SadeThis is no ordinary concert: The intensely private and fervently adored singer takes the stage following a ten-year absence from touring—leaving fans to ask of her opening act, “John Legend who?”


8/5–7 Sade and her band became international superstars in the mid-1980s with songs that set her beautifully aching vocals to funky smooth-jazz backing. These shows and the 2010 album Soldier of Love mark the singer’s return to recording and performing following a ten-year absence. Legend, another generation’s heartthrob, opens. At 7:30. $99.50–$149.50. United Center, 1901 W Madison.



Photograph: Sophie Mullier



Chicago Dancing FestivalFive years in, this all-free fest has become a full-on institution. Which means if you don’t already have a ticket, just pirouette and walk away.


8/23–27 In its fifth year, this comprehensive salute to dance founded by Lar Lubovitch and Jay Franke expands its programming and its roster of venues. Expect more cutting-edge experimentalists alongside modern masters and nods to pivotal moments in dance history.

8/23 Moderns. Chicago’s usual suspects—Hubbard Street, Joffrey, River North—join Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Ballet West (Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph)

8/24 MCA Moves. Richard Move, the foremost Martha Graham impersonator who prefers loving homage to outsize camp, hosts an evening of postmodern dance (Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago).

8/25 Masters. Highlights include Graham’s seductive Adam and Eve–themed Embattled Garden and Jiří Kylián’s sublimely fleeting Petite Mort (Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress).

8/26 Muses. A lecture/demo [editor’s note: hosted by Chicago’s own Lucia Mauro] considers the relationship between choreographers—Martha Graham Dance Company’s Janet Eilber, Hubbard Street’s Alejandro Cerrudo—and the dancers who bring their works to life (Museum of Contemporary Art)

8/26 Movies. The Chicago Cultural Center hosts an eight-hour screening of iconic dance films, including the titleholder of Craziest Ballet Fable Pre–Black Swan, 1948’s The Red Shoes (78 E Washington).

8/27, Celebration of Dance. The festival’s grand finale includes New York City Ballet’s Gonzalo Garcia and Tiler Peck performing George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Taylor’s virtuosic Esplanade (Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington).

8/23 at 7:30, 8/24 at 6, 8/25 at 7:30, (Muses) 8/26 at 6, (Movies) 8/26 at 10, 8/27 at 7:30. Free. Reservations strongly recommended.



Photograph: Courtesy of Chicago Dancing Festival



Movies in the ParksChicagoans don’t take kindly to change (Marshall Field’s, Comiskey), so we’re especially pleased to see outdoor movies return to Grant Park as part of this citywide film series. Dr. No? Yes, please.


Through 9/16 The Chicago Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park is no more, but that’s not to say there are no outdoor films in Grant Park. The city brings flicks back to the waterfront for the first time since 2009 as part of its summer-long series Movies in the Parks. August’s lineup: Dr No (8/16), A Raisin in the Sun (8/23), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (8/30). Free. See website for the full series schedule, including kid-friendly options, and a list of participating parks. All films at dusk. Grant Park, Balbo and Columbus.



Photograph: Courtesy of Chicago Park District



Mary Arrchie's Abbie Hoffman Died for Our SinsSeptember brings the start of the fall theatre season, with its big-ticket plays and awards chatter. But in the meantime, local troupes let their hair down for one carefree moment of experimentation, none with more wild abandon (on its part) or breathy anticipation (on ours) than this oddball annual festival from Mary-Arrchie.


8/19–21 Mary-Arrchie mastermind Richard Cotovsky oversees the 22nd annual celebration of a counterculture revolutionary, as more than 50 artists converge on a tiny Lake View stage housed above a liquor store and kitty-corner from the gentrification-defying Hotel Chateau. Festivities begin 8/19 at 2 with a march from Daley Plaza to the theatre and continue for 53 hours of barely controlled theatrical chaos. See website for schedule. $10 per day; $25 weekend pass. Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co at Angel Island, 735 W Sheridan.



Photograph: Courtesy of Mary Arrchie Theatre



Found SoundIf the only noises you’ve heard coming from the alley involve errant fireworks and superfluous honking, prepare to open your mind—and ears: This inaugural day of sonic art brings pop-up performances to sidewalks and garages across Ukrainian Village. Warning: Outdoor voices may ensue.


8/13 Ukrainian Village sidewalks become “sound walks” during this one-day festival of sonic art, when musicians and audio artists of all ages and backgrounds jam publicly—sometimes opening their living rooms and garages to passersby—in a celebration of grass-roots creativity. Full schedule and details:


Photography: Courtesy of Found Sound