Don’t-miss picks for July 5 through July 11, 2018
1 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Theater:Drury Lane takes a rare foray into nonmusicals with this Tennessee Williams scorcher about a closeted gay man, his unhappy wife, and an extended family of no-neck monsters. Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge—whose 2016 Drury Lane staging of Smokey Joe’s Café was one of the best shows of that year—returns to helm a tale of steamed-up Southerners and one hot Mississippi summer.
7/5–8/26. $40–$101. Drury Lane. drurylanetheatre.com
2 West Fest
Festival:Few festivals boast a lineup as deep and varied as this perennial favorite. This year new wave vets the Make-Up perform their first Chicago show in more than 10 years; folk-rock journeyman Kevin Morby returns for a follow-up to his sold-out April show at Thalia Hall; and Joey Purp, a strong contender for the city’s next big rap export, brings hometown cred to the headliner bill.
7/6–8. $5 donation. Chicago from Damen to Wood. westfestchicago.com
3 Chosen Few Picnic & Festival
Festival:House music was born in Chicago, and this fest serves as an annual reminder that it still thrives here. Hosted by the Chosen Few DJs, who’ve been putting on this event since 1990, the self-proclaimed picnic feels less like a music festival than a family reunion. Imagine a neighborhood block party with infinitely better tunes.
7/7. $40–$400. Jackson Park. chosenfewdjs.com
4 Nike Tournament of Champions
Recreation:These days, the Bulls seem to be in a constant state of rebuilding, but that doesn’t change the fact that Chicago is a basketball town. So it’s fitting that Nike, the sport’s biggest booster, hosts one of its annual Tournament of Champions events—the top gatherings of high school-age girls’ teams—right here. In addition to 720 other teams duking it out, 32 Nike-sponsored squads in its Elite Youth Basketball League will compete separately for a national championship.
7/9–12. $20. McCormick Place. niketournamentofchampions.com
5 Brigid Mae Power
Folk:Don’t call Power a folk musician: The singer-songwriter’s drone-heavy compositions are abstract, introspective experiments. She has described her sophomore album, The Two Worlds, as “what my environment looks like here at the moment out of my window” in her native Ireland. Catch that specific sobering beauty without having to travel across the Atlantic Ocean.
7/10. $10. Empty Bottle. eventbrite.com
6 Dance in the Parks
Dance:This professional dance outfit travels the city for free performances in Hermosa, Back of the Yards, Jefferson Park, and everywhere in between. Every show highlights a youth dance group from the neighborhood, plus choreography by Lizzie MacKenzie, Joshua Blake Carter, and Paige Caldarella, among others.
7/10–8/3. Free. Various venues. danceintheparks.org
Theater:Stacy Keach returns to play Ernest Hemingway, teaming again with director Robert Falls and playwright Jim McGrath to take on the life of one of the 20th century’s literary lions.
7/10–8/19. $25–$85. Goodman Theatre. goodmantheatre.org
8 Taste of Chicago
Festival:This food festival is infamous for large crowds of overheated, hungry patrons. But in recent years, the organizers have considerably improved their musical bookings. This year’s edition is particularly strong: Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli as Black Star on Friday, Flaming Lips on Saturday, and George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic on Sunday.
7/11–15. Free. Grant Park. cityofchicago.org
9 Chicago Michelada Fest
Food:The famed Mexican beer cocktail known as the michelada takes over Pilsen. With more than nine vendors offering up seven different takes on the beverage, plus live music, this event is sure to be a rowdy one. You can even find a signature “miche-nada” for those who don’t drink.
7/7–8. Free. Cermak between Racine and Morgan. chicagomicheladafest.com
10 Janelle Monáe
R&B:The Chicago Theatre hosts Janelle Monáe—the R&B musician who made waves this year with her latest retro-futuristic album, Dirty Computer. Monáe has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Outkast and Big Boi, but continues to stand apart with her amorphous fusion of soul, funk, and hip-hop.
7/5. Sold out; see resellers. Chicago Theatre.