Top events in Chicago week of June 7 – 10 Things To Do News

on Jun7

7 June 2017 | 1:00 pm

Whether it’s a gala event, a once-in-a-lifetime concert or a hidden gem of a play, we’re here to up your cultural (and fun) IQ. Here are top picks for your cultural calendar for the coming week, the coming month and beyond.

“Moby Dick,” one of a small crew of books with a legitimate claim to the title Great American Novel, has a harpoon-sharp stage adaptation from Lookingglass, reason enough for many to attend. But come closer, Starbuck; thou requirest a little lower layer. The play, premiered last year and beribboned with four local theater awards, including the Joseph Jefferson for Best Production, the production circumnavigated the country and now returns to port for another run. Enough? Hark ye yet again—the little lower layer. Every generation incubates its own exegetical matrix for the white whale of a novel—the Pequod as Transcendentalist counterargument, the Freudian self, the ship of state. Ours has yet to redraw Ahab, the vengeful, borderline captain, as if his jeremiad posted 140 characters at a time. June 7-Sep. 3. $20-$80. Lookingglass Theatre Company, 821 N. Michigan Ave.

Both “Printers” and “Lit” in the name of the Printers Row Lit Fest fail to fathom the full panoply of people appearing to talk about their word-work—not just in print (“Printers Row” is the fest’s South Loop location, anyway) and not just literature, but the literal universe of fiction, nonfiction, journalism, blogging, academics, radio and so on through the mix of media. Events mostly consist of writers conversing with other writers, and the distinction between interviewer and interviewee is defined by whose book came out most recently. This year, Audrey Niffenegger (“The Time-Traveler’s Wife”) and Aleksandar Hemon (“The Lazarus Project”) are interviewers; Scott Turow (“Presumed Innocent”) and Jonathan Safran Foer (“Everything Is Illuminated”) are interviewees; Irvine Welsh (“Trainspotting”) gets both tags. Most programs are free, several requiring reservations. Opportunities to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Al Franken cost money. June 10-11. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free-$35 per program. Printers Row, South Loop.

Prairie Avenue, the 19th-century prestige address for barons such as Marshall Field and George Pullman, retains several mansions from the era that converted the neighborhood from prairie to Prairie Avenue, which you would capitalize for its stature if you weren’t already capitalizing it because it’s a proper name. One of them, now the Glessner House Museum, coordinates “A Walk Through Time,” a walking tour of six Prairie prizes, several of which are privately owned and not othertimes tourable. Dates of construction range from the pre-Fire Elbridge Keith House (now an event space) to the William Reid House, built in 1894 when the district was already losing its cachet. Second Presbyterian Church, an 1874 building glittery with Tiffany windows, and the Clarke House, Chicago’s oldest building, will also be open for free tours. June 11. 1-4 p.m. $40-$50. Prairie Avenue Historic District.

Just a week after the longstanding 57th Street Art Fair, the Old Town Art Fair showcases 250 artists and a garden walk, an institution standing almost as long—so long that the organizing body, the Old Town Triangle Association, refers to a neighborhood shape that no longer has one of its legs, a long-gone stretch of Ogden Avenue. Simultaneous and practically adjacent, the Wells Street Art Festival hosts more than 200 more artists and runs its street-fest music stages later into the evening. Though they have separate entries, the fraternal-twin events present art bingers with a rare twofer (or maybe twofair). June 10-11. Old Town: $10 suggested donation; Old Town Triangle north of North Avenue and southwest of Clark Street. Wells Street: $7 suggested donation; Wells Street between Division and North.

Closing Symphony Center’s grand piano-recital season, the Russian-born, 30-something Kirill Gerstein goes lean and Liszt, pairing Bach’s svelte, rarely played Four Duets (gadgets like his Two-Part Inventions) and Brahms’s youthful Piano Sonata No. 2 with Liszt’s “Transcendental Etudes,” so difficult they practically require a higher state of consciousness. Gerstein recorded the set last year, but playing them live, he only gets one shot. June 11. 3 p.m. $21-$82. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

More than any other of the city’s big summer music festivals, the Chicago Blues Festival pulses with Chicagoness, the genre as synonymous with the city as celery salt on hot dogs, long World Series droughts and aldermanic indictments. So it’s fitting that the blues moves this year to the city’s greenest pastures, Millennium Park, for the first time. Also new this year, the fest paints the palette of blue shadings in other genres, bringing the hip-hoperative Rhymefest to the opening night, along with the blues royal Billy Branch. Saturday is for soul, headlined by recent Grammy winner William Bell. Sunday bills Gary Clark Jr. at the top. June 9-11. Free. Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

Wrapping its season, the Auditorium Theatre’s and the dancing tenure of one of its company members, the jazz-dance troupe Giordano Dance Chicago runs out its summer-series potpourri this Saturday. In addition to “Grusin Suite,” a jubilant dance by Frank Chaves of River North Dance Chicago set to Dave Grusin’s music for the movie “The Firm,” the six-piece program footworks its way through a world premiere by Joshua Blake Carter, “Before My Eyes,” marking his pivot from Giordano dancer to Giordano administrator. See Chicago Dance has a discount code. June 10. 7:30 p.m. $26-$68. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway.

The Break Out Comedy Festival, a Second City-NBC partnership in its third year, hands the mic for its three-day duration to a group that the press release calls “diverse voices in comedy” and, according to the comedy website The Interrobang, the first year’s host called “not white people.” The high level of performance means that comics actually do break out, such as Ramon Rivas, who went from performer in 2015 to host this year, by way of a Comedy Central half-hour special. June 8-10. $20 per show. Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 3rd floor.

To combat the lack of decent docents to interpret the public art dotted around our urbs in horto, Chicago Sculpture International and the Chicago Park District are tootling trolleys from artwork to artwork, hopping off to hear from the artists themselves, then hopping back on to zip off to the next park art. The two-hour tours run on north, lakefront and south routes, viewing sculptures and trees sculpted in place, branches of the Chicago Tree Project to artify dead or sick trees. Those who have schedule conflicts at the times of the tours, because, honestly, it’s difficult to get to all 10 Things to Do, can listen to an audio tour through the smartphone app Otocast. June 21-25. $20. Depart from Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

Hosted by the city’s pre-eminent farmers’ market, The Green City Market Chef BBQ invites more than 100 restaurants to tote their spatulas to the market grounds in Lincoln Park for a grazing bonanza, and they can’t have gotten many nos in their RSVPs. Announced as attending are Bad Hunter, Balena, Band of Bohemia, Bang Bang Pie Shop, Belly Q, Big Jones, Bistronomic, Blue Door, Bohemian House, and that’s just a sample of the most killer Bs. If you collect celebrity-chef sightings like a birder, the BBQ is your Papua New Guinea, as most of the restaurants’ head chefs man (or woman) the tables. July 20. 5:30-8 p.m. $25-$125. Lincoln Park at approximately 1817 N. Clark St.

Event schedules and availability change; phone ahead. Send your weekend tips in an email (without attachments) with the date in the subject line to 10things@chicagobusiness.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of submissions makes it impossible for us to respond individually to emails.Would you like to be notified via email of our weekly “10 Things to Do” column? Click here to sign up.



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