If you’re a fan of music and Reader staff writer Kelly Garcia’s Riot Fest coverage, this event is for you! From 2-8 PM, the all-ages People’s Music Fest, which calls attention to the impact of festivals on Douglass Park and its neighbors, is happening at Cermak and Marshall. Performers include Bussy Qween Power Trip, Ghost and Bell, the Breathing Light, Electric Mothership, and more. There will also be an open mike, as well as arts and goods from local vendors. Unlike Riot Fest, it’s free, and it’s designed to keep money circulating locally while getting Chicagoans elbow-to-elbow for some fun. Go to Instagram for more information. (MC)
Let’s be real: there’s a lot of music stuff happening this weekend–including Metro and Smart Bar’s 40th anniversary party at Ravinia (201 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park). At 4 PM, they’ll host a pop-up version of Smart Bar’s legendary party Queen! featuring resident Queen! hosts Lucy Stoole, Nico, and JoJo Baby and resident Smart Bar DJs Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini, and Garrett David. There will also be performances by special guests Ralphi Rosario and Dajae. And guess what? The Reader will be there too. Tell us the stories you’ve loved and what coverage you crave, and ask us any and all burning questions about journalism. We love–love–when you talk Chicago to us. Tickets are $30, and ticket holders are eligible for free Metra rides to and from the party. Can’t wait to see you! (MC)
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Refracted Theatre Company, a new player on the scene, hosts its first official press opening tonight with St. Sebastian, the world premiere of a play by Andrew Kramer and directed by Refracted’s artistic director, Graham Miller. The dark comedy follows what happens when two queer white men move into a historically Black neighborhood. When Ben, one of the white men, hires Reuben, a Black kid in the neighborhood, the fault lines of racism and ignorance underneath the facade of political and social awareness are revealed. Kramer, a Cleveland native who identifies as queer, has explored similar topics of racism, homophobia, and self-hatred in his political thriller Armature; he also developed work through Stage Left Theatre’s Downstage Left playwrights’ initiative. St. Sebastian runs through 10/2 at the Den (1331 N. Milwaukee); showtimes at Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, and tickets are $18 at thedentheatre.com. (KR)
The fifth annual Destinos Chicago International Latino Theater Festival is now in full swing, and tonight at 8 PM is the premiere of Bruna la Bruja Bruta at Marquette Park’s Teatro Tariakuri (3117 W. 63rd), one of the many offerings on the festival’s menu. The comic solo show by Mexican playwright Tomás Urtusástegui stars Tariakuri artistic director Karla Galván as a beleaguered witch, dealing with her three kids and with the stress of being alive for 200 years. In a profile of Galván by Reader freelancer Jack Helbig in this week’s fall theater and arts preview issue, she described the piece as “similar to John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons.” Galván’s longtime friend and mentor, Natalia Traven (a vet of Mexican and Hollywood cinema as well as theater), directs; showtimes are Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM through 10/16, the show is in Spanish with English subtitles, and tickets are $35 through eventbrite.com. (KR)
Craving more music? Don’t miss the reopening party of Podlasie Club (2918 N. Central), the hottest dance spot since the pandemic. When the delta variant emerged at the end of last year, the club took the opportunity to close for remodeling. Now the bar–a holdover of when Chicago was the city with the largest Polish population in the world–is outfitted with fresh paint and new lighting that pays homage to its history while embracing a changing neighborhood. Expect a bigger dance floor and a gathering area as well as a high-end disco sound system. Headlining the night is Dark Entries hitmaker Bill Converse, who’s joined by local heavyweight DJs Jordan Zawideh, Lorelei, Beau Wanzer, and Valdez. Get there early if you want to get in because this event will be packed. It’s $10 at the door, and the bar is cash-only. You must be 21 or older, and proof of vaccination is required. Party starts at 9 PM. (MC)