Best events in Chicago week of Aug. 9, 2017 – 10 Things To Do News

on Aug9

9 August 2017 | 1:30 pm

The Thirsty Ears Festival notes that it’s Chicago’s only classical-music street festival, technically a true statement because the audience has asphalt underfoot, even though summer swarms with outdoor classical music over grass. The point of the slogan, though, is that Thirsty Ears co-opts the street-festival model—road closure, all-day music, mobile food, kid activities—and replaces the plug-and-play tribute and cover bands with chamber groups. Of note on the lineup are Gaudete Brass Quintet, Picosa, Black Oak Ensemble and an offshoot of one of the grassier vernal venues, the Grant Park Festival String Quartet. Aug. 12-13. $5 suggested donation. Wilson Street between Hermitage and Ravenswood Avenues.

Celebrating Chicago as a city of immigrants, the Chicago History Museum’s Chicago Hot Dog Fest offers tubular concoctions bowing to a melting pot of traditions, including an elote corn dog (fried corn dog, lime crema, tajin seasoning, cotija cheese), a poutine dog (hot dog, fried cheese curds, beef gravy, fries), a Puerto Rican dog (hot dog, ground-beef meat sauce, ketchup, mustard, onions, sauerkraut, chips, nacho cheese), a Detroit Coney dog (hot dog, chili, jack cheese, onions, dijonnaise), and the local classic, sometimes with the rosary of seven toppings and sometimes with deliciously heretical variations. The history museum has also booked speakers on topics Chicagoan and hot-doggy, plus a street-festival music. Aug. 11-13. $5 suggested donation. Stockton and La Salle Drives.

After the win-place-show of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, horse racing’s tour of near-major events trots through the Arlington Million, the first race ever hitched to a seven-figure purse. Like the other studly events of the racing circuit, the Million stirs up a full day of races like a string of zeroes and gives ladies free rein to unbox their largest hats. A crop of auxiliary events leads up to the post, including a performance by the band 7th Heaven, a soccer-ball bit from Cirque du Soleil, World Series trophy viewing and a best-dressed competition for the clothes horses. Aug. 12. $4-$30. Arlington International Racecourse, 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights.

The Festival Cubano—really a pan-Latin party with a thumb on the Cuban element—has, as you’d expect, three days of music, headlined on Friday (a house- and freestyle-themed day) by DJ Julian Jumpin’ Perez, Saturday by Los 3 de la Habana and Victor Manuelle, and Sunday by the sonero Michael Stuart and the timba group David Calzado y la Charanga Habanera. More exotically, the festival offers a sea of nonstandard diversions, such as boxing, dominoes, cigar rolling, a classic-car show and camel rides. Aug. 11-13. Free-$15. $30 general admission fest pass. $50-$150 VIP packages. Riis Park, Fullerton and Naragansett Avenues.

I must have let my International Brotherhood of Parade Measurers membership lapse, because I can’t find any statistics with the sheen of veracity to back the claim up, but many references online to the Bud Billiken Parade say it’s the second-biggest parade in the country. Whether that’s true or not (or even really measureable), the Bud Billiken Parade ranks as an enormous celebration of the city’s African-American community, etched in stone on the second Saturday in August for marching bands, gymnasts, drill teams, politicians, parade royalty and, this year, the ineluctable Chance the Rapper, barely out of the news since Lollapalooza last weekend, serving as grand marshal. Aug. 12. 10 a.m. King Drive and Oakwood Blvd. to Ellsworth Drive and Garfield Blvd.

In 1927, Ruth Snyder and her lover killed her husband, Albert, a crime that left its fingerprints on fiction that followed, such as “Double Indemnity” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” Less of a bell-ringing title nowadays, “Machinal” cranked out of the mental gears of Sophie Treadwell, a journalist and playwright who attended Snyder’s trial and adapted the story for Broadway in an expressionist style, with archetypal, nameless characters, only months after Snyder was executed in the electric chair. In the several revivals since then, critics, like clockwork, mention the play’s timelessness as the doomed protagonist metaphorically travels inexorably down the conveyor belt into the maw of the machine. Aug. 11-Sep. 24. $15-$35. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.


The pianist Jonathan Biss (the brother of Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss, incidentally) currently is macheteing his way through the weeds of a nine-year project to record all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, generally considered the pinnacle of the form. At Ravinia, Biss criss-crosses a short-by-comparison three-year project to play all 32 of the sonatas live, checking off five each in two concerts (#4 and #5) this summer season (#2 of 3). Already a ridiculously cheap ticket at $10, Ravinia gives 20 percent off (yes, $2 per concert) if you buy both in the same transaction. Aug. 15 & 17. 6 p.m. $10 per concert. Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park.

His Majestie’s Clerkes, for many years, referred to the small, top-shelf chamber choir now known as Bella Voce, founded by the countertenor Richard Childress. His Majestie’s Clerkes, for about a year, referred to an even smaller group of singers, founded by the countertenor Richard Childress. As of now, the reboot carries the title His Majesty’s Men, specifying the gender of those formerly clerking, and the six-voice, Renaissance-and-recent ensemble performs its first Chicago concert under its new moniker on Saturday, flying Byrd next to modern vocal craftsmen such as Bob Chilcott and John Tavener. Aug. 12. 7:30 p.m. $15-$25. St. John Cantius Church, 825 N. Carpenter St.

At the Arts Club on Saturday for a drop-in audience, a wet-suit-clad cellist will “play” a “cello” made of ice blackened with food dye, bowing, scraping and hacking at the instrument with an ice pick, a pitchfork and several rods as the instrument melts over several hours, feeding and revealing microphones and other sound-relaying devices attached to the ice or frozen inside. “Iced Bodies: Ice Music for Chicago” pays homage to a notorious work for the avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman, in which she sat, nude, behind a melting cello she played with a Plexiglas bow. This version, by the performance and sound artists Seth Parker Woods and Spencer Topel, refocuses audience attention on the sounds of deterioration, dripping and drainage. Aug. 12. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario St.

To observe Ferragosto, the mid-August holiday when Italians boot themselves out of town on vacation, the luxury restaurant Spiaggia takes its vacation at the beach for a cookout. Normally a caviar-and-truffles kind of establishment where prices challenge staying under three digits per diner, the restaurant lets its (angel) hair down for DJ-jacked, flip-flop-friendly festivity only rarely. The all-you-can-eat and -drink event serves roasted lamb, grilled zucchini, charcuterie, caprese salad, watermelon salad, gelato and unlimited Miller High Life and wines red, white and, because this is summer 2017, pink. Aug. 15. 6-9 p.m. $75. Oak Street Beach, 1000 N. Lake Shore Drive.

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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