Top events in Chicago the weekend of July 7-9 – 10 Things To Do News

on Jul6

5 July 2017 | 2:04 pm

Square Roots, the cutely named street festival in Lincoln Square, doesn’t limit itself to the near-infinite set of musics that classify as “roots,” similarly to the way the festival’s co-presenter, the Old Town School of Folk Music, promotes a much more umbrellic array of genres than just folk (and isn’t in Old Town). The radically inclusive Square Roots this year makes headliners of the country singer-songwriter Nikki Lane, the grungers’ grunge band Meat Puppets and the countrified punk band Lucero. Also, with roots comes beer, as in the wares of a largely local lot including Lagunitas, 5 Rabbit and Revolution, and several so local they could walk their kegs over, such as Half Acre, Begyle and Dovetail. July 7-9. $5-$20 suggested donation. Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson Avenues. squareroots.org

Speaking of roots, the folk-rocker Ben Harper, a master of the slide guitar, fills Friday’s first billing at the musical side dish to Taste of Chicago (Listen of Chicago?), where it’s free to sit in the grass, cheap to sit in the seats. Harper, whose music has always engaged with social issues such as economic inequality, pollution and police brutality, now feels urgent at a moment many other artists have swerved into politicization. In another sudden salience, owing to a certain David Lynch revivification, the Chicago-based whippersnappers Twin Peaks open. July 7. 5:30 p.m. Free-$22. Petrillo Music Shell, 235 S. Columbus Drive.

Also on Taste of Chicago’s dance card, a diversity of dance companies will give lessonlets and perform during the afternoons of the festival, in an extension of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s project Stomping Grounds. The stomping grounds for this five-day world tour of dance are the area around Buckingham Fountain, with the 20 or so participant groups specializing in steps from Spanish, Mexican, African, Native American and other traditions. July 5-9. 12-4 p.m. Free. South side of Buckingham Fountain, 301 S. Columbus Drive.

There are actually food-related events at Taste of Chicago, too—for instance, the Celebrity Chef du Jour series of three-course dinners, reminiscent of Restaurant Week prix fixes. Choice among the Taste tastings is Sunday’s with Beverly Kim and John Clark of the stratospherically hipster Korean spot Parachute, in Avondale. Kim and Clark will serve pork belly and mung bean pancakes they’ve offered since opening, swordfish with tomato and nam prik (a Thai chile sauce), and pavlovas with sweet corn, coconut and blackberry, a dish trifecta you could eat at Parachute’s home base for a few dollars more, but here you dine at a pavilion next to Buckingham Fountain. July 9. 5 p.m. $45. Buckingham Fountain Plaza, 301 S. Columbus Drive.

This week, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra unpacks the strings, starts its summer reeding and polishes the brass at its summer home at Ravinia, where they get so casual they sometimes even wear short sleeves (still white shirts, of course) and no black ties. The summertime, livin’-is-easy opener plays up the flashy pianist Yuja Wang on Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and another piano-connected piece, Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” in the familiar Ravel orchestration raveled from the piano-solo original. July 11. 8 p.m. $10-$75. Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

The second night of the CSO’s Ravinia residency rings with violinist Joshua Bell, whose appealing demeanor and resounding technique make for enthusiastic clappers. Bell solos on Max Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy,” the composer’s second-most-famous piece for violin and orchestra, after the canonical concerto in G minor. The flipside of the program collages together movements from Prokofiev’s three “Romeo and Juliet” suites into conductor Andrey Boreyko’s suite-spot compilation. July 12. 8 p.m. $10-$100. Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

“How to Be a Rock Critic,” a play on Steppenwolf’s eclectic LookOut series imported from Los Angeles, was written by the spousal team Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank, and to some extent, by the legendary Lester Bangs, the real-life rock critic portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Almost Famous.” No matter how you count the writers, the number exceeds that of performers—one, Jensen. Before the world premiere, Jensen and Blank told “Rolling Stone” that they immersed themselves in Bangs, trimming none of his oeuvre, published or unpublished, for their research, and reviewers of the result said Jensen did a bang-up job embodying the sacred and profane writer. Local musicians go out with some Bangs favorites as a second act after each performance. July 6-22. $30. Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St.

Most of this year’s Millennium Park Summer Film Series pleases the crowds with Chicagoey, quotable flicks such as “The Blues Brothers” and “Wayne’s World” (Sep. 5, 6:30 p.m.) or the comfort food of “Julie & Julia” or not-quite-Best-Picture “La La Land” (July 18, 6:30 p.m.). This week’s film, “El Norte,” the first Spanish-language movie the series has featured, doesn’t bear an awww-inspiring title, but in the contemporaneous words of Roger Ebert, ” ‘El Norte’ is a great film, one of the year’s best,” that year being 1983. The movie follows two Guatemalan teenagers seeking the American dream on their journey through Mexico to the United States, and shows their undocumented life when they arrive. July 11. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Once you’ve got the premise of , a station-to-station alfresco theatergoing experience, the programming bull’s-eye must be Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a play actually set in a forest. The sylvan comedy of fairies driving the amours of mortal fools runs smooth for about two hours’ performance time in Theatre-Hikes’ version, with about two miles of interscene walking. Having already caromed around a few Chicago parks, the production takes up its mobile home in the Morton Arboretum over the next four weekends, for eight midsummer nights. July 8-30. 6:30 p.m. $10-$20. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle.

Speaking of Shakespeare, the bottom of this column goes to the Broadway musical with characters named Bottom (in homage to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in fact) and a campy exclamation point. “Something Rotten!” tours for two weeks with Broadway in Chicago beginning Tuesday. The spoofy show invents an Elizabethan-era birth for musical theater, as the Bottom brothers create the new genre to one-up the un-one-uppable Shakespeare, giving the tomato-throwing satire two barn-sides to hit, Broadway and the Bard. Puerile and showstopper-strewn, the show self-deprecatingly spun a nomination that didn’t pan out into an award at the Tonys with ads touting “Loser!” July 11-23. $27-$98. Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph 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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