The Mix: ‘Mass’ at Ravinia, Colombian Fest and more things to do in Chicago July 19-25

Chicago Craft Beer Fest, Taste of River North just a sampling of the festivals taking place this weekend.

SHARE The Mix: ‘Mass’ at Ravinia, Colombian Fest and more things to do in Chicago July 19-25
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“Mass” at Ravinia in 2018

Patrick Gipson

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 19-25:

Church under the stars

Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” a hit last summer, returns to Ravinia for one performance. Jacqueline Kennedy commissioned the musical theater piece in 1971 for the opening of Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The music reflects Bernstein’s eclectic musical interests — rock, gospel, folk, Broadway and jazz. The many performers on stage range from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and baritone Paul Szot to the Chicago Children’s Choir and the Highland Park High School Marching Band. At 8 p.m. July 20, Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park. Tickets: $14-$90. Visit ravinia.org

Exchange students

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Dianna Frid’s “Soledad”

Smart Museum

In 2017 and 2018, six Latino artists from Chicago and six from Havana took part in a cultural exchange where they traveled to one another’s cities and met with local artists, visited studios and explored the culture and city. The artists then used their experiences to develop new work for the exhibition “Cross Currents/Intercambio Cultural,” a partnership between the Smart Museum of Art and the National Museum of Mexican Art. Co-curator Alison Fraunhar says the exhibit “celebrates the opening of pathways of communication and understanding between previously unconnected individuals and communities.” To Aug. 18 at Smart Museum, 5550 S. Greenwood. Admission is free. Visit smartmuseum.uchicago.edu.

Spotlight on Colombia

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Sample the culture of Colombia from cuisine to dance and music (cumbia and vallenato) at the three-day Colombian Fest. The lineup includes Lisandro Meza, Grupo Niche, Alex Manga, Adalberto Santiago, Johnny Ventura, Khriz y Angel and more. Plus food, dance workshops, games and arts and crafts. From July 19-21, Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood. Visit colombianfestchicago.com.

Inspired by the classics

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John Paul White

Alysse Gafkjen

John Paul White has cultivated his career in Nashville for two decades, first as a songwriter for a major publisher and then as half of The Civil Wars, a duo that won four Grammy Awards. Now on his third solo album, White, inspired by the “Countrypolitan” scene of the ’60s (Roy Orbison, Chet Atkins, etc.), collaborated with classic Nashville songwriters including Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and Bobby Braddock. He says he approached the songwriting in a new way: “I really wanted there to be a torch song quality to it, the classic timeless quality. To not be afraid of the big note, and not be afraid of the drama.” Caleb Elliot opens at 8 p.m. July 25, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $18, $20. Visit lh-st.com.

Hyde Park Block Party

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Silver Room Block Party

Stoptime 341

Started in 2002 by Silver Room owner Eric Williams, the Silver Room Sound System Block Party has grown into a vibrant and diverse event for all ages. This summer it celebrates the spirit of community with the theme “The Greater Good” and features four performance stages, an interactive youth pavilion, a fashion show, vendor marketplace and rolling rink. Organizers are urging people to take public transportation, rideshare or bikes to the event as huge crowds are expected. From noon-10 p.m. July 20, on 53rd from Lake Park to Dorchester. Admission is free. Visit silverroomblockparty.com.

Neo family reunion

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Neo dancers back in the day

Dawn Hurwitz

For 36 years, the Chicago nightclub Neo could be found down the alley at 2350 N. Clark. Famous for contributing to the growth of the goth and industrial music scene, it was a popular stop for generations of clubgoers. Now they’ll get a chance to reminisce at Neo Reunion — 4 Decades, a 40th anniversary celebration featuring Neo DJs Suzanne Shelton, Glenn Russell, Scary Lady Sarah, Bill Saveley, Carrie Monster and Jeff Moyer. “I’ve played music at a lot of clubs through the years, but there was no place like Neo,” Moyer says. “It was the music, the people, and the community that made it special to so many of us.” At 8 p.m. July 20, Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tickets: $21. Visit metrochicago.com.

More festival fun

  • Find music, food and pretty gardens at Sheffield Street Fest, July 19-21, and Sheffield Garden Walk, July 20-21, on Sheffield between Webster and Fullerton. Visit sheffieldneighborhood.org
  • Local restaurants are featured at Taste of River North, July 19-21, Ward Park, 630 N. Kingsbury. Visit tasteofrivernorth.com.
  • Peruse fine art at Artfest Michigan Avenue, July 19-20, 435 N. Michigan. Visit amdurproductions.com.
  • Step into hops heaven at the Chicago Craft Beer Fest, July 20-21, on Lincoln between Addison and Roscoe. Visit chicagoevents.com.
  • Explore fun for the entire family at the Lake County Fair, July 24-28, Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake. Visit lcfair.com.

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