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The Mix: Air & Water Show, Wizard World and more things to do in Chicago Aug. 16-22

MuckFest, Bernadette Peters in concert, and Dance for Life are among the entertainment/cultural highlights in the week ahead.

The Army Golden Knights again will descend toward Chicago at the Air & Water Show this weekend.
The Army Golden Knights again will descend into Chicago at the Air & Water Show this weekend.
City of Chicago

High-flying thrills

This summer’s edition of the Chicago Air and Water Show welcomes a guest from across the pond: the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. Other headliners include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Nights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs. There also will be a wide variety of military and civilian aerial demonstration teams with daredevil pilots performing stunts. From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 17-18, along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street. Admission is free. Visit

Non-stop laughter

Ali Wong

Ali Wong became a comedian to pay attention to after the success of her Netflix stand-up specials “Baby Cobra” and “Hard-Knock Wife.” Now she’s back on the road with her new show “The Milk & Money Tour.” As usual, she minces no words as she tackles an array of topics ranging from sex to powerful women. At 7 and 10 p.m. Aug. 16-17, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $49-$153. Visit

There she is, Bernadette

Bernadette Peters
Provided photo

Actress-singer Bernadette Peters is known for roles on stage as well as on the big and small screen. She lets her musical theater side shine for a performance at 8 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora. The Tony Award winner draws from her expansive repertoire ranging from the works of Stephen Sondheim to classics such as “Hello, Dolly!” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” Tickets: $49-$99. Visit

Spotlight on dance

Giordano Dance Chicago
Provided photo

Chicago’s dance scene is showcased in the annual Dance for Life fundraiser, which benefits organizations and dance professionals facing critical health issues. Companies performing are Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater. Also featured is a work honoring late dancer-choreographer-instructor Claire Bataille choreographed by Robyn Mineko Williams; Randy Duncan choreographs the finale, which joins together dancers from several of the companies. At 6 p.m. Aug. 17, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $15-$75. Visit

Music under the stars

The Steel Woods
Alyssa Gafkjen

Before the cooler weather gets here, FitzGerald’s stages three outdoor Concerts in the Yard beginning with Americana bands The Steel Woods and Trout Steak Revival on Aug. 16 ($15, $20) followed by Ike Reilly Assassination on Aug. 30 and The Bottle Rockets on Sept. 27 (both shows $20, $25). The music begins at 7 p.m. at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt in Berwyn. Visit

Pop culture comes alive

There’s entertainment, gaming Q&A sessions, cosplay and much more at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago. Celebrity guests include Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Levi, Melissa Joan Hart, Cary Elwes, George Wendt, Henry Winkler, Amy Acker, Emma Caulfield and Lou Ferrigno. From Aug. 22-25, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont. Tickets start at $34.99. For more information, go to

Silent film gems

Anna May Wong
Provided photo

Film researcher Elizabeth Rye opens the 20th annual Silent Summer Film Festival (8 p.m. Aug. 16) with a presentation on the career of actress Anna May Wong followed by a screening of “The Toll of the Sea,” a restored and rarely seen original Technicolor release from 1922. Other featured films are a trio of Buster Keaton classics (1 p.m. Aug. 17), “Aelita: Queen of Mars” and “A Trip to the Moon” (8 p.m. Aug. 17) and Bessie Love in “Rubber Tires” (3 p.m. Aug. 18). All films have live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren. Presented by the Silent Film Society of Chicago at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $8-$15, festival pass $32, $48. Visit

Fun in the mud

MuckFest promises plenty of fun, challenges and excitement.
MuckFest promises plenty of fun, challenges and excitement.
Provided photo

Raise money to support the National MS Society while also letting your inner child have some fun at MuckFest as you traverse a 5K mud obstacle course that promises to be more fun than the usual pavement. Family and friends can cheer on participants as they conquer 18 obstacles including the Giant Swing Set, Mt. Muck, Spider Web and Belly Crawl. From 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 17, Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson, Grayslake. For more information and to register, go to

More festival fun

  • Find fun, food and fine art at Evanston Art and Big Fork Festival, Aug. 16-18, downtown Evanston. Visit
  • Visit Rogers Park for the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest, Aug. 17-18, Glenwood and Morse. Visit
  • Musicians, artists, authors and poets take part in Pilsen Fest, Aug. 17-18, on Blue Island between 18th and 21st. Visit
  • Taste more than 20 handcrafted sangrias at Sangria Festival Chicago, Aug. 17-18, Humboldt Park, entrance on Division. Visit
  • Shop the past at Vintage Days, Aug. 17-18, downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry. Visit