Kurt Elling’s Weekend Plans, Let Freebies Ring

Top picks for the three-day weekend: Two don’t-miss plays … red, white, and blues in Berwyn … what the Grammy winner Kurt Elling is doing this weekend … freebies for all!

A scene from 'The Homosexuals'
FREE TO BE ME Benjamin Sprunger and Patrick Andrews (right) star in About Face’s
The Homosexuals at Victory Gardens.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 06.29.11 through Tue 07.05.11:

1

theatre The Homosexuals
About Face Theatre keeps Pride Month momentum going with a premiere by the Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins. The gifted Patrick Andrews—a young actor equally at home performing in Oak Brook musicals, dramas at Steppenwolf, and police procedurals on prime-time TV—stars as a Midwestern transplant who falls in love with his best friend. (We might be falling in love with this plot right now.)
GO: Through 7/24. $28. About Face Theatre at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. aboutfacetheatre.com

2

theatre A Girl with Sun in Her Eyes
Pine Box Theater began strong in the aughts (2006’s This Is Our Youth) before fading from the scene, like so many other Off-Loop start-ups. Now the company returns with Joshua Rollins’s world-premiere thriller about a missing cop, featuring a killer cast (Karen Aldridge, Audrey Francis).
GO: 6/30–8/7. $35. Pine Box Theater at the Second Stage, 3408 N Sheffield. pineboxtheater.org

3

concerts American Music Festival
Not only is it the most all-American way to celebrate this Fourth of July weekend, it’s just about one of the best times to be had all year, with continuous music on two stages from midafternoon to well past midnight. Performers include the delightful boogie pianist Marcia Ball, the country-blues belter Tracy Nelson, the country-soul outfit Dave Gonzalez and his Stone River Boys, New Orleans’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the twin-necked guitar wizard Junior Brown, and the roots-rock hero Dave Alvin.
GO: 7/1 from 4:30 p.m. to 3 a.m., 7/2 from noon to 3 a.m., 7/3 from noon to 2 a.m. $25–$30 per day, $75 three-day pass. FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn. fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Gone are the back-to-back 7/3 and 7/4 fireworks displays, but Navy Pier still offers lakeside pyrotechnics day of.

4

concerts Chicago Blues: A Living History
Five staples of the Chicago blues scene—the harmonica players Billy Boy Arnold and Billy Branch, and the guitarists Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson, and John Primer—play songs from their new release. These guys’ gig at the 2010 Chicago Blues Festival was electrifying; seeing them up close in an intimate venue should be even more so.
GO: 7/1 at 9. $20. Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S Wabash. buddyguys.com

5

museums Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight
This Smithsonian traveling exhibit begins with the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and works forward, spotlighting milestones in African American aviation over the last 65 years, including Guy Bluford’s four shuttle missions as the first African American in space. Go this weekend for the exhibit’s opening, or wait until 7/9–10 and browse artisanal goodies alfresco at the DuSable’s 37th annual Arts & Crafts Festival.
GO: 7/2–9/25. Museum open Tue–Sat 10–5, Sun noon–5; closed 7/4. Free (kids under 5) to $10; free Sun. DuSable Museum, 740 E 56th. dusablemuseum.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Jazz artist Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: the Chicago expat and Grammy-winning jazz crooner Kurt Elling, back in town for two nights at the Green Mill.

“If we’re talking food, it will have to be quick and somehow near enough to the Green Mill to make it work out for timing. I won’t have time for chic, fancy stuff. There is a killing taqueria at the corner of Montrose and Lincoln—super-bad-for-you food, but the best. I’ll also try to stop by Lutz’s, which is just up the block. They have a charming little garden out back and the best creamed herring in Chicago. (I guess I won’t do those two on the same day.) If I have time to head down to Hyde Park, then I’ll fall by Rajun Cajun for some homemade Indian food—yep, Indian food at a place called Rajun Cajun.

“I’ll be sorry not to have the chance to make any of the Summerdance and Millennium Park events, but there you go. I’m doing 200 nights on the road this year. Such is the life.”

GO: Elling plays with the Laurence Hobgood Trio and John McLean 7/1 at 9 and 7/2 at 8. $15. Green Mill, 4802 N Broadway. greenmilljazz.com

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

galleries Theaster Gates: An Epitaph for Civil Rights and Other Domesticated Structures
Time is dwindling to see Gates’s sold-out exhibit at Kavi Gupta. Even encased in elegant frames and hanging on pristine gallery walls, the artist’s fire hoses remain charged with reverberations of the civil rights movement. Don’t miss them.
GO: Through 7/9. Gallery open Tue–Fri 10–6, Sat 11–5. Kavi Gupta, 835 W Washington. kavigupta.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Another look at America, this time from above: Greg Stimac’s Empire, a black-and-white video of Chicago-area fireworks filmed from a helicopter’s berth, could easily be mistaken for a bird’s-eye view of battlefield explosions. See it through 7/2 at Andrew Rafacz.

film The Social Network
Still haven’t seen this year’s Oscar winner? Movies in the Parks has you covered.
GO: 7/5 at dusk. Montgomery Ward Park, 630 N Kingsbury. Full film schedule: chicagoparkdistrict.com

 

Photography: (THE HOMOSEXUALS) Jonathan L. Green

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