The 3CR Staff’s Guide to a Better July

If you’re like me and you don’t yet have your life together enough to live in an air-conditioned apartment, you are looking for any reason to leave your home. Look no further! Each month our staff gets together and picks the upcoming festivals, shows, events and urban happenings we’re most looking forward to. Here are ideas to get you out, about, and off the beaten path in July.


Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet

David Carl’s 80-minute one-man show received rave reviews during its run in NYC. It comes to Chicago’s Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier for five days from July 12 to 19. Catch what’s been described as “the best impersonation of Gary Busey the world will ever know” for $35 per ticket.

Guirgis Celebration

@ Eclipse Theatre Company

Our Lady of 121st Street @ the Athenaeum Theatre 2936 N. Southport Ave.

July 14 – August 21, 2016

Opening Nights July 17 at 3 p.m., July 19 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m

The second play in Eclipse Theatre’s yearlong celebration of playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. This production is directed by Eclipse ensemble member Sarah Moeller.

@ Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Between Riverside and Crazy @ Steppenwolf 1650 N. Halsted St.

June 23 – August 21

Runs every day except Monday. There’s a 3pm show on Saturday in addition to the standard 7:30. And there’s only the matinee on Sundays. Directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov.

Playwright Simon Stephens @ Steep Theatre

July 21-25 at 1115 W. Berwyn

English playwright Simon Stephens will be at Steep Theatre for five days for the U.S. premiere of his play, Wastwater. Stephens is author of many plays, including the Tony-winning adaptation, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Harper Regan, premiered by Steep in 2010.  The title Wastwater refers to the deepest lake in England, set in the environs of Heathrow Airport. The play is a triptych of stories about people at moments of crisis.  

Thursday, July 21, 8pm & Saturday, July 23, 8pm

Performance of Wastwater and post-show discussion and reception with Stephens

Monday, July 25, 8pm

Reading of Song from Far Away and post-reading discussion and reception with Stephens and Steep ensemble members. Tickets are $50.



Young French Cinema 2016 @ Gene Siskel Film Center

July 1-August 3, various showtimes

In partnership with UniFrance films and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, this series of ten films showcases emerging French filmmakers. No other national cinema highlights youth so centrally and consistently. The tradition dates back to the time of the French New Wave, when Francois Truffaut’s 1959 debut The 400 Blows focused attention on a celebrated movement that saw 97 new directors make their first films within a period of three years.

Coen Brothers Retrospective @ Music Box Theatre

July 8-14, various showtimes

More than 30 years ago, the Coen Brothers’ breakthrough first film Blood Simple announced the arrival of an exciting pair of new voices in filmmaking, which has since yielded 20 films and an immeasurable influence on cinema and pop culture. To celebrate the new 4K digital restoration of Blood Simple (1984), the Music Box is presenting some of its favorite films from the directors’ idiosyncratic filmography, including Barton Fink (1991), Fargo (1996), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).

Looney Tunes on 35MM @ Music Box Theatre

July 16-17, 11am

To coincide with the annual Summer on Southport street festival, the Music Box presents a series of Warner Bros cartoons on 35mm. Join Bugs, Daffy, Elmer Fudd, and the rest of the gang as the venue screens cartoons guaranteed to bring out the kid in you. Featuring What’s Opera, Doc?, One Froggy Evening, and many more. The program includes more than three hours of cartoons being shown for free, and patrons can come and go as they please.



MCA Talk: On Painting Lewis and Stewart

Speakers Tony Lewis and Jacqueline Stewart will discuss Lewis’ practice, the paintings of Kerry James Marshall, and the medium of painting as a whole in a free talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on July 3rd from 3-4pm. The conversation will take place in the fourth-floor lobby.

Cauleen Smith: The Black Love Procession/ Conduct Your Blooming

Interdisciplinary artist, Cauleen Smith, will be marching and performing, “The Black Love Procession: Conduct Your Blooming,” during the 4th of July Parade in Oak Park. The march is inspired by violent and offensive artwork exhibiting Michael Brown’s crime scene — the artist decided to join with a group of artists and spread love and honor for the loss in the Black community after witnessing the work in a Bronzeville art gallery. Those interested in marching can meet at 9:30 am on Monday, July 4th at Longfellow Park. The march will begin at 10 am. After the march, Terrain Exhibitions will be hosting a BBQ and banner hanging.

