Don’t-miss picks for August 23 through August 29, 2018
1 The Brink! or Nobody’s Ever Kissed Me Like That…
Theater:This trippy mash-up of cabaret, drama, dance, poetry, pop, and jazz is a surreal spectacle set in a postapocalyptic pub frequented by survivors quoting Gertrude Stein and Lesley Gore.
8/23–25. $15–$25. Steppenwolf Theatre. steppenwolf.org
2 Taste of Greektown
Festival:Every year, the Chicago Greektown Chamber of Commerce hosts this culinary jamboree to celebrate Hellenic culture. Enjoy music from Greek bands as you eat your way down this stretch of South Halsted Street, where neighborhood restaurants will be serving everything from moussaka to spanakopita. On the lineup is the festival’s first-ever gyro-eating contest, in which eight hungry participants race to chow down a platter of spit-roasted beef and lamb meat.
FREE 8/24–26. Halsted and Van Buren. greektownchicago.org
3 CTA Drawings
Art:For Dmitry Samarov’s next solo show, the local painter and writer captures a slice of Chicago life: quick, colorful, and poignant sketches of people he encounters on city trains and buses. “I feel a little bit like a crazy person riding from end to end of the Green or Orange Line with a thrift-store purse full of markers around my neck,” he says.
FREE 8/24–9/20. Firecat Projects. firecatprojects.org
4 Chicago SummerDance
Dance:No summer is complete without taking in one of the city’s most popular public programs, which offers group instruction, live music, and outdoor dancing. The whole thing culminates with an all-day spectacle on August 25: Start with lunch on the lawn at Wrigley Square, followed by footwork competitions, a celebratory concert at Pritzker Pavilion, and a DJ dance party at Cloud Gate.
FREE Through 8/25. Various neighborhoods and venues. cityofchicago.org
5 Big Evanston Block Party
Festival:Evanston music hall Space rings in 10 years with a two-day street festival. Guided By Voices, Old 97’s, and others will bring the tunes, and Half Acre Beer Company will provide the booze.
FREE 8/25–26. Chicago and Dempster. evanstonspace.com
6 A Body Measured Against the Earth
Art:This conceptual exhibit takes up a thought experiment — measuring distance using only the human body as a yardstick — and applies it to contemporary art. Take, for instance, Ana Mendieta, the Cuban American who in the 1970s traced her shadows with soil and partially buried her naked body in order to pose as an earth goddess.
8/25–4/7. $8–$15. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. mcachicago.org
7 Midnight Circus in the Parks
Circus:This reimagining of the big top — the debut event in a series of performances taking place in various neighborhoods — brings together the city’s best acrobats with contemporary clowns, jugglers, and four-legged friends, all while raising money for Chicago parks.
8/25–26. $5. Garfield Park Field House. midnightcircus.net
8 Gilbert Kalish, Sō Percussion, and Dawn Upshaw
New Music:Two long pieces cut from the same unusual cloth share a program: the 30-something composer Caroline Shaw’s Narrow Sea and the 80-something George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny. Both contemporary works elaborate American folk melodies and showcase rare instrumentation — performed here by the soprano Upshaw, the pianist Kalish, and the quartet Sō Percussion.
8/27 at 7:30 p.m. $10–$60. Ravinia. ravinia.org
9 Rush Hour Concerts
Classical:For its final installment of the 2018 summer season the International Music Foundation presents a hymn to the maestro with his choral-orchestral Chichester Psalms, an angular, rhythmic work setting psalms in Hebrew to tonal, tuneful accompaniment.
FREE 8/28 at 5:45 p.m. St. James Cathedral. imfchicago.org
10 Chicago Jazz Festival
Jazz:This annual festival celebrates its 40th anniversary by hosting some heavy hitters. On Thursday, flutist Nicole Mitchell and her Black Earth Ensemble will play their 2017 album Mandorla Awakening II; two days later, legendary pianist Ramsey Lewis performs a headlining gig; and the next day, trumpeter Jaimie Branch appears with her Fly or Die outfit, and P-Funk saxophonist Maceo Parker pops in to close out the fest.
FREE 8/29-9/2. Grant Park. chicagojazzfestival.us