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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

There’s this thing called the Pitchfork Music Festival—and more!

KING KENDRICK Catch Lamar and a bunch of other acts at Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend.   Photo: Carolyn von Houten/Chicago Tribune

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, July 16 through Tuesday, July 22

1 Pitchfork Music Festival

Music: For those who remember Pitchfork when it was a quirky little thing called Intonation: It’s so not that any more. Having exploded into one of the “it” events on the summer scene, the festival draws attendees from around the globe for the fashion, celebrity spotting, and sometimes even the music. Sets by Beck, reunited Neutral Milk Hotel and Slowdive, and fest vets St. Vincent, Grimes, and Kendrick Lamar are hot items this year.
7/18–20. $60 tickets for Friday still available. Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. pitchforkmusicfestival.com

2 The Jungle

Theatre: Matt Foss directs his own adaptation of the book that spawned a million temporary vegetarians. Set in Chicago’s stockyards during the early 20th century, Upton Sinclair’s novel exposed the squalid working conditions and stalled dreams of the immigrants working there. Foss aims for the same heart-wrenching, stomach-turning impact.
7/19–9/6. Free. Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway. publicaccesstheatre.org

3 Chicago Folks Operetta

Classical: Chicago Folks Operetta brings its singing, staging, and—uniquely—translating talents to the kooky farce ‘Ball at the Savoy,’ by the Hungarian Paul Abraham, in its American premiere.
7/18–8/3. $35–$40. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. chicagofolksoperetta.org

4 Chinatown Summer Fair

Fairs: Spend your Sunday enjoying a lively celebration that will feature a dragon and lion dance procession, music, street vendors, and Chinese arts and crafts.
7/20 at 10. Free. Wentworth from Cermak to 24th. chinatownspecialevents.org

5 Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival

Festivals: Tour more than 80 themed gardens and go on an architectural tour at this popular horticultural showcase.
7/19–20. $7–$10 donation. Sheffield and Webster. sheffieldgardenwalk.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Brian Babylon
Brian Babylon Photo: Courtesy of Brian Babylon

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Brian Babylon, comedian and radio show host. Bronzeville Comedy Showcase takes place on Wednesday, July 16 at 8 p.m.

“I usually work on the weekends, at the Laugh Factory or the Comedy Bar or Up Comedy Club. I like Laugh Factory. It has a very good, mixed crowd and I love the dirty martinis. Very classy drink. I always stop by Crisp beforehand for some Korean style fried chicken and rice.

“Saturday, I wake up and head over to a secret yoga class that I’ve been taking that meets at 39th Street Beach. It was a gift from a friend. I also like to catch NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, especially if I’m on it. Then I’ll work again at the Laugh Factory, then maybe pop in for a set at Comedy Bar.

“Sunday, I like to go to 5 Loaves Eatery; it’s good soul food for under 10 bucks. I love the fried tilapia and grits, and they’ve got fried fish, scrambled eggs, and Tiger Wolfs, which are really Arnold Palmers but they call them Tiger Wolfs.

“Then I like to go to Entertaining Julia, a free comedy show on Sunday nights put on by the Puterbaugh sisters at Town Hall Pub, my favorite dive bar ever. They have a photo booth and the tiniest bathroom in the world. I’m never able to close the door.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


Chicago Latin Jazz Festival

Jazz: The annual weekend shindig takes place in Humboldt Park Boathouse for its eighth year. Headliners include trombonist William Cepeda and congas player Johnny Bias.
7/18–19. Free. Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 N. Sacremento. jazzinchicago.org

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