Fusion is an overused buzzword these days, with inconsistent results. But here’s a combo that actually works: The troupe Chicago Dance Crash pairs Shaolin kung fu with contemporary moves. Imagine the athleticism of contemporary dance and the energy of a kung-fu flick-without any bad dubbing. The troupe’s current production, Tiger Prawn: The Mountain Mover, tells the story of a girl who learns the secrets of the world on her journey to becoming a martial arts master. The show opens Friday, June 29th, and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m., through July 15th at Storefront Theater (66 E. Randolph St.; 312-742-8497). Tickets range from $15 to $20.
Best Bets for Things to Do This Week
• Celebrate the Fourth like the forefathers intended-with lots of music, booze, and food, of course-at the American Music Festival. From Friday, June 29th through Tuesday, July 3rd, suburban gem FitzGerald’s (6615 Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn; 708-788-2118) hosts non-stop rock, blues, country, jazz, and Cajun music on three stages. Performances run until midnight most nights; tickets range from $5 to $25 and are available at the gate only. Visit fitzgeraldsnightclub.com for a full lineup.
• Just call it the Men with Lots of Feelings Tour. Crooning guitarist John Mayer teams up with piano destroyer Ben Folds at Charter One Pavilion (at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Dr.; 312-559-1212), 7 p.m. Friday, June 29th. Tickets run $35.50 to $55.50.
• Or kick it old-school with two pioneering bands. Nineties group Cowboy Junkies plays Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.; 312-559-1212) Friday, June 29th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. And folk-punk band Violent Femmes performs without a set list-the group calls its songs onstage-at Durty Nellie’s Irish Pub (180 N. Smith St., Palatine; 847-358-9150) Saturday, June 30th at 9 p.m. Tickets are $27.
• You don’t have to go looking for hotties-Chicago has found them for you. Mingle with the magazine’s 2007 most desirable singles at the annual Summer Lovin’ event, featuring drinks, appetizers, raffles, and a silent auction. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 29th at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.). Tickets run $75 to $85 and are available at the door and at summerlovin.net. Proceeds benefit the Prostate Cancer Gene Therapy Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
• Check out next-generation auteurs at the Future Filmmakers Festival, Friday, June 29th and Saturday, June 30th at Columbia College (1104 S. Wabash Ave., 7th floor; 312-683-0121 ext.117). The fest screens 100 shorts by directors age 20 or younger-and we’re talking the work of real ingénues here, not shot-by-shot Star Wars remakes. Screenings run in one-hour blocks from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days; tickets are free at the door.
• Prefer your cartoons a little darker than Disney? Edward Gorey’s gothic, macabre graphic art comes to life in Gorey Stories: A Musical Entertainment at Theater on the Lake (2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.; 312-742-7994). The show begins at 7:30 p.m. nightly Wednesday, July 4th through Saturday, July 7th, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8th. Tickets are $17.50.
• Zg Gallery (300 W. Superior St.; 312-654-9900) hosts an exercise in “ugly beautiful” with the truly surreal exhibit Wonderland of Decay, featuring Suzy Poling’s photos of abandoned mental hospitals and amusement parks. The show runs through July 7th.