The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago July 28-Aug. 3

Lollapalooza, ‘Fun Home’ and the Newberry Book Fair are among the highlights in the week ahead.

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The central character in “Fun Home” is played at different stages of her life by (from left) Elizabeth Stenholt (from left), Milla Liss (rotating with Maya Keane) and Emilie Modaff at the Paramount Theatre.

Amy Nelson


  • Paramount Theatre presents Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s musical “Fun Home,” co-directed by Jim Corti and Landree Fleming. Based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, it’s an autobiographical story about her discovery of her own sexuality, her relationship with her closeted gay father and her attempts to unlock the mysteries surrounding his life. Emilie Modaff stars as adult Alison. From Aug. 3-Sept. 18 at Paramount’s Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena. Tickets: $67-$74. Visit

Marvin Tate in “Laughing Song: A Walking Dream.”

Justin T. Jones

  • “Laughing Song: A Walking Dream” is Theatre Y’s third entry in its Camino Project, which developed after the ensemble’s 500-mile walk across Spain’s Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. “Laughing Song” is a four-house walking theater experience written and performed by multi-disciplinary artist and performance poet Marvin Tate. He channels George W. Johnson, an 1890 New York busker who was the world’s first black recording artist, as well as his own childhood during a four-hour journey that combines comedy, poetry, dance, a meal and more. Performances are 3-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday from July 30-Aug. 28. Tickets: $60 to become a member or pay-what-you-can. Visit
  • Stepping Stone Theater and The Annoyance present “Starving the Heart,” a dramedy following the multiple narratives of people trying to balance personal needs, family wants and social norms. Written by the cast and directed by Jonald Jude Reyes. To Sept. 9 at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont. Tickets: $20. Visit
  • Ed Kross hosts “New Faces Sing Broadway 1971,” a revue that takes a musical journey through the 1971 Broadway season with songs performed by up-and-coming performers. Featured are numbers from “Follies,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “On the Town,” “Two by Two,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and more. At 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. Tickets: $37. Visit


  • Chicago Dancers United presents Dance Divas 2022, an evening of “high heels and high camp” featuring Chicago’s leading professional male dancers impersonating the famous dancing women of stage, screen and pop music. Performers range from independent artists to dancers from Giordano Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theatre, Chicago Tap Theatre and more. Co-directed/choreographed by Jeremy Plummer and Harrison McEldowney. Proceeds benefit The Dancers’ Fund and HIV/AIDS initiatives. At 6 p.m. July 31 and 7, 9 p.m. Aug. 1 at Baton Show Lounge, 4713 N. Broadway. Tickets: $50, $75. Visit



A sign at Grant Park awaits visitors to Lollapalooza.


  • The music extravaganza Lollapalooza returns with more than 170 bands on nine stages. Performers include Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, Green Day, Lil Baby, Machine Gun Kelly, Kygo, J-Hope, Jazmine Sullivan, Glass Animals, Big Sean, Porno for Pyros, Billy Strings, Don Toliver, Kaskade, The Kid Laroi and Charlie XCX. This year’s festival also features the return of Kidzapalooza, an “interactive music playground” with its own daily lineup of family-friendly performances and other activities. Plus, there’s food from more than 30 local vendors, and the festival merch tents return. From 11 a.m.-10 p.m. July 28-31 in Grant Park. Tickets: $125+. Visit

Esperanza Spalding (pictured in 2021) headlines at Ravinia on July 31.

