No, really; it’s educational. A Northwestern prof lectures on the city’s sudsy past aboard a booze cruise stocked with Two Brothers beer. For more—much more—on what’s brewing locally, check out “Chicago’s Best Craft Beer.”


July 17 Exploring Chicago’s Yeast Side, an educational booze cruise, chases a history lesson on local beer from the Northwestern prof Bill Savage with samples from Two Brothers. At 6. $55. See website for full tour schedule. 1601 N Clark.



Photograph: Anna Knott


Jennifer HudsonJULY CONCERTS

Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton or Jennifer Hudson and Pitchfork: This month, it’s listener’s choice.


Jerry Lee Lewis
July 9
In recent years, the rock ’n’ roll legend has put out a winning pair of duet albums. This show, his first Chicago concert in more than a decade, follows a 2011 live recording produced by the White Stripes’ Jack White. Though his age and inconsistencies are worrisome, the chance to hear the Killer’s lascivious drawl and riotous piano playing in person leaves us breathless. At 7, $25–$90. 2135 N Milwaukee.

Dolly Parton
July 28
She pioneered the persona of down-to-earth gal meets glamorous diva, and her music similarly blends glossy pop with old-school country. That mix of art and artifice carries over to her live shows as well, but even at her most contrived, the exuberant spectacle that is Parton is enormously entertaining. At 7:30, $58–$148. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River, Rosemont.

Jennifer Hudson
July 16–17
Chicago’s own Oscar winner released her sophomore album earlier this year, and while the songs straddle 1970s-style soul and contemporary R&B with middling results, Hudson’s powerhouse singing is stunning—and should be even more impressive live. At 7:30, $33–$80. Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park.

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 15–17
Chicago’s edgy indie-rock festival has about two days’ worth of compelling music stretched over three days, with most of the weak spots falling on day 2. Friday acts include the artily experimental Animal Collective, the country-folk chanteuse Neko Case, and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. Saturday brings the folk combo Fleet Foxes, the emo pioneers The Dismemberment Plan, and the subversive yacht rocker Destroyer. Sunday features the dance-pop act Cut Copy and the electronic rock/soul fusionists TV on the Radio. Fri 3–10, Sat–Sun noon–10. Union Park, 1501 W Randolph. $45 per day; three-day passes sold out.



Photograph: Courtesy of Ravinia Festival



The Second City alum holds forth on his addiction to sugar in a standup run at Steppenwolf. Talk about rush seats.


7/13–24 Jeff Garlin of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm offers the standup kind of comedy, as opposed to the three-act Neil Simon kind, but a lack of narrative arc doesn’t make the material any less hilarious. Here Garlin explores his addiction to sugar—not unlike a heroin habit, as he points out. Anyone who has ever had an insatiable desire for butter-cream frosting will feel sympathy—and a craving for dessert. $25. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N Halsted.



Photograph: Courtesy of Steppenwolf



The Oscar-nominated film only seemed like it was set a world away: Hear echoes of the Ozarks, whose foothills spill into southern Illinois, when musicians from the haunting soundtrack perform live at Lincoln Hall.


7/6 A live performance of soundtrack highlights from the Sundance 2010 Grand Jury Prize winner features Marideth Sisco’s evocative singing, Billy Ward’s rustic fiddling, and Van Colbert’s claw-hammer banjo. At 8, $15–$18. 2424 N Lincoln.





Even encased in elegant frames and hanging on pristine gallery walls, Gates’s fire hoses remain charged with reverberations of the civil rights movement. Don’t miss the Chicago artist’s sold-out exhibition at Kavi Gupta.


Through 7/9 Theaster Gates explores the legacy of the civil rights movement with sculptures made from material—old fire hoses, building remnants—salvaged from Chicago’s South Side. The hoses are particularly bracing: A reminder of past violent hazings of peaceful protesters, they’re encased in vitrines like museum artifacts—or fire extinguishers, ready to be deployed at new signs of unrest. 835 W Washington.


Photograph: Chris Strong