REDMOON’S URBAN INTERVENTION
The resolutely whimsical Redmoon Theater stages a talonshow at the Bud Billiken Parade, the oldest African American parade in the world. Look for the 13-foot-wide Hawkman Prince and a posse of megaphone-toting Punk Birds—definitely not your standard marching band.
8/11 Redmoon Theater created a 13-foot wide Hawkman Prince to float 30 feet above the Bud Billiken Parade, supported by a grounded entourage of 22 Punk Birds with robot helmets and wallpapered megaphones. Only Redmoon could conceive of such a spectacle. redmoon.org.
Photograph: Christina Noel
LEWIS BLACK AT CITY WINERY
What better way to introduce the New York import to the Second City than with comedian Lewis Black? The lovable curmudgeon has the bite of a New Yorker and the sarcasm of a Chicagoan. He inaugurates the new wine-mecca-meets-concert-hall with a weeklong residency.
8/15–19 At 8. $50–$80. City Winery, 1200 W Randolph. citywinery.com.
Photograph: Clay Patrick McBride
The Kentucky Derby of the Midwest attracts the same elaborate millinery as the big event in Louisville. Then there's the million-dollar thoroughbred race, now in its 30th year. Raise your vodka lemonades in a toast.
8/18 Railbirds—that’s horseracing enthusiasts—dress to impress for this prestigious thoroughbred race, the Kentucky Derby of Arlington Park. Gates open at 10; first post at 12:15. General admission free (kids under 18) to $15. Arlington Park, 2200 W Euclid, Arlington Heights. arlingtonpark.com.
Photograph: Four Footed Fotos
THEATRE IN THE PARK
If all the city’s a stage, it’s Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s. All month long, the company brings theatre to the streets—well, parks—including Jeff Award–winning director Rachel Rockwell's rock ’n’ roll version of Taming of the Shrew.
Through 8/19 An alfresco The Taming of the Shrew jumps from park to park around 11 city neighborhoods, adapted and staged by Rachel Rockwell, our pick for best director two years ago. Locations, times: chicagoshakes.com/parks.
Photograph: Don Bayley/istockphoto
EXQUISITELY FOR ELLA
The Chicago Jazz Festival gets a splashy start with a performance celebrating the 95th birthday of the late Ella Fitzgerald, starring the local songbirds Frieda Lee, Spider Saloff, and Dee Alexander, who has some of the best pipes around.
8/30 The final installment of Made in Chicago doubles as opening night for the 34th annual fest. The vocalists Dee Alexander, Frieda Lee, and Spider Saloff team up with Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s legendary 1950s Songbook recordings of American standards, in honor of what would have been her 95th birthday. At 6:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. chicagojazzfestival.us.
Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis/AP Images