Chicago, and the entire metro area, are filled, it seems, with a never ending supply of excellent activities. Many of these are free, and happen on week nights. After all, why should the weekends have all the fun?
Classical music, rock music, theater, films; all these are available to you, dear reader, on various weeknights, in different parts of our beautiful city. It’s all so exciting, where do we begin?
Let’s start in Rosemont, that little town out near the airport. It’s just a short ride on the CTA Blue Line, and from the station just a ten minute walk to the entertainment district, where, on Thursday evenings, there are outdoor concerts featuring such bands as Hi Infidelity, a band of local musicians with the great ability to cover songs from groups as diverse as Journey and Bon Jovi, all the way up to Daughtry and Buckcherry. All the concerts are fun, and the area is surrounded by restaurants, bars and other hangouts; you are certain to have a good time here. http://www.rosemont.com/mbfinancialpark/rockin/
Theater is always wonderful, especially when it’s both outdoors and free. When it’s a funny, lighthearted showing of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, “updated” to the 1930’s, all the better. The acting (especially Malvolio, played so well by Jonathan Weir), the songs, and Kirsten Kelley’s direction are all cheerful, big, clear and charming. It’s full of mistaken identities, unusual disguises, genuine lovers and laughable fools. Please readers, go see this play! It’s showing, on different days, in parks around town. You can find the full schedule here: https://www.chicagoshakes.com/plays_and_events/calendar
Films in the Park is an extensive program hosted by the Chicago Park District in parks across the city. Throughout August there are movies every night, in fact, there are usually three movies, all different, each one in a different park. You can pick from a cornucopia of delightful choices ranging from old classics such as West Side Story, to modern action (Furious 7) to comedies, children’s pictures (Inside Out, The Lego Movie) and more. You know, it’s great to see people from across the neighborhoods together to watch a movie while sitting comfortably in the park. So, bring your own blanket and chairs, refreshments and food, and get comfortable. http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/movies.
One of the very best choices, Prince’s Purple Rain, is showing in Millennium Park, of course, on Tuesday, August 23rd. You will also want to visit this website, chifilmfave.org , and vote for the movie you would most like to see on Tuesday August 30th. The list is 20 movies which were all made in Chicago, and range from The Color of Money through The Dark Knight, and did you even remember that the movie Ali was filmed largely in Chicago?
So many of us work downtown that a look at the Millennium Park concerts is in order, especially since the next one, on Monday, August 15, 6:15pm, is the 5th annual Free Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert, This year’s show numbers include Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Finding Neverland, The Phantom of the Opera and The Bodyguard. If you like Broadway musicals, and the dancing displays that go with them, here is YOUR BIG CHANCE to see it up close this summer. Get there early, as this show always fills up completely.
These FREE outdoor concerts are held every Monday and Thursday through August 25 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The Series has been “reimagined to feature a wider variety of genre-defying music from top local, national and international artists – both established and emerging,” and the lineup is a vast array of artists such as Tortoise, from Chicago, Sinkane, London born, but raised in Sudan, and musicians from many places in between. Indie, jazz, world beat, and some indefinable types of music will be yours for the hearing. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park9.html will provide the full schedule.
Music in the Park, another wonderful program from the Chicago Park District, has over EIGHTY shows, concerts and presentations during August. They range from the Chicago Symphonic Winds, at Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens, to the West Side Music Festival in Douglas Park, all the way up to School of Rock playing at Loyola Park. Eighty shows is overwhelming, so just visit them online http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/notp/music/?pn=2 and get the complete schedule.
This is Chicago, dear readers, our beautiful city, full of theater, music and so much more. Go out and enjoy so much of what Chicago offers, it’s worth it.