Things to do in Chicago July 13-19: The Mix

Steppenwolf’s ‘No Man’s Land,’ an Alicia Keys concert and the country-fried Windy City Smokeout are among the entertainment highlights of the week ahead.

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Luke Bryan performs as part of Country On Tour on June 17, 2023, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Bryan headlines Windy City Smokeout this weekend in Chicago.

Luke Bryan performs as part of Country On Tour on June 17, 2023, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Bryan headlines Windy City Smokeout this weekend in Chicago.

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Ensemble member Jeff Perry rehearses “No Man’s Land” at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Ensemble member Jeff Perry rehearses “No Man’s Land” at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Joel Moorman

  • Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members Jeff Perry and Austin Pendleton return to star in “No Man’s Land,” Harold Pinter’s drama in which the wealthy, aging Hirst hosts his new friend Spooner for an evening of drinks until two sinister younger men (Jon Hudson Odom, Samuel Roukin) arrive and interrupt the bacchanal. Les Waters directs. From July 13-Aug. 20 at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets: $20-$98. Visit
Kayla Marie Shipman David Moreland in “Rock of Ages.”

Kayla Marie Shipman and David Moreland in “Rock of Ages.”

Brandon Dalquist

  • Chris D’Arienzo’s musical “Rock of Ages,” the story of an aspiring rock star and his girlfriend trying to make it big in 1980s Hollywood, is set to the music of Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and more. Brenda Didier directs. From July 14-Sept. 10 at Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport. Tickets: $39-$85. Visit
Audrey Hare and Jason Michael Evans in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Audrey Hare and Jason Michael Evans in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Jeff Sciortino

  • “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” is a 75-minute stage adaptation of the Disney film about a spirited young woman (Audrey Hare) and the Beast (Jason Michael Evans), who is really a prince trapped in a spell. Amber Mak directs. After each performance, audiences can meet cast members in the lobby for autographs and photos. From July 14-Aug. 20 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand. Tickets: $26, $42. Visit
  • Oak Park Festival Theatre presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” an outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s comedy which revolves around the fallout after Puck the fairy makes two men fall in love with the same woman. Peter Andersen directs. From July 15-Aug. 19 at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest, Oak Park. Tickets: $38. Visit
  • We Are in a Play” is based on Mo Willems’ children’s book in which three singing squirrels invite Elephant (Lorenzo Rush Jr.) and Piggie (Lillian Castillo) to a party. Johanna McKenzie Miller directs. From July 14-Aug. 13 at Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Tickets: $15.75. Visit
  • The musical comedy “Xanadu” is a celebration of ’80s kitsch as a mythological muse descends from Mt. Olympus on a quest to inspire a struggling artist. Kevin Wiczer directs. From July 13-Aug. 13 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights. Tickets: $10-$45. Visit
  • “Sweetest Season: A Gathering of Indigenous Creativity” is a celebration of local Indigenous artistry and includes two performance showcases, workshops, a staged reading and a Native community gathering with food from Native vendors. From July 14-16 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $15. For more information, visit
  • Haven Chicago presents “The Art of Bowing,” Nathan Alan Davis’ play in which three actors go on a journey through space and time to find the secret to what it takes to have a creative soul in this modern world. Ian Damont Martin directs. From July 13-Aug. 6 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $46, $36. Visit


  • Deeply Rooted Dance Theater presents a performance featuring participants of the company’s Summer Dance Intensive program performing works from its repertory. At 7:30 p.m. July 14-15 at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th. Tickets: $25. The company also offers free performances (7:30 p.m.) in area parks: July 19 at Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th; July 27 at Galewood Park, 5729 W. Bloomingdale, and Aug. 8 at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore. Visit
SummerDance in the Spirit of Music Garden.

SummerDance in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park.

Courtesy DCASE

  • Chicago SummerDance, a beloved summer tradition, returns with free programs that offer movement and dance lessons by professional instructors followed by music and dancing in a variety of styles from swing and salsa to line dancing and Chicago style stepping. From July 15-Sept. 10 in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden, Michigan and Balbo, as well as in several neighborhood parks. For a complete list of dates and locations, visit


  • Windy City Smokeout returns for the 10th year with a stellar county lineup including Zach Bryan, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Bailey Zimmerman, American Aquarium, Joe Dee Messina and many more. Plus you’ll find 30 of best barbecue pitmasters from around the country. From 2-10 p.m. July 13-14, 1-10 p.m. July 15-16 at United Center parking lot, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $70+, kids 10 and under free. Visit
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, opens its 87th season residency at Ravinia with a performance titled “Beethoven 9 Expanded” featuring guests soprano Janai Brugger, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon, tenor Paul Appleby, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, Adrian Dunn Singers, Ayodele Drum & Dance, Jim Gailloreto Trio and Senn Arts Advanced Vocal Trio. At 8 p.m. July 14 at Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park. Tickets: $17+. Visit
Alicia Keys attends the “Uncharted” premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival in June in New York City. Keys headlines the United Center on July 18.

