Things to do in Chicago Aug. 31-Sept. 6: The Mix

Brandi Carlile at Ravinia, the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park and North Coast Music Fest are among the entertainment highlights in the week ahead.

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Brandi Carlile of The Highwomen performs at Chris Stapleton’s All-American Roadshow at Wrigley Field, Saturday, July 23.

Brandi Carlile performs with the Highwomen at Wrigley Field in 2022. She headlines Ravinia this weekend.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times


Jeffrey Bivens and Julia Williams star in “Moon at the Bottom of the Ocean.” the first production in Curious Theatre Branch’s 35th Anniversary Season, September 1 - 23, at Chicago Dramatists. 

Jeffrey Bivens and Julia Williams star in “Moon at the Bottom of the Ocean,” the first production in Curious Theatre Branch’s 35th anniversary season, Sept. 1-23, at Chicago Dramatists.

Jeffrey Bivens

  • Curious Theatre Branch’s 35th season begins with the world premiere of Bryn Magnus’ “Moon at the Bottom of the Ocean,” a comedy about a blocked writer who attempts to discover the secret of literary success. Jeffrey Bivens, Vicki Walden and Julia Williams star; Jenny Magnus directs. From Sept. 1-23 at Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen. Tickets are on a pay-what-you-can scale with a suggested price of $20. Visit
  • Lifeline Theatre presents a revival of John Hildreth’s adaptation of “Cat’s Cradle,” Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel, a satirical tale about how scientific research, banana republic politics and organized religion bring about the end of the world. Heather Currie directs. From Sept. 1-Oct. 22 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood. Tickets: $45. Visit
  • Water People Theater stages “North & Sur,” Oscar Perdomo Marin’s play imagining a fictional encounter between two icons of world literature: American writer Edgar Allan Poe (Eric K. Roberts) and Latin American poet Alfonsina Storni (Kris Tori). Iraida Tapias directs. From Sept. 5-Oct. 6 at Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio. Tickets: $20-$30. Visit
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre presents “The Baldwin-Giovanni Experience,” a celebration of two literary giants — James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni — through spoken word, prose, original music, choreography and mural art. Sean Blake and Rachel Blakes star; directed by Tim Rhoze. At 7 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3 p.m. Sept. 3 at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston. Tickets: $30. Visit
  • Congo Square Theatre’s old-school radio melodrama, “The Clinic,” returns for its third and final season as Dr. Latisha Bradley finds her enemies will stop at nothing to keep her discovery from revolutionizing the medical field. The first two seasons are also available. Listen free beginning Sept. 1 at


Kurt Elling is a last-minute addition to the 2023 Chicago Jazz Festival lineup.

Kurt Elling is a last-minute addition to the 2023 Chicago Jazz Festival lineup.

Dave Stapleton

  • The Chicago Jazz Festival returns with a showcase of local, national and international artists including Kurt Elling (who will be joined by guitarist Charlie Hunter in a set replacing the previously scheduled Dianne Reeves on Friday night at the Pritzker Pavilion), Makaya McCraven, Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Young Lions Jazz Showcase and much more. From 11 a.m.-9 p.m. today, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Millennium Park, event entrance at either Randolph or Monroe. Free. Visit
  • Brandi Carlile is everywhere these days. In between a busy touring schedule, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter was instrumental in the resurgence of her idol — Joni Mitchell —and, in addition to her own albums, she’s produced albums for Tanya Tucker, Brandy Clark and Mitchell while also doing guest spots on others (see Hosier). And Carlile’s recent duet with Pink on “Nothing Compares 2 U” at the latter’s Cincinnati concert was a touching tribute to Sinead O’Conner. At 7 tonight at Ravinia, 201 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. Tickets: $67-$205. Visit
The ARC Music Festival is at Union Park this weekend.

The ARC Music Festival is at Union Park this weekend.

Courtesy of ARC Music Festival

  • ARC Music Festival features a long list of house and techno performers including Fatboy Slim, Hiroko Yamamura, Black Coffee, The Blessed Madonna, Vintage Culture, Mochakk and Chicago house music pioneers Derrick Carter, Gene Farris, Collette, DJ Heather and DJ Lady D. From Sept. 1-3 at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. Tickets: $139+. Visit
  • Country artist Carrie Underwood recently opened a handful of shows for Guns N’ Roses and crushed a cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.” Now at her two-night Ravinia gig, she dives into her songbook and maybe a rock cover or two. At 8 p.m. Sept. 1-2 at Ravinia, 201 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. Tickets: $77-$215. Visit
Carrie Underwood headlines Ravinia in two shows this weekend.

