South Side Summer: Local Entertainment 


Castle Benefit Concert 

When thinking in terms of memorable Beverly/Morgan Park architecture you’d be hard pressed to find a building more iconic than the Givins Beverly CastleLooking as though it would be more at home on some craggy moor, or perhaps a TV set, rather than at the corner of 103rd and Longwood, it’s hard to imagine our neighborhood without our beloved Castle on the hill.  

For over 130 years the Castle has stood tall against Chicago winters, it has been a meeting place and a sanctuary, it’s been the site of markets and marriages. But while the spirit of the Castle is still willing, it needs a bit of help to continue to be able.  

Earlier this year the Castle Keepers estimated a need of over $800,000 in order to complete all the restorations necessary to save the turrets and roof. Half that goal has been met, and the Castle Task Force has turned to the larger community to ask for help.  

For local musician John Devens the Castle is more than just a neighborhood landmark. “I’ve always loved the castle,” he said. “Julia and I were married there. I’m part of South Siders for Peace, who have events there. My daughter went to pre-school at the castle as well.”  

When John and Julia, his wife and musical partner, heard that the Castle was raising money for the restoration fund they jumped at the chance to be able to  give back to the place that has been such a huge part of their lives. “I have always thought the castle would make a wonderful setting for concerts,” Devens said. Devens has planned and presented a popular series of fund-raising concerts at the Castle over the past several months. 

On Sat., July 20 John and Julia, along with a number of other local musicians, will be returning to perform for the season’s culminating Castle Benefit Concert, a night of music, celebration and community.  

Joining John and Julia Devens will be jazz bassist Larry Gray, songwriter and guitarist Michael Smith, folk singer Jamie O’Reilly and celebrated folk and Americana singer songwriter Anne Hills. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Wine, cheese and other refreshments will be served during intermission. Tickets are a suggested donation of $35, with proceeds going to the Castle building fund. Find tickets and information at 


Summer Swelter 

July brings barbecues and sidewalk games, and you can enjoy the best of both at Horse Thief Hollow’s Summer Swelter, Sat., July 13 starting at noon. The award-winning brewery and restaurant at 10426 S. Western will combine its popular summer street party with a bean bags tournament this year. As always, the event will raise money for charity, and this year’s recipient is Gigi’s Playhouse. Admission is free; food and beverage tickets will be available for purchase. 

Watch teams compete for the $500 top prize in the cornhole tournament. Horse Thief Hollow craft brews will be flowing, including the debut of two sour beers from new head brewer Jake Nelson.“It’ll be a sour Summer Swelter this year, to reflect Jake’s brewing expertise, and we’re really excited to showcase his talents,” said Horse Thief owner Neil Byers. One of the sour beers will be a mango goze, Byers said, and the other may be infused with habañero chile 

The Hawaiian themed menu will feature a pineapple BBQ pig roast with Hawaiian potato salad and vegetarian poke bowls, available at 6 p.m.  

At 7 p.m. blues sensation Larry McCray will perform on Horse Thief’s outdoor stage, courtesy of State Farm’s John Harrell, the event’s music sponsor. For details, visit 

Showtime Calendar 

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., continues its Live Music Mondays summer outdoor concert series with contemporary folk with John and Julia Devens, July 1; Return 2 Soul Motown, R&B and soul, July 8; Irish tradition meets bluegrass with Far Too Close, July 15; classic rock and originals by the McGinniss Brothers July 22: and upbeat Latin tunes with Caliente, July 29. In inclement weather, the concert moves indoors. Cash bar. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. $5 donation requested.  

Movies in the Park, “Jaws,” Steven Spielberg’s classic about a great white shark terrorizing a resort town beach, Tues., July 2, 8:30 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Free.  

Keep your picnic blankets, lawn chairs and coolers close at hand! The 19th Ward Youth Foundation and Chicago Park District will host free outdoor concerts in neighborhood parks Thursdays, 7 p.m., July 11 through Aug. 22. Complete schedule at 

Grant Park Music Festival presents an interactive children’s concert exploring music and theater in Chicago, Mon., July 8. 11 a.m.- 12 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Free. Details: 

BACinema, “Coraline,” 3D and stop-motion animation is about  a young girl who discovers an alternate dimension with a dark secret, Wed., July 10 and “The Hate U Give,” a biting commentary based on the acclaimed YA novel about a girl who witnesses the shooting of her best friend by a police officer, Wed., July 24, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St.  $6/ $5 BAC members.  773-445-3838, 

Concert in the Park, Allison Wonder Band performs a free concert of classic and current, Sat., July 13, 3 to 4 p.m., Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. Bring lawn chair or blanket. 312-747-6024. 

Night Out in the Park, Cars,” family friendly movie about a cocky hot rod stuck in a small town, Tues., July 16, 8:15 p.m., Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. Free. Bring lawn chairs or blanket.  





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