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  • Come Back Out and Go Out Back!

    Who’s hungry for a return to live performing arts? We are looking forward to our second season of Out Back Summer Sessions in the North Shore Center’s back parking lot.

    We feature the best of Chicago-based artists in a variety of performing arts genres. These concerts provide much-needed support for local artists and musicians. The Out Back concert series is a fresh-air, social-distancing way to enjoy live performing arts.


    Even if you can’t attend, consider making a donation to our
    North Shore Center Foundation
    to support the Center’s programming and arts education initiatives.
    Click Here to Support the Foundation!

    How Do the Out Back Summer Sessions Work?



    Out Back Summer Sessions
    Outdoor Concert Series 2021


    Michael Ingersoll’s Artists Lounge Live Presents
    we’ve Only Just Begun:
    Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter
    Friday, July 23 at 7:30pm
    Ticket Prices: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Fri, 7/23 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    Chicago’s favorite leading lady lends her signature warmth to the beloved hits of Karen Carpenter. Multi-award-winner Kettenring starred as Nessrose in the blockbuster musical Wicked and Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (National Tour). Songs to include “For All We Know,” “Superstar,” and “Close To You.”



    The Okee Dokee Brothers
    Saturday, July 24 at 11am
    A Family Matinee Show!
    Ticket Prices: $18
    Rain Date: TBD – rescheduled socially distanced indoors or for a later date

    Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been exploring the outdoors together since they were kids. Now, as the Grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers, they write songs that encourage kids and families to get outside and get creative.



    Chicago Philharmonic
    Chicago Phil Chamber: Backlot Beethoven

    Sunday, July 25 at 7pm
    Ticket Prices: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Sun, 7/25 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    Join Chicago Phil Chamber for an outdoor celebration of warmth, beauty, and live music! Don’t miss Dvořák’s joyous American Quartet, written during the composer’s 1893 stay in the Czech community of Spillville, Iowa. Also featured are selections from Beethoven’s masterful late String Quartet No. 13, including the transcendent Cavatina; and the driving second movement of Bartók’s second string quartet. Rounding out the program is Jessie Montgomery’s Strum, which the composer describes as a celebration of “the spirit of dance and movement.”



    The Michael Lerich Jazz Ensemble
    Thursday, July 29 at 7:30pm
    Ticket Prices: $22 | $27
    Rain Date: Thu, 7/29 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    Influenced by the great past players like Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, local clarinet virtuoso Michael Lerich brings his swinging jazz ensemble for a night of exceptional music.




    Theater Wit
    Ring in a Bright New Day

    Saturday, July 31 at 7:30pm
    Ticket Prices: $32 | $38
    Rain Date: TBD – Sat, 7/31 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizon, the Jeff Award-winning producing team from the soon-to-reopen Mercury Theater in Chicago, direct a cast of Chicago’s most beloved musical theatre performers through a dazzling performance of fan-favorite Broadway solos and song selections.



    Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
    Featuring Vocalist Lisa Fishman
    A Special Performance by the full Maxwell Street Klezmer Big Band Configuration!
    Thursday, August 05 at 7:30pm
    Ticket Prices: $32 | $38
    Rain Date: Thu, 8/05 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band has charmed audiences from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Barbican Centre in London with their unique Klezmer Big Band sound. Classical sophistication crossed with theatrical fun meet in a world-class performance filled with joy, soul and good humor.



    Chicago Philharmonic
    Chicago Phil Chamber: Summer Winds

    Friday, August 06 at 7pm
    Ticket Prices: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Fri, 8/06 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    Join Chicago Phil Chamber for an evening of beautiful music “Out Back” at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts! Experience Beethoven’s Octet, a classic example of early 19th century “harmoniemusik”, composed for entertainment at parties. Despite being a piece from Beethoven’s early period, the Octet shows many of the composer’s signature elements, with a boisterous minuet and high-flying, heroic writing for horns. Following the footsteps of Beethoven’s “harmoniemusik” is Gounod’s charming Petite Symphonie, and rounding out the program are two stunning tangos by Piazzolla.



    Porchlight Music Theatre presents
    Broadway in your Backyard

    Saturday, August 07 at 8pm
    Tickets: $35 | $45
    Rain Date: Sun, 8/08

    Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre’s popular outdoor performance series, Broadway in your Backyard, comes to the North Shore Center with additional musicians and projections to accompany the performers celebrating family, friends, community and inspiration!  Don’t miss Porchlight’s latest live performance offering audiences an unforgettable 90 minutes of Broadway music and memory-making, directed by Artistic Director Michael Weber and music directed by Justin Akira Kono!


    Past Performances:


    Fareed Haque Group
    The Meters – Look-Ka Py Py
    Friday, June 11 at 7:30pm
    Tickets: $24 | $32
    Rain Date: Sun, 6/13

    Fareed Haque perfectly kicks off the summer and gets those feet stomping with funky selections from the legendary New Orleans super-group, The Meters. Raised in Chicago, Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso steeped in both classical and jazz traditions.



