Don’t-miss picks for June 14 through June 20, 2018
1 Craft Brews at the Zoo
Festival:Toast the polar bear Talini with your choice of more than 120 craft beers for a grown-up night at the zoo. VIP ticket holders ($79) get to soak up their IPAs with snacks in a private lounge to accompany a DJ dance party and lawn games.
6/15–16 at 6 p.m. $20–$79. Lincoln Park Zoo. lpzoo.org
2 David Blaine Live
Magic:With his masterful illusions and dizzying feats of endurance, Blaine has created a category of performance art that he shares with few contemporaries. And there are few things more captivating than his unnerving sleights and stunts.
6/16 at 8 p.m. $40–$205. Chicago Theatre. ticketmaster.com
3 Graham Lambkin and Joe McPhee
New Music:Lambkin is a sound artist who savors atmospheric audio samples like electronic crackles; McPhee is a noted jazz saxophonist in his late 70s. They join forces for a collaboration, presented by the experimental music series Lampo, that reveals their unlikely musical friendship and promises to be surprising.
FREE 6/16 at 8 p.m. Graham Foundation. lampo.org
4 Renegade Craft Fair
Festival:Renegade has long been a destination for charming handmade gifts, yet the arts-and-crafts market is also an under-the-radar boon to last-minute Father’s Day shoppers. Better yet, bring Dad along to pick his own present—it’s not every day you get the shop for tchotchkes in the shadow of one of America’s most historic ballparks.
FREE 6/17 at 11 a.m. Gallagher Way. renegadecraft.com
5 That’s Weird, Grandma: Brand New Stories
Theater:If you’ve never seen the delightfully unhinged creativity of Barrel of Monkeys, you’re missing out. Its compendium of skits, based on short stories written by Chicago schoolchildren, is a sublime combination of silliness and profundity.
6/18–7/16 at 8 p.m. $5–$15. Barrel of Monkeys at the Neo-Futurist Theatre. barrelofmonkeys.org
6 Parallel Lives
Art:The world’s first realistic portrait drawing was made by tracing a person’s shadowed silhouette cast by firelight on a wall—or so ancient Roman legend goes. This survey of new portraits by some of the best practitioners in the genre, such as Inka Essenhigh and Basil Kincaid, exemplifies the ensuring magic of a centuries-old art form.
FREE 6/16–8/25. Kavi Gupta Gallery. kavigupta.com
7 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Classical:Music director Riccardo Muti leads the second to last program in the orchestra’s classical performances of the season. Muti tackles two soviets, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, calling in Yo-Yo Ma for Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2.
6/14–16. $36–$250. Symphony Center. cso.org
8 Charles White: A Retrospective
Art:Raised on the South Side, White became a fixture of the city’s Black Renaissance with his stirring paintings, prints, and murals depicting African American struggles and successes. He died in 1979 but his bold portraits have influenced contemporary masters (Kerry James Marshall described visiting White’s studio as a “life altering experience”).
6/8–9/3. $14–$22. Art Institute of Chicago. artic.edu
9 North Shore Chamber Music Festival
Classical:Violinist Vadim Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe generally take their artistry from their north-suburban home to the international touring circuit, but every June they bring top-flight chamber music to a smallish nearby church. Here they’ve booked the ambitious Ariel String Quartet, and the festival’s ensemble gives the American premiere of Peteris Vasks’s Music Serena.
6/13–16. $15–$50 per concert; $20–$120 festival pass. Village Presbyterian Church. nscmf.org
10 Fiesta Puertorriqueñas
Festival:When summer in Chicago hits, so do the parties in Humboldt Park. This festival is a four-day celebration of Puerto Rican heritage. It brings delicious food, carnival rides, and live Latin music to the park and surrounding area. On Saturday, June 16, the Puerto Rican People’s Parade will march on Division from Western to Sacramento in a show of respect and pride for Puerto Rico.
FREE 6/15–18. Sacramento and North Avenue. thepuertoricanfestival.com