- Windy City Smokeout, named “Festival of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music, returns with a stellar county music lineup including Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, Willie Nelson & Family, the reunion of the Turnpike Troubadours, Kip Moore and more. Plus, the other big draw: tasty BBQ cooked up by more than a dozen restaurants from around the country. Aug. 4-7 at United Center parking lot, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $45+. Visit windycitysmokeout.com.
- The LGBTQ-friendly festival Northalsted Market Days features performances on five stages, plus vendors, arts and crafts, food, DJs and plenty of dancing. Performers include drag queen Ginger Minj, singer Michaela Jae, comedian Matteo Lane, Anastacia, Sammy Rae & the Friend, The Aces, drag queen Ada Vox and more. From 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 6-7 on Halsted from Belmont to Addison. Admission: $15 suggested donation. Visit northalsted.com/marketdays.
- Dancing in the Streets features live music (Rock & Rye, Terrapin Flyer, Steal Your Phace, Brooklyn Charmers and more), food vendors, food trucks, craft beers, local artists and more. From 5-10 p.m. Aug. 5 and noon-10 p.m. Aug. 6-7 on Hubbard from Paulina to Wood. Admission: $10 suggested donation. Visit westtownchamber.org.
- This year’s Taste of Andersonville includes two separate routes for foodies to travel up and down Clark Street to sample more than 20 dinner, drink and dessert options from Andersonville restaurants. From 5-8 p.m. Aug. 10. Tickets: $30, $45 after Aug. 7. For more information, visit andersonville.org.
- Back Alley Jazz features music by Sam Thousand & the Soul Vortex, Dee Alexander & John McLean, Rashada Dawan & the Soul Collective and more at three South Side locations. On Aug. 6 from noon to 6 p.m. at 7200 and 7300 blocks of S. Paxton; from 3 to 7 p.m. at Black United Fund, 1809 E. 71st; and from 6 to 7 p.m. at 7400 block of S. Oglesby. Admission is free. Visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
- There’s music, food trucks and vendors at the Bronzeville Neighborhood Jazz Fest. Performers include Julia Huff, Reggie Foster, Smooth Willie Fultz and Audley Reid. From 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 6 on Martin Luther King Dr., from 37th to 39th. Admission is free. Visit eventbrite.com.
- Festa Italiana features the music, food and culture of Italy. Plus, vendors, children’s activities and rides, a meatball eating contest and more. From 5-10 p.m. Aug. 5, noon-10 p.m. Aug. 6 and noon-8 p.m. Aug. 7 at Naper Settlement, Webster and Aurora, Naperville. Admission: $5-$25, children under 12 free. Visit starevents.com.
TimeLine Theatre opens its 26th season with the world premiere of Will Allan’s “Campaigns, Inc.,” a comedy about the origins of fake news. Allan based the work on the true story of Leone Baxter (Tyler Meredith) and Clem Whitaker (Yuriy Sardarov), the founders of the first political consulting firm. It’s set in 1934, when novelist Upton Sinclair is sure to be elected the first Democratic governor of California — until these young consultants attempt to take him down. (Sardarov’s first professional acting role was in TimeLine’s 2009 production of “The History Boys” before he played Otis for seven seasons on NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”) Nick Bowling directs. To Sept. 18 at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington. Tickets: $42-$57. Visit timelinetheatre.com.
A Theater in the Dark presents “A Matter of Red Herrings,” a new audio play that’s a love letter to the era of film noir and radio crime drama. The comedy follows the misadventures of a pair of detectives trying to hunt down a priceless artifact in 1920s Chicago. Written by Greg Garrison with music by Paul Sottnik and direction by Corey Bradberry, it begins streaming Aug. 4. Tickets: $10. Visit atheaterinthedark.com.
“Kitties in Space: The Saga” is set in a future world where humans have vanished, and pets have advanced intelligence. Two cats, Socks and Mittens, take a trip to space in this adult absurdist misadventure from playwright John Enright. Tiffany Keane Schaefer directs. From Aug. 5-Sept. 4 at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark. Tickets: $20. Visit otherworldtheatre.org.
The Artistic Home’s Summer on the Patio Series features workshop productions of three plays: Jez Butterworth’s “The River,” David Ives’ “Venus in Fur” and Siah Berlatsky’s “Malapert Love.” From Aug. 5-28 at The Artistic Home, 3504 N. Milwaukee. Free, donations appreciated. For days and times, visit theartistichome.org.
Out of Space returns for its fifth season of music on the shores of Lake Michigan. The concert lineup features Jenny Lewis and Trampled By Turtles (Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m., $45), Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets and Nicole Atkins (6 p.m. Aug. 5, sold out), Lucinda Williams and Waxahatchee with Liam Kazar (6 p.m. Aug. 6, $49.50), Buddy Guy with Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Bobby Ruch (6 p.m. Aug. 7, $45). Plus, food, art installations and more. Visit evanstonspace.com.
The Local Honeys (Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs) craft a modern Appalachian sound on their new self-titled album, which features 10 vignettes of rural Kentucky. Tom T. Hall called the duo “a great credit to a wonderful Kentucky tradition.” Reilly Downes opens at 8 p.m. Aug. 5 at Golden Dagger, 2447 N. Halsted.Tickets: $12. Visit goldendagger.com.
The Wild Hearts Tour features Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Julien Baker and their bands performing tunes from their individual songbooks as well as joining together for what are sure to be interesting collaborations. A portion of the proceeds goes to A New Way of Life Reentry Project, an organization assisting those adjusting to life after incarceration. Quinn Christopherson opens the show at 5 p.m. Aug. 10 at Chicago’s newest music venue, The Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston. Tickets: $60.50+. Visit saltshedchicago.com.
Museums & Galleries
A Chicago cultural treasure is celebrated in “Lakefront Anonymous: Chicago’s Unknown Art Gallery.” Featured are photographs of the unique urban anonymous rock carvings that line the lakefront. The shoreline images, which stretch from the Indiana state line to Osterman Beach, were captured by Aron Packer and William Swislow who have been documenting the carvings for more than three decades. Through Aug. 27 at Firecat Projects, 2019 N. Damen. Admission is free. Visit firecatprojects.org.
The Silent Film Society of Chicago presents “Silents on the Porch,” four screenings of classic silent films on the porch of historic Pleasant Home, 217 Home Ave., Oak Park. The films are the comedy “Ella Cinders” (Aug. 4), Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” (Aug. 11), Buster Keaton’s “Sherlock Jr,” (Aug. 18) and a Mack Sennett comedy night with “Water Wagons,” “Wandering Willies” and “All Night Long” (Aug. 25). All start at 7 p.m. and include live musical accompaniment by Jay Warren. Tickets: $10, $20 per family. Visit pleasanthome.org.