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13 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 14, 2017 5:00PM

Summer isn't cooling down yet. Fests, theater, music and food keep Chicago busy this week.


BROADWAY IN CHICAGO: Broadway in Chicago’s annual summer concert at Millennium Park offers a free peek at some of the amazing productions underway in Chicago’s theatre district. Among this year’s preview performances are Disney’s Aladdin, Escape to Margaritaville, Les Miserables, Waitress, Wicked and more. The curtain rises at 6:15 p.m.

FLOATING MUSEUM: The city’s “Floating Museum” moves to the Chicago Riverwalk this week. The temporary summer exhibition is called River Assembly and features interactive spaces to engage artists and generate community conversation. Admission is free. The museum will move to Navy Pier on August 28.


MILLENNIUM PARK SUMMER FILM: Watch the three-time Oscar Award-nominated film Hidden Figures on the outdoor LED screen at Pritzker Pavilion beginning at 6:30 p.m. The film tells the story of three African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains in the historic launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Millennium Park Summer Film Series screenings are always free.

BEACH BBQ: Spiaggia returns to Oak Street Beach for a Ferragosto feast from 6 to 9 p.m. The casual beach BBQ celebrates the Italian summer holiday with an all inclusive dinner, which will feature whole-roasted lamb and veggies, gelato, ice cold rosé, beer and tequila and a DJ. Tickets are $75.

HISTORY HAPPY HOUR: The Chicago History Museum hosts History Happy Hour for something a little different than the usual after-work drinks. This month’s topic is Chicago’s two World’s Fairs: The World’s Columbian Expedition (1893) and A Century of Progress (1933-1934). Beverages from Evanston-based Few Spirits will be served. Tickets are $15.


DON'T CALL IT SAD BASTARD MUSIC: Anyone who still thinks of Belle and Sebastian in the same terms as High Fidelity's Barry really has some catching up to do with the band. We're still waiting on new music from the band since 2015's unexpected party-heavy Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. That album shouldn't have come as a surprise since the group's 2013 headlining Pitchfork Music Festival set already showed Stuart Murdoch and crew could throw an upbeat dance party. When Belle and Sebastian play Chicago Theatre on Wednesday night I think you can probably expect a similarly upbeat show. And, dare we hope for some possible new music to make an appearance? Only one way to find out.


MILLENNIUM PARK MUSIC SERIES: This week’s Millennium Park Summer Music concert features two gifted gospel artists. Joshua Nelson, the "Prince of Kosher Gospel," works Jewish liturgical lyrics into the genre to claim his "Black Jew" identity. Also performing is Tone Ross & Inspired with a local connection: Ross served as the conductor and composer-in-residence for the Columbia College Gospel Music Program. The free show on the Pritzker Pavilion stage begins at 6:30 p.m.

CLARK AFTER DARK: The USO of Illinois celebrates our military service members and their families at Clark After Dark, at Clark and Hubbard St. from 4 to 10 p.m. The block party features live music from '80s cover band 16 Candles.

Image courtesy of Morton's Steakhouse.

WINE DINNER: Morton’s Steakhouse on State Street hosts a wine dinner with Silver Oak & Twomey at 6:30 p.m. The five-course dinner features Seared Sea Scallops, Spiced Duck Breast, Grilled Lamb Chop and Manhattan Cut NY Strip Steak, each paired with different wines. Tickets are $150. To reserve a spot, email Jessica Richard at or call 312.266.4820.

MAKING A BIG NOISE: Mr. Russia is finally back with another full-length album, the appropriately titled Big Noise. The duo of bassist/singer Ivan Russia and drummer Josh Vicari has been quietly releasing some of the most consistently good throb-pop of the last few years. The kind of music that makes your gut rumble and hips shake with a blend of catchy hooks and choruses, butting heads with aggro beats and riffs that conjure up some weird mix of industrial grinding and garage rock fun. Catch the band's album release party at Beat Kitchen on Thursday night, featuring opening acts Vast Canvas and Soft Ledges.


FESTA ITALIANA: Get a mouthful of Italian culture at Festa Italiana this weekend in Little Italy. The neighborhood’s classic restaurants will serve up meatballs, cannoli and more while Italian-American song and dance entertains. Four stages put classic Italian singers alongside rock bands and DJs.

TACOS Y TAMALES FESTIVAL: Based on the open air Mexican market known as tianguis, the second annual Tacos y Tamales Festival hits Pilsen this weekend. Of course there will be boatloads of tacos y tamales from Chicago and Latin America, but also art installations, merchant vendors, Modelo cerveza and live entertainment. Entry is a $5 suggested donation benefiting the Frida Kahlo Community Organization.

LINCOLN SQUARE GREEK FEST: Father Apostolos Georgiafentis & Father Chris Mihalopoulos welcome one and all to St. Demetrios’ annual summer festival celebrating Hellenic culture. Lincoln Square Greek Fest celebrates the parish’s 89 years in the neighborhood with authentic Greek food, music, dancing and family-friendly festivities over three days. A $5 donation is requested for entry.