- Smokeout in the windy city, which was named “Festival of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music, returns with an outstanding country music line-up including Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, Willie Nelson & Family, the reunion of the Turnpike Troubadours, Kip Moore and more. Plus, the other big draw: delicious BBQ prepared by more than a dozen restaurants from across the country. August 4-7, United Center parking lot, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $45+. Visit windycitysmokeout.com.
- The LGBTQ friendly festival Northalsted Market Days features performances across five stages, plus vendors, crafts, food, DJs and lots of dancing. The cast includes drag queen Ginger Minj, singer Michaela Jae, comedian Matteo Lane, Anastacia, Sammy Rae & the Friend, The Aces, drag queen Ada Vox and more. From 11am to 10pm 6th to 7th August on Halsted from Belmont to Addison. Admission: $15 suggested donation. Visit northalsted.com/marketdays.
- dancing in the streets features live music (Rock & Rye, Terrapin Flyer, Steal Your Phace, Brooklyn Charmers and more), food vendors, food trucks, craft beers, local artists and more. From 5pm-10pm on August 5th and 12pm-10pm on August 6th-7th August on Hubbard from Paulina to Wood. Admission: $10 suggested donation. Visit westtownchamber.org.
- those years Taste of Andersonville includes two separate foodie routes that travel up and down Clark Street to sample more than 20 dinners, drinks and desserts at Andersonville’s restaurants. From 5pm to 8pm on August 10th. Tickets: $30, $45 after August 7th. Visit www.andersonville.org for more information.
- Back alley jazz features music by Sam Thousand & the Soul Vortex, Dee Alexander & John McLean, Rashada Dawan & the Soul Collective and more at three South Side locations. August 6 from noon to 6 p.m. at 7200 and 7300 blocks from S. Paxton; 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Black United Fund, 1809 E. 71st; and from 6 to 7 p.m. at 7400 block of S. Oglesby. Admission is free. Visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
- There’s music, food trucks, and vendors inside Jazz festival in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Cast members include Julia Huff, Reggie Foster, Smooth Willie Fultz and Audley Reid. From 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on August 6th at Martin Luther King Dr., from August 37th to 39th. Admission is free. Visit eventbrite.com.
- Festa Italiana showcases the music, food and culture of Italy. There are also vendors, children’s activities and rides, a meatball eating contest and more. 5-10 p.m. August 5, 12-10 p.m. August 6, and 12-8 p.m. August 7 at Naper Settlement, Webster and Aurora, Naperville. Admission: $5-$25, children under 12 free. Visit www.starevents.com.
TimeLine Theater opens its 26th season with the world premiere of Will Allans “Campaigns, Inc.” a comedy about the emergence of fake news. Allan based the work on the true story of Leone Baxter (Tyler Meredith) and Clem Whitaker (Yuriy Sardarov), founders of the first political consulting firm. Set in 1934, writer Upton Sinclair is certain to be elected California’s first Democratic governor — until these young advisers try to bring him down. (Sardarov’s first professional acting role was in TimeLine’s 2009 production of The History Boys before playing Otis on NBC’s Chicago Fire for seven seasons.) Directed by Nick Bowling. Through September 18 at the TimeLine Theater, 615 W. Wellington. Tickets: $42-$57. Visit timelinetheatre.com.
A theater in the dark the gifts “A Question of Red Herrings” a new radio play that is a declaration of love to the era of film noir and radio plays. The comedy follows the misadventures of two detectives trying to hunt down a priceless artifact in 1920s Chicago. Written by Greg Garrison with music by Paul Sottnik and directed by Corey Bradberry, it begins streaming August 4th. Tickets: $10. Visit atheaterinthedark.com.
“Kittens in Space: The Saga” takes place in a future world where humans have disappeared and pets have advanced intelligence. Two cats, Socks and Mittens, take a journey into space in this absurd adult misadventure from playwright John Enright. Directed by Tiffany Keane Schaefer. From 5 Aug-Sept 4 at the Otherworld Theater, 3914 N. Clark. Tickets: $20. Visit otherworldtheatre.org.
The artistic home Summer in the patio series includes workshop productions of three plays: Jez Butterworth’s The River, David Ives’ Venus in Fur and Siah Berlatsky’s Malapert Love. From August 5th to 28th at The artistic home, 3504 N. Milwaukee. Free, donations welcome. For days and times, visit theartistichome.org.
From Outer Space returns to the shores of Lake Michigan for its fifth season of music. The concert program includes Jenny Lewis and Trampled By Turtles (Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m., $45), Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets and Nicole Atkins (6 p.m., August 5, sold out), Lucinda Williams and Waxahatchee Liam Kazar (August 6, 6 p.m., $49.50), Buddy Guy with Todd Park Mohr from Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Bobby Ruch (August 7, 6 p.m., $45). Plus food, art installations and more. Visit evanstonspace.com.
The local honeys (Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs) create a modern Appalachian sound on their new self-titled album, which features 10 scenes from rural Kentucky. Tom T. Hall called the duo “a great credit to a wonderful tradition in Kentucky.” Reilly Downes opens at 8pm on August 5 at the Golden Dagger, 2447 N. Halsted. Tickets: $12. Visit goldendagger.com.
That Wild Hearts Tour features Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Julien Baker and their bands playing tunes from their individual songbooks and teaming up for what are sure to be interesting collaborations. A portion of the proceeds will go to A New Way of Life Reentry Project, an organization that helps people adjust to life after incarceration. Quinn Christopherson opens the show August 10 at 5:00 p.m. at Chicago’s newest venue, The Salt Shed, 1357 N. Elston. Tickets: $60.50+. Visit saltshedchicago.com.
Museums & Galleries
A cultural treasure is celebrated in Chicago “Lakefront Anonymous: Chicago’s Unknown Art Gallery.” On display are photographs of the unique urban anonymous rock carvings that line the lake shore. The images of the coastline, stretching from the Indiana state line to Osterman Beach, were taken by Aron Packer and William Swislow, who have documented the carvings for more than three decades. Until August 27 at Firecat Projects, 2019 N. Ladies. Admission is free. Visit firecatprojects.org.
That Chicago Silent Film Company the gifts “Silence on the Porch” four screenings of classic silent films on the porch of the historic Pleasant Home, 217 Home Ave., Oak Park. The films are the comedy Ella Cinders (Aug. 4), Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (Aug. 11), Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (Aug. 18), and a Mack Sennett comedy Night with “Water Wagons,” “Wandering Willies” and “All Night Long” (25 August). All begin at 7pm and include live musical accompaniment by Jay Warren. Tickets: $10, $20 per family. Visit friendlyhome.org.