The Lincoln Park Penguins won't tow your car like the Lincoln Park Pirates once did. Credit: Angela N./Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article listed the Art of Pride event at the Hyde Park Art Center on the wrong day. It is scheduled for Sun 6/12 from 1-5 PM. The Reader regrets the error.

So many outdoor events to share with you this week, so make sure you wear sunscreen (everyone needs a little at least, even you) and stay hydrated (you’ll feel better, seriously). And treat others with compassion especially when it’s hot and sticky out. We’re all feeling it, and your fresh attitude will make everyone around you melt like a Rainbow Cone in the hands of a slow-eating toddler. (And note—if you see one of us Reader people in the wild, it’s always appropriate to offer us free ice cream.) 

FRI 6/10

Pivot Arts Festival lived up to its name last year by reimagining what a live multidisciplinary arts celebration could look like in an age of pandemic. Now this year’s festival, opening tonight and running through 6/18, honors the “creativity and resilience” of artists who continued to create during the shutdown. The lineup includes film and video installations, live performances, work in progress, and community gatherings, all of it at the Edge Theater complex (5451 N. Broadway). Tonight’s kickoff features grelley., the live screening debut of a film by Alex Grelle that the performance artist originally created as a livestream event in 2021, presented in association with Full Spectrum Features. Grelle and several high-profile Chicago guest artists, including playwright Ike Holter, Erin Kilmurray of Fly Honey, Nnämdi, and more, collaborated on a series of film parodies connected through song and dance. The screening (which includes live performance elements) starts at 8 PM; tickets are $15-$25 at Other highlights for the festival include a work-in-progress showcase from Chicago Dancemakers Forum lab artists—including Reader contributor Irene Hsiao’s new work, Mond(e)—Sun 6/12, 4 PM (pay what you can); and a work-in-progress showing of FORCE! an opera in three acts by Anna Martine Whitehead, Ayanna Woods, Philip Armstrong, and Angel Bat Dawid about “a group of women and femmes of color who, while waiting to get into a prison, find a memory-erasing mold leaking from the waiting room toilet,” Thu 6/16, 7:30 PM ($15/$10 students). See for complete schedule and ticketing information. (KR)

Pride Month continues and after you’re finished checking out our special Pride Issue, get ready for tonight’s Suited and Booted Pride Ball, a north-side event designed to help you step into the reason for the season. Suite and Booted was organized by Slo ’Mo, a regular winner in our Best of Chicago polls for their LGBTQ+-centric dance parties. Tonight’s event at Michelle’s Ballroom (2800 W. Belmont) should be no exception to the excellence and features DJ sets by Vitigrrl and Lori Branch, as well as performances by Po’ Chop (Jenn Freeman) and Darling Shear. A percentage of proceeds will benefit Brave Space Alliance. Advance tickets are available. (SCJ)

If you’re looking to laugh and be taken on a ride, the surreal and sharp wit of comedian Sam Tallent will be on display tonight as he takes the stage at Lincoln Lodge (2040 N. Milwaukee). The Colorado-based Tallent has spent the last decade touring the U.S. and Canada relentlessly and has honed his improvisational skills into a series of absurdly funny sets. He was noted as a New Face at 2019’s Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal (a unique and coveted distinction for the comedians who swarm Quebec to perform there). You can catch Tallent at 8 PM tonight and advance tickets are available. (SCJ)

As contributing writer Joshua Minsoo Kim reported in our music section this week, experimental musician Lucy Liyou is performing tonight at Constellation (​​3111 N. Western). Liyou is known for collaging elements of classical piano training, text-to-speech vocalizations, and p’ansori, a Korean storytelling tradition that can be compared to folk opera. Tonight is a celebration of the re-release of Liyou’s first two albums (Welfare and Practice) as a double LP by local label American Dreams Records. They’re taking the stage at 8:30 PM and will be joined by producer and musician Nick Zanca. Tickets are $15 and available to those 18 and up. (MC)

SAT 6/11

It’s a packed weekend at Bric-a-Brac Records (2845 N. Milwaukee). From noon to 5 PM today, Philly-based T-shirt bootlegger Low Level is teaming up with iconic local punk-art extraordinaire Mony Kaos (as seen in Bros Before) for a pop-up of prints, pins, and other ephemera that keep the spirit of the underground alive. At 7 PM, Bric-a-Brac’s coffee shop The Brewed is partnering with the LGBTQVHS+ collective to host a screening of Jennifer’s Body, the iconic aughts film about a cheerleader (Megan Fox) who feeds on the flesh of men. The movie leans heavy on camp and repressed lesbian sexual tension, so it’s a natural fundraising flick for Brave Space Alliance, the queer south side resource center that centers Black trans people. There’s a $5 suggested donation to attend the screening. Then on Sunday, Bric-a-Brac celebrates its ninth birthday as a destination for pop culture-obsessed oddballs. Folks will gather for food and fun at 2 PM followed by a 3 PM concert featuring Bloodhype, Weak Pulse, Aitis Band, and Sweeping Promises. This is a free and all-ages event, but masks are required. (MC)

