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LED by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, the Grant Park Music Festival  is the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series of its kind, and it showcases the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. The 2015 presentation of exceptional performers continues through August 22 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion (with additional performances at the South Shore Cultural Center, the Columbus Park Refectory and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance). The remaining summer schedule includes the following performances: “Brahms Requiem” (July 17); “Grant Park Chorus: Songs from the Heart” (July 21 at the South Shore Cultural Center and July 23 at Columbus Park Refectory); “Barber and Menotti” (July 22); “Saint-Saens Piano Concerto” (July 24); “Dvorák Symphony No. 6” (July 29); “Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6” (July 31 at Harris Theater for Music and Dance); “Mozart Piano Concerto” (August 5); “Haydn Harmony Mass” (August 7); “An Evening with Kurt Elling” (August 12); “Strauss Ein Heldenleben” (August 14); “Beethoven Violin Concerto” (August 19); and “Elgar The Kingdom” (August 21-22). For tickets and more information about the Grant Park Music Festival, including membership, one-night passes and group seating, visit or call 312-742-7647. For additional information, visit the Grant Park Music Festival Facebook page or follow the Festival on Twitter @gpmf.
Chicago Is Talking About . . .
The Grant Park Music Festival
Kent M. Lewis' Portrayal of Johnny Cash 
GRAMMY Award-winning pop star Colbie Caillat brings her “Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too” tour to City Winery for a show on July 20. The multiplatinum singer/songwriter who has attracted a loyal group of fans over the years, recently has touched the souls of women (and men) with her popular, confidence-building song “Try,” which urges women to be themselves and features a video with a diverse group of women who appear without makeup and wigs. Caillat, who auditioned for TV's American Idol and was turned down twice, will sing a variety of her multiple hits, including her first hit, “Bubbly,” which she sang during the American Idol competition. She is joined by Christina Perri and Rachel Platten on the tour that runs through September 1. Go to for information and tickets.
The Black Ensemble Theater's Men of Soul 
IT's all about soul––specifically Men of Soul––in the current production at the Black Ensemble Theater that runs through August 30. The play, written and directed by Black Ensemble Associate Director Daryl Brooks, features the uplifting music of some of the most celebrated soul singers, including Luther Vandross, Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Tom Jones, Billy Ocean, Joe Cocker and Billy Joel. The story focuses on their challenges and the strength that it took each one to find his “soul” and express it musically. As a special feature, the production includes a tribute to singer/songwriter and 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Withers, who put his mark on the musical landscape with songs such as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Grandma’s Hands” and “Use Me.”
WHEN Kent M. Lewis steps onto the stage, he embodies the “Man in Black” during the production of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, which runs through August 30 at the Mercury Theater Chicago. In the salute to an American legend, Lewis and a multitalented cast take audiences on a musical trip with a collection of Cash’s biggest songs, including “I Walk The Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Get Rhythm,” “Jackson,” “Cry, Cry, Cry” and the play’s title tune “Ring of Fire.” Lewis, no stranger to several Chicago-area stages, says: “Johnny Cash is an American icon to be sure, a flame that burned so brightly that the heat of the embers is still with us. But Johnny also was extremely human, an everyday guy––trying to do the right thing, find the right word, hit the right note, trying to be a light under what seemed at times to be a veil of darkness. [He was] trying, like you, like me, to keep shoveling the coal into the engine to keep the train rollin'.” For more informaton and tickets, go to 
Colbie Caillat's Musical Tour To Stop At City Winery 
Peabo Bryson                  Luther Vandross                 Tom Jones                     Bill Withers