Here’s your weekly guide to music, theatre and dance in and around Evanston. Concerts range from an opera dinner to rock and roll and to a two day music festival. Musical theatre this week includes Sweet Charity and Vietgone, the story of two Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s.


Vietgone at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Runs Aug. 15 through Sept. 23, tickets $35-70

It’s 1975 and two young survivors (who may or may not be the playwright’s parents) meet in a Vietnamese refugee camp in mid-America shortly after the fall of Saigon. Will this strange new land of cowboys, hippies and bikers allow them to fall in love? Playwright Qui Nguyen’s wildly creative, irreverent style flips stereotypes on their head, remixing history and culture into a sexy, funny and energetic fantasia as he imagines how two soul mates might have found each other in a turbulent time.

Sweet Charity at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire

Runs Sep. 5 through Oct. 28, tickets $50-60

The dance-filled, groovy musical comedy inspired by Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria, Sweet Charity explores the turbulent love life of Charity Hope Valentine, a hopelessly romantic but comically unfortunate dance hall hostess in New York City. With a tuneful, cool, mid-1960s score by Cy Coleman, sparkling lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and a hilarious book by Neil Simon, Sweet Charity captures all the energy, humor, and heartbreak of Life in the Big City for an unfortunate but irrepressible optimist. Features the songs “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This,” and “I’m a Brass Band.”


Sweet Dreams of You: Katie Deal Sings Patsy Cline, Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire

Sunday, Sept. 2, performances at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., tickets $50

Award-winning country music artist Katie Deal soulfully embodies the tender heartache of Patsy Cline. Georgia-born singer/songwriter/storyteller Katie Deal radiates authenticity, possessing the power to break hearts with her sheer simplicity. Classic hits include “Walkin’ After Midnight,’ “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” and many more.

Fiona Grey & August Hotel with Shi La Rosa at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave.

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m. tickets $12

Chicago native Fiona Grey is a composer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. Grey’s live performances have captivated her audiences across the U.S. and Europe. With a background in musical theater performance, Grey pushes the boundaries of pop and creates intoxicating live experiences for audiences on both an intimate and large-scale.

August Hotel has shared stages with the likes of The Academic, Urban Cone, Nightly, Vesperteen, The Kickback, and Knox Hamilton, as well as headlined clubs around Chicago and the Midwest. This band and this EP have been a long time coming, but make no mistake that this is only just the beginning for this dynamic group.

Lucy Wainwright Roche at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave.

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m. tickets $15-25

Singer/songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche (the Roches) and half-sister of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, was born and raised in New York City. Wainwright Roche spent her formative years traveling with and amongst her large musical family. After high school, she attended Oberlin College in Ohio, earned a Master’s degree in education at Bank Street College of Education in Manhattan, and eventually began teaching second and third grade. In 2005 and 2006, she joined brother Rufus on tour to sing backup, and by 2007 had ditched the classroom for good and released an eight song, debut CD. Tours followed with the likes of Dar Williams, Neko Case, and Amos Lee, and critics began mentioning her in the same breath as Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin. Wainwright Roche’s first, full-length recording, Lucy, arrived in 2010.

2 Tenors and a Soprano Opera Dinner at Evanston Rocks, 1012 Church St.

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 6:30 pm,  tickets $35, includes Ron’s Italian Feast

This talented trio takes you on a musical tour of the world, with everything from operatic arias and musical theater standards to Korean folksongs, Viennese waltzes, French cabaret favorites, Spanish melodies, Irish ballads and Neapolitan love songs, with a Yiddish lullaby thrown in for good measure!

Rare Earth at Evanston Rocks, 1012 Church St.

Thursday, Sept. 6, 7:30 pm, tickets $15

These individuals guarantee the audience an evening of some of the greatest musicianship and singing ever to be heard! Needless to say, everyone walks away excited and with the warm feeling that they have gotten their money’s worth. It is truly an exhilarating experience!

Dumpstaphunk with Topidelic at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave.

Thursday, Sept. 6, 8 p.m. tickets $30

Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move.

TFDI Fest at SPACE,1245 Chicago Ave.

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8, tickets $159

Join SPACE & TFDI for a two-day music festival on Friday, September 7, and Saturday, September 8, 2018. Tickets are $159 and include entry for both days. All seating for performances is first-come, first-served for two-day passes only. Single day tickets are available for $45 but are standing only.

Johnny A. at Evanston Rocks, 1012 Church St.

Friday, Sept. 7,  9 p.m. tickets $15

Lots of folks throw around the phrase “let the music do the talking,” but only a few have the fortitude to really do it – to just go out there and play, shunning flash, shrugging off image and reeling in the listener on the strength of the songs and talent alone. Johnny A. former guitarist of The Yardbirds, is that kind of performer. For the better part of three decades, the Massachusetts-based guitarist and bandleader has proven himself capable of generating heat at venues from working-class bars to international amphitheaters – and every sort of venue in between.

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