    Porchlight Music Theatre presents
    New Faces Sing Broadway 1979

    Saturday, June 12 at 8pm
    Tickets: $35 | $45
    Rain Date: Sun, 6/13

    Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre’s popular New Faces Sing Broadway series makes its North Shore Center debut with New Faces Sing Broadway 1979. Join Porchlight as a celebrity host and the New Faces, a cast made up of the next generation of talent, takes you on a musical journey from the start to the finish of the 1979 Broadway season with songs, trivia, sing-alongs and more.



    Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater
    Zafiro Flamenco Festival – 45th Anniversary

    June 18, 19 & 20 at 7:30pm
    Three Performances!
    Ticket Prices: $32 | $40
    Rain Date: Mon, 6/21

    This Chicago-based organization. based out of Northeastern Illinois University. has performed every June at the North Shore Center for over twenty years. This year, Ensemble Español’s dancers combine with special guest artists and musicians to move their passionate concerts out back to perform a suite of Flamenco dances featuring new company world premieres and audience favorites.
    Come early for a special bonus: at 7pm Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Youth Company will perform Sevillanas dance. Learn Flamenco songs and dances from Andalucia with principal dancer, Crystal Ruiz and musicians, Patricia Ortega, singer and David Chiriboga, guitarist.



    Music Theater Works presents
    Legends of the 50s & 60s

    June 18 – 27
    Nine Performances!

    Fri, 6/18 at 1pm; Sat ,6/19 at 2pm; Sun, 6/20 at 2pm; Wed, 6/23 at 1pm;
    Thu, 6/24 at 1pm; Fri, 6/25 at 8pm; Sat, 6/26 at 2pm & 8pm; Sun, 6/27 at 2pm
    Ticket Prices: $39 | $48
    Rain Date: TBD

    Join us for beloved hits from the 50s and 60s. This flashback performance features the songs made famous by names like Buddy Holly, Doris Day, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Temptations, Elvis, and others. Note: Part of Music Theater Works subscription series. Seating for performances/sections may be limited.



    Chicago Philharmonic
    Chicago Phil Brass: Brass with Sass
    Sunday, June 27 at 7pm

    Ticket Prices: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Sun, 6/27 socially distanced inside Center Theatre

    Let’s grab a date, some tasty picnic fixings and a comfortable camping chair to get out back at the North Shore Center for a delightful summer evening of music with Chicago Phil Brass. Explore the wide world of music for brass quintet, with ringing Renaissance chords, soaring romantic melodies, jazzy riffs, lively marches, and more!



    Michael Ingersoll’s Artists Lounge Live Presents
    Silly Love Songs:
    Michael Mahler Sings Paul McCartney
    Thursday, July 01 at 7:30pm
    Tickets: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Fri, 7/02

    Award-winning actor, musician, composer and lyricist Michael Mahler celebrates Paul McCartney in a rocking tour de force. “Mahler is insanely talented.” —Chicago Sun-Times



    Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players
    Saturday, July 03 at 11am

    A Family Matinee Show!
    Tickets: $18
    Rain Date: TBD

    Four-time Grammy nominee Justin Roberts is truly one of the all-stars of the indie family music scene. For more than twenty years, Justin has been creating the soundtrack to families’ lives, crafting songs that navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up.



    Discover Symphony presents
    Love Wins: A Concert of Change and Hope
    Thursday, July 08 at 7:30pm

    Tickets: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Tue, 7/13 at 7:30pm

    Featured vocalist Cheryl Wilson joins the 4Spiel String Quartet with a music presentation of Duke Ellington, Steven Sondheim, Herb Alpert, Leonard Cohen, Charlie Chaplin, Etta James, Queen and Marvin Gaye.


    Northlight Theatre presents
    Lettin’ The Good Times Roll with Fe and Faye!

    Starring Felicia P. Fields & E. Faye Butler
    Friday & Saturday,
    July 09 & 10 at 7:30pm
    Tickets: $35 | $45
    Rain Date: Sun, 7/11

    Dynamic stage divas Felicia P. Fields and E. Faye Butler star in a cabaret concert of jazz, blues, gospel and show tunes. These two powerhouse performers, supported by a stellar band, will have you rocking, reeling, laughing and shouting your troubles away.



    Guy King
    Joy Is Coming – Album Release Concert
    with Special Guest Vocalist Sarah Marie Young
    Thursday, July 15 at 7:30pm
    Ticket Prices: $24 | $32
    Rain Date: Mon, 7/19

    A joyous family affair! In support of his brand-new album, the 2017 Blues Music Award nominee, Guy King is joined by singer and wife, Sarah Marie Young. A recent collaborator with Buddy Guy, Postmodern Jukebox and Chicago-band, The Oh Yeahs, Sarah is a Thelonious Monk Competition semi-finalist and won the 2011 Montreux Vocal Competition judged by Quincy Jones. Guy King plays fresh and unique music that displays his natural musical abilities and one-of-a-kind blend of Blues, Jazz, Soul and R&B.  Born and raised in a small rural town in Israel, Guy is an American success story—with an awesome soundtrack. Arriving in the US as a teen, Guy explored the musical traditions in Memphis and New Orleans before his career exploded with success in Chicago.

