Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, July 27 through August 2, 2016
1 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Classical:Robert Schumann scribbled reams of piano music: It was his sole output for the first 10 years of his career. Only one piano concerto, however, made its way into his catalog. The blazing young Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov propels the powerful Concerto in A Minor into the night air, followed by Dvořák most famous symphony, No. 9, “From the New World.”
8/2 at 8 p.m. $10–$75. The Pavilion at Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park, Highland Park. ravinia.org
Festival:It’s hard to believe that Lolla—once a Jane’s Addiction farewell tour—turns 25 this year. The festival celebrates by expanding to four days and billing heyday acts Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If 300,000-person crowds and $8 Budweisers aren’t up your alley, peruse the after-parties at do312.com/lollaaftershows.
7/28–31. Sold out; see resellers. Grant Park. lollapalooza.com
3 Newberry Book Fair
Books:This massive used-book sale offers more than 120,000 books, movies, and records, many priced at $3 or less. Want to beat the crowds? Become a Newberry member and shop on the preview night.
7/28–31. Free. Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. newberry.org
Theater:Witness astounding acrobatics in this feel-good story about scrappy urchins forcing Gilded Age robber barons to pay a fair wage. No matter your politics, you’ll be cheering for the newsboys’ fledgling union by the final curtain.
7/28–8/7. $35–$100. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com
5 Tall Ships Chicago
Recreation:The awesomely vertical vessels of Tall Ships Chicago are stunning examples of gorgeous form and function. Tour 14 galleons, schooners, brigantines, and fireboats, or sail off on one and spend hours learning what seamanship was like before the advent of motors.
7/27–31. $10–$79. Navy Pier. navypier.com/tall-ships-chicago-2016
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Eve Ewing, sociologist, writer, and co-director, with poet Nate Marshall, of Crescendo Literary, who hosts the Chicago Poetry Block Party this Saturday in Bronzeville.
“On Friday, I’m leading the first-ever incubator for emerging poets at the Poetry Foundation. We’re bringing together a cohort of 27 community-engaged artists—people for whom art is a way to engage with the community, whether that’s through podcasting, working as a teaching artist, a poet, whatever, people who see that work as part and parcel to being an artist. We’ll also be hearing talks from poet Ross Gay. The incubator itself is not open to the public, but the Poetry Foundation is, and it has this beautiful library and place to sit outside. I’m also very late on seeing the Kerry James Marshall exhibit at the MCA since I just moved back to Chicago from Boston. And, if I’m being honest, I’ll probably go to Shake Shack.
“On Saturday morning, we’re having all the poets for brunch at Pearl’s Place in Bronzeville. Like I said, I’ve been living in Boston for five years, and it’s not exactly a soul food capitol of the world—so I’m really excited for some grits and chicken and waffles for lunch.
“Then, all day Saturday, we’ll be doing the Chicago Poetry Block Party from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 3700 block of South Wabash. I’m reading, [Crescendo co-director] Nate [Marshall] is reading, and I’m especially excited to see Ravyn Lenae. She’s a really talented, young, soulful singer of genre-bending work. I’ll also call out Porsha Olayiwola. She’s a poet from Chicago, but lives in Boston, so she doesn’t often perform here. She’s one of the most electrifying performers I know. She’s won every poetry slam award in the book, including the National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Whether you’re a poetry-lover or not, you can expect to come have a really good time. And Saturday night, I’m going to Party Noire at the Promontory.
“On Sunday, there’s a picnic celebrating the first anniversary of Assata’s Daughters. They’re a group who’s been at the forefront of a lot of recent activism, including campaign to out Anita Alvarez as state’s attorney. That’s an open barbecue at Ronnieman Park, at 53rd and King—it’s the part of Washington Park they renamed for Ronald Johnson, a man killed by police a few years ago. I’ll also be supporting the Freedom Square occupation across from the Homan CPD “black site,” probably reading or doing arts activities with kids. Everyone should come support.
“Sunday night, I will probably try to sleep. I’m reading If You Weren’t Looking for It, which is a book about the history of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. The book commemorates the move of the bookstore from its old location to its new location with photos and essays—it was just released. I’ll also try and watch the various O.J. Simpson TV shows I have piling up.” —As told to Matt Pollock
Freebie of the Week
Art:After visiting a Costa Rican cloud forest, artists Jenny Kendler and Brian Kirkbride returned to find the Fern Room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory eerily quiet. In response, they composed synthetic bird and insect songs for this installment of the conservatory’s ongoing sound-art series.
7/31–11/27. Free. Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton. experimentalsoundstudio.org