Things to Do in Chicago: Saturday, July 26, to Friday, August 1
On this week’s agenda: the Newberry Book Fair, a winemaking class at City Winery, the first-ever Physical Festival Chicago, and honky-tonk country from yesterday and today. Enjoy yourself and, as always, check Groupon for even more great things to do in Chicago.
Lincoln Park | Through August 31
Before there was rock and roll, there was Hank Williams. The hard-drinking, fast-living country icon set standards for excess, both celebratory and tragic, that still entice musicians today. In Hank Williams: Lost Highway, American Blues Theater remounts 2013's sold-out production, telling the all-American troubadour's tale while filling the Greenhouse Theater Center with Williams hits and standards. (2257 N. Lincoln Ave.; from $24 via Groupon Live)
Old Town | Through Sunday, July 27
If you hear a faint whooshing sound in Old Town this weekend, don't worry—that's just the sound of bibliophiles flipping through the more than 120,000 used books on sale at the Newberry Book Fair. The fair celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and does so in style. Featured items include autographed tomes by three Nobel Peace Prize winners and a rare style guide by famed hat designer Lilly Daché. All proceeds benefit the library. (60 W. Walton St.; free)
West Loop | Wednesday, July 30, 7 p.m.
Robert Kowal, City Winery's resident winemaker, can tell what's in his glass without even tasting the wine. OK, that might be an exaggeration, but during his Blends vs. Varietals class, he equips students with the ability to ID their wines using only their senses. The two-hour evening class also include bites of cheese and charcuterie.(1200 W. Randolph St.; $60; buy tickets here)
Roscoe Village | Through August 2
In physical theater, the body becomes a character, a musical theme, a piece of the set itself. In its inaugural run, Physical Festival Chicago fills Links Hall with a weeklong slate of seven shows by companies from across Europe and North America. Highlights include the ebullient magical realism of Circo de Tu Corazón, as well as Lazaro, a poetic morality tale from Spain's Mirage Compañia de Teatro. (3111 N. Western Ave.; $10–$40; buy tickets here)
Ukrainian Village | Every Friday
Lollapalooza is this week, which means packed trains and sold-out shows at almost every venue in town. If you need a musical fix, hop out of work a little early for the Hoyle Brothers' weekly Friday afternoon set at the Empty Bottle. Before the rock kids arrive, the Bottle reverts into a humble honky-tonk, with couples of all ages two-stepping along to the band's trail-worn Texas-style country. (1035 N. Western Ave.; free)
Image credits: Hank Williams: Lost Highway photo courtesy of American Blues Theater; Circo de Tu Corazón photo by Greg Eliason