Another interdisciplinary work in progress gets an al fresco outing today. In All We Can See From Here, choreographer and visual artist Ginger Krebs “imagines meticulous interdependence in the wake of pandemic isolation and chaos.” Four dancers merge in shapes that suggest a kaleidoscope, while a diagram on the ground represents a world where resources are finite, equally distributed, and everyone must join together to “work it out.” The 25-minute excerpt is presented today at 3 and 4:30 PM at Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland. Free, but more information available at (KR)

Steep Theatre returns to live performances for the first time since the pandemic shutdown tonight with the first preview of Paris by Eboni Booth, directed by Jonathan Berry. The company lost their home next to the Berwyn Red Line stop in 2020, but announced in February that they were moving down the street to a former Christian Science Reading Room. That’s where Booth’s play, set in the tiny Vermont town of Paris, will be staged. Emmie, one of the few Black people in the burg, tries to navigate the treacherous waters of racism and late capitalism while working for a retail giant. Tonight’s show starts at 7:30 PM; the production runs through 7/23 (Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM). Tickets are free, but donations are accepted. For more information and reservations, see (KR)

SUN 6/12

Have you had it with your kids literally climbing the walls? Channel that unbridled (seriously, when do the bridles get here?) energy into exercise by taking advantage of today’s Kids Open House at Movement Wrigleyville (1115 W. Addison). Movement offers climbing walls along with yoga and fitness classes, and today from 9 AM to noon you and your kids ages 17 and younger can check out a real climbing class on Movement’s bouldering walls (with free rental safety gear available). Reservations are recommended and more information can be found here. (SCJ)

Every day is a good day to listen to the blues, and this weekend has its share of free options for those who wish to do so. The city of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has been hosting its annual Chicago Blues Festival since Thursday; in addition to a diverse lineup each day this weekend at three stages in Millennium Park (Randolph at Michigan), the city curated two satellite shows on the west and south sides, presented in coordination with local neighborhood investment projects. The idea is to bring the music to the areas where it was fostered and nourished, while at the same time inviting people from all around the city to enjoy what might be a new-to-them locale. Saturday’s event featuring Mzz Reese, Source One Band, and Mary Lane is presented as part of Taste of Austin (noon-8 PM at 5720 W. Chicago). And today’s Bronzeville Blues event brings the music to the south side, as Melody Angel, Mud Morganfield, and more hit Lillian Hardin Armstrong Park (4433 S. St. Lawrence) from noon-8 PM. Both events and the main festival are free and open to all ages; check out writing we published this week from David Whiteis and Bill Dahl for more information. (SCJ)

Festival season continues and this weekend holds many chances to enjoy the weather amongst neighbors while listening to music and shopping on the streets. Hyde Park Summer Fest kicked off Saturday and takes place today starting at noon (at Midway Plaisance Park, 59th at Ellis). Expect food, kids activities, a beer garden, and more; music highlights today include DJ Boolu Master at 3 PM, Marsha Ambrosius at 3:55 PM, and headliner Jhené Aiko at 8:30 PM. Tickets and more information available here. Andersonville’s Midsommarfest happens this weekend (Fri 6/10 from 5-10 PM and Sat-Sun from noon-10 PM); catch music, food, and more along Clark between Foster and Catalpa (flower crown optional): a full schedule of the huge roster of bands and performers is available here. And if you’d like to enjoy a more acoustic and intimate but still public and sunny gathering, check out the Buena Park PorchFest, an afternoon of 21 musical acts performing across 12 front porches, gardens, and yards across the Buena Park neighborhood. It happens from noon-5 PM today, and more information is here.

Thinking about catching a flick this weekend? Today gives you a chance to see some movies that were recently lauded by our film writers. Contributor Kathleen Sachs praised British writer and director Terence Davies’s film Benediction, a take on English soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon’s biography. It’s viewable this week at Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State), with showtimes today at 12:30 and 5:30 PM. And writer Maxwell Rabb tells us that The Phantom of the Open is a “refreshingly under-told story of an amateur player that let nothing stop him from etching his name into golf history,” featuring an “inspiring performance” from Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance. You can catch The Phantom of the Open at multiple showtimes both today and later this week at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois) and Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark). (SCJ)

From 1 PM to 5 PM, the Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell) is hosting the Art of Pride, an outdoor event featuring entertainment and art-making led by local LGBTQ+ artists and artist-run spaces. There will also be a selection of vendors selling their work including Burial Blankets and Ei Cullina. Highlights of the day include a 1 PM DJ set by Trqpiteca cofounder LA Spacer, printmaking activities throughout the day with Marimacha Monarca Press, and performances curated by Oklahomo and No Nation. For a complete list of programming, check out the Hyde Park Art Center’s website. This is a free event open to all-ages. (MC)

