Don’t-miss picks for July 19 through July 25, 2017
1 In the Blue Light: Stories of India
Dance:The Natya Dance Theatre retells stories of ancient Indian mythology through expressive, intricately costumed dance theater.
FREE 7/19 at 5:30 p.m. Maggie Daley Park. natya.com
2 Drive-By Truckers
Country:With the nation—and their fan base—divided firmly along partisan lines, Drive-By Truckers recorded one of the best protest albums in years. Nico Lang of Salon said 2016’s American Band is to our moment what Green Day’s American Idiot was to the Bush era: music that speaks truth to power, even at the risk of alienating its audience.
FREE 7/20 at 6:30 p.m. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. millenniumpark.org
3 Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia
Theater:The latest from Cirque du Soleil is a Mexican-inspired affair that draws from wildlife, architecture, and Aztec history. Displays by elite contortionists and acrobats merge with music and over-the-top wardrobe in a show that goes for broke in the way of spectacle.
7/21–9/3. $25–$275. United Center. cirquedusoleil.com/luzia
4 A Broadway Romance
Classical:Broadway veterans Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana (of Frozen fame) join the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus to perform a roster of romance-themed selections from shows like West Side Story, Carousel, and The Light in the Piazza.
FREE 7/21–22. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. millenniumpark.org
5 A Midsummer Night’s Daydream
Theater:Lookingglass cofounder David Catlin created a raucous adaptation of the classic Shakespeare tale using a blend of theater, music, and circus arts.
7/21–30. $6–$25. Ethel M. Barber Theater at Northwestern University. wirtz.northwestern.edu
6 Luis Sahagun
Art:Sculptor and painter Luis Sahagun ambitiously expands his work into sound art, performance, and even clairvoyance. During this exhibit’s opening reception, masked dancers will perform a ritual meant to contact the spirits of victims of gun violence and other social injustices, including the artist’s deceased friends and family members.
FREE 7/21–8/10. Chicago Artists Coalition. chicagoartistscoalition.org
Rock:After 40 years, Blondie still has it. As her ’70s peers call it quits one by one, lead singer Debbie Harry continues to release music with the same spirit that made her a superstar (see this year’s Pollinator). Expect a trip through Blondie’s old hits (“Heart of Glass,” “Atomic”) as well as new material (the infectious “Long Time” or the on-the-nose “Fun”).
7/22 at 6:30 p.m. $38–$90. Ravinia. ravinia.org
8 Chicago Craft Beer Festival
Festival:Held in conjunction with the Sheffield Music Festival and Garden Walk, Chicago’s sixth annual craft beer fest celebrates the abundance of specialty beer in Chicago, the Midwest, and beyond with a private tasting area and live music. Sip samples of more than 70 brews from Argus Brewing, Moody Tongue Brewing, Pollyanna Brewing Company, and many others. Plus, you get to take home a souvenir tasting glass.
7/22–23 at noon. $35–$40. 1010 W. Webster Ave. craftbeerfestivalchicago.com
9 J. Cole
Hip-Hop:Meet the rapper who went platinum with no featured artists on his album—an anomaly in hip-hop. So what exactly makes J. Cole so compelling? In a word, stories. Take the 2016 song “Neighbors,” which relates a SWAT raid on a house Cole was renting in North Carolina. His neighbors suspected he was selling drugs from the home; none were found.
7/24 at 8 p.m. $58–$686. United Center. ticketmaster.com
10 An American in Paris
Theater:The lavish tour of the Broadway blockbuster features a compendium of Gershwin brothers hits (“I Got Rhythm,” “ ’S Wonderful”) and a feel-good romance between an ex-soldier and a French woman. The dancing is spectacular, the music glorious, and the story heartwarming. Who could ask for anything more?
7/25–8/23. $24–$157. Broadway in Chicago at Oriental Theatre. broadwayinchicago.com