    Can’t Attend? No Problem! You can support Guy King by directly purchasing his music.
    Click Here to get Joy is Coming – New Studio Album by Guy King



    Michael Ingersoll’s Artists Lounge Live Presents
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered:
    John-Mark McGaha Sings Stevie Wonder
    Saturday, July 17 at 7:30pm
    Ticket Prices: $36 | $42
    Rain Date: Sun, 7/18

    Acclaimed singer, storyteller, actor and multi-instrumentalist John-Mark McGaha celebrates the genius of Stevie Wonder live in concert. Broadway World calls his voice “crystal-clear perfection.”


    How Do the Out Back Summer Sessions Work?


    Tickets & Seating

    We brought our concert operation out back to our 31,000 square-foot parking lot and set up a stage and sound system in the fresh outdoors.

    We sell tickets for your group—two (2) minimum and up to six (6) maximum—consisting of persons from your same household or accepted health safety bubble.

    All tickets are sold as general admission reservations. Your group seating location is based on date of purchase and at the full discretion of management. Like a restaurant, upon arrival, patrons are escorted to designated spots. If you would like to be seated nearby another attending group, contact the Box Office at (847) 673-6300.

    ♪ Out Back Summer Session concerts are scheduled outdoors and have scheduled rain days or alternative inclement weather plans.

    Health Safety Measures & Rules

    The health and safety of our patrons, artists and employees are the priority! BUT we need your help!

    We continue to follow health guidance from the CDC and Illinois Department of Health. The Center has taken enhanced health safety and cleaning measures to protect artists and patrons and reduce transmission risks of the coronavirus. Please understand your own personal health risk and take proper precautions in your exposure decisions. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending, participants assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

    Face Masks
    Pursuant to guidance from the CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume most activities without wearing a mask or social distancing. Our staff is fully vaccinated. We strongly encourage patrons receive the vaccine for event safety and to protect others.

    If you are NOT vaccinated, find out how to get a free vaccine: CLICK HERE

    If you are NOT VACCINATED, FACE MASKS are still REQUIRED at the North Shore Center.

    To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in or from an area of substantial or high transmission. The Village of Skokie, City of Chicago and overall Cook County do NOT currently fall into a higher category

    Concessions & Amenities

    There may be traffic control officers at the facility entrances to direct you to parking areas. We appreciate your cooperation as they assist you in getting parked and into the seating area in a timely manner.

      The series is NOT a drive-in. Patrons should bring their own chairs and blankets to set up in assigned parking spots.

    ♪ Patrons may bring coolers, non-alcoholic beverages, and/or food.

    ♪ Cold soft-drinks, beer, wine, and pre-packaged food items will be available for purchase at our concession stand next to the stage.

    Outside alcohol is prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may be purchased from the concession stand. All alcoholic consumption must take place within our concert venue borders.

    ♪ Our assisted listening devices do NOT work outdoors and will NOT be available.

    ♪ Indoor restrooms will be available for all concerts with social distancing guidelines in place.


    Jameson’s Charhouse, located next-door of the Center, will be receiving carryout food orders that patrons may bring into the concert area to eat. For menu and all orders, please directly contact Jameson’s:
    Call – (847) 673-9700
    Visit Online:

    Jameson’s Charhouse,  starts every day to create the flavors that you want. Best known for steaks, chicken and seafood, Jameson’s also offers a wide variety of crisp salads and freshly made soups and sides. New creations are made daily using only the highest quality ingredients.

    Please Do Not Bring

    NO…grills or stoves, tents or canopies of any size, items requiring ground staking, or large umbrellas.

    NO…throwing balls, frisbees or operating drones.

    NO…outside alcohol, liquor, wine, or beer.

    NO…bikes, scooters or skates. Covered bike racks are located in the bottom level of the parking garage.

    NO…smoking or vaping in the concert area. Please smoke only in designated smoking area provided.

    NO…pets or animals, except federally licensed service animals.

    NO…weapons, audio/video recording equipment or stereos.


    Even if you can’t attend, consider making a donation to our
    North Shore Center Foundation
    to support the Center’s programming and arts education initiatives.
    Click Here to Support the Foundation!


    The Out Back Summer Sessions 2021 Series is generously supported by

    Daniel F. & Ada L. Rice Foundation



    Special thanks to the Skokie Park District


    2020-21 Feature Series Season Sponsor

    DoubleTreeThe official hotel of the
    North Shore Center for the Performing Arts