MON 6/13

Monday Night Foodball tonight promises a “Lebanese-Armenian family feast,” as Galit pastry chef Mary Eder-McClure joins forces with Butter Bird Bakery’s Kat Stuerhk Talo for the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up series at the Kedzie Inn (4100 N. Kedzie). Pre-order tickets for seatings at 5 and 7:30 PM have already sold out, but our senior writer Mike Sula says that he’ll be updating his Instagram on Sunday to let everyone know if walk-in service will be available. Sounds like the food for this one will be stellar, so check in this weekend if you want to join in. You can get information on this and future Foodballs in Sula’s column this week. (SCJ)

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame makes their publishing debut this month with Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, an ambitiously diverse collection of Chicago-connected writers representing multiple poetry practices and different generations. Wherever I’m At includes work by Tara Betts, Li-Young Lee, Stuart Dybek, Angela Jackson, Elise Paschen, Haki Madhubuti, and more, and the organizers of tonight’s official book launch event expect a large group of the book’s more than 161 contributors to attend. Expect readings, music, drinks, and more starting at 7 PM at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts’s Performance Penthouse (915 E. 60th). It’s free, but reservations are requested. (SCJ)

The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) is hosting Applause, a “sitcom” starring Maggie Winters and Parker Callahan where the live studio audience is . . . you! As scenes unfold, the Applause “writing team” interrupts with rewrites to impart new (often hilarious) meaning to the stories. Joining Winters and Callahan will be special guests Derry Queen, Kenya Elan, Cleveland Anderson, Allison Ringhand, Jackie Felker, and Grelley Duvall. The show starts at 8 PM, and tickets are $15. You must be 21 or older, and proof of vaccination is required. (MC)

TUE 6/14

At 7 PM, Semicolon Bookstore (1714 W. Division) is celebrating past Reader contributor Toya Wolfe’s debut novel, Last Summer on State Street, a coming-of-age story set in the housing projects of Chicago in 1999. While her home is slated for demolition by the Chicago Housing Authority, teen protagonist Felicia “Fe Fe” Steven navigates life with her brother and mother as well as shifting friendship dynamics. Wolfe will be in conversation with WBEZ’s Natalie Moore to discuss the experiences, ideas, and history that guided her writing. This in-store event is free, but reservations are encouraged. (MC)

WED 6/15

Internationally-renowned local dreamweaver Nick Cave has taken over a floor of the MCA (220 E. Chicago) for “Forothermore,” the first career survey of his work. While the exhibition is on view through October 2, you’ll want to catch it sooner rather than later because everyone will be talking about the show’s movement, radiance, and imagination all summer. Tickets are $15 for adults; $8 for students, teachers, and seniors; and free for members and those 18 and younger. Check the MCA’s website to plan your visit. (MC)

THU 6/16

Tune up your self-care practice with this online Reiki workshop hosted by the Japanese Cultural Center. Check in at noon for a midday reset to learn the guiding principles of Reiki while practicing some meditation and breathwork. This is hands-on healing designed to help you feel more present, centered, and in touch with your energy flow. It costs $20 to join, and a link will be emailed after registration. (MC)

Stage Left Theatre offers an outdoor alternative for theater lovers (and their first live post-performances) with the second annual Spring Fling!. Eight playwrights, including five Stage Left ensemble members, offer up a sampler platter of short pieces at Northcenter Town Square (4100 N. Damen) at 7 PM tonight, Fri 6/18, and Sat 6/19. Tickets are pay what you can (starting at $5); patrons are asked to bring their own chairs, and in case of inclement weather, the performances will move to Saint Andrew Auditorium Theatre at Addison and Hermitage. Reservations and information at (KR)

If you’re into “genre-defining posthardcore” (and if you know, you know), contributor Luca Cimarusti recommends that you check out Seattle band These Arms Are Snakes as they hit Lincoln Hall (2424 N. Lincoln) tonight as part of a reunion tour. Cimarusti categorizes their early output as “tough yet fun, sassy and provocative, challenging but catchy.” The band Young Widows opens. Show starts at 8 PM, and advance tickets are available for those 18+. (SCJ)

There’s a chance tonight to see double penguins (if you’re lucky). The Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Park series partnered with cultural organization Villa Albertine this year to bring us Films on the Lake, a traveling, temporary, summer-only film festival that brings a variety of movies that you don’t usually see at free screenings to various locations in the park district system. Tonight you can catch Luc Jacquet’s 2005 March of the Penguins screened near the Lincoln Park Cultural Center (2045 N. Lincoln Park West) starting just after sunset (which these days is around 8:30 PM or so). So where’s the Gemini twin action? Just get to the neighborhood early enough to start the evening at Lincoln Park Zoo (2400 N. Cannon), of course, and see who’s awake at the zoo’s Penguin Cove (on the north end of the zoo). Admission to the screening and the zoo are both blessedly free. (SCJ)

In The Pride Issue

22 months

Jeremey Johnson has chronicled nearly two years of pretrial house arrest.