The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago June 9-15

Andersonville Midsommarfest, Taste of Chicago kick-off and Chicago Blues Festival are among the highlights of things to do in Chicago in the week ahead.

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“Life After” begins performances at the Goodman Theatre on June 11. 

“Life After” begins performances at the Goodman Theatre on June 11.

Liz Lauren

Festival Fun

  • Taste of Chicago returns with events in the Austin, Pullman and Little Village neighborhoods (June 11, 18, 25) and in Grant Park (July 8-10). Along with food from local restaurants there’s music, family activities and Chicago SummerDance lessons. Music acts in Grant Park include Nelly, Aterciopelados and Drive By Truckers. For a complete list of events, visit
  • Hyde Park Summer Fest features performances by Busta Rhymes, Ashanti, Lupe Fiasco, Jhene Aiko, Lucky Daye, Marsha Ambrosius and DJs like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dee Jay Alicia, Terry Hunter and Jay Illa. From noon-10 p.m. June 11-12 at Midway Plaisance at Dorchester Ave. Tickets: $109. Visit
Andersonville Midsommarfest.| 

Andersonville Midsommarfest.|

Timmy Samuel/Starbelly Studio

  • Now in its 56th year, Andersonville Midsommarfest offers more than 50 music acts (Dos Santos, Chicago Soul Spectacular, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials), dozens of vendors, food and children’s activities. From 5-10 p.m. June 10 and noon-10 p.m. June 11-12 on Clark from Catalpa to Foster. Admission: $10 donation. Visit
  • Puerto Rican People’s Parade and Festival is the Puerto Rican community’s celebration of its culture and features music, food, carnival rides and games, domino tournament, cultural performances and more. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. June 11 at Division and Western heading west to Humboldt Park. The festival is from 4-10 p.m. June 10 and noon-10 p.m. June 11-12 in Humboldt Park, Division and Mozart. Admission: $8. Visit
  • Old Town Art Fair features more than 200 artists, a garden walk, music, food and children’s activities. From 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 11 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 12. Admission: $12 donation. Visit
  • Wells Street Art Fair returns with a diverse mix of more than 140 local and national artists presenting work ranging for photography to metalsmithing. From 10 a.m.-10 p.m. June 11 and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. June 12. Admission: $10 donation. Visit
  • Ravenswood on Tap features craft beer and spirits, food, music and vendors. From noon-10 p.m. June 11 and noon-6 p.m. June 12 on Ravenswood from Berteau to Belle Plaine. Admission: $5-$10 donation. Visit


  • “Life After” is Toronto-based playwright Britta Johnson’s new musical about a young woman who uncovers a complicated truth about the fateful night that changed her family forever. Samantha Williams leads the cast as teenaged Alice; Annie Tippe directs at the Goodman Theatre. From June 11-July 17 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $25-$80. Visit
  • Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s drama “cullud wattah,” directed by Lili-Anne Brown, looks at the effects of water lead poisoning on one family in Flint, Michigan. In 2016, an assembly line worker worries over impending layoffs while struggling to fight the poison invading her home. From June 11-July 17 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $29-$62. Visit
  • Kokandy Productions presents “Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical,” Jordan Ross, Lindsey Rosin and Roger Kumble’s new musical based on the film about havoc at an elite Manhattan prep school. Laced with hits from the ’90s, it features new takes on tunes by No Doubt, Garbage, Goo Goo Dolls and more. From June 9-Aug. 7 at Kokandy Productions at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Tickets: $40. Visit
  • Eboni Booth’s offbeat workplace comedy “Paris” explores the impact of race and economics on the wage-earners of rural America. In a small, predominantly white Vermont town, a Black resident starts a new job in a big box store. Jonathan Berry directs. From June 11-July 23 at Steep Theatre, 1044 W. Berwyn. Ticket: Free. Visit
  • “Godspell” is John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz’s timeless musical, a tale of friendship, loyalty and love based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. From June 10-July 31 at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston. Tickets: $41-$75. Visit
  • Set in a Louisiana beauty parlor, Robert Harling’s comedy-drama “Steel Magnolias” follows six women as they face life’s challenges together. From June 10-Aug. 7 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Visit $54-$69. Visit
  • Pride Arts presents “Tommy on Top,” Chris Woodley’s comedy about a closeted actor about to become the first gay actor to win an Oscar if he plays his cards right and keeps his queerness at bay. From June 10-July 17 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: $35. Visit
 ”Moods of Nāyikā” by Abhijeet (left) and Ashwaty Chennat is among the works featured at PIvot Arts Festival. photo by Sarah Gaglione

”Moods of Nāyikā” by Abhijeet (left) and Ashwaty Chennat is among the works featured at PIvot Arts Festival.

