Things to do in Chicago July 6-12: The Mix

Millennium Park movies, the Chosen Few picnic and the Square Roots festival are among the entertainment highlights of the week ahead.

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Jon Langford.


Festival Fun

  • The Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic, an event dedicated to house music, features Chosen Few DJs Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Tony Hatchett, Alan King, Andre Hatchett, Terry Hunter, Mike Dunn and guest DJs. From 8 a.m.-10 p.m. July 8 at Jackson Park, 63rd and Hayes. Tickets: $60+. Visit
  • Evanston Made presents the Plein Air Festival (July 9-16), a juried invitational that features work by artists who leave the studio behind and paint in the great outdoors. Fans of this style can watch the artists as they work as well as vote for and purchase their favorites. Artists will paint scenes around Evanston during the week with an exhibit of their work taking place on July 16. For more information, visit
Evanston Plein Air Festival.

Evanston Plein Air Festival.

Courtesy of Evanston Made

  • The Passport Vibes Street Festival is a celebration of Afrobeat, the music genre hailing from West Africa, and features music from Chicago and international DJs, food, vendors, games, a fashion show and more. From noon-9 p.m. Saturday at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park. Admission is free. Visit
  • The Kane County Fair returns with carnival rides, rodeo events, a demolition derby, music, a magic show, petting zoo, a pig race, a car show and more. From July 12-16 at Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall, St. Charles. Admission: $5, $10, children under 3 free. Visit
  • Southport Art Fest: You’re sure to get your fine art fix at this Wrigleyville fest. Southport will be lined with everything from paintings to jewelry to sculptures by local artists. July 8-9. West Waveland Ave. and North Southport Ave. Free; Visit


  • “Marie and Rosetta” is George Brent’s play with music that follows Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the “godmother of rock ’n’ roll,” as she prepares for a tour and rehearses with a young protégé, Marie Knight. Bethany Thomas portrays Tharpe with Alexis J. Roston as Knight. E. Faye Butler directs. From July 6-Aug 6 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: $30-$89. Visit
Barry Irving (from left), Keenan Odenkirk and Ashley Graham in Midsommer Flight’s “Cymbelline.”

Barry Irving (from left), Keenan Odenkirk and Ashley Graham in Midsommer Flight’s “Cymbelline.”

Tom McGrath/TCMcG Photography

  • It’s the 10th summer for free Shakespeare in Chicago parks with Midsommer Flight’s staging of “Cymbeline,” a play filled with true love, adventure, disguised identities, an evil stepmother queen and a potion that mimics death. Beth Wolf directs. From July 7-Aug. 13 in six city parks beginning with Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens, 1801 S. Indiana. For a complete list of parks, visit
  • Trent Lunsford, Mary Kate Ashe, Joanna Jamerson and Connor Shioshita Pickett’s new musical, “Elements of Style,” examines themes of language and identity in William Strunk and E.B. White’s classic grammar guide and in White’s greater body of children’s literature (“Charlotte’s Web,” “Stuart Little” etc.). From July 6-Aug. 12 at The Neo-Futurists, 5153 N. Ashland. Tickets: $25, Thursdays pay-what-you-can. Visit
  • Physical Theater Festival Chicago opens with free family-friendly outdoor shows (2-8 p.m. July 8) in Nichols Park, 1355 W. 53rd. The festival continues through July 16 with a week of international, national and local performances, workshops and more at Theater Wit, 1313 N. Milwaukee and Aloft Circus Arts, 3324 W. Wrightwood. Tickets: $15, $20; festival pass $90. Visit
  • Goodman Theatre presents a series of New Play Readings: Lena Barnard’s “Stalled,” Dillon Chitto’s “Campy: The Search for Summer’s Campiest Camper,” Hanna Kime’s “It Girl” and Jarrett King’s “St. Miles.” From July 10-16 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Admission is free. To make a reservation, visit
  • Playwrights Initiative Festival features performances of Viola Bennett’s “Dreams & Fantasies: The Dorothy Dandridge Story,” Jill Ross’ “True Happiness,” Michelle Renee Bester’s “The Making of an Empress of Soul: Gladys Knight,” Lillian Mitchum’s “Lady T: The Story of Teena Marie,” Reginald Williams’ “Lyrical Memories” and Ervin Gardner’s “Sam Cooke: Killing of a King.” From Jul 11-15 at Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. Tickets: $25. Visit


