Home News Tribune’s summer 2024 arts and entertainment guides

Tribune’s summer 2024 arts and entertainment guides

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Summer is here and you know what that means: our calendars are about to fill up with a plethora of events.

This year may be a bit of a mixed bag in some areas, with the TV lineup suffering a post-Hollywood strike malaise and the season’s movie offerings cluttered with sequels, reboots and spinoffs.

And while Chicago won’t see multi-day Taylor Swift and Beyoncé extravaganzas this summer, there are things to be excited about across the arts, including some beloved Chicago theater companies returning to production.

Below find all of the Tribune’s summer 2024 arts and entertainment guides, with everything you need to know about this season’s TV, movies, music, theater, books, museums, dance events and more from our writers and critics.

Theater top 10 for summer 2024: From ‘Midnight’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ to Laurie Metcalf

"The Lord of the Rings - A Musical Tale" is getting its U.S. premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater this summer. Pictured is cast member Louis Maskell in a previous 2023 U.K. production. (Pamela Raith)
“The Lord of the Rings – A Musical Tale” is getting its U.S. premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater this summer. Pictured is cast member Louis Maskell in a previous 2023 U.K. production. (Pamela Raith)

“Lush musicals, fun revues, fascinating new plays and, best of all, the return to production of some beloved Chicago theater companies. All are on tap for this summer in the big city,” Tribune critic Chris Jones writes. Read his full list here.

Live music for summer 2024: Melt-Banana to Green Day, the concerts not to miss

Billie Joe Armstrong performs with Green Day on the final day of Lollapalooza, July 31, 2022, in Chicago.
Billie Joe Armstrong performs with Green Day on the final day of Lollapalooza on July 31, 2022, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

“While this summer will unfold without last year’s multi-day Taylor Swift and Beyoncé extravaganzas, plenty of fantastic shows should keep you busy through Labor Day,” critic Bob Gendron writes. Read his full list here.

TV for summer 2024: ‘The Bear’ and ‘Couples Therapy,’ but few chances taken

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto in "The Bear." (Frank Ockenfels/FX)
Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto in “The Bear.” (Frank Ockenfels/FX)

“I wish I had more enthusiasm for the coming slate of premieres, but the studios are in the midst of a pipeline problem and decision-makers appear to be unwilling to take chances on the new and unfamiliar,” Tribune critic Nina Metz writes. “On the bright side, I’m expecting the return of “The Bear” to be as satisfying as it has been in seasons past. Read her full list here.

10 movies for summer 2024: Sequels and reboots, but fingers crossed for a surprise

Anya Taylor-Joy takes the wheel in "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga," a pre-season summer hopeful coming May 24. (Warner Bros. Pictures/Jasin Boland)
Anya Taylor-Joy takes the wheel in “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” a pre-season summer hopeful coming May 24. (Warner Bros. Pictures/Jasin Boland)

“Like many recent summer movie seasons, but more so, sequels, reboots and spinoffs rule our screen world. Summer 2024 is the summer of colons or numbers in titles,” Tribune critic Michael Phillips writes. Read his full list here.

Dance for summer 2024: In the hot months, free festivals are just the tip of the iceberg

Antonio Najarro's "Viejos Aires" will get its Ensemble Espanol premiere this summer. (Joel Maisonet)
Antonio Najarro’s “Viejos Aires” will get its Ensemble Espanol premiere this summer. (Joel Maisonet)

“Indoors or out, when it comes to dance — there’s something for everyone this summer — everywhere you look,” critic Lauren Warnecke writes. Read her full list here.

Classical, jazz and experimental music for summer 2024: Rush Hour Concerts turns 25, plus a once-in-a-lifetime one-act

Saxophonist Charles McPherson performs at Jazz Showcase in 2010. He's part of this summer's lineup at the famous venue in the South Loop. (Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune)
Saxophonist Charles McPherson performs at Jazz Showcase in 2010. He’s part of this summer’s lineup at the famous venue in the South Loop. (Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune)

“From annual standbys to intriguing one-offs, Chicago’s cup overfloweth with summer concerts worth your while,” critic Hannah Edgar writes. Read their full list here.

Top 10 for art in Chicago: Georgia O’Keeffe to Art on the Mart in a 2024 summer of firsts

“East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel” (1928) by Georgia O’Keeffe. Part of the exhibition “My New Yorks” at the Art Institute of Chicago from June 2 to Sept. 22, 2024. (Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)

“An unusual number of firsts are taking place in Chicago museums this summer, from older artists getting their due to under-examined histories being recovered to emergent talents making their local debuts,” critic Lori Waxman writes. Read her full list here.

Museums for summer 2024: After-hours parties at the Shedd and a Holocaust Museum debut

This summer's Jazzin' at the Shedd gatherings every Wednesday are joined by Pride Night, Shedd House Party and Ritmo del Mar, all after hours at the Shedd Aquarium on Chicago's Museum Campus.Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
This summer’s Jazzin’ at the Shedd gatherings every Wednesday are joined by Pride Night, Shedd House Party and Ritmo del Mar, all after hours at the Shedd Aquarium on Chicago’s Museum Campus.Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

“Not all the exhibitions are free, but enough are to prove, yet again, that Chicago is the very best major American city to spend a summer,” critic Hannah Edgar writes. Read their full list here.

Summer books 2024: It’s summertime and the reading’s easy. Or epic. Choose your own adventure.

(Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

“For the rest of you who just want a new mystery or history for the backyard, this summer is overstocked, even more so than the coming fall season,” reporter Christopher Borrelli writes. Read his full list here.



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