Top events in Chicago area for weekend of June 16 – 10 Things To Do News

on Jun14

14 June 2017 | 1:00 pm

Every year, after 12 more months of lacking pension solutions, lingering potholes and scorn for public support for the arts, I have to pinch myself to believe that the Grant Park Music Festival still exists, and it is still free. Starting today, the more-than-capable Grant Park Orchestra and full-size Grant Park Chorus play a ten-week season, chiefly at Millennium Park as daylight slides down and the colored lights slide up on Gehry’s metal noodles at the pavilion. The opener centers on Tchaikovsky’s comfortable-as-your-old-sweats Violin Concerto, followed by music from “Porgy and Bess.” This weekend’s program admirably ties two ocean-themed 20th-century British works, the Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes” and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “A Sea Symphony,” wherein the chorus sets sail for the season. A week from today, a one-night-only concert heads for Beethoven’s shiny Symphony No. 4, but the jewel is Aaron Copland’s “Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson,” featuring the sterling soprano Susanna Phillips. June 14-June 21. Free. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

A Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert led by a woman is hen’s-teeth-scarce—there are zero such subscription concerts next season, for example. One that also aligns a female composer makes it practically an eclipse event. This weekend’s CSO concerts achieve that celestial syzygy, with the shark of a Finn Susanna Malkki wielding the baton, and “Proceed, Moon,” by Pulitzer winner Melinda Wagner, world-premiering. (I found a Marin Alsop/Anna Clyne concert in November 2015, so the XX/XX alignment isn’t an all-time first for the orchestra.) Also on the bill, although less female, saxophonist Branford Marsalis solos on Faure’s “Pavane” and John Williams’s “Escapades” from the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” June 15-17. 8 p.m. $36-$261. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

The geographical center of gravity of restaurantism in Chicago lies near Randolph and Peoria Streets, uncoincidentally the locus of Taste of Randolph, a street fest drawing its food from the impressive buffet of options around it. The menu of restaurants (which, truth-in-advertising alert, strays off Randolph onto Fulton Market) includes celeb-chef spots Belly Q, Publican Quality Meats, Bar Siena; newcomers WonFun Chinese and Nosh & Booze; and Cruz Blanca, which fits into both categories. Rocking out’s ground zero at the fest is the temporary geology of the Denver Live at the Rocks stage, a movable-enough re-creation of the Red Rocks Amphitheater, a Denver outdoor concert venue with rock walls. June 16-18. $10 suggested donation. $40 per day VIP admission, $100 VIP fest pass. 900 W. Randolph St.

Chicago has seen more kings lately than a season of “Game of Thrones,” as the third production of “The King and I” in three years takes up the scepter starting today. Having usurped the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in the local realm from Lyric Opera’s spring 2016 and the Marriott Theatre’s fall 2014 versions, the Broadway in Chicago touring production parades in the show crowned with four Tonys in its original New York run, including Best Revival of a Musical. Jose Llana, who played the king in New York, rereigns here, and Laura Michelle Kelly, who was super-cali-fragi-etc. enough to win an Olivier award as Mary Poppins in the London show, portrays Anna. June 14-July 9. $24-$90. Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St.

The Juilliard String Quartet, an always-excellent ensemble known for its continuous residency since its founding in 1946 (get a mortgage, already) at its eponymous music school and the extremely long tenures of its members, hits Ravinia with an atypically new lineup, having turned over three of its four members in the past six years. The longest-serving musician now has a mere 20 years with the group, something that hasn’t been true since the group was 20 years old. The program consists of two pieces the JSQ has won Grammys for during its history: Bartok’s String Quartet No. 1 (in 1966) and Beethoven’s Op. 130 quartet, including the Grosse Fuge (in 1985). Scoff at the relevance of a 51-year-old Grammy if you must, but 51 years is the exact length of the original first violinist’s time in the quartet. June 20. 7:30 p.m. $10-$60. Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

In a retrospective program usually reserved for more-composite anniversaries than 41, the Spanish-dance group Ensemble Espanol fetes its 41st with “Raices: Yesterday Is Tomorrow.” “Raices” (“Roots”) cultivates a many-works (13!) program of dances stemming from all eras of the ensemble, beginning in 1976 and running through three world premieres. The performance culminates in “Iroko,” a commission for the 40th flaming with contemporary flamenco. June 16-18. $30-$50. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.

Goodman Theatre’s final 2016-17 production, “Ah, Wilderness!”, stages a comedic bildungsroman by Eugene O’Neill, not a guy known for his jokes, Mr. We Are Such Things As Rubbish Is Made Of. O’Neill’s dewy-eyed protagonist, Richard, falls in young love and on his face in a teenaged way, and unironically quotes poetry such as “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou,” from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. He’s the polar opposite of the “Iceman Cometh” barflies, all fire and entropic motion, played by Niall Cunningham of the TV show “Life in Pieces.” Would-be audience members of Goodman’s “Pamplona,” the Ernest Hemingway monologue shelved when Stacy Keach had a mild heart attack on opening night (get well soon, Stacy), can trade in their tickets to voyage instead to “Wilderness.” June 17-July 23. $25-$75. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.

On a day with 15 hours and 13 minutes of daylight, the annual music-saturation event Make Music Chicago fills all but a horizon-sliver with performances and participation. Always fixed on June 21, the local ray of the summer-solstice-centered Fete de la Musique rises at 5:30 a.m. at the Sherwin Avenue Beach in Rogers Park (sunrise is 5:15) with an experimental piece called “Stones/Water/Time/Breath,” where attendees join in making music with stones and beach. As the sun ascends, the festival kaleidoscopes out all over Chicago, running events—all free—up until well after the 8:29 sunset. Drum circles, fiddle jams, Sousa marches and a harmonica hootenanny invite dabblers; a Dame Myra Hess concert, string quartets promoting racial justice, and the Grant Park Music Festival (see Thing #1) welcome listeners. June 21. Free. Various locations.

Och! Ye dinna ken they wee ceilidh? Aye, the Scottish Festival and Highland Games unlochs the gates this weekend, crowding in loads of activities, such as highland dance, a rugby tournament, haggis-hurling and -eating contests, the crowning of the Heather Queen, Scotch whisky sipping and heavy athletics, which is basically throwing things that are really heavy and awkward. All proceeds go to the elder-care facility Scottish Home and its new subventure Caledonian House, a residence devoted to combating memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s. June 16-17. Free-$20 per day; free-$30 two-day pass. Hamilton Lakes, 1 Pierce Place, Itasca.

The New Orleans-based—no, that’s not strong enough—the New Orleans-embodying Rebirth Brass Band had a show scheduled for the tap room at Temperance Beer Company, the saucily named Evanston brewery. Rebirth vivified latent brass-band-plus-funk fans, or maybe fans of its appearances on HBO’s “Treme,” because apparently it sold out faster than lemonade at a temperance meeting. So the show expanded to Temperance’s parking lot, and ticket sales were reborn this past week. Now if you want in to the tap room, you need a VIP ticket, which comes with two drink tickets. June 22. 8 p.m. $35-$75. Temperance Beer Company, 2000 Dempster St., Evanston.

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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