Carrie Underwood headlines Ravinia in two shows this weekend.

Getty Images

  • North Coast Music Festival features more than 100 electronic artists on five stages, including Marshmello, Zeds Dead, Flume, Alesso, Alison Wonderland, Liquid Stranger, DJ Snake, Duke Dumont, Lane I, Chris Lake and more. Sept. 1-3 at SeatGeek Stadium, 7000 S. Harlem, Bridgeview. $99+. Visit
  • Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam have embarked on a short tour in support of the new album “Gigaton.” Inhaler opens the shows at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 and Sept. 7 at United Center, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $122+. Visit
  • The a cappella ensemble Pentatonix performs with opener country artist Lauren Alaina at 8 p.m. Sept. 2 at Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre, 19100 Ridgeland, Tinley Park. Tickets: $77+. Visit
  • For some oldies but goodies, check out the I Want My ’80s Tour featuring Rick Springfield, the Hooters, Paul Young and Tommy Tutone at 7:30 tonight ($39) and legendary rockers REO Speedwagon at 8 p.m. Sept. 2 (sold out but check resale sites) at RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora. Visit


  • “Dan Friedman: Stay Radical,” the first museum retrospective focused on the underrecognized career of the American designer, charts his midcareer move from graphic designer to a multimedia creator whose neon-colored works defy traditional categories. Featured are more than 50 works, including posters, books, large-scale assemblages and furniture designs. From Sept. 2-Feb. 4 at Art Institute of Chicago, 116 S. Michigan. Admission: $14-$32. Visit


“Poetic Justice” is screening at the Music Box Theatre.

“Poetic Justice,” starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, is screening at the Music Box Theatre.

Columbia Pictures

  • “Fresh Films” is a 17-film series celebrating 50 years of hip-hop and the genre’s long-running relationship with cinema, from the early ‘80s pioneering films that brought hip-hop to the world to later films showcasing the talents of rap stars. Screenings include Charlie Ahearn’s “Beat Street,” John Singleton’s “Poetic Justice,” Craig Brewer’s “Hustle & Flow,” Curtis Hanson’s “8 Mile” and Mario Van Peebles’ “New Jack City.” From Sept. 1-30 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $8-$12; $75 series pass. For a complete list of films, visit
  • The series “Contra/Banned” features 10 films that have experienced, in varying degrees, bans, protests and regulations. Among the films are Roberto Rossellini’s “L’Amore,” Paul Verhoeven’s “Robocop,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” Howard Hawks’ “Scarface” and John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos.” From Sept. 1-11 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $13. For a complete list of films, visit
  • The fall season at Chicago Film Society includes an eclectic roster of films that run the gamut of film history and are sure to pique the interest of fans. Included are Oscar Micheaux’s “Body and Soul,” Allison Anders “Border Radio,” Terrence Malick’s “The New World,” John S. Robertson’s “The Bright Shawl,” Sergei Parajanov’s “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors,” Hobert Henley’s “Night World.” Plus there’s a “16mm Centennial Celebration” and a “Home Movies Day.” Screenings (Sept. 6-Dec. 19) are at various locations; ticket prices vary. For a complete list of films and locations, visit

Festival Fun

Celebrate “Irish Days” in Long Grove.

Celebrate “Irish Days” in Long Grove.

Grimaldi Public Relations

  • Get your Irish on at Long Grove’s annual Irish Days, a three-day family celebration of Irish culture. Featured are Irish musicians, dancers and other entertainment, along with a dog competition, food, beer and more. From 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 and 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in downtown Long Grove, 145 Old McHenry Rd. Admission is free. Visit
  • West Loop Art Fest features a wide array of artists and their creations, interactive art, children’s crafts, music and more. From 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 2-3 at Fulton and Peoria. Admission is free. Visit
  • Spend Labor Day weekend at Schaumburg Septemberfest and enjoy live music (Blue Oyster Cult, BoDeans, Al Jardine), craft beer and wine, a carnival, pony rides, bingo, fireworks, a parade and more. From 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 2-3 and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 4. Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center Grounds, 101 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. Admission is free. Visit

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