Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, August 17 through August 23, 2016
1 Chicago Air and Water Show
Recreation:Every August, this gawkathon renders North Avenue Beach all but impassible for one seemingly eternal weekend. Dozens of aircraft, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, take off into the wild blue yonder, while air show celebrity Herb Hunter—who’s narrated the event since 1988—talks viewers through the aerial acrobatics.
8/20–21. Free. North Avenue Beach. cityofchicago.org
2 Drum Roll Please
Art:It’s not every day you see a steamroller drive over works of art. The massive and steady pressure of the rolling drum, which typically smooths asphalt, here churns out woodcut prints as large as eight feet, from progressive printmakers like Liz Born, in an outdoor spectacle that also includes food trucks and kid-friendly crafts.
8/20 at 11 a.m. Free. Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, 4912 N. Western. chicagoprintmakers.com
3 The Fly Honey Show VII
Burlesque:The Inconvenience’s Erin Kilmurray presents the seventh Fly Honey Show, a night of alternative burlesque rooted in body positivity and feminism.
8/18–9/3. $22 general admission (limited number of tickets at the door); $80 VIP (tickets online). Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. chopintheatre.com
4 Lit Crawl Chicago
Live Lit:Chicago’s storytelling scene is having a moment. That’s the general idea behind this one-night-only performance-palooza in Andersonville. Members of the city’s literati will take the stage, simultaneously, in three hour-long blocks across a handful of the neighborhood's most beloved venues, including Hopleaf and Simon’s.
8/18 at 6 p.m. Free. Various venues. litquake.org
5 Wizard World Comic Con
Convention:Rub shoulders with Carrie Fisher, Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Gillian Anderson, Norman Reedus, and Bruce Campbell at this annual ode to all things pop.
8/18–21. $40–$95. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River, Rosemont. wizardworld.com/comiccon/chicago
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Jay Franke, co-artistic director of the Chicago Dancing Festival, which celebrates its 10th year of free dance performances next Tuesday, August 23.
“I started this festival in 2006 with my friend Lar Lubovitch. Ten years, hundreds of companies, and thousands of dancers later, here we are performing across five different venues over five days—and, as co-creative director, I’ll be running around crazily to each one of them. I’m wearing my comfiest shoes this weekend.
“In addition to the logistical stuff, I’ll be playing host for all the choreographers and dancers at hotels around the Loop—I have to be in seven places at once, but I’d have it no other way. The lobby of the Chicago Athletic Hotel is my home base at the moment. I’m married to Millennium Park, and nowhere else near the park has that classic Chicago style. We have a lot of people in from the coasts, and I have to make sure they see the best the city has to offer. We’ll have a reception at the White City Ballroom on Friday. We also have a lot of guests staying at the Palmer House Hotel, so I’ll be spending some time at Potter’s as well.
“I’ll probably have to hold some lunch meetings at Remington’s this weekend—it’s another go-to spot around the park. And, since I’m a SoHo House junkie, I’m sure I’ll end up at the Fox Bar at some point. It’s a favorite post-performance stop and it’s great for groups.
“If I have time for anything else, it’ll be a quick stop by the MCA for the Kerry James Marshall exhibit. The museum is right near my apartment, and on crazy days, it’s very grounding to stop in for half an hour and refocus. I’m a visual guy—even if it’s just for 10, 15 minutes, it really gives me a boost to stop in at the MCA or the Art Institute.
“Finally, on Monday, I have a pre-festival tradition of dinner and drinks with my co-director at Kiki’s Bistro in River North. It’s the perfect, secluded place for us to meet and work out any final kinks in our game plan. It’s also the place where, once upon a time, we conceived of the festival over a bottle of Bordeaux.” —As told to John Hardberger
Freebie of the Week
Chicago Dancing Festival
Dance:This series of freebies returns for its 10th year, featuring choreographers Joshua Beamish, Silas Riener and Rashaun Mitchell, Brian Brooks, Rennie Harris, and Aszure Barton. The Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago bookend the festival, with audience favorite Episode 31, by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman, anchoring opening night.
8/23–27. Free. Various venues. chicagodancingfestival.com