Through August 25
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents a stirring revival of Sam Shepard’s most noteworthy work, first staged there in 1982. Directed by Randall Arney, the reboot features ensemble member Francis Guinan (original to the 1982 production), along with Jon Michael Hill (CBS’s “Elementary”), Namir Smallwood (Lincoln Center’s “Pass Over”), and Jacqueline Williams.
Time: Performance times vary.
Place: 1650 N. Halsted
Cost: Starting at $20; tickets at steppenwolf.org
July 30-August 18
“Come From Away”
A poignant reflection on 9/11, this Broadway musical is the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Witness the clash of culture that turned into trust as music soared into the night and friendships were made.
Time: Performance times vary.
Place: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph
Cost: Starting at $39; tickets at broadwayinchicago.com
Chicago Duck Derby
The Chicago River seems to run yellow as more than 50,000 rubber ducks flow downstream in honor of Special Olympics Illinois. Adopt a duck for $5 or 24 for $100 — all funds go to the cause — and, if your little yellow guy wins, you’ll score a new car, vacation, or cash prize.
Time: 10 a.m.
Place: Starts at the Wabash Avenue Bridge
Cost: Free to watch; info at duckrace.com
August 8 & 22
Chicago Botanic Gardens’ After Hours Buzz
Bee sure to mark your calendars for this soiree, which includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks while watching demonstrations by a Chicago Botanic Garden scientist. You’ll get up-close views of plants and their pollinators in the Gardens’ “Bees & Beyond” exhibit.
Time 6-8 p.m.
Place: 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe
Cost: Starting at $50; tickets at chicagobotanic.org
Chicago Hot Dog Fest
Relish offerings from dozens of the city’s most famous hot dog venders. Ranging from classic favorites to creative new twists, there’s something for everyone. Proceeds directly fund educational programming at the Chicago History Museum.
Time: Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Place: Lincoln Park, 1701 N. Stockton
Cost: $5 suggested donation for admission; info at chicagohotdogfest.com
Ginza Holiday Festival
For more than 60 years, this fest has evoked the spirit and flavor of Tokyo’s Ginza district — a historic hub of traditional crafts, like pottery and weaving. Don’t leave without tasting the festival’s famous chicken teriyaki, a family recipe from one of the temple’s earliest members.
Time: Fri., 5:30-9 p.m.; Sat., 11:30 am.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Place: Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee
Cost: Suggested $5 donation for admission; info at ginzaholiday.com
Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic
Held since 1929 and put together by the Chicago Defender, the largest African-American parade in America celebrates youth and culture with music, civic leaders, dancing, and more.
Time: 10 a.m.
Place: King Drive, from Bronzeville to Washington Park
Cost: Free to watch; info at budbillikenparade.org
Trotter Project Beer Fest
New year, the official kickoff for Charlie Trotter Days (held August 11-18) is a best of Chicago’s top brewpubs — and there’s plenty to imbibe while celebrating the chef’s legacy. Trotter Project partner Old Irving Brewing has curated the best in craft brewers and our city’s vibrant food scene.
Time: 1:30-5 p.m.
Place: Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox
Cost: $35; tickets at eventbrite.com
Pentatonix: The World Tour
The multiplatinum-selling quintet is next-level a cappella. With three Grammys and nearly 10 million albums sold, the group lands at Ravinia ready to move the masses. Characterized by harmony-heavy pop, basslines, riffing, and beatboxing, they perform cover versions of modern hits.
Time: Gates open at 5 p.m.
Place: Ravinia Festival, 418 Sheridan, Highland Park
Cost: Starting at $43 for lawn seats; tickets at ravinia.org
Dance for Life
In a night of monumental performance, dancers unite to support those facing critical health issues by generously donating their time, energy, and artistry to the cause. Joining the Partner Dance Companies that perform each year — Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Joffrey Ballet — are Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater.
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells
Cost: Starting at $15; tickets at chicagodancersunited.org
Chicago Caribbean Carnivale Parade & Festival
Food, fashion, art, and design come together in this unique Caribbean experience celebrating tradition and culture. Dress colorfully and don’t miss the parade, which kicks the event into high energy at noon.
Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Place: 1130 Midway Plaisance
Cost: Admission is free; info at eventbrite.com
August 17 & 18
Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest
More than 120 artists and two outdoor music stages highlight the bold art scene in Rogers Park. Along with art exhibitions and more than 30 music acts, enjoy kids’ art-making activities, food and drink, from local restaurants, and live demonstrations of performance art and art making.
Time: Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Place: 6900-7000 N. Glenwood and 1300-1500 W. Morse
Cost: Admission is free; info at glenwoodave.org
Logan Square Stir-Up Cocktail Competition
The best and brightest bartenders throw down in a friendly neighborhood competition hosted by Billy Sunday. Each bar in this mixology battle will compete with their spirit of choice in a live, judged presentation and people’s choice vote. Guests enjoy a welcome cocktail, food from neighborhood restaurants, music, and creative concoctions from each participating bar. Event proceeds will support local non-profits Pilot Light and Chicago Period Project.
Time: 3-7 p.m.
Place: Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie
Cost: $55; tickets at eventbrite.com
Taste of Greektown
It’s a delicious celebration of Hellenic culture. Restaurants dish everything from moussaka to spanakopita, with live traditional Greek music in the air. Go for the first-ever gyro-eating contest, in which eight hungry participants race to chow down a platter of spit-roasted beef and lamb.
Time: Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., noon-11 p.m.
Place: Halsted & Van Buren
Cost: Admission is free; info at greektownchicago.org
August 23-September 1
Chicago Jazz Festival
Now in its 41st year, the festival features a tribute to Nat King Cole by his brother Freddy Cole, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Ryan Cohan (shown above). Other highlights include: Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet, Christian McBride, Latino-America Unida, the Dave Rempis Quartet, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the festival’s programming partner.
Time: Performance times vary.
Place: Jazz clubs across Chicago, plus Millennium Park and Chicago Cultural Center
Cost: Admission is free; info at jazzinchicago.org
Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra
This one-night-only “part B-boy, part Beethoven” event combines hip-hop, a fierce soul songstress, a party-rocking DJ, and a fire-breathing MC with a live orchestra that features strings, horns, woodwinds, and piano. It all comes via Invisible Man Productions.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Ida B. Wells
Cost: Starting at $39; tickets at auditoriumtheatre.org