The Mix: Cool Things to Do in Chicago, Aug. 18-24

The Chicago Air and Water Show, Chicago Ribfest, and Sunday in the Park with Lyric are among the entertainment highlights in the week ahead.

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The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over Lake Michigan during an air show event in 2021. The team returns to Chicago this weekend for a full-on Air and Water Show. 

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over Lake Michigan during an air show event in 2021. The team returns to Chicago this weekend for a full-on Air and Water Show.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Festival Fun

  • The Chicago Air and Water Show returns with its annual roster of military and civilian performers and aerial demonstration teams. Expect thrilling presentations by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and more. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 20-21 along the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street. Admission is free. Visit
  • Rudio Fest, the three-day Latin alternative music festival, returns with performances by Cuco, Babasonicos, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Carla Morrison, Cypress Hill, Maldita Vecindad, Ed Maverick, Siddhartha, Goyo and many more. From 3-10 p.m. Aug. 19, 1-10 p.m. Aug. 20-21 in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. Tickets: $99+. Visit
  • Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival features more than 130 juried artists and their creations including paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, furniture and more. From noon-5 p.m. Aug. 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 20-21 at 800 Church, Evanston. Admission is free. Visit
  • Clark After Dark is USO of Illinois’ annual block party celebrating America’s military service members and their families. Enjoy food, drinks and live music. From 4-10 p.m. Aug. 18 on Hubbard Street between Clark and LaSalle. Admission: $10. Visit
  • Ribfest Chicago offers plenty of good eats, artists and vendors, music and children’s activities. Also, BBQ masters compete for the title of “Best Ribs.” From 5-10 p.m. Aug. 19, noon-10 p.m. Aug. 20-21 on Lincoln Avenue from Damen to Irving Park. Admission: $10, $20 for families suggested donation. Visit
  • In Rogers Park, Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest presents a diverse selection of more than 120 artists, live music, a food court, dance performances and family activities. From 6-9 p.m. Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 21 on Glenwood from Farwell to Lunt. Admission is free. Visit
  • The Jollof Festival is a day-long celebration of the many variations of this one-pot rice dish, unique to various West African countries. Some consider it the predecessor to Cajun jambalaya. At 2 p.m. Aug. 20 at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park. Tickets: $20-$45. Visit
  • Roscoe Village PorchFest is an afternoon of live music from the porches of neighborhood residents featuring more than 30 local musicians. From 1-5 p.m. Aug 21 between Addison to Wellington and Ravenswood to Western. Tickets: $10-$40. Visit
  • Throw down a picnic blanket and enjoy Sangria Fest which features food from local restaurants alongside pitchers of sangria. Plus, there’s multi-cultural music and dancing or create a masterpiece in the Paint & Sip lounge. Aug. 20-21 in Humboldt Park, 3015 W. Division. Tickets: $15-$80. Visit


Spencer Davis Milford (from left), Amanda Walker, Heidi Kettenring, David C. Girolmo, Rebecca Hurd and Alex Goodrich star in “Hello, Dolly!” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. 

Spencer Davis Milford (from left), Amanda Walker, David C. Girolmo, Heidi Kettenring, Rebecca Hurd and Alex Goodrich star in “Hello, Dolly!” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

Joe Mazza/Brave Lux

  • Heidi Kettenring stars in “Hello, Dolly!,” Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s play “The Matchmaker” about a woman hired to help a pompous merchant find a wife. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award nominee Denis Jones (“Tootsie,” “Holiday Inn”). From Aug. 24-Oct. 16 at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Tickets: $54-$64. Visit
  • Backed by music from the Harlem Renaissance, “My Brother Langston” uncovers why Langston Hughes was considered one of the greatest poets and civil rights leaders. Written and directed by Rueben Echoles. From Aug. 21-Sept. 18 at Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. Tickets: $55. Visit
  • In her one-woman show “Crazy or Nah?!,” comedian-actress Kellye Howard uses storytelling, poetry and comedy to question the lasting effects of emotional and psychological trauma. At 8 p.m. Aug. 18-20, 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted. Tickets: $27. Visit
  • Rivendell Theatre presents “Fresh Produce: A Celebration of New Plays by Women.” The readings are an opportunity for a moderated dialogue between artists and audience. Featured are three plays: Mackenzie Yaeger’s “400 Horses” (Aug. 18), Karissa Murrell Myers’ “Blood of My Mother’s” (Aug. 22) and Aurora Real de Asua’s “Wipeout” (Aug. 29). At 7:30 p.m. each night at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. Tickets: $10-$25 per reading, $25-$50 for all three. Visit
  • In Kevin Wiczer’s drama “Wreck,” after a place crash near the Bahamas two survivors are washed up onto a deserted island where they must work together to survive. From Aug. 19-Sept. 3 at TEPA Warehouse Theater, 342 W. Colfax, Palatine. Tickets: $15. Visit


