Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, August 27 through Tuesday, September 2
1 North Coast Music Festival
Music: Easily the music fest most resistant to typecasting, this late summer hodgepodge includes performers as disparate as rapper Snoop Dogg and Baltimore synth-pop group Future Islands. Be sure to look out for local MC Alex Wiley, making his first big festival debut.
8/29–8/31. Single day tickets $69. Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. northcoastfestival.com
2 Roxane Gay
Readings: The prolific novelist and cultural critic reads from her New York Times best-selling collection of essays Bad Feminist. Get there early; the bookstore will be packed.
8/27 at 7:30. Free. Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark. womenandchildrenfirst.com
3 Chicago Jazz Festival
Jazz: Trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, free-jazz auteur David Boykin, and singer Cecile McLorin Salvant are among the highlights at this annual Labor Day weekend pastime. Plus, Sun Ra Arkestra—the avant-garde ensemble named after the late Afrofuturist—will be closing out the fest in a rare live performance.
8/28–8/31. Free. Various times and locations. cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_jazz_festival6.html
4 Artopia Fest
Festivals: The Chicago Urban Art Society hosts this arts festivals featuring performances from dance company Redmoon Theater, sets from local DJs, and a food truck circle.
8/30 at 2. $6. 600 W. Cermak. artopiachicago.com
5 Reasons to Be Happy
TheatER: Neil LaBute is something of a guiding spirit for Profiles Theatre, which has produced 10 of his plays since 2006. The company’s 26th season kicks off with number 11, an uncharacteristically buoyant work that revisits the characters from LaBute’s earlier Reasons to Be Pretty (produced at Profiles in 2011).
8/28–10/12. $30–$40. Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway. profilestheatre.org
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: comedian Adam Burke. The Adam Burke Show happens on Thursday, August 28 at 7 p.m.
“On Friday, I’m doing a show at Saki Record Store; it’s called Freak Happening. It’s a new, monthly showcase. I like to listen to live music after shows, so I usually go to Cole’s Bar after shows. Cole’s always has bands playing in that back room.
“Saturday, I’ll be at the Annoyance Theater for a new show called The Kickback. It’s run by Chris Redd, who’s a very funny, very handsome man who is going to be really famous one day.
“If I wasn’t doing shows and if it was happening this weekend, I’d go to the Windy City Soul Club. It’s my favorite dance night in the city. You just go there and dance and sweat.
“Sunday, I might go to Logan Theatre and watch Boyhood. I like to watch movies on Sundays because it’s a good way to get over a hangover. Then I might go check out Entertaining Julia at Town Hall Pub. It’s always nice and weird. ” —As told to Tomi Obaro
Freebie of the Week
Art: A professor of interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College, Annette Barbier knows how to engage her audiences with experimental installations. Here, she uses a video installation and stencils of pigeons to confront viewers with the accidental deaths of thousands of migratory birds as they smash into the city’s skyscrapers.
Through 9/11. Free. Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter. chicagoartistscoalition.org