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September 2020 events calendar for Chicago

Summer is almost over, but September in Chicago is packed with things to do, including festivals, concerts and theater

Punks and rockers gathered in Douglas Park for the final day of Riot Fest, September 13, 2015.
Photograph: Max Herman
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The arrival of September may signal that the end of summer in Chicago is drawing near, but we still have a few more weeks of warm weather to enjoy. When you're not frequenting beer gardens and rooftop bars before they close for the season, you can shop for handmade goods at the Renegade Craft Fair, indulge in musical nostalgia at Riot Fest and sample dishes from some of the city's hottest chefs at Chicago Gourmet. Plus, you'll find a long list of Oktoberfest celebrations, no less than two different jazz festivals and concerts from the likes of Chance the Rapper, Lizzo, The Black Keys and more. Find more of the best things to do in Chicago this month with the help or our September events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2020

Featured events in September 2020

The Barber of Seville
Photograph: Robert Kusel
Music, Classical and opera

The Barber of Seville

icon-location-pin Civic Opera House | Chicago, IL, Loop
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The Lyric Opera's 2019/20 season kicks off with a production of Gioachino Rossini's popular romantic comedy, which acts as a prequel to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro. The plot revolves around the clever character Figaro, an enterprising barber who attempts to help a young woman marry a duke instead of being wedded to her older guardian.

Theater in September 2020

Theater

The Great Leap

icon-location-pin Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Lincoln Park
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Cambodian Rock Band scribe Lauren Yee returns to town with her play The Great Leap, which follows a Chinese-American basketball player (loosely based on her father) whose college team travels to Beijing in 1989 as China is on the brink of revolution. Add basketball’s whirligig athleticism to Yee’s exuberant theatrical style, and you couldn’t dream up a more exciting play. 

Photograph: Joe Mazza
Theater

Oslo

icon-location-pin Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, Streeterville
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Broadway Playhouse’s slate of offerings typically includes lots of non-union tours and other oddities, but its premiere of J.T. Rodgers’ Tony-winning Oslo is one to watch. Director Nick Bowling helms this recounting of the behind-the-scenes maneuverings that led to the historic 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Theater

The King’s Speech

icon-location-pin Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Streeterville
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Oscar winner The King’s Speech started off as a play, and now it’s enjoying a second life on the stage. This North American premiere from director Michael Wilson features Harry Hadden-Paton (Downton Abbey) as the stuttering English monarch King George VI and James Frain (The Tudors) as his eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue. Can’t wait for the The Crown’s third season to premiere? The King’s Speech should tide you over quite nicely.

Photograph: Courtesy Goodman Theatre
Theater

Bernhardt/Hamlet

icon-location-pin Goodman Theatre | Chicago, IL, Loop
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Smash creator Theresa Rebeck turns to a different kind of backstage drama as she dives into famed actress Sarah Bernhardt’s scandalizing 1899 role as the titular character in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

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Theater

Every Brilliant Thing

icon-location-pin Windy City Playhouse, Irving Park
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Adventurous theatergoers should venture over to Windy City Playhouse’s second location in Motor Row for the wild—and wildly moving—Every Brilliant Thing. This interactive play from British writer Duncan Macmillan features the great Kate Spence as a woman who guides the audience through her mother’s history of depression, with many ancillary roles filled by audience members.

Photograph: Michael Tutino
Theater

X

icon-location-pin Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, Sheffield & DePaul
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The crew of a lonely interstellar space station on Pluto stave of madness as they wait for a message from Earth that may never come. Alistair McDowall’s Cthulhu-tinged thriller Pomona bewitched audiences (and critics) this summer at Steep Theatre—and X promises to cast a similar spell. Jonathan L. Green directs this U.S. premiere for Sideshow Theatre Company.

GYG Chicago TTD

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