Five Best Things to Do in July

THE SHORTLIST: Five musts from our June culture calendar

David Beckham and Dominic Oduro

L.A. GALAXY AT CHICAGO FIRE

DETAILS:

7/8 Fans of the beautiful game—and the promising Chicago Fire—receive this season’s only visit from the beautiful David Beckham in July, when Mr. Posh Spice and his current hairstyle, the quiff, hit Toyota Park in Bridgeview. See chicago-fire.com for tickets and full schedule.

 

 

 

 

  NEXT: KURT WEILL AT RAVINIA »

 

Photograph: (Beckham) Wayne Drought/AP/NZPA; (Oduro) David Pierini/Chicago Tribune

 

Kurt Weill

KURT WEILL AT RAVINIA

Before “Mack the Knife” and The Threepenny Opera, the 22-year-old Kurt Weill wrote a show about toys that come to life. Misfiled at Yale, the score disappeared for 80 years; this month Ravinia offers up the U.S. premiere, with pantomime by T. Daniel Productions.

DETAILS:

7/19 This American premiere, staged as a dark-tinged children’s pantomime by Chicago’s T. Daniel Productions, tells a Toy Story–like tale of playthings come to life, with a score by Weill. At 8. $10–$60. Martin Theatre, Ravinia, Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park. ravinia.org.

 

  NEXT: SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL »

 

Photograph: Courtesy of Naxos Nostalgia Records

 

An acoustic guitar and a can of Daisy Cutter Pale Ale

SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL

The Lincoln Square festival formerly known as Folk & Roots now promotes another type of root: beer. Sample a dozen regional craft brews alongside a stout musical lineup that includes the Malian guitarist Sidi Touré.

DETAILS:

7/20–22 Featured performers also include the local heroes the Waco Brothers and the Cajun roots-rockers Creole Stomp. Fri 5–10, Sat noon–10, Sun noon–8. $5–$10. N Lincoln between Montrose and Wilson. squareroots.org.

 

  NEXT: DRAGON BOAT RACE FOR LITERACY »

 

Photograph: (guitar) Ju-Lee/istockphoto; (pale ale) courtesy of Half Acre Beer Company

 

A dragon head

DRAGON BOAT RACE FOR LITERACY

Chinatown’s 2012 riverine rowing competition coincides with the neighborhood’s centennial, bringing music, dance, and food to the dry-land part of the party. And to make it doubly auspicious, this is also the Year of the Dragon.

DETAILS:

7/21 Races run from 8 a.m. until the awards ceremony at 5, and Chinese performers and food can be found at the adjoining festivities all day. Free for spectators, $750 per race team (register by 7/6). Chicago River at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W 19th. chicagochinatown.org.

 

  NEXT: ANGEL D’CUBA AT SUMMERDANCE »

 

Photograph: jaap2/istockphoto

 

Angel D'Cuba at Summerdance

ANGEL D’CUBA AT SUMMERDANCE

When it comes to salsa in Chicago, it doesn’t get any hotter than this: a free dance lesson under the stars, followed by an evening of boogying to the sounds of this spicy Havana-born multi-instrumentalist and his supergroup on 7/28.

DETAILS:

7/19–9/16 After its 16th season kicks off at Taste of Chicago (7/11–15), the dance party returns to its regular location, with one hour of lessons followed by two hours of live music and dancing in swing, waltz, tango, Latin, disco, and world styles. Some come just for the people-watching. Thu–Sat 6–9:30, Sun 4–7. Free. Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, 601 S Michigan. Details, schedule: chicagosummerdance.org.

 

Photograph: (D’Cuba) Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

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