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17 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 5, 2017 4:30PM

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Gary Clark Jr. performs at Blues Fest this weekend. Photo courtesy of DCASE.

We got lots of outdoor events for a warm June week in Chicago.


HAMILTON STAR: Catch Hamilton star Samantha Marie Ware at Virgin Hotels Chicago's Upstairs doing a special, intimate live performance at 9 p.m. The singing star has played Eliza Hamilton, Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the hit Broadway musical of the decade. Free.

TROTTER ALUMNI COLLABORATION: Enjoy a collaborative dinner between two Trotter alumni at Honey’s. General Manager Tyrone Redic and Reed Adelson of Virginia's NYC have remained friends since their Trotter days, and along with Honey’s Chef Charles Welch, they’ll present a 5-course dinner that begins with a cocktail & canape reception at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $105.


Image courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

TAKASHI MURAKAMI EXHIBIT: Most may know him as the artist responsible for Kanye’s Graduation Bear, but the Japanese artist has a long career spanning more than three decades. The Museum of Contemporary Art presents an unprecedented exhibition of his vibrant work with more than 50 pieces on display. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg opens on Tuesday and runs through September 24.

RUSH HOUR CONCERTS: The free classical music series kicks off their 18th season on Tuesday at St. James Cathedral at 5:45 p.m. Avoid the crazy rush hour commute for a half hour with a calming performance from Kontras Quartet performing String Quartet Op. 33, No. 5 by Franz Joseph Haydn & Black Bend by Dan Visconti. Concerts continue every Tuesday through August 29.

TUESDAY FUNK: Our favorite funky reading series is back for another episode at Hopleaf’s upstairs bar at 7:30 p.m. Look forward to readings by Lori Rader-Day, Elizabeth Gomez, Scott Whitehair, Nadine Kenney Johnstone and Juan Martinez. Free.


MIDWEST FILM PREMIERE: Slamdance hit Dave Made a Maze makes its Chicago premiere at this month’s Midwest Independent Film Festival First Tuesday. The film from from Ohio native Bill Waterson has been described as “epic and fantastic” and “…the kind of film that only comes around once in a decade.” The evening, as usual, contains a reception, screening, panel discussion and after party at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10-15.

WINE TASTING: Sample some South African wines and vote for the month’s featured wine at III Forks at 5 p.m. Sommelier Anton Licko will lead you through six different wines paired with an hors d'oeuvres from executive chef Cedric Harden. Tasting is $20.

CAJUN COOKING CLASS: Heaven on Seven chef/owner Jimmy Bannos hosts another Cajun Cooking Class from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Original Heaven on Seven on Wabash. The five-course dinner and demonstration includes all-you-can-drink beer, wine and of course hurricanes. Tickets are $75.


Lou Conte's The 40s. Photo by Jack Mitchell via Hubbard Street's Facebook page.

HUBBARD STREET TURNS 40: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Series at Harris Theater will feature choreography from Lou Conte, Twyla Tharp, Jim Vincent, Alejandro Cerrudo, Crystal Pite, William Forsythe, and Lucas Crandall. The program takes a look back at the company’s history on its 40th anniversary with a different piece representing each decade. Shows run June 9-11. Tickets start at $30.

BREAK OUT COMEDY FESTIVAL: The Second City and NBC are teaming up once again for the 3rd Annual Break Out Comedy Festival. Seasoned comics share the stage with up and comers at the festival celebrating diversity in sketch, improvisation and stand-up. Comedians Danny Pudi (Powerless, Community) and Chris Redd (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping) are among the hosts for the three-night event at UP Comedy Club. Tickets are $20.

BEER DINNER: Enjoy a beer dinner and pairing with SideDoor and Solemn Oath Brewery at 7 p.m. The more casual sister restaurant of Lawry’s The Prime Rib will include an assortment of drafts from the Naperville-based brewery along with a five-course menu prepared by visiting Chef David Moldovan. Tickets are $75. To make a reservation, email

FREE FITNESS: Equinox and Revival Food Hall kick off a complimentary summer fitness series this Thursday at 6:30 a.m. Trainers will lead total body workout classes like HIP HOP Yoga, Mindful movement, Summer Camp boot camp and more every other Thursday on the 6th floor terrace of the historic The National Building. Sign up here.


SPRING AWAKENING: Spring Awakening, Chicago’s all-electronic music festival is back for year six at Adams-Medill Park. The stacked three-day lineup includes headliners Armin van Buuren, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Datisk, Galantis and Diplo. Tickets start at $79 for a single day pass.

BLUES FEST: Blues Fest is a staple of Chicago summers, and this year is the 34th annual festival downtown in Millennium Park. This year celebrates the influence of urban blues on rock, R&B and hip-hop with three days of live music that includes Rhymefest, Gary Clark Jr. and Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. Performances take place day and night on four stages, including the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Free.

MIDSOMMARFEST: The annual Andersonville street fest, Midsommarfest, spans the weekend on Clark Street with live music, dance troupes, vendors, kids’ entertainment, eats and more. Local shops and restaurants get in on the action, too with specials and sales. The Chicago Equality Rally will be held in conjunction with the fest on Sunday at 11 a.m. in solidarity with the National Equality March on Washington D.C. Entry is a $10 gate donation.

Image via Ribfest's Facebook page.

RIBFEST: Northcenter’s Ribfest is known for two things: ribs and a kickass music lineup. Check out headliners Magic Giant, Diane Coffee and Grizfolk during the three-day street fest, and of course don’t miss Ribmania VIII. Entry is a $5 suggested donation at the gate.

PROLOGUE PARTY: Rub shoulders at a literary cocktail party at the American Writers Museum at 7 p.m. The annual Prologue fundraiser supports 826CHI, a local non-profit youth creative writing center, and serves to kick off Printers Row Lit Fest. Writer Kevin Coval (founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, and author of poetry collection A People’s History of Chicago) will be the evening’s guest speaker. Tickets are $85.