  • The Square Roots Festival returns with headliners Superchunk, Real Estate, Momma, Lala Lala, Slow Pulp, Divino Nino, Momma, Eleventh Dream Day, plus Jon Langford and Sally Timms, Squirrel Flower, Gabacho, Los Vicios de Papa and more. There’s also food, vendors and a family stage for young music fans. From 5-10 p.m. July 7, noon-10 p.m. July 8 and noon-9 p.m. July 9 on North Lincoln Ave. from West Montrose Ave. to West Wilson Ave. Admission: $5-$20. Visit
Jenny Lewis. photo by Bobbi Rich

Jenny Lewis.

Bobbi Rich Photo

  • Jenny Lewis tours behind her fine new release, “Joy’ All,” her fifth and latest solo album. Jenny O. and Hayden Pedigo open at 8 p.m. July 7 at The Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston. Tickets: $35-$55. Visit
  • The Music Institute of Chicago presents the 35th season of its Duo Piano Festival, featuring four concerts and two master classes. The opening night concert (7:30 p.m. July 7) is performed by festival co-founders Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem and includes works by Schubert, Brahms, Holst, Ravel and more. From July 7-16 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $25, $30. Visit
  • Ne-Yo headlines the Ravinia Pavilion, 201 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park, on July 7. $51-$180. Visit
  • Weezer performs July 9 at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, 5400 W. 29th Ave., Gary, Indiana. Tickets: $109.50-$459.50 (21+over). Visit
Japanese Breakfast performs on the second day of Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park in 2022.

Japanese Breakfast performs on the second day of Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park in 2022.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

  • If you missed them at Pitchfork last year, catch Japanese Breakfast at the Salt Shed July 9-10. Frankie Cosmos opens. At 1357 N. Elston Ave. Tickets: $55-$95 (ages 17+). Visit


“My Little Loves”

“My Little Loves”


  • The Dirty Films of Jean Eustache is a 12-film retrospective of the French filmmaker described as a “provincial cousin” of the French New Wave who is known for his authentic, passionate and personal films. Among the films are “The Mother and the Whore,” “My Little Loves,” “Numero Zero,” “Robinson’s Place” and more. From July 7-13 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $13. Visit
Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Paramount Pictures

  • Millennium Park Summer Film Series (July 11-Aug. 29) begins with the high-octane street racers of “Fast Five.” Upcoming films include “Turning Red,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Summer of Soul (Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” “Clueless,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Barbershop” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Films screen at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph. Admission is free. Visit


“Purvis Young: Works on Paper” courtesy of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

“Purvis Young: Works on Paper”

Courtesy of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

  • “Purvis Young: Works on Paper” highlights the work of the self-taught artist who recorded and portrayed the everyday lives, stories and systemic traumas of the Black experience that he was a witness to in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami. Young created more than 3,000 works using wood scraps, paper, Masonite, plywood and found books. Also on display are recently acquired pieces by William Dawson, Lee Godie, Mose Tolliver and others. To Sept. 4 at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee. Admission: $5, under 18 free. Visit
“Enduring Ties: Resilience & Longing in Cuba,” 

“Enduring Ties: Resilience & Longing in Cuba”

All Rights Reserved ©2016 Alex Garcia

  • The Chicago Center for Photojournalism, a new Uptown gallery which opened in March, presents “Enduring Ties: Resilience & Longing in Cuba,” an exhibit featuring images created by Chicago-based photojournalist Alex Garcia that transport viewers to the heart and soul of Cuba. The gallery is located at 1226 W. Wilson. Admission is free. Visit
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