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7 Things to Do in Chicago in August 2018

August 9, 2018 by Kris Vire
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You say you’ve polished off the Bean and you’ve exhausted the Art Institute? It’s so hot the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo won’t come out of their habitats? The new MoviePass rules have ruined your plans to stay in air-conditioned multiplexes all day, every day? We’ve got you. Check out these options to fill your August calendar. From time-honored Chicago traditions to once-in-a-lifetime performances, let our recommendations guide you through the dog days.

Check out what’s playing in Chicago in August 2018.

The Fly Honey Show
Now in its ninth season, this sultry celebration of body positivity and femme energy is a huge draw. With nightly performances by the Fly Honey ensemble and and house band every night plus special guest artists every weekend, the Fly Honey Show is a raucous, rock & roll reinvention of burlesque and cabaret. But don’t take our word for it—we let the Honeys make their own cases.

Air & Water Show
It’s a tale as old as time: One Thursday every August, office workers in the Loop momentarily freak out at the sound of fighter jets zooming past our skyscrapers, before we collectively realize it’s just practice for that weekend’s Air & Water Show. The annual event brings thrilling displays of aerial derring-do to the lakefront, with the best views—and densest crowds—centered on North Avenue Beach.

See a comedy show
It’s no secret Chicago is a comedy town. Just check out the dozens of before-they-were-famous headshots on display at the Second City or iO for proof of our sketch and improv bona fides. Lucky you, then, that it’s Comedy Month at TodayTix — nab the Comedy Pass for discounts all month long to laugh tests across the city. Check out a host of funny ladies at the 7th annual Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, or live on the comedy edge at the Annoyance. When one of these performers gets a Netflix special or an “SNL” gig, you can say you saw them first.

See “Pamplona” at the Goodman
The sun almost didn’t rise on Jim McGrath’s new solo play about Ernest Hemingway after star Stacy Keach, a longtime collaborator with director Robert Falls, fell ill in the middle of the opening night performance last summer. The Goodman had to cancel the rest of the run, but after a year of recuperation, Keach has soldiered back onto the Goodman’s stage to finish the job. Papa would be proud.

Have your mind read
Chicago-based mentalist Mark Toland has a busy touring schedule — his uncanny act is a hit on college campuses and at corporate retreats alike. But you can see him here every Wednesday, as he’s recently extended his weekly residency at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Bring along a few friends and get ready to have your mind read (and blown).

The Infinite Wrench
It’s not exclusive to August, but the Neo-Futurists’ signature late-night show is a rite of passage for adventurous Chicago theatergoers. Always provocative, surprising, and never the same one week to the next, it’s one you’ll want to keep revisiting on the regular.

Take it to the river
If there’s one thing Chicagoans can all agree on, it’s that we need to make the most of summer before temperatures start dropping (and dropping, and dropping some more). One of the best places to take advantage of summer temps is along the Chicago River. Consider taking a boat tour launching from the Chicago Architecture Center’s brand-new digs to learn all about how the skyline came to be. Go for a stroll along the ever-expanding downtown Riverwalk, with plenty of beautiful views and stops for drinks and bites. Or find a riverside spot to relax further south—like Chinatown’s beautiful Ping Tom Memorial Park—or north, like Metropolitan Brewing’s spacious new taproom in Avondale.