String Quartet, with Philip Ying as guest violist, in an all-Brahms program, 8 p.m. Friday in Mandel Hall; $11 and $29; 773-702-8068.
-- John von Rhein
The exceptional young pianist merges mainstream jazz improvisation with elements of Panamanian music, to stunning effect; Tuesday through Sunday at the Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand. Ave.; $20; 312-670-2473.
An unusually creative soloist, the trumpeter leads a band playing politically charged works from his new "Witness" CD; 7 p.m. Thursday in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.; free; 312-744-6630.
-- Howard Reich
A country music legend, Lynn can still belt about domestic turmoil like nobody's business; Sunday at Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet, $25-$50; 815-726-6600.
New York is the home of hip-hop, and Jay-Z is currently the undisputed master of the realm; Monday at Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave., $35; 773-275-6800.
When he still clears of the schmaltz, Diamond is the best of the feel-good crooners; Monday and Tuesday at United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., $37.50-$67.50; 312-455-4500.
A respect for good old-fashioned melody, and the eternal verities of country-soul informs Adams' music; Wednesday at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., $15; 773-929-5959.
Their albums are relatively mellow, but on stage the British band cranks up the electricity; Wednesday at Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave., $24,50; 312-559-1212.
The San Francisco band's lush, often pretty orchestral-pop tunes disguise acerbic lyrics; Thursday the Abbey, 3420 W. Grace St., $8; 773-463-5808.
Though less flamboyant than his late brother, Stevie Ray, Vaughan is a magnificent Texas blues guitar slinger in his own right; Friday at Buddy Guy's Legend, 754 W. Wabash, $20; 312-427-0333.
-- Greg Kot
THE JOFFREY BALLET
The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago's fall engagement begins Thursday, with an all-Nijinsky lineup including the U.S. premiere of the reconstructed "Jeux" and a revival of the company's acclaimed re-creation of his "The Rite of Spring." That repertory plays through Oct. 14, with different programming set for Oct. 18-21. At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.; $29-$69; 312-902-1500.
-- Sid Smith
`THE BOMB-ITTY OF ERRORS'
The Shakespeare comedy about mistaken identity, inventively transplanted to a funky urban landscape and ingeniously delivered in intricate hip-hop rhyme by a quartet of frenetic young comedians; through Oct. 28 at the Royal George Cabaret Theater, 1633 N. Halsted St.; $35; 312-988-9000 or 312-902-1500.
Cheap thrills, expertly delivered, in Dexter Bullard's well-cast staging of Tracy Letts' loony pulp fiction thriller cum sci-fi horror parable about the fatal attraction between a battered woman and a mysterious young man who sees bugs everywhere; through Oct. 28 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St.; $12.50-$16.50; 312-943-8722.
Small, exceedingly well-crafted premiere of Mia McCullough's lively, well-written script on the pall of death hanging over a sleepy bar in an isolated Oklahoma town; through Nov. 3 at Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield Ave.; $15-$20; 773-883-8830.
`EMBRYOS ON ICE!' or `FETUS, DON'T FAIL ME NOW'
The Second City's 87th satirical revue presents a crackerjack cast offering a welcome rush of laughter on topics ranging from George Washington quarters to United States census figures; continuing in the cabaret theater at 1616 N. Wells St.; $17; 312-337-3992.
A menage a trois in the Florida keys leads playwright Jeffrey Sweet, director Calvin MacLean and four splendid actors into a consideration of love and sex, devotion and necessity, life and death; through Oct. 28 at Victory Gardens, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.; $20-$33; 773-871-3000.
The epic musical, scaled down but still spectacularly presented on an arena stage swarming with theatrical invention and melodramatic passion; through Nov. 4 at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, 10 Marriott
`A PHOENIX TOO FREQUENT'
Short, charming romantic verse drama of 1946 by Christopher Fry, in which a love affair blossoms in a tomb; through Dec. 9 at Writers' Theatre, Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe; $38; 847-835-5398.
Scott Parkinson's mercurial portrayal of the doomed English monarch is a highlight of director Barbara Gaines' vig.orously staged, elegantly fashioned modern dress production of the tragedy; through Nov. 11 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.; $32-$52; 312-595-5600.
A thrilling music theater adaptation of Friedrich Durrenmatt's tragicomedy, filled with great moments and great performances, led by Chita Rivera and John McMartin as a vengeful millionairess and the small town shopkeeper who is the object of her immense love-hate; through Nov. 3 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; $40-$55; 312-443-3800.
-- Richard Christiansen