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By Teresa Huang

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Have a happy Chinese New Year today and a happy last week of Independent Activities Period. Enjoy the freedom while you can. Go wild.

All that Jazz. Jasmine Guy, the talented chick that played Whitley in the 1980's sitcom A Different World, lends her singing savvy to the national tour of Chicago, playing now at the Colonial Theatre. This show was rejected by audiences for being too risque when it first hit Broadway in 1975, but with the new sexy age of theater, Walter Bobbie's 1997 revival works wonders. Call Ticketmaster for tickets or try for $20 cash-only rush tickets, available at 10 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday for same-day performances. Rush seats are in the first two rows of the theater.

Not all that. I recommend avoiding Miss Saigon. Powerful as the music may be, this so-called "classic love story" is nothing more than the stereotypical story from Madame Butterfly masked behind fancy sets and an operatic score. The degrading portrayal of Asian women and glorification of the U.S. Army is enough to make an open-minded person sick. Skip it.

Blame it on El Nio. Due to last week's snow scare, the "How to explore career options beyond on-campus recruiting" event sponsored by Career Services has been rescheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29 at 4 p.m. in Room 4-149. Employers and alumni working in marketing, patent law, Internet publishing, transportation planning, and other fields will discuss how they found jobs in their respective fields. This informal seminar is especially recommended for those who aren't sure of their career goals.

Make your life fun. The Game, Michael Douglas' psychological thriller is out on video. The film has gotten mixed reviews from critics, but this critic assures you that this film rocks. Throw out your darn MIT logic for a few hours and get ready for a roller coaster of a mind screw that will leave you terrified and curious at the same time. If you don't like it, don't worry. It's just a game.

Food for the Soul. Bob the Chef may sound like an uninspired name for a cajun/creole restaurant, but it is easily the ultimate dining experience in Boston. Located past Huntington Avenue on 604 Columbus Avenue, less than a block away from Mass Ave, Bob the Chef serves soul food like you've never tasted. Spicy barbecued spare ribs, soul fish, beef and chicken livers, and glorifried chicken (that's not a typo). With amazing side dishes rounding out a menu packed with down-home goodness, Bob the Chef is the place to treat your loved ones and your own appetite.

Casterbridge Place 90210. It's a story of love triangles, murder, infidelity, and a man who can't escape his past. No, it's not the O.J. Simpson trial. It's The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. An amazingly smooth read, Hardy tells the tale of Michael Henchard, a man who sells his wife in a drunken stupor and spends the rest of his life attempting to escape his actions, only to find that he cannot. The plot is thick with betrayal and romance, leaving you impressed that the themes have remained timeless since the book was written in 1886. Check it out at the library or read the complete text at /Fiction/hardy/mayor.