Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, June 15 through June 21, 2016
Theater: After horrifying the world with Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, novelist Ira Levin unleashed the play Deathtrap. The story of a famous playwright aiding a struggling writer is a murderous roller coaster with a final reveal so twisted it’ll make your head spin.
6/16–8/14. $45–$60. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylanetheatre.com
2 Ensemble Español
Dance: Ending the month-long American Spanish Dance & Music Festival is Flamenco Passion: an eclectic mix of favorites from the company’s 40-year canon. Also on the program is the world premiere of Iroko, a flamenco ballet choreographed by Ángel Rojas and Carlos Rodríguez to original music.
6/17–19. $26–$46. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie. northshorecenter.org
3 Green Music Fest
Festivals: If you haven’t yet seen alt-rock heavyweights Waxahatchee and Broncho—both of whom wowed at fests such as Pitchfork and Riot Fest in recent years—this is your chance to course correct. Plus, there’s a bike-powered stage.
6/18–19. $5 donation. Damen between North and Schiller. greenmusicfestchicago.com
4 Make Music Chicago
Classical: If you notice the sun approaching its zenith, it’s time for the annual solstice celebration on June 21 (although this year the astronomical event actually happens on June 20). The mix of events includes participatory orchestra and choir, along with professionals performing free shows all around town, including violin soloist Augustin Hadelich playing Russian music at St. James Cathedral at 5:45 (65 E. Huron) for Rush Hour Concerts.
6/21. Free. Various locations. makemusicchicago.org
5 See Jane Sing
Musicals: Jane Lynch, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Second City alum, and Glee villain, brings her vocal chops to the Lyric Opera for an evening of Broadway and American songbook standards. All seats are on the stage, where couches and tables create a cozy cabaret space.
6/17–18. $50–$150. Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. lyricopera.org
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Kuang-Hao Huang, pianist and Artistic Director of Make Music Chicago, which puts on a variety of performances and play-along events on Tuesday, June 21.
“Friday is going to be a lot of running around the city, tying up loose ends for Make Music Chicago. There are almost 200 events at close to 100 venues around town, so I’ve got a bit of ground to cover. If I end up passing through Argyle, I’ll probably stop in at Ba Le on Broadway. They make fantastic banh mi sandwiches and—I hear—they have a downtown location now, so I may end up eating banh mi whether or not I go north.
“I start most Saturdays with Pilates at Village Pilates in Forest Park. I’ve been going there for years, and it’s great for my back. After that, I’m heading to Hyde Park for a recording session at the University of Chicago. I’ll be playing with Patrice Michaels, a very well-known soprano in Chicago.
“There’s a sister event to Make Music Chicago called Pianos in the Parks that we created in partnership with Night Out in the Parks. There will be seven piano performances at seven parks around the city, starting June 21 and running through August 1, with pianos provided by a great group called Keys 4/4 Kids—they pick up used old pianos from people who no longer play them, upcycle them, and then sell and donate them. When I’m on the South Side for my session, I’ll probably swing by Calumet Park and Hamilton Park to check on the pianos.
“Sunday is Father’s Day. I’m assuming my family has something planned, so I’m keeping my schedule clear. We might go to the movies—though, since I have kids, the only thing we’re really excited for right now is Finding Dory.
“Then, on Tuesday, is Make Music Chicago. It’s a wonderful day focused on encouraging people to play and hear live music. I’ve got most of the day blocked out for play-along events in Daley Plaza. I play piano now, but in high school I was a band geek, so I’ll be dusting off my old trombone for Sousapalooza! at noon. There will be more than 100 people out there with winds, brass, and percussion—it’s a lot of fun to just make some noise. When that ends at 1:00, I’ll stick around for the Rise and Shine orchestral play along that starts at 2:00. Last year, several members of the CSO came out to join, and I’m guessing they will again.
“Finally, since it’s Tuesday, I’ll end the day by performing in a Rush Hour Concert at St. James Cathedral. This specific show is a part of Make Music Chicago, but Rush Hour puts on free concerts at St. James every Tuesday from June through August. I’m excited to be performing with Augustin Hadelich, a young German violin prodigy who won a Grammy earlier this year—so, you know, no pressure.” —As told to John Hardberger
Freebie of the Week
Grant Park Music Festival
Festivals: Chicago’s low-budget, high-culture fete begins its two-month picnic with an amuse-bouche called Essay No. 2 by Samuel Barber, one of artistic director Carlos Kalmar’s favorite composers. Then the pianists Andrew von Oeyen and Fabio Bidini return to the festival to play Francis Poulenc’s angular Concerto for Two Pianos. The opener closes with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
6/15 at 6:30. Free. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph. grantparkmusicfestival.com