BLOCK PARTY ON THE LAKE
Looking for the newest, freshest sounds in R&B? Then steer clear of the V-103 Summer Block Party, where the focus is on veteran acts with proven power to entertain. Keith Sweat, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Ne-Yo, Tank and Brandy will be crooning the summer night away starting at 6 p.m. July 14 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.
There may have been some bad blood on their first Twins of Evil co-headlining trek a few years back, but that’s not the case this time out. Everything’s rosey for the Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson Twins of Evil: The Second Coming tour, which arrives at Tinley Park’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on July 15. Deadly Apples is also on the bill. Show time is 7 p.m.
YOUR ‘BIG’ CHANCE
It was 30 years ago this summer when Tom Hanks played a 12-year-old boy magically transformed into adulthood, a role that would earn him his first Oscar nomination. That acclaimed comedy, “Big,” is back on big screens for an anniversary revival on July 15 and 18.
Broadway (“Cabaret”) and TV (“The Good Wife”) star Alan Cumming brings his latest one-man, cabaret-style concert, “Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant,” to Ravinia’s pavilion on July 13. Show time at the Highland Park venue is 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20-$80.
If you like barbecue and, more importantly, hamburgers (beef, veggie or turkey), you don’t want to miss the annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest, July 14-15 at Belmont and Damen. More than a dozen local eateries will be firing up the grills and showcasing their best burger concoctions. Two stages of music, arts and crafts and a Kids Zone are all part of the mix, too. You can also vote for Chicago’s Best Burger while partaking of the food and drink.
Got an inkling to check out 16th century England? You won’t need a time machine. Journey north to Kenosha, Wisconsin, for the annual Bristol Renaissance Faire, and spend the day visiting with Robin Hood or Queen Elizabeth, or wandering amid an artisan market listening to costumed minstrels, cheering on jousting knights, sampling food and drink, and so much more jolly good fun. The 30-acre faire runs Saturdays-Sundays through Labor Day, off of I-94 at the Illinois-Wisconsin border (follow the signs).
Music fans will flock to venerable Wrigley Field this weekend for two shows. First up: the eternal boys of summer Jimmy Buffettt and the Coral Reefer Band, with special guest Boz Scaggs on July 13. Show time is 7 p.m. On July 14, it’s Journey and Def Leppard, with special guests The Pretenders.
Taste of Chicago concludes this weekend with Petrillo Music Shell headliners Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (July 13, with opener Madame Gandhi), The Flaming Lips (July 14) and George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic (July 15, with openers BJ the Chicago Kid, and The Boy Illinois). The food/music fest runs in Grant Park (Jackson and Columbus).
It’s one of the most anticipated parties of the summer! The annual Windy City Smokeout runs July 13-15 at Grand and the Chicago River. Twenty of the best pitmasters in the world will be grilling up a feast at the food/music extravaganza. The lineup includes Brett Young, Brett Eldredge, Brothers Osborne, Midland, Turnpike Troubadors, Charley Crockett, Ashley McBryde and more.
Book lovers (and everybody else looking for a cool event this weekend) should head to Woodlawn on July 15 for the Soulful Chicago Bookfair, a celebration of black writers, literature and culture. The book fair (which opens at 10 a.m.) stretches four blocks on 61st Street (between Cottage Grove and King Drive). Everything from fiction and non-fiction to children’s literature is featured, along with live music on two stages, author talks, puppet shows and more. Workshops for aspiring authors, special exhibits are also featured.
Adler Planetarium’s adults-only (21+over) Adler After Dark series returns July 19 with “Superhero Science.” You choose your side — superhero or supervillain — create your character, assemble your team and embark on a museum-wide adventure exploring the Marvel and DC universes. Hands-on experiments, talks and special guests round out the night of planetarium shows, cocktails and entertainment. The fun starts at 6 p.m.