Expert Picks

What to Do in Chicago This Week: August 12–18

“Envisioning Justice” / Photo by Torie McMillian/Courtesy of BBF Family Services in North Lawndale

This week in Chicago, chat about nightcaps, find the best burgers in the burbs, attend an art exhibition inspired by community justice, and gawk at jets and boats.

Photo by Sandy Noto/Courtesy of the Violet Hour

August 14: Nightcap Book Event at the Violet Hour 
As if I ever need an excuse to revisit one of my favorite cocktail bars, here’s a good one: Wine Enthusiast’s Kara Newman is talking up her fascinating new book, Nightcap: More Than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening, with a special event at the Violet Hour. It will feature a chat with Newman and bar partner Toby Maloney, plus samples of drinks inspired by the book. Details: 7–9 p.m.; $85
—Matt Kirouac

August 16: “Synergy: From Manila to Acapulco” at Zhou B Art Center 
Celebrate 3rd Fridays, a regular evening of open studios at this Bridgeport arts hub, with a visit to an ongoing exhibition by artists of Filipino and Mexican heritage. Through paintings and sculpture, dozens of creatives explore the overlap of their seemingly disparate cultures, from language to tradition.
—Claire Voon

August 16: Burger Throwdown at Mikerphone 
It’s a knockdown brawl for the best burger in the burbs. The fight of the charred chuck. The thrilla where you can drink Mikerphone’s Imperial Stout with double maple and vanilla. In the ring will be Burger Antics of Brookfield, Chicago Culinary Kitchen of Palatine, and Crusade Burger Bar of Yorkville. Mikerphone beer will be available for purchase on draft and to-go. Details: August 16, 4–8 p.m.; $30 tickets include a burger from each spot and a vote for the best
—Jim Morris

Julio Austria, “Parallels,” 2019. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Zhou B Art Center

August 16 and 17: Ali Wong at the Chicago Theatre 
Fresh off her recent Netflix movie, ​Always Be My Maybe,​ Wong’s popularity has skyrocketed in the past several years. She’s also got two critically acclaimed hour-long specials on Netflix: Baby Cobra ​and ​Hard Knock Wife​. Details: 7 p.m.
—Matty Ryan

August 17: Public Reception for “Envisioning Justice” at SAIC Sullivan Galleries 
Since March, Chicago artists have worked with seven community-based organizations to envision what justice could and should look like in their neighborhoods through arts education, collective arts projects, and other initiatives. The results of their collaborations will be on view in this powerful exhibition, from a quilt reflecting on police violence to ceramic amplifiers looping words on the prison system.
—Claire Voon

August 17 and 18: Air and Water Show 
Warning: If your kids don’t like loud noises, skip this activity. But if they are all about planes, boats, and cool tricks, brave the crowds and head to North Avenue Beach (or at least close to it!). The annual spectacle is the largest free air and water show in the country, and you’ll be wowed by the acrobatics. Details: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
—Samantha Lande

Air and Water Show/Photo courtesy of the City of Chicago

August 17: Ayurveda Pop-Up at Chiya Chai 
What do you get when you combine chai with Pilates? Chailates? It just works. Logan Square’s Chiya Chai is partnering with Logan Square Pilates for a special Ayurveda pop-up in honor of National Wellness Month (it’s a thing). The event consists of a 45-minute yoga class, followed by a tea tasting with brunch items like cauliflower peas, potato-kale pie, and veggie momos. Details: 9–10 a.m.; $30
—Matt Kirouac

August 17 and 18: Play Games at the Museum of Science and Industry 
Gamers of all ages will love coming to the Museum of Science and Industry to play more than 50 indie games from creators around the world. They’ll get to experience new hardware and multiplayer games, and be immersed in a world of games they’ve never seen before. Details: August 17, 9:30 a.m.–midnight; August 18, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.; $20 when purchased online and $25 when purchased on-site
—Samantha Lande

Through August 18: Wolf Play 
When a young American couple has a baby, they decide to “un-adopt” their Korean son who thinks he is a wolf but is actually a puppet. In this complex play by Hansol Jung, adults squabble about what’s best for children as they try to figure out what having a family really means.
—Tanuja Jagernauth

A scene from Wolf Play. /Photo by Claire Demos/Courtesy of Gift Theatre

Through August 18: The Music Man 
A con man arrives in River City, Iowa, bearing promises of a marching band in an attempt to make an easy dollar. The town librarian, however, isn’t buying it. Will Harold Hill pull off his scam and win over the skeptic? This musical featuring 72 trombones and a moral reversal is the story of unlikely summer love you’ve been waiting for.
—Tanuja Jagernauth

Restaurant Opening of the Week: Good Fortune 
It’s been several months since the talented minds behind dearly departed Honey’s announced they were working on a permanent location for their seafood-centric pop-up, Good Fortune. Well, the wait is finally over come August 15, as chef-partner Charles Welch and partner Andrew Miller cut the tape on their Mediterranean-minded restaurant in Logan Square. Housed in chic, supper club–like environs, the eatery’s menu boasts modern American and Med flavors, with numerous items cooked in a wood-fired oven. To complement, there’s a meaty wine list and classic-leaning cocktails by Miranda Breedlove. I am so there.
—Matt Kirouac