This week in Chicago, see some free theater in the park, tour a photography museum, rise and shine at a boozy pancake brunch, and try butter chicken naan calzones at an exciting Indian newcomer.
July 22–24: Shane Torres at Zanies
As lovable as he is hilarious, Torres returns to Chicago for a few nights at Zanies in Old Town. He made his TV debut on Conan in 2013 and has since scored both an album and a Comedy Central half hour, as well as appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang! And if you can’t make the weeknight shows, he’ll be performing five more shows at the Zanies location in Rosemont, July 25–27.
Details: July 22–24; $25
July 25–27: STILL/HERE: Manifestos for Joy and Survival
In a city like Chicago, which is constantly changing, how do marginalized communities resist, stay present, and cultivate joy and justice? Catch this ensemble-devised play by Free Street Theater in one of four park-based locations. As always, the shows are free or pay-what-you-can! I have the honor of being the assistant director/stage manager for this heart-filled, family-friendly production.
Details: July 25 at South Shore Cultural Center; July 27 at Humboldt Park; August 1 at Cornell Square; August 1 at Walsh Park
July 26: “Photos at Noon” at Museum of Contemporary Photography
This is a great opportunity to check out this renowned photography institution if you’ve never been. Its curator of academic programs and collections will introduce its recent acquisitions in this special tour that will take you not only into the galleries but also behind the scenes.
July 27: Inaugural Muros “Titan Walls” Installation at District Brew Yards
Looking to embrace the arts in Chicago? Just head over to District Brew Yards for a beer and witness the creation of a nearly 1,900-square-foot mural on its exterior south-facing wall. There will be six local artists participating in the live mural art, along with music sets from DJ RTC and BoatHouse. $10 food wristbands are good for a sandwich and side, with proceeds going to Hope for the Day. Details: July 27, noon–8 p.m.
Through July 27: “Homage to Nature” at Hofheimer Gallery
It’s your last chance to catch this three-person exhibition celebrating our natural landscapes. From hyperrealistic paintings of the woods by Ann E. Coulter to serene depictions of the shoreline by Jennifer Presant, these works will compel you to amble out of the city and get lost somewhere with no wifi.
July 28: Maplewood Pancake Social
Nothing beats fluffy and sweet pancakes on Sunday morning! Unless you’re at one of Chicago’s finest breweries/distilleries and it is offering two new cocktails, a Brewer’s old-fashioned with maple syrup and a Blueberry Maple Freezie, to pair with your stacks. 375-ml bottles of maple syrup aged in Maplewood’s Oaty Otter whiskey barrels will be available for purchase, too. Metric Coffee will be in the lounge for those interested in uppers, and all those delicious Maplewood beers will be available for those who get down. Details: July 28, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Through July 28: Bury Me
Five months into an unexpected pregnancy, a couple visits the soon-to-be-father’s hometown of Pacific, Missouri. When he gets into a fender bender and his sister shares a pro-choice essay that she wrote, the expectant couple and their family will have to grapple with their beliefs and choices. Don’t miss this complex and vulnerable new play from Brynne Frauenhoffer. Details: Through July 28 at Dandelion Theatre
Any Day: Head to Pretty Cool Ice Cream
We’ve yet to meet a kid who refuses a Popsicle, and certainly not one from this adorable spot. Pretty Cool does a good job catering to most palates—there are even plant-based Popsicles for those who can’t have dairy. The space itself is made for littles, with bright colors, letters to put on the walls, and fun bleacher-like seating. Mom and Dad will appreciate the sink in the store for quick hand washing, too!
Restaurant Opening of the Week: Superkhana International
There have been a ton of huge openings in Chicago this season (Wherewithall! Pizzeria Portofino! Bandit!), but the one I’m most excited about is this modern Indian destination in Logan Square. It comes from a trio of supertalents—Yoshi Yamada, Zeeshan Shah, and Jason Hammel—the latter of whom owns Lula Cafe, quite possibly my favorite restaurant in the entire city. Yamada and Shah, meanwhile, earned acclaimed for their Bombay Breakdown pop-up, and Superkhana marks their first permanent restaurant, resplendent with bright colors and equally bright, playful flavors, like a butter chicken naan calzone (!), palak pizza, and french fry manchurian.