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Best things to do in Chicago in August

POCKET GUIDE: A cultural short-list for August, in order of buzz

Joan Jett
See Joan Jett at Market Days

Ranked from highest profile to biggest surprise

LOLLAPALOOZAS Plural, as in our beloved music fest in Grant Park (8/6-8) and John Adams’s 1995 orchestral composition, part of the Grant Park Music Festival (8/4).

DUSK VARIATIONS 8/2–23 Or blend the chamber and the pop, then shake it like a Polaroid picture when this series launches with Portland Cello Project covering Outkast in Millennium Park.

CHICAGO DANCING FESTIVAL 8/26–28 Dancing: reps from top troupes, including Alvin Ailey and the Royal Ballet. Not dancing: anyone who didn’t snag a free ticket back in July.

TALL SHIPS CHICAGO 8/24–29 A fleet of 25 masted vessels docks at Navy Pier. Finally, a mode of transportation befitting Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

JOAN JETT 8/8 With inflation, it’s about the same as putting another dime in the jukebox: When Jett headlines Market Days, admission is a scant $7. Also: Iggy Pop at the Aragon (8/29).

ART ON TRACK 8/7 Ten bucks for an el ride? Yes, when it’s a one-night-only gallery on rails. (Hey, the way CTA fares are going, get used to it.)

ONE-MINUTE FILM FESTIVAL 8/13 Here’s hoping 60 seconds is also the maximum wait time at the cash bar when shorts and booze take over the Art Institute’s Pritzker Garden.

DENTAL SOCIETY MIDWINTER MEETING Through 8/7 Dentistry’s best shot at a Tony since Little Shop of Horrors? This premiere from Chicago’s own Wasserstein Prize–winning playwright, Laura Jacqmin.

DREK FEST 8/2–16 The spiritual antithesis of our Best of Chicago roundup, Stage Left’s hunt for the worst 10-minute play is so bad it’s good. For just plain good, see ”Dental Society,” right.

PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS: A LOVE STORY Through 8/7 The surgery-inducing, teeth-removing, gender-swapping love story of Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye Breyer brought new meaning to “body of work.” Relive the performance artists’ oeuvre at Western Exhibitions.


Photograph: Courtesy of Special Events Management


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