Smile Politely

Weekender: August 24–26


Friends of the Library Book Sale, Urbana Free Library, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

I admit it. I may read all my news online and most of my books on an iPad, but there are certain books I wouldn’t read in anything but print. And as much as I love being able to carry hundreds of books with me in a slim electronic device, there’s nothing quite like turning the pages of an old book. Three times a year, the Friends of the Library holds a massive booksale, and this is the weekend. The Friends of the Library says they collect “high-quality used books donated by local residents” in order to fundraise for the Urbana Free Library, so this is your chance to get them at cut-rate prices. Friday and Saturday, the books will be priced to sell, and Sunday, what’s left will be half price. Sunday’s hours are 1–5 p.m. (SK)

Paint some art at The Art Party Studio, 7:00–10:00 p.m. ($35 for one person, $60 for two)

You should not drink and bake,” Arnold Schwarzenegger declared to his on-screen wife in Raw Deal. But he never said anything about drinking and painting, which is why they let you bring and drink your own beer, wine, or whatever you want at the Art Party Studio in downtown Champaign, while the instructor leads you and the rest of the class through painting the picture slated for the evening. This Friday, you’ll be painting Pixie Dust (pictured here) and on Saturday, Pink Butterfly. To see the paintings or register for classes, visit their website. (SK)


Audition for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Champaign Urbana Theatre Company, Friday, 6:30–9:30 p.m. | Saturday, Callbacks, 11:00 a.m.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a one act, musical comedy by the Tony Award winning team of Rachel Sheinkin (book) and William Finn (music and lyrics). This production is being directed by Jaclyn Loewenstein and Andrei Strizek (Musical Director).

Audition Information:

Auditions are by appointment. To select your time, please call (217) 344-3884. Walk-ins are welcome, but priority will be given to those with an appointment.

The CUTC is seeking “strong actor/singer/improvisers, ages 16–55,” for the musical’s nine principal characters, plus “several additional ensemble roles.” Those auditioning should prepare 45–60 seconds of a contemporary Broadway song, (other than The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Bring sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided.

Click on the above link for more information about the play’s many characters, as well as information about auditioning for specific characters. (TN)

Santah, On Again Off Again, Canoe Canoe  
at Cowboy Monkey
at 9:30, $7

Santah is on the brink of releasing their next EP entitled You’re Still a Lover, and this material is just as charming as the last record they made a few years back. I think I’ve seen all of these songs performed live at some point, and they are all good. I’m telling you, they’re pretty darn good. Definitely worth checking out over at Cowboy, Santah’s common destination when they venture down from Chicago nowadays. I’m ready to get my hands on a copy of this, and I’m guessing they will have them available for purchase before the street date of October 16. (PS)


Grab lunch or dinner at Big Grove Tavern, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., 5:00–11:00 p.m.

Stop by Big Grove Tavern for a tasty, locally sourced, and beautifully plated dish — like this chilled spinach and pea soup with mint crème fraîche. I recommend starting with the tater tots first, which come with a house made apple purée. Check out the rest of the menu here. And good news: the Mac n Cheese no longer takes 20 minutes. With new convection ovens in the kitchen, you won’t have to wait for this dish. (SK)

This place is not a “tavern.” It is very, very good, however. It’s just not a tavern. In fact, it’s so far off, it’s hard to understand the rationale behind calling it tavern. I love most everything on the menu. But it’s not a tavern. It’s just Big Grove. Nothing more. Nothing less. And that’s good enough for me. (SF)

University YMCA Dump and Run, U of I Stock Pavilion, Saturday, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., $2 admission | Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., $3 bag sale, 2:30–4:00 p.m., free

The Dump and Run always has fantastic deals on used furniture, clothing, household goods, etc. (TN)


Surfy Murphy’s Beach Riot III — a fundraiser for the Twin City Derby Girls at Mike ‘N Molly’s, 8:00 p.m., $5

Surfabilly Freakout’s Surfy Murphy Beach Riot III is this Saturday fittingly featuring a few surf-rock bands to fill the bill with the Madeira and the Cocktail Preachers. The show is a fundraiser for a sports team frequently featured on our site, the Twin City Derby Girls. Aside from the music, there will be plenty of raffle prizes and drinks to be had at Mike ‘N Molly’s, so this will probably be a pretty interesting and entertaining event. The night includes raffle prizes from Exile on Main St., Furniture Lounge, Ippatsu Salon, Justine Bursoni Photography, Surfabilly Freakout Radio, and the Twin City Derby Girls. Those Surfabilly Freakout dudes are pretty wild, so this sounds like a good time. (PS)


Emerald City’s Got Talent, Emerald City Lounge, 10:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

Emerald City is hosting its first talent show. Come out and see all kinds of local talent: singing, drag, stripping, juggling, magic acts, comedy, and more.

This Saturday is the first of regular monthly talent shows at Emerald City. The prize for first place is $75, and booking as special entertainment for following month.

For more information, call Amy at (217) 552-9445. (TN)

Eat at Wonderdogs, 11 a.m to 6 p.m.

Fact is, it’s really the only option in town to get a hot dog. Seriously. I’m sorry to anyone else in Champaign-Urbana that serves hot dogs. You aren’t doing it right. You don’t have Vienna Beef, and that’s a dealbreaker. Hot Dogs, on the whole, are disgusting. We all know the stories, the rumors: pig snout, mixed with turkey trimmings, and a little beef ass to make it bind. But not here. No chance. Vienna Beef is the real deal. Only pure cuts of beef, slurried up with special spices, and then encased in sheep’s intestines. If that disgusts you, hey — that’s OK too. I am just glad I don’t feel the same way.

The place was inducted into the Vienna Beef Hall of Fame this year. And with students back, Campustown is buzzing with activity. So, do yourself a favor and head down for a dog, some fries, and a cola, for chrissakes. It’s the best around. And Chicago-style Hot Dogs rule. No exceptions. No excuses. The best. (SF)


Quad Day; 12 p.m to 4 p.m.

If you want to watch a true shit show, go to the Quad on Sunday. There will be 10,000 people there. They will all be confused. Every organization (and bullshit, not-for-profit radio station) will be there, pimpin’ their shit and trying to convince young, unsuspecting people, of why their group or club is the right choice for them.

Options include, a club dedicated to refining and perfecting gravy. A place to discuss dragons. A sizeable gathering of virgins who pretend they are in the Mid-ages, fighting with foam swords. A bullshit group that no doubt props up Chick-Fil-A. A group that hates Chick-Fil-A. A story-telling committee dedicated to the craft of making cartoon stories into Shakespeare. A homosexual rights group founded and run by a straight Mormon. A group home for beautiful fools.

We live on the campus of one of the largest and most diverse Universities in the States. Go take a peek. Those fuckers are crazy. (SF)

Observe, anywhere you like, all weekend long, no cost

Make a first impression on a stranger that will last the rest of their life.
Introduce someone to the seminal record from a band that you love.
Destroy something because it’s too beautiful.
Make someone uncomfortable by removing the mask they wear in public.
Throw yourself heedlessly and headlong into something in order to completely understand it.
Stay up all night making plans for world domination via the hypothetically impossible.
Search for, find, and quit God. Again and again and again.
Scare the shit out of someone by exposing the razor’s edge of human volatility.
When a friend is lost and confused, gently wrap your arms around him and lead him home.

For Dave. (rh)

Related Articles