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Here’s What’s Happening in Chicago Culture This Week

Chi-Raq has a cast, Chief Keef is playing a benefit show, and Chance the Rapper is debuting a beer.

Chief Keef in 2012.   Photo: Brock Brake/Redeye

Chi-Raq has a cast and rough release date

The wait is over: Amazon Studios officially announced Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq this morning, and your stars are Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, and Samuel L. Jackson. Hollywood Reporter also reports that the film will premiere in theaters in December, qualifying it for Oscar consideration. Lastly, Chi-Raq is still a working title, per Amazon’s press release. Stay tuned.

Chief Keef is doing a benefit show for slain 1-year-old Dillan Harris

The Englewood rapper will perform via hologram from Beverly Hills, Calif., where he’s stuck due to outstanding warrants, in a concert benefiting Dillan Harris, the 13 month–old who died when his stroller was struck by a car fleeing a shooting that killed Keef’s associate Marvin Carr (stage name Capo). Details on the show are scant, but it’s happening Friday and all donated proceeds go to Harris’s family. The show will also be streamed live on filmon.com, per the Tribune.

Pitchfork is nigh

Pitchfork Music Festival is happening this weekend, and we’ve rounded up all the official after-parties for your perusal. Stay tuned throughout the week for our survival guide, food preview, and staff schedules.

Janet Jackson announces a third Chicago show

In light of two instant sellouts for Jackson’s upcoming shows at the Chicago Theatre, the pop star announced a third show on Monday for November 6. Tickets go on sale Monday, July 20 at 10 a.m. with pre-sale available to those who pre-order her forthcoming album. Deets.

Nobody went to the Taste

Well, sort of. Despite sets by Weezer, Erykah Badu, and Spoon, the Tribune reports that Taste of Chicago attendance was down to 1.4 million people this year from 1.5 million in 2013, the last time the event ran five days. This comes after the food/music fest lost $170,000 last year and $1.3 million in 2012 (it turned a profit in 2013). Ruh roh, Rahmbo.

Chance the Rapper is debuting a beer at Pitchfork

For the third year in a row, Pitchfork Fest’s beer sponsor Goose Island will team up with a festival artist to debut a special brew at the festival. This year it’s Chance the Rapper, and the beer is called No Collar, a 5.3% ABV Helles-style lager “for the hardworking people of Chicago,” per the Tribune.

Opening

July 16: Bard Fiction: Commedia Beauregard sets Pulp Fiction in 17th-Century London. City Lit Theatre (1020 W. Bryn Mawr)

Open Now: Janitors to Janitees: A janitor takes over as super and caretaker of a building. Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont)

Open Now: Whatever: Two teenagers navigate love, abuse, and ever-circling adult authority figures. Side Project Theatre (1439 W. Jarvis)

Open Now: Alligator: A woman’s family carts her off to a mental institution. Dream Theatre Company (5026 N. Lincoln)

Open Now: Fugue: Four improvised one-act dramedies. Pendulum Space (1803 W. Byron)

Open Now: The Little Mermaid: Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s shiny take on the Disney original. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier (800 E. Grand)

Open Now: Fancy Nancy: A musical spin on Jane O’Connor’s new-classic picture book. Emerald City Theatre at Broadway Playhouse (175 E. Chestnut)

Open Now: Men of Soul: A musical toast to Bill Withers. Black Ensemble Theater (4450 N. Clark)

Open Now: Anne of Green Gables: A world-premiere adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel. Provision Theater Company (1001 W. Roosevelt)

Open Now: Grand Concourse: An impassioned college dropout derails a disillusioned soup kitchen manager’s time-tested shift. Steppenwolf Theatre (1650 N. Halsted)

Open Now: Beaches: Iris Rainer Dart’s Broadway-bound adaptation of her own novel, which also birthed Garry Marshall’s 1988 film of the same name. Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center (100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace)

Open Now: All Our Tragic, Sean Graney’s bloody 12-hour mashup of all 32 Greek tragedies. The Hypocrites at the Den Theatre (1333 N. Milwaukee)

Open Now: Bent: Martin Sherman’s 1979 look at the Nazis treatment of queer-identifying people. The Other Theater Company at Strawdog Theatre (3829 N. Broadway)

Open Now: Moby Dick: David Catlin’s mondo take on a mondo book about a mondo, mondo fish. Lookingglass Theatre (821 N. Michigan)

Open Now: Inana: An Iraqi museum curator and his bride salvage relics on the eve of the U.S.’s invasion of Baghdad. Kimberly Senior directs. TimeLine Theatre (615 W. Wellington)

Open Now: The Diary of Anne Frank, directed by the unerring Kimberly Senior. Writers Theatre at Books on Vernon (664 Vernon, Glencoe)

Open Now: Game of Thongs: A Game of Thrones Burlesque. Breasteros. Yep. Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee)

Closing

July 18: The Gay Mafia Is Real: A multidisciplinary group show by LGBTQ artists. Western Exhibitions (845 W. Washington)

July 18: Grey Area: Ink drawings by Edie Fake. Western Exhibitions (845 W. Washington)

July 19: The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez: Peter Handke’s red-hot prose poem for the stage. Theatre Y at St. Luke’s Sanctuary (2649 N. Francisco)

July 19: A Work of Art: Henry Godinez directs a new play by Elaine Romero, in which a woman grapples with her brother’s death in the Vietnam War. Chicago Dramatists (1105 W. Chicago)

July 19: Chicago Musical Theatre Festival: A haven for new work in a classics-dominated nook of the theater. The Den Theatre (1333 N. Milwaukee)

July 19: Soon I Will Be Invincible, a musical adaptation of Austin Grossman’s 2007 superhero novel. Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood)

July 19: Jihad: A look at Israel’s struggle with Hamas from the lens of two opposing families who each lose a daughter to violence. Genesis Theatrical Productions at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont)

July 19: The Birds: Conor McPherson’s take on the horror-story Hitchcock made famous. Theatre Wit (1229 W. Belmont)

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