Erin Hayden with Sage Dawson: Flip Flops Dry Off

Rogers Park gallery, Roman Susan, will be exhibiting “Flip Flops Dry Off,” a site specific and site interactive screening by Erin Hayden on July 22 at 8pm. The piece engages with the best and worst parts of summer, while inside of a tent installation, “created by Sage Dawson. The screening is free and open to the public.



Wicker Park Fest

The two-day festival will take place on July 23-24 with 35 bands on Milwaukee, between North Avenue and Paulina Street.  The lineup boasts such enticing artists as The Mountain Goats, Bad Bad Hats, and Antibalas, plus some local favorites like the nine-piece, rambunctious Island of Misfit Toys.  So jump off the Blue Line at the Damen or Division stop, use their complimentary bike parking stations, bring your pets, and pray for no rain!

The Music Institute of Chicago’s Duo Piano Festival,

Friday, July 7- Sunday, July 17. Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. For more info and tickets, check out

Four hands and two pianos mix to create a great sound, playful atmosphere and fun musical experience for all!

Mick Jenkins @ MCA with Pitchfork

It’s fair to say that Chance the Rapper has owned the city’s hip-hop scene in 2016, but Mick Jenkins shouldn’t be forgotten. The promising young South Sider MC made a big splash with his 2014 mixtape The Water[s], a dark-sounding project rife with introspective spirituality and harsh truth-telling, and his debut album The Healing Component is expected some time this summer. He’ll sit down with Pitchfork‘s David Drake for a discussion that should be as illuminating as it is entertaining.



Disco demolition Release Party & Afterparty

July 8th, 7-10pm @ Co-Prosperity Sphere @ 3219-21 S. Morgan St. & 9pm @ Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar @ 960 W. 31st St.

Read our review, and if it piques your interest consider coming to the release party for this new book about a pop culture moment in Chicago’s history. The first patrt of the release party “series” will take place at Co-Prosperity 7-10pm and will include a book signing with both Dave Hoekstra and Steve Dahl (books will be available for purchase that night) and an exhibition of documentary photographs by Paul Natkin from the infamous evening and pictures taken for the book. The action will then shift to Maria’s starting at 9pm where DJ Lady D (aka Darlene Jackson who is featured and interviewed in the book) will play a classic Chicago house set to highlight the emergence of house music here in Chicago in the wake of the event and how Disco Demolition gave unexpected birth to this phenomenal movement.

Where’s Waldo Challenge @ WHO KNOWS WHERE?

Beginning on July 1, children and adult-sized children can go to various independent bookstores in Chicago and pick up a Where’s Waldo? Passport, which will direct them to neighborhood businesses. They must travel around to these businesses finding Waldo in each spot on the passport. Then they can return the passports to the bookstore at the end of the month for a Where’s Waldo Party (I hear Waldo is going to be there shh!). Participating bookstores include:  

The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, Women & Children First in Andersonville, Unabridged in Lakeview (call to make sure)

What is Poetry for? @ Poetry Foundation

Wednesday July 13 @ 7pm

In conjunction with The Point magazine’s issue 12 print symposium on the same topic, join Poetry editor Don Share and poets and teachers Ladan Osman and Srikanth Reddy for a moderated discussion about how poets and thinkers are attempting to answer fundamental questions of contemporary poetry’s value, method and role in society.



Taste of ChicagoJuly 6-10

Here’s the daily schedule. You need to go in with a plan or at least an idea of what you want to eat. Talk about overwhelming and sense explosion. There will be so much to smell, see, and TASTE!

Green City Market Chef’s BBQ for the Serious Eater

July 21, 2016, 5:30-8pm (VIP admission: 4:30pm), South end of Lincoln Park (approx. 1817 N. Clark st.) Tickets cost $125. Includes chef-made samplers and good beers and wines



Irish Fest

July 8-10, 4626 N. Knox Ave.

If you’ve never been to the Irish American Heritage Center, this will be a great introduction. The fest takes place in the parking lot of the heritage center. It kicks off Friday night at 6pm and runs until Sunday at midnight. There will be non-stop irish music, dance, food and BEER. There is a mass on Sunday, a tea room, some kind of day care, and a comedy show. It cost $15 to enter. If you’re curious about the heritage center, here is a fun video of Conan O’Brien visiting it.


Emma Terhaar
Emma Terhaar