The Surfrajettes headline Evanston SPACE on Aug. 20. Change Remove

The Surfrajettes headline Evanston SPACE on Aug. 20.

Courtesy of The Surfrajettes

  • The Surfrajettes are a Toronto-based quartet that charms audiences with a mix of psychedelic rock and reverb-drenched surf music. Band members — guitarists Shermy Freeman and Nicole Damoff, bassist Sarah Butler and drummer Samantha Maloney — dream about performing in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Volk opens at 8 p.m. Aug. 20 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $18-$25. Visit
  • Sunday in the Park with Lyric features excerpts from Lyric Opera’s upcoming season including Verdi’s “Ernani,” Harnick and Stein’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” Verdi’s “Don Carlos,” Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory,” Bizet’s “Carmen,” Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” and Bernstein, Sondheim and Laurents’ “West Side Story.” The Lyric Opera Orchestra backs a long list of performers from the Ryan Opera Center. At 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. Admission is free. Visit
“Sunday in the Park with Lyric” at Millennium Park. 

“Sunday in the Park with Lyric” at Millennium Park.

© Todd Rosenberg Photography

  • “Exceptional Black Muses: A Musical Journey” salutes influential Black female jazz musicians, composers and bandleaders including jazz pianist/composers Mary Lou Williams, Lillian Hardin Armstrong, Alice Coltrane and Geri Allen. An all-Black female string quartet is led by bassist Jordyn Davis and jazz violinist Natalie Frakes. Spoken word artist Darlin Mikki performs pieces written for this musical journey presented by Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and the Jazz Institute of Chicago. At 7 p.m. Aug. 20 and 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston. Tickets, $35, $40. Visit
  • The kiddies have to stay home, as this one’s for the grownups only. Lincoln Park Zoo’s Adults Night Out: Summer Block Party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the zoo, 2001 N. Clark. Tickets (18+over) $25-$40. Music by DJ Marcus Carter. Enjoy a cash bar, visit the animals, take free rides on the carousel, play lawn games, and more. Visit
  • Blues artist Demetria Taylor will be releasing her second Delmark offering, “Doin’ What I’m Supposed to Do,” on Aug. 19, and she’s celebrating with a CD release party at 8 p.m. Aug. 22 at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. The disc features guest artists Mike Wheeler Band, Carlos Showers, Deitra Farr and Billy Flynn. Taylor, the daughter of blues legend Eddie Taylor, was recently honored with the KoKo Taylor 2022 “Queen of the Blues” award from the Jus Blues Foundation. Tickets, $15-$22. Visit


David Hockney, “27th March 2020.”

David Hockney, “27th March 2020.”

© David Hockney

  • “David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020” features a series of new work by the inventive artist known for his landscapes, domestic scenes and intimate portraits. At the beginning of the pandemic, Hockney traveled to France to capture the emergence of spring in rural Normandy. Using the medium of the iPad, he painted a series of works that celebrate the natural world in all its vivid beauty. From Aug. 20-Jan. 9 at Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Admission: $14-$25. Visit
Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932), Bal du Moulin Rouge, 1889. Color lithograph.

Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932), Bal du Moulin Rouge, 1889. Color lithograph.

Courtesy Milwaukee Art Museum

  • “Always New: The Poster of Jules Chéret” is the first solo exhibition of poster works by the Belle Epoque master lithographer who elevated lithography to an art form and shaped the way posters were both created and experienced by the public. Included are more than 100 large-scale advertisements for French music halls, theaters, department stores, newspapers and more. To Oct. 16 at the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Dr., Milwaukee. Admission: $17, $22. Visit

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