The Mix: Square Roots Festival, Teatro ZinZanni and more things to do in Chicago July 12-18

Check out these suggestions for fun things to do in Chicago in the week ahead.

SHARE The Mix: Square Roots Festival, Teatro ZinZanni and more things to do in Chicago July 12-18

Acrobat Domitil Aillot will be part of the cast at Teatro Zinzanni.

Alabastro Photography

Make big plans for the week ahead in Chicago. There’s so much to see and do — and Taste! Here are some highlights for July 12-18:

THEATER: Teatro ZinZanni

Teatro ZinZanni’s “Love, Chaos & Dinner,” which has been described as the “Kit Kat Klub on acid,” combines cirque (clowns, aerial arts, acrobats), cabaret, spectacle, music, comedy and fine dining. Find it July 18-Sept. 29 at the Speigeltent ZaZou, a Belgian mirror tent located in Cambria Hotel Chicago, 32 W. Randolph. This forgotten space in the 1926 historic hotel was uncovered during a renovation when a dropped ceiling was removed. Tickets: $99-$189. Visit

MUSIC: Joan Shelley


Joan Shelley

Amber Estes Thieneman

Singer-songwriter Joan Shelley draws inspiration from traditional performers from her native Kentucky as well as those from Ireland, Scotland and England. Her pure vocals and textured melodies have roots in British folk and bring to mind Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention. Jeff Tweedy produced her 2017 self-titled release, and Rolling Stone says Shelley has “one of the loveliest voices in music.” Picnics on the Porch open at 6 p.m. July 12 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets: $15. Visit

ART: ‘Go Down Moses’


“Selan’s Beauty School” by Melissa Ann Pinney in “Go Down Moses.”

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Novelist-photographer Teju Cole has curated “Go Down Moses,” an exhibit that creates a visual tone poem of contemporary America that weaves together the past and present. Drawn from the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s collection, the exhibit features more than 150 photographs by artists including Dawoud Bey, Melissa Ann Pinney, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Jack Delano, Odette England, Graciela Iturbide, Dorothea Lange, Sally Mann, Gordon Parks and many others. From July 18-Sept. 29, Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan. Admisson is free. Visit

MUSIC: Square Roots Festival


The Mekons

Ricky Malpas

The Square Roots Festival is always an impressive gathering of roots, rock and world music. This summer’s lineup includes Son Volt, Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, Murder by Death, Vandoliers, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie and Los Vicios de Papa. And if you missed out on getting tickets for the British folk-punk collective the Mekons’ two sold-out shows at The Hideout, here’s your third chance to catch them. From July 12-14, on Lincoln between Montrose and Wilson. Admisson: $5-20. Visit

MOVIES: Marc Maron in town


Marc Maron

IFC Films

Comedian-actor Marc Maron stops by the Music Box Theatre on July 15 for a Q&A after ta preview screening of his new film “Sword of Trust.” Directed by Lynn Shelton, the comedy features Maron as a cantankerous pawnshop owner (sounds perfect) who spends his time swindling customers. His latest scheme involves a Civil War-era sword that comes with a convoluted story that claims the South actually won, which catches the attention of conspiracy theorists. The Q&A follows a screening at 7 p.m., and Maron sticks around to introduce a 9 p.m. screening at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets, $12, $15. Visit

MUSIC: Cosmic Honky Tonk Revue


Chuck Mead

Jason Moon Wilkins

Three Nashville trailblazers — Chuck Mead, Jim Lauderdale and Jason Ringenberg — have joined forces for what they’re calling the Cosmic Honky Tonk Revue. The evening features the three friends swapping songs and sharing stories all backed by Mead’s band the Grassy Knoll Boys. In their own separate musical careers, they have paved the way for many artists in today’s Americana scene. At 8 p.m. July 18, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets: $22-$32. Visit

STAGE: Millennium Park Summer Theatre


“The Adventures of Peter Rabbit”

Emerald City Theatre

The Year of Chicago Theatre continues with the Millennium Park Summer Theatre Residencies. From July 18-Oct. 12, theater companies are featured in weeklong runs at various locations throughout the park. First up is Emerald City Theatre with “The Adventures of Peter Rabbit” (July 18-20). Upcoming companies are Aguijón Theater, Barrel of Monkeys, CircEsteem, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Full Moon Jam Productions, Collaboraction Theatre Company, eta Creative Arts and Free Street Theater. Plus Lookingglass Theater will host a Family Fun Festival (June 24-Aug. 9). Admission is free. For times and locations, visit


• Check out the fine lineup of music (Dustbowl Revival, House of Hamill, Rory Makem, The Prodigals and more) at the Irish American Heritage Festival, July 12-14, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Visit

• Rock ’n’ roll is the star of the Disrupt Festival (The Used, Thrice, Circa Survive, Sum 41 and more), July 12, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 S. Ridgeland, Tinley Park. Visit

• Purchase fine art at the Southport Art Festival, July 13-14, Southport and Waveland. Visit Chow down at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest, July 13-14, Belmont and Damen. Visit

• Celebrate Chinese culture at the Chinatown Summer Fair, July 14, 2200 S. Wentworth. Visit Find fun for the entire family at the Kane County Fair, July 17-21, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles. Visit

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

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