Smile Politely

The Weekender: March 20–22

Welcome to Smile Politely’s rundown of weekend events in our fair cities. As always, if you have a suggestion for this weekend, add it to the comments thread below. And don’t forget to send us your recommendations for future weekends.


Watch people dancing like no one’s watching: There’s a full weekend of traditional dancing fun at the Illini Union, sponsored by Central Illinois English Country Dancers, Illini Folk Dance Society, and the Urbana Country Dancers. It all begins tonight with live music and a contra dance from 7 to 11 p.m. There are workshops all day Saturday and Sunday, with an English Country Ball on Saturday night. It’s $50 for the whole weekend, with smaller fees for individual sessions.

Um, watch some NCAA basketball: Just sayin’. You could. Even though the Illini fell victim to the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. Bigtime bummer.

To Che, or not to Che: Sorry, couldn’t resist. There’s been lots of talk ’round these parts about the Art Theatre. So head there this weekend to see part one of Steven Soderbergh’s Che, about, you guessed it, Che Guevara. Part two of the film will be there next weekend.

“Lemme get on, lemme get on, lemme get on some o’ that / Shake it up, bake it up nice, uh! / Lemme get on, lemme get on, lemme get on all that / I so love my baby’s poundcake”: Okay, so Sammy Hagar’s Van Halen isn’t playing Mike ‘N Molly’s this weekend, but Poundcake is. While they have nothing to do with VH, we felt that it was high time you reacquainted yourself with that wonderful lyric. Coming on the heels of last weekend’s awesome display of live music, this weekend kinda stinks. But you can catch Poundcake, Withershins, and Sea Creatures at Mike ‘N Molly’s on Friday night (10 p.m., cover TBA), or local faves Beat Kitchen playing at the Cowboy Monkey (9:30 p.m., $5) with Tree Thump, who feature a Didgeridoo. No kidding.

Whitey’s final weekend: Friday and Saturday are the final evenings to catch The Station’s Whitey. We’d recommend seeking a reservation if you want to go. 8 p.m., $15.


Well, we almost have to now: Don’t Ask is playing klezmer music “in the spirit of the early Eastern European village bands that accompanied Jewish and other ethnic celebrations during the 19th and early 20th centuries” at the Urbana Free Library from 2 to 4 p.m. There’s no cover.

Get Hitchcocked: The News-Gazette film series at the Virginia continues this weekend with a showing of Vertigo, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. It’s often listed as one of the best films ever made, and where better to take in a classic than at the most classic cinema of them all.

Dueling pianos, anyone?: From 9:30pm to 1:30am, you can enjoy live piano bouts at Eighty-Eight Broadway in Lincoln Square in Urbana. Don’t burn yourself on the smokin’ keyes.


It’s sometimes sunny in Champaign-Urbana: Brickhouses Road Subdivision is putting on a one-hour presentation called “A Consumer’s Guide to Photovoltaic Solar Electricity” at the Keller Williams Realty Office in Champaign. It starts at 2 p.m., and there’s no mention of a fee.

Heads-up: AWARE, the Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort, is holding a 5 p.m. meeting at the Independent Media Center. Join them to help plan future events in the C-U area.

Get your ass in shape: The Independent Media Center is also home to the Bike Project Co-op, as it’s frequently known. Sundays are open hours from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and they offer free classes on how to repair and troubleshoot your own ride. Seriously, we have one of these? My Lord. Champaign-Urbana rules.

Sip the good life: La Gourmandise, arguably the most under-appreciated of all restaurants in town, offers the brunch crowd the most tempting deal of all: $1 mimosas. Just $1. Gotta be 21, but assuming you are, how can that be beat?

Prolong the green: If you missed getting your blarney on, head on over to the Blind Pig for some live Irish folk music from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Emerald Rum provides the music. You bring your own jig.

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