Alicia Keys attends the “Uncharted” premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival in June in New York City. Keys headlines the United Center on July 18.

Getty Images

  • For her current tour, Alicia Keys presents her soulful, piano-driven sound to fans in the round for the first time. Keys describes the tour as a “celebration of freedom and self-liberation.” Expect new songs as well as favorites such as “Fallin’,” “A Woman’s Worth” and “My Boo.” Cameroonian American Afrobeats singer Libianca opens at 8 p.m. July 18 at United Center, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $49+. Visit
  • Hyde Park Jazz Festival presents Back Alley Jazz, a series of neighborhood jams featuring Chicago artists. First up is Thaddeus Tukes Quintet, Isaiah Spencer Quartet and Duane Powell from noon-6 p.m. July 15 at 7300 block of S. Paxton. Six more concerts in various locations continue through Sept. 9. Admission is free. For a list of dates, visit
  • Millennium Park comes alive with the music of New Orleans bounce/hip-hop artist Big Freedia with Mister Wallace & Friends and VITIGRRL (July 13) and Afro-Pop star Yemi Alade with Son Palenque and DJs TopDonn and Dee Money (July 17). Both shows start at 6:30 p.m. at Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph. Admission is free. Visit
  • The metalcore band The Ghost Inside performs along with Underoath, We Came As Romans and Better Lovers at 6 p.m. July 16 at The Salt Shed. Tickets: $44+. Visit
  • Big Time Rush performs at 7 p.m. July 16 at Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. Tickets: $29.95+-; visit



Keke Palmer in “Nope.”

Universal Pictures

  • Leading into the 70mm run of writer-director Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” (beginning July 20), the Music Box Theatre presents “New Adventures in 70mm,” featuring four recent films in director-approved 70mm prints: Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” Nolan’s “Inception” and Jordan Peele’s “Nope.” From July 13-19 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $15; four-film pass $43. Visit
  • The film series “Hong Kong Summer” features five weeks of explosive Hong Kong cinema classics: Stanley Tong’s “Rumble in the Bronx” and “Supercop,” Jackie Chan’s “Police Story” and “Police Story 2,” Wong Kar Wai’s “As Tears Go By,” Johnnie To’s “The Heroic Trio,” “Tsui Hark’s “The Blade,” Wei Lo and Chia-Hsiang Wu’s “The Big Boss” and Lo’s “Fist of Fury.” From July 14-Aug. 17 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $13. Visit


“The Blue Paradox”

“The Blue Paradox”

Courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

  • “The Blue Paradox” looks at how pervasive plastic pollution is within the largest ecosystem on our planet: the ocean. The immersive exhibit lets visitors walk beneath the ocean’s surface, explore the impact of plastic pollution on this natural resource and discover the actions needed to stop plastic from becoming pollution. Ongoing at Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. Admission: $25.95, ages 3-11 $14.95. Visit
  • The prints on view in “Ghosts and Demons in Japanese Prints” capture common Japanese folk tales as well as their Kabuki adaptations from the early 18th Century through the 19th century, offering distinct insight into the nature of these beloved stories and characters. From July 15-Oct. 15 at Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Tickets: $14-$40. Visit

Festival Fun

“Sundays on State”

“Sundays on State”

Vashon Jordan Jr. Photo

  • Sundays on State transforms the street into a pedestrian walkway with an interactive block party featuring art, culture, food, shopping and more. From 11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 16 and Aug. 13 on State between Lake and Adams. Admission is free. Visit
  • Sheffield Garden Walk returns with a walking tour of the always wonderful neighborhood gardens. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 15 along Sheffield from Webster to Fullerton. There’s also a children’s festival at Oscar Mayer Magnet School, 2250 N. Clinton. Admission is free. Visit
  • Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts present an Outdoor Mela, a traditional Indian fair with performances of music and dance, food and children’s activities. From noon-sunset July 16 at Women’s Parks and Gardens, 1801 S. Indiana. Admission is free. Visit
  • Chicago Craft Beer Fest offers samples of 35 craft beers from more than 20 breweries. From July 14-16 in Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood. Tickets: $35+. Visit
  • The adventure park The Forge presents Forge Fest, a free festival featuring races, educational workshops, live music from Maggie Speaks and Led Zeppelin 2 and a fireworks show. From July 14-16 at Lemont Quarries, 227 Heritage Quarries Dr., Lemont. Visit
  • World Wiffle Ball Championship welcomes Wifflers of all ages to support the South Suburban Humane Society. Games begin at 9 a.m. July 15-16 at Memorial Park, 3250 W. 145th St., Midlothian. Free admission for spectators. Visit
  • Summer Nature Fest returns with activities and programming for all ages. Discover local ecology with scientists, interact with live animals, meet Nature Cat and take a guided nature walk plus there’s face painting, crafts, outdoor nature play and much more. From 3-8 p.m. July 13 at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Grounds, Clark and Fullerton. Admission is free. Visit
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