From a major culinary milestone to an exclusive collection of Japanese art, here’s what has Chicago buzzing this month.
Seafood risotto at Coco Pazzo
Toasting to its 30th anniversary, award-winning River North Italian fave Coco Pazzo has revamped its Tuscan-inspired look. “Coco Pazzo is a second home and family to me,” says owner Jack Weiss. “Like any home, the restaurant also can benefit from a little remodeling and refreshing every now and then.” From new lighting to furniture and art, Weiss has preserved the spirit of the restaurant and its signature style, welcoming guests back for lunch and at the newly designed Bar Cafe for Italian cocktails, small bites and a unique wine list. 300 W. Hubbard St.
Amanda Assucena and Alberto Velazquez in the Joffrey Ballet’s Don Quixote.
The Joffrey Ballet brings a fresh interpretation of the revered classic Don Quixote this month, as choreographer Yuri Possokhov reimagines the eccentric nobleman’s fateful journey to reach his lifelong dream of becoming a valiant knight. “Don Quixote is a staple of the ballet world, and has earned this position, in part, because of its demanding technical bravura and universal themes of bravery, chivalry and pure romance,” notes Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. “In our production, we retain much of the wellknown choreography, but look at the tale through Don Quixote’s eyes. He is a truly sympathetic character, and we trust that the audience will want to join his fanciful journey. We are thrilled to present this delightful piece of dance theater at the stunning Lyric Opera House.” June 2-12, 20 N. Wacker Drive
Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member and Oscar-winning writer (Moonlight) Tarell Alvin McCraney brings his Tony-nominated play Choir Boy to the Chicago stage.
Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s triumphant Tony-nominated Choir Boy arrives at Steppenwolf Theatre to tell the story of a young gay Black man longing to become a respected leader in his school’s prestigious choir. The story follows Pharus Young throughout his senior year at Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys with a plethora of a cappella gospel hymns as he dares to decide the man he wants to become on his own terms. “This story beautifully balances the conversation of how to serve our communities while also staying true to who we are,” says Steppenwolf co-artistic director Audrey Francis. “I can’t think of a better time to learn from that conversation and be touched by the beauty of this play.” June 16-July 24, 1650 N. Halsted St.
Music with a view: Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion
For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has honored the city of Chicago’s rich cultural heritage through the power of song. The festival’s 2022 season boasts a diverse lineup featuring many women and composers of color; some of the talents on display include Grammy-winning jazz musician Billy Childs, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, local composer Mischa Zupko and more. From classical favorites to Pulitzer Prize-winning musicals, these summer concerts at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion are family-friendly and free of charge. June 15-Aug. 20, 201 E. Randolph St.
Itō Shinsui’s six-panel screen “Girls Jumping Rope,” on view now at Wrightwood 659
A private collection of thought-provoking Japanese paintings makes its American debut at Lincoln Park gallery Wrightwood 659 in a refined exhibition titled Moga: Modern Women & Daughters in 1930s Japan. Each stunning work explores the popular “modern girl” (modan gāru or moga) trope of Japanese society, which sought to celebrate women’s newfound independence apart from the traditionally valued role of a wife or mother. Capturing women and their daughters in the daily scenes of life, Moga details this pivotal decade in women’s empowerment throughout Japan for audiences to reflect on. “We hope this exhibition will spark interest in Japanese work created in the early 20th century and expand the discourse around the narrow definition of Japan’s ‘modern girl,’” says consulting curator Minori Egashira. Through July 16, 659 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY TODD ROSENBERG; PHOTO BY MATT SAVAGE/AVERYHOUSE; PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY; PHOTO BY PATRICK PYSZKA/CITY OF CHICAGO; PHOTO © PRIVATE COLLECTION/COURTESY OF WRIGHTWOOD 659