Drag performer Mz. Ruff N' Stuff at Lips Chicago Credit: Courtesy Carol Fox & Associates

Here are some events, screenings, exhibitions, performances, and other activities to help you continue to enjoy summer, this weekend and beyond.


  • Fri 8/6, 7 PM: American Blues Theater presents a live Zoom reading of the award-winning play Refugee Rhapsody, about an Arab American woman going through a mental health evaluation to determine what led to the violent crime she committed against a rich heiress. Access to the virtual event is provided with ticket purchase (which you can buy at the theater’s website).
  • Fri 8/6, Sat 8/7, and Sun 8/8, times vary: Co-Prosperity hosts “Letters to Chicago,” an exhibition featuring new art by Brighton Park resident and lettering artist Sir Charles, along with a display of early 20th-century Chicago social and athletic club dance cards from the collection of Almighty & Insane Books, as well as a collection of 80s house music flyers from DJ Mario “Liv It Up” Luna’s collection. Gallery hours are noon to 7 PM on Friday and Saturday, as well as noon to 5 PM on Sunday. Sir Charles will host a book-signing reception at the space on Saturday night from 5 to 8 PM, and DJ Mario Luna will sign books and play house music at the space on Sunday from 1 to 4 PM. More information is available at Co-Prosperity’s website.
  • Fri 8/6, times vary: Siskel Film Center reopens this weekend for guests. In-person screenings scheduled include the new Leos Carax film Annette, which Reader contributor Kathleen Sachs wrote about this week. Check out showtimes and guidelines at the Film Center’s website.
  • Fri 8/6, 3-10 PM; Sat 8/7 and Sun 8/8, noon-10 PM: Chicago Michelada Festival brings culture, music, and, of course, micheladas to Pilsen’s Harrison Park. Check out the festival’s website for tickets and more information.
  • Fri 8/6, 5-10 PM; Sat 8/7, and Sun 8/8, 11 AM-10 PM: Northalsted Market Days 2021 features a mix of drag, music, and vendors taking over Halsted between Belmont and Addison. Highlights include CeCe Peniston and Jody Watley on Saturday and Trixie Mattel on Sunday night. Don’t miss the Peach Presents stage near Belmont on Friday night and Saturday for a diverse sampling of Chicago DJs and more, including Ariel Zetina and Bambi Banks-Couleé’s Soul Train. Check out the festival website for a detailed schedule.
  • Sat 8/7, 1 PM: The Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” program presents the Yin He Dance company’s performance of The Peacock Fairy: a Chinese Tale of True Beauty. It’s a free and family-friendly event presented in English and Mandarin Chinese, and hosted outdoors in Douglass Park. Check out the CPD website for more information.
  • Sat 8/7, 6 PM: Rogers Park’s Roman Susan Art Foundation hosts an opening reception for artist Olive Stefanski’s new exhibition of handwoven textiles and vessels. “And Before One, What Are You Counting?” will be on display at the space through August 29. Check out the gallery’s website for more information.
  • Sat 8/7, 6 PM: Musician and artist Mac Blackout presents paintings, sculptures, and more in a one-night-only solo show at Uncle Art Gallery in Humboldt Park. Check out the gallery’s website for information.
  • Sun 8/8, 3 PM: Blues musician Katherine Davis performs an outdoor show in Bronzeville hosted by Muddy Waters MOJO Museum organizers as part of their Front Porch concert series.
  • Sun 8/8, 9 PM: Musician Quin Kirchner leads his quintet in a performance at the Hungry Brain. Reader contributor Bill Meyer wrote a preview for our 8/5 issue.
  • Mon 8/9, 6:30 PM: Chicago’s Ayodele Drum & Dance hosts a West African dance class for beginners on Zoom every Monday night. Classes are available for a $10 donation. See the group’s Facebook event for information.
  • Wed 8/11, 7 PM: The Chicago Humanities Festival hosts Work in Progress, a comedy showcase featuring a lineup of performers curated by comedian and writer Abby McEnany. It’s at Navy Pier, and tickets and more information can be found at Chicago Humanities Festival’s website.​​
  • Wed 8/11 and other times vary: Lips Chicago celebrates this week as they mark two years of bringing drag, cabaret, and libations to the South Loop. Tonight is the debut of “Bitchy Bingo” Wednesdays (hosted by Batty Davis), and weekend performers include drag legends Mimi Marks, Mz. Ruff N’Stuff, and Shavonna B. Brooks. Check out the Lips website for more information and call the venue to make seating reservations.  v