Best events in Chicago weekend of July 28 – 10 Things To Do News

on Jul27

26 July 2017 | 8:00 am

Celebrating a half-century since its off-Broadway debut this fall, the rock musical “Hair” braids together sexual freedom, antiwar protest, anti-intolerance and the hippie lifestyle lived by the hyperpileous characters referred to by the title and the title song. Just as the characters have a lot of hair, “Hair” is lousy with music—combing through the catalog reveals classics such as “Good Morning Starshine,” “Let the Sun Shine In” and “Aquarius,” as well as fringe memorables such as “Initials (L.B.J.)” and “Easy to Be Hard.” In a combination warning-advertisement, the theater teases “Hair’s” notorious nude scene, along with profanity and drug use. July 27-Sep. 17. $30-$65. Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave.

Galagoers who expected former Ravinia music director Christoph Eschenbach to conduct megastar pianist Lang Lang will, after two cancellations, have to settle for former Ravinia music director James Conlon conducting megastar violinist Itzhak Perlman, who plays a John Williams-sized collection of movie music July 29 in a program otherwise devoted to Dvorak, as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra checks out an overture and the Czech’s Symphony No. 8. Conlon also conducts the concert previous, where Eschenbach planned bookends by Mendelssohn: the tune-swollen violin concerto (with the young and handsome Ray Chen) and a symphony—Conlon will lead Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”), replacing Eschenbach’s choice of No. 5. The soprano soloist Marisol Montalvo participates in the other two works on Friday’s program, a Mozart aria and Samuel Barber’s fireflied “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.” July 28-29. $10-$150. Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

The Oz viewers see in “The Wizard of Oz” foregrounds professional organizations (or maybe private clubs?) such as the Lollipop Guild and the Lullaby League, and good and bad witches, who must surely be aristocrats. Oz’s forgotten working class gets first billing in “The Bricklayers of Oz,” a new evening-length, all-ages hip-hop-dance Oz prequel that tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the East’s plan to build a silver road and the subsequent revolt of the proletariat. The woman behind the curtain is Jessica Deahr, the artistic director of Chicago Dance Crash, who directed and choreographed the show. The fluid Oz dance-tale marks the crest of the rainbow in the company’s 15th anniversary, as its only original, full-length performance of 2017. July 28-Aug. 5. $15-$25. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St.

For 30 years, Brigid Murphy has bewigged, besequined and be-accented herself as Milly May Smithy, the emcee of the now-occasional country and western variety spectacular Milly’s Orchid Show. The 30th anniversary show, titled “29 Years and Holdin’,” will bring back Blue Man Group, an act first part of the Orchid Show bouquet in 1990, in its Chicago premiere. The lineup promises music, dance, poetry and something called “hip hop in tutus” in addition to Milly herself, who provides the eyelash glue that holds the whole hootenanny together. July 29. 8 p.m. $35. Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave.

The funny and topical but irritatingly punctuated public-radio news-quiz-meets-comedy show “Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” every week makes fans chase tickets to its Chase Auditorium tapings, so you’d think a move from the subterranean theater to the open air of Millennium Park would open things up. In fact, it merely changes the method of acquiring a scarce seat—instead of haunting the ticket page on Fridays until the stroke of 10 a.m., fans must show up closer to the 5 p.m. park opening than the 7 p.m. showtime. The show this week empanels longtime Wait, Waiters Adam Felber, Mo Rocca and Roxanne Roberts and quizzes former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster for the Not My Job segment. July 27. 7 p.m. Free. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

Major League Soccer doesn’t get the breathless sports coverage of many other sports in Chicago (the Fire are burning up the league this year, by the way), but this week the other football can serve as the header for once. MLS chose Chicago for this year’s all-star game, which unconventionally pits the league’s top players not against each other, but against Real Madrid, the champions of the UEFA Champions League three out of the past four years. (As of e-presstime, no word on whether first-magnitude star Cristiano Ronaldo will play for Los Blancos.) Among the coterie of affiliated events such as skills challenges, charity work and pickup games, even non-fans might like a free concert by the rock band X Ambassadors, open to anyone registering for a fan pass. Concert: July 31. 8 p.m. Free. Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive. All-star game: Aug. 2. 8 p.m. $45-$850. Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive.

The organizers of the Mexican-American street festival Fiesta del Sol say the event draws 1.3 million visitors over four days. By comparison, the city announced that this year’s Taste of Chicago broke its attendance record with 1.6 million over five days. The sun-large Fiesta encompasses not only the fest-usual food, arts and crafts, and music (the Milwaukee-based Latin hip-hop trio Kinto Sol headlines July 30 at 9 p.m.), but also carnival rides, a soccer tournament, a Catholic mass and community-organizing help for immigrants’ legal issues, housing and education. It does not encompass smoking and drinking, except in the sense of smoked meats and liquids like aguas frescas. July 27-30. Free. West Cermak Road between Ashland and Morgan.

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat, now in its 18th year, brings, by its own reckoning, beer, bikes and bemusement from city to city, raising money for local bicycle-related charities, Chicago’s worthy West Town Bikes among them. The event, named after the brewery’s flagship beer Fat Tire, encourages outlandish costumes, reverse-races a slow ride where the final bicyclist across the finish line wins, and mounts a sideshow of weird and wonderful performers. This year, the beer pioneer shifted the musical acts into a higher gear, booking the “Tonight Show” band The Roots and relocating-retemporizing to a big-concert-friendly space and time. The change came at the cost of the popular bike parade, a choice that bemused the local biking community. Bikes can still parade ad hoc, following all traffic laws, to the corner of Linn White and Solidarity Drives to park for the festival. July 29. 4-9 p.m. Free-$25. Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive.

The proliferation of means for distributing entertainment means no cult favorite ever really dies anymore. For example, the 2001 movie “Wet Hot American Summer,” which had a peculiar loopy sense of humor and puzzling relationship with reality, spawned an eight-episode TV season on Netflix in 2015 and eight more coming out Aug. 4. Thalia Hall this Thursday lays some firewood for the new-season drop with a campy party with inner tubes and blankets, screening two episodes of the 2015 season and then the original 2001 movie. They’re serving spiked Kool-Aid, but everyone who attends will have already drunk at least the metaphorical version. July 27. 7:30 p.m. $5. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St.

Washington Square Park, the green space in front of the Newberry Library, gives way this Saturday to its vernacular moniker: Bughouse Square, a name that might seem offensive today if anyone still used the word. A “bughouse” used to mean a psychiatric hospital, where hecklers pejoratively/affectionately suggested sending some of the less-hinged soapbox orators that swarmed the square in the early and mid-20th century, when it attracted labor agitators, Marxist-socialists, anarchists, cranks and tourists to watch them all exercise their First Amendment rights. The Newberry keeps the free speech flowing with the organized Bughouse Square Debates once a year, with a marquee debate (this year on what real journalism is), side speeches (“Legal Recreational Cocaine,” “Is It OK to Punch a Nazi?”) and open soapboxes for anyone with an ax to grind. (Kind-hearted) hecklers welcome. July 29. 12-4 p.m. Free. Washington Square Park, 901 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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