Don’t-miss picks for August 16 through August 22, 2018
1 LSD Tour
Country:On this cheekily named triple bill, bona fide country legends (Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Dwight Yoakam) hit the stage for an evening of edgy Americana. Country music skeptics take note: Each of the featured acts has a more storied and nuanced legacy than your average honky-tonk crooner. Williams was long considered an outsider by the Nashville mainstream for uncompromising songcraft and politics; Earle writes protest songs and jams with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello; and L.A.-dwelling Yoakam drops rootsy covers of punk and glam-rock songs into his extensive repertoire.
8/16 at 7 p.m. $48–$316. Chicago Theatre. ticketmaster.com
2 Matana Roberts
Jazz:The experimental saxophonist Roberts brings her inventive style of jazz to the Art Institute for what promises to be an engrossing performance.
8/16 at 6 p.m. $5–$10. Art Institute of Chicago. artic.edu
3 Grant Park Music Festival
Classical:Chicago’s annual cultural gift wraps this weekend with Dvořák’s symphonic poem The Water Goblin and Carl Orff’s profane cantata Carmina Burana, a set of songs for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra based on 13th-century monastic scribblings. The movement “O Fortuna” begins and ends Carmina and also echoes through numerous movie trailers and sports intros.
FREE 8/17–18. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. grantparkmusicfestival.com
4 Nightmares and Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier
Theater:If the six-episode fourth season of Black Mirror left you howling for more, head to Ed Rutherford’s adaptation of sci-fi legend Collier’s dystopian work.
8/17–9/15. $17–$32. Athenaeum Theatre. blackbuttoneyes.com
5 Jacob Saunders: Per Aspera Ad Astra
Art:For this solo exhibition, the local artist uses drawing to explore the legacy of rocket engineer Jack Parsons. Before his death in 1952 in a mysterious explosion during the height of the Red Scare, the cofounder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory dabbled in the occult and was known for promoting travel via astral projection, or soul journeys, to other planets and dimensions. It’s perfect fodder for an artist like Saunders, whose work investigates the unconscious impulses that drive human action.
FREE Through 8/18. Bert Green Fine Art. bgfa.us
6 Beach House
Rock:The Baltimore duo’s seventh album, 7, is its shortest, but nonetheless one of its most eloquent, experimental, and progressive. Here, Beach House leans into sounds it has only flirted with in the past. Think rippling guitar textures, maximalist synth construction, and rock ’n’ roll reverb that’s more in line with ’90s rock than the kind of off-kilter folk that was a hallmark of the band’s earlier efforts. And like their recordings, the group’s live shows have improved, with detailed, multicolored light shows timed to each beat and riff.
8/18 at 7:30 p.m. $60–$134. Chicago Theatre. ticketmaster.com
7 Dance for Life
Dance:Since 1992, this annual fundraiser has gathered members of the dance community for a top-of-the-line concert to raise money for HIV/AIDS organizations. This year, see Hubbard Street Dance Chicago perform Lou Conte’s iconic The 40s and Joffrey Ballet take on Myles Thatcher’s Body of Your Dreams.
8/18 at 7:30 p.m. $15–$75. Auditorium Theatre. chicagodancersunited.org
8 Marin Alsop
Classical:The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor leads the final of her six tributes to Leonard Bernstein at Ravinia this summer, on the occasion of what would have been his 100th birthday: Symphony No. 1, which spotlights the mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges as soloist.
8/18–19. $10–$90. Ravinia. ravinia.org
9 Kultura Festival
Festival:The main attraction at this Filipino culture fest is the food lineup, assembled by Filipino Kitchen. Participants include Kathy Poland, whose food truck, Taste of the Philippines, regularly graces the Daley Plaza Farmers’ Market, and Carlo Lamagna, whose first restaurant, Magna, is slated to open in the fall in Portland, Oregon.
8/19 at 11 a.m. $5–$15. Emporium. filipino.kitchen
10 Jonathan Biss
Classical:In the midst of the pianist’s nine-year project of recording all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, Biss finishes a somewhat similar three-year project of performing all 32 live in seven Ravinia concerts. Beethoven buffs will recognize the longest, No. 29 (“Hammerklavier”), capping the August 21 program, and No. 8 (“Pathétique”) and No. 32 bookending the August 22 finale.
8/21–22. $10. Ravinia. ravinia.org