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

  • Jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding turned heads when she became the first jazz musician to win best new artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards, beating the likes of Justin Bieber and Drake. Since then, she’s won five Grammys including one this past February, when her album “Songwrights Apothecary Lab” won best jazz vocal album. The Bogota-based ensemble Monsieur Perine opens at 6:30 p.m. July 31 at Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park. Tickets: $38-$100. Visit

Arlo McKinley

Emma Delevante

  • Arlo McKinley tours behind his new album, “This Mess We’re In,” which makes a compelling argument that bad days really do get better, and that love is still alive. The late John Prine was a fan of the Cincinnati-based singer-songwriter, who used the creation of the new songs as a way to orient himself in an uncertain world. Peter Joly opens at 9 p.m. July 30 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt. Tickets: $25. Visit

Jim Irsay collects rock stars’ guitars and other artifacts.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay brings his entire artifact collection to town for a one-day exhibit at Navy Pier. The Jim Irsay Collection features guitars owned by Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain plus items from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Prince, Eric Clapton, Elton John and many more rock icons. Other artifacts include presidential memorabilia, historical documents and sports items. The event also includes a performance by the Jim Irsay Band with Irsay on guitar plus Ann Wilson (Heart), guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, guitarist Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp), bassist Mike Mills (R.E.M.), guitarist Tom Bukovac, drummer Kenny Aronoff and keyboardist Michael Ramos. From 7-10 p.m. Aug. 2 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Admission is free, but reservations required. Visit

Museums & Galleries


Aram Han Sifuentes’ “Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for All Who Legally Can’t.”

Courtesy of the artist

  • “All That Glows in the Dark of Democracy” features artworks that present a range of perspectives on democracy as a concept both in theory and in practice via interactive installations, sculpture and video. The artists featured are Alejandro T. Acierto, Kandis Friesen, Hannah Givler, Aram Han Sifuentes, Ariana Jacob and Aay Preston-Myin. From July 29-Oct. 1 at Weinberg/Newton Gallery, 688 N. Milwaukee Ave. Admission is free. Visit
  • The National Indo-American Museum presents “American Desis: Roots and Wings,” an exploration of the heritage and experiences of Indian Americans in the United States. Twenty-four panels on display explore topics such as the first Asian in Congress, the creator of Hotmail, athletes, doctors, cabdrivers, musicians and activists. The open-ended exhibit begins July 29 at Umang and Paragi Patel Center, 815 S. Main, Lombard. Admission: $5, children under 12 free. Visit


  • Pioneers of Queer Cinema is a series of 10 film programs that features little-seen American queer films and puts them in conversation with a handful of films now deemed classic. The series features work from groundbreaking LGBTQ+ filmmakers, including writer-director-punk archivist-actor Cheryl Dunye (“The Watermelon Woman”), early New Queer Cinema director Gregg Akari (“The Living End”) and lesbian feminist filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer (“Nitrate Kisses”). Documentaries include “Choosing Children,” “The Times of Harvey Milk” and “Paris Is Burning.” From Aug. 2-Sept. 4 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $12. For the complete list of films, visit



The Newberry Book Fair returns.

Newberry Library

  • After a three-year break, the Newberry Book Fair returns with thousands of titles including fiction, philosophy, art, cooking, history, children’s literature and much more. Restock your library at bargain prices with many books at $3 or less. All proceeds support the library. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 29-31 at Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. Admission is free. Visit
  • Pierogi Fest is back with good eats and goofy pierogi-related fun. There are food booths, beer gardens, arts and crafts and live music plus a pierogi toss and much more. From 11 a.m.-11 p.m. July 29-30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 31 in downtown Whiting, Indiana. Visit
  • Randolph Street Market Festival, the European flea-market style outdoor event, returns with 175 vendors and their dizzying array of vintage and modern goods ranging from fashion to art jewelry, retro home furnishings and much more. Plus, music and food vendors. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 30-31 at 1341 W. Randolph. Admission: $10, $15 at the door; children under 12 free. Visit
  • The 9th annual Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival blends ancient cultures with sport and competition. There’s music, food, cultural activities and, of course, thrilling dragon boat races with competitors from around the country and Canada. July 30 in Busse Woods (Ned Brown Preserve), Higgins Road and Route 53, Arlington Heights. For more information, visit
  • There’s food, music and children’s activities on the menu at Jeff Fest. From 5-10 p.m. July 29, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. July 30-31 in Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long. Admission: $6, $7 at door. Visit

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