Don’t-miss picks for July 6 through July 11, 2017
1 Taste of Chicago
Festival:Yes, Taste of Chicago can be messy: The crowds, the ticketing process, and the perpetual portable toilet shortage are enough to make a person want to stay home and heat up leftovers. But where else can turkey legs, gluten-free tamales, and gelato-brioche ice-cream sandwiches all live together in harmony? On the musical side of the equation, this year boasts sets by Ben Harper, Passion Pit, the O’Jays, and Twin Peaks.
7/5–9. Free–$50. Grant Park. cityofchicago.org
2 Samaria Rice: A Mother Speaks
Talk:In the aftermath of her son’s death, Samaria Rice—mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by Cleveland police in 2014—wanted the gazebo where he died to be deconstructed. It was eventually acquired by Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation, who here hosts Rice in a talk about the repurposed memorial.
7/7 at 6 p.m. Free with RSVP. Stony Island Arts Bank. rebuild-foundation.org
3 Ruido Fest
Festival:This three-year-old event (organized by the group behind Riot Fest) focuses on Spanish-language rock, punk, ska, hip-hop, electronica, norteño, and more. Headliners include Cultura Profetica, Molotov, and Mon Laferte.
7/7–9, various times. $60–$250. Addams/Medill Park. ruidofest.com
4 West Fest
Festival:With a little booking help from the Empty Bottle, this street fest offers a robust lineup of well-respected acts, including soulful Chicago rapper Femdot, indie rockers Woods and Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Minneapolis genre bender Har Mar Superstar.
7/7–9. $5 donation. Chicago between Damen and Wood. westfestchicago.com
Pop:Before the 2016 presidential election, Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn wrote an album about the improbability of a Donald Trump presidency. Now that his reverie is reality, the latest Gorillaz album, Humanz, possesses an even eerier dystopian quality. Dance tunes live among experimental collaborations with the likes of rapper Danny Brown, new wave pillar Grace Jones, and Chicago R&B singer Brandon Markell Holmes.
7/8 at 7:30 p.m. $102–$343. Huntington Bank Pavilion. livenation.com
6 Natalie Prass
Rock:It was easy to fall in love with this Virginia singer’s 2015 self-titled debut, a collection of light chamber-pop tunes that flowed like the soundtrack to a twee but smart indie film. This Millennium Park freebie should be Prass’s last show in Chicago before she hunkers down to work on a new album. Die-hard fans best not miss out.
FREE 7/10 at 6:30 p.m. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. cityofchicago.org
7 Quartet Festival III
New Music:The weekly Rush Hour series of short after-work concerts reintroduces Chicago to Gerard McBurney, the mind behind Beyond the Score, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s long-running multimedia performance series that ended in 2016. Spektral Quartet performs McBurney’s Hildegard Quartet, based on the music of medieval composer Hildegard of Bingen.
FREE 7/11 at 5:45 p.m. St. James Cathedral. imfchicago.org
8 Carly Rae Jepsen
Pop:With the release of her 2015 record Emotion, this 31-year-old pop singer established herself as a veritable cult star (and finally escaped the shadow of her 2011 hit “Call Me Maybe”). Here, she performs a free, first-come first-served show at 500-seat 1st Ward. RSVP online.
FREE 7/11 at 8 p.m. Chop Shop. mms-spotlight.com
9 Something Rotten!
Theater:Welcome to the 1590s, where Nick and Nigel Bottom are trying to pen a hit while Will Shakespeare hogs the limelight. The Bottom brothers’ solution? Write the world’s first musical. Expect bad puns and double-entendres from a cast decked out in Elizabethan frippery.
7/11–23. $27–$87. Broadway in Chicago at Oriental Theatre. broadwayinchicago.org
10 Dance in the Parks
Dance:Now in its ninth season, this traveling series mounts professional dance performances in public parks from Lawndale to West Ridge. Each show highlights youth partners from its respective neighborhood, and the roster of choreographers features the likes of Hanna Brictson, Erin Kilmurray, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, and Joshua Blake Carter.
FREE 7/11–8/5. Various venues. danceintheparks.org