Sarah Gaglione

  • Pivot Arts Festival returns with another roster of adventurous, multidisciplinary performances. The array of dance, film, opera and other works features artists who have “demonstrated creativity and resiliency in creating artistic work” during the past two pandemic years, says artistic director Julieanne Ehre. From June 10-18 at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. Tickets: Free-$35. Visit


Ashley Downs of Giordano Dance Chicago in “Pyrokinesis.” 

Ashley Downs of Giordano Dance Chicago in “Pyrokinesis.”

Christopher Creese

  • Giordano Dance Chicago, the company that expands the boundaries of jazz and contemporary dance, presents a program of six works including Ray Mercer’s “Shirt Off My Back,” Christopher Huggins’ “Pyrokinesis” and Autumn Eckman’s “Retroverse.” At 7:30 p.m. June 11 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $38+. Visit


Explore Prince’s iconic style at “Prince The Immersive Experience.” 

Explore Prince’s iconic style at “Prince The Immersive Experience.”

Superfly/Alive Coverage

  • Chicago Blues Festival (June 9-12) celebrates the city’s blues legacy with performances in Millennium Park and the Austin and Bronzeville neighborhoods. Artists include Shemekia Copeland, Toronzo Cannon, Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Cedric Burnside, Eric Gales and many more. For a complete list of acts, visit
  • Grant Park Music Festival gets underway June 15 with conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra performing Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 and Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement featuring guest artist Michelle Cann. The season continues through Aug. 19 at Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. Most concerts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. For a complete concert list, visit
  • There was a palpable sigh of sadness heard around the world when the multi-talented musician Prince passed away in 2016. Now six years later, “Prince: The Immersive Experience” takes fans on a journey to experience the artist’s life, creative evolution and music. Visit Paisley Park, take part in a audiovisual dance party, explore Prince’s catalog of hits and his eye-catching wardrobe as well as photography and instruments. Begins June 9 at The Shops at North Bridge, 540 N. Michigan. Tickets: $39.50+. Visit
Max Allard.

Max Allard.|

Evan Sheehan Photo

  • Max Allard practically grew up in the halls of the Old Town School of Folk Music, where he developed his love for the banjo. Now a 20-year-old student at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, he is releasing his debut album “Odes/Codes.” Banjo master Bela Fleck says Allard is “a new mature and poetic voice on the five-string banjo.” Allard celebrates the album’s release on a co-bill with Jonas Friddle and Andrew Wilkins at 8 p.m. June 11 at The Old Town School, 4545 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $20. Visit


  • Gerald Lovell explores themes of migration, memory and place in the exhibit “In the Eye of the Beholder.” He reflects on his past by examining his present through paintings that document life experiences, friendships and family events. To June 19 at Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island. Admission is free. Visit


Buster Keaton in “Our Hospitality.”|

Buster Keaton in “Our Hospitality.”|


  • “The Restored Films of Buster Keaton” explores the work of one of the world’s great comedians and filmmakers. Five recently restored films are screened: “College,” “Go West,” “One Week,” “Our Hospitality” and “Steamboat Bill Jr.” Organist Dennis Scott provides music for the films. From June 11-12 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $12. Visit
  • African Diaspora Film Festival features 10 films celebrating the human experiences of people of color all over the world. Included are Wagner Moura’s action drama “Marighella,” Robert Guediguian’s love story “Dancing the Twist in Bamako,” Angus Gibson’s noir drama “Back of the Moon: Sophiatown 1958” and Joanne Burke’s historical drama “Fighting for Respect: African Americans During WWI.” From June 10-12 at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets: $12, festival pass $45. Visit
  • Chicago Film Society and The Numero Group present a screening of “Stony Island,” Andrew Davis’ 1978 love letter to Chicago soul music. The independent film captures the story of Richie Bloom (Richie Davis), the only white kid on the block, as he forms an R&B band with his best friend, Kevin (Edward Stoney Robinson). Davis will attend the screening. At 7 p.m. June 13 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $10. Visit
“Stony Island” is directed by Andrew Davis.|

“Stony Island” is directed by Andrew Davis.|


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