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Things to do in Chicago (if you're Sting)

The Police man is in town for his new musical. Live life like a meditative rock star with our Sting's-to-do list

Photograph: Frank Ockenfels Sting
By Brent DiCrescenzo |

Do you smell that? That aroma of well-oiled leather, Scottish dew and man musk? Sting is in town. Yesterday, the pop star appeared at the Cadillac Palace Theatre to promote his new musical, The Last Ship, which will run June 10 to July 13 at Bank of America Theatre before setting sail for Broadway. So, as the kinks are worked out, the enigmatic bassist will be a man about our town. 

It is our duty to make sure everyone in Chicago has things to do, from the commoner to the guy who wrote "King of Pain." So, Sting, this is for you. Or any of those who wants to live like Sting. (We figured you'd draw the line at Medieval Times.) Click the headlines for more info.

Bring your lute to Grant Park Music Festival

It can't be easy to travel with musical instruments from the Middle Ages. Have you tried fitting a hurdy gurdy into the overhead compartment of a commercial airliner? If you're Sting, you don't fly commercial. You have your lutes, synclaviers and mandolins in your entourage. While Music of the Baroque is between seasons, you can still get a heavy classical fix at the annual GPMF. It kicks off Jun 11 with the Tchaikovsky Extravaganza. The Water Music and Barber and Haydn bill should get you stiff in the knickers, too.
Photograph: Donna Rickles

Veg out at the city's top vegan restaurants

We hear you used to eat the meat of animals you raised, but now adhere to a macrobiotic diet. Though our city is riddled with pork products, no sweat. There are plenty of solid vegetarian and vegan joints to hit. Green Zebra seems right up your alley.


Request songs from the 'Dune' soundtrack at Toto gig

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the misunderstood and underrated Dune film you made with David Lynch. It's not quite Movies in the Park fodder, so there isn't a screening slated in town (yet). But you can get your Harkonnen blood pumping when Toto hits Ravinia. The band scored Dune (with a little help from Brian Eno), and don't have much else to play after "Rosanna." Try not to weep when they tear into "Paul Kills Feyd."
Photograph: Amy Cavanaugh

Dabble in a bit of falconry

Birds of prey lurk amid the skyscrapers, but there's not a ton of falconry downtown. However, just a bit south of the city near Joliet, in New Lenox, you can feel the majestic weight of a predator on your well-toned forearm. Yes, we know you were not in Ladyhawke; that was Rutger Hauer. Should have been you, though.


Drop in on the Wicker Park Chess Club

In 2000, you and a team of four others faced off against Gary Kasparov in your favorite pastime, chess. Bad news: He pasted y'all. Good news: The level of competition in the Crotch (that's what we call Wicker Park) is well below "greatest player of all time."

Photograph: Jeremy Bolen

Jam with a jazz band

Nobody calls you Gordon. The name Sting came from your youth, when you were sitting in with jazz bands, wearing a yellow and black–striped sweater. Dust off that bumblebee jumper and double bass and fly free with one of the improvisational cats at a club like Hungry Brain or Andy's.

Eighties cover band 16 Candles (Saturday 13 at 8pm at Roscoe Stage) has become as ubiquitous at Chicago street fests as gooey funnel cakes. Out frontman Adam LeBlanc also spins as DJ Adam El at Euro-pop party Glo Wednesday 17 at Berlin.
Photo Courtesy: Sixteen Candles Band

Heckle cover band Sixteen Candles as they ruin Police tunes at a street fest

Man, who do these guys think they are? Who do they think you are? Covering "Power of Love" is one thing, but "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic?" Ghosts in the Machine is miles ahead of Huey freaking Lewis. Do they even know who Arthur Koestler is? Show them who's boss and treat them like Stuart Copeland when these '80s suck-ups hit Andersonville Midsommarfest (Jun 6–8), Belmont Sheffield Music Festival (Jun 7, 8), Pride Fest (Jun 22)… and just about every other street fest.

Things to do, Festivals

Have a joust at Bristol Renaissance Faire

Have a jolly olde tyme and butcher your favorite European accent as you engage in live-action fantasy play, enjoy interactive riddles, cheer on jousting knights or revel in period performances from 1574. The festival takes place Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day in July, August and early September.

More to explore