Smile Politely

Weekender: Jan. 31-Feb. 2


Illini Showcase with Esteban Gast, Illini Union Courtyard Cafe, 5 p.m., free

The Illini Showcase with Esteban Gast premieres tonight at the Illini Union Courtyard Cafe. For the premiere, Gast will speak with Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, student Saagar Gupta, performer Scott Rusch, and opera singer John W. Gomez. This will be an ongoing talk show every Friday night starting at 5 p.m. Admission is free. Word on the street is that it should be pretty funny. (JK)

Broken Circle Breakdown + Bluegrass MusicArt Theater Co-op, 7 p.m., ticket prices vary

The Art is kicking off its screening of the 2014 Oscar Foreign Film nominee Broken Circle Breakdown with live bluegrass by Sam Payne & friends. The film is “An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass.” Showtimes for Broken Circle Breakdown continue throughout the weekend, but this is your chance to catch some tunes as well. (RP)

Good Boys and True, The Station Theatre, Urbana, 8 p.m.

This 80s-set tale of privilege and abuse takes us inside the world of prep school kid Brandon (Max Tomaszewski), whose life takes an abrupt turn when a degrading sex tape surfaces. Starring Tomaszewski and Chris Clevidence Taber along with a cast of Station Theatre regulars, this play is intended for mature audiences. Tickets are $15 on Fridays and Saturdays, $10 on Sundays. Reservations can be made at (217) 384-4000 and on the Station website. (MG)


Last day for Restaurant Week, Champaign, all day, prices vary

I may be skeptical about the whole thing, but it’s still an excuse to head out and grab a bite to eat.  (JH)



Saturdaying Engineering for Everyone, 151 Everitt Lab, 1406 W. Green Street, Urbana, 10:15-11:30 a.m., free

This is the first lecture in series that will continue throughout the spring. These lectures are aimed at non-engineers of all backgrounds who are interested in learning more about engineering. In this first talk, Gary Eden will talk on, “Going Where No Plasma Has Gone Before: Plasmas And Their Impact On Lighting, Water Disinfection, And Medical Therapeutics.” Show up a few minutes early for freshments. More information about the rest of the lecture series here. (RP)

Get some meat, The Urbana Butcher Shop, 119 W. Main Street, Urbana, 11 a.m.-7p.m.

It’s Super Bowl weekend, which means plenty of people park their asses on a couch and eat a bunch of junk food. Why not mix it up by including some local, delicious meat? Show up to a Super Bowl party with some fancy meats, and you’ll be the belle of the ball. Not sure how to cook whatever it is you’re buying? Just ask. Those dudes will tell you what’s what. (JH)

The Lonely Hearts Club and Dead Presidents Society BallThe Vault Arts Collective in Tuscola, 6-10 p.m.

On Saturday, catch the “mind blowing art experience that you will not want to miss” at The Vault Arts Collective in Tuscola. This event promises to be an entertaining and memorable one, no matter what your taste.

On the first floor, you’ll catch The Diva & The Dude, otherwise known as Kathy Harden and Andy Baylor. If you live in C-U, and haven’t seen these two, it’s worth the short drive to Tuscola for the chance. The Diva has a voice that does backflips through Patsy Cline hits, Etta James, and countless other favorites. The Dude plays guitar, and  provides smooth harmonies and buckets of stage presence. The two have an irresistible report and obvious love for the audience. The second floor features an intriguing combination of music and painting. The Ex-Bombers are playing “dirtbag spy jazz” while Karl Jendry, a speed painter, shows off his unique skill.

WPGU will have a live remote from 5-7 p.m. and refreshments will be served. (KP)

The Great Beauty, The Art Theater, 7 p.m., $9.50

Since the Oscars are happening soon, The Art Theater is showing a few nominations of this year’s ceremony. In addition to Oscar nominee Broken Circle Breakdown, the Art will be showing nominated Italian film, The Great Beauty. It will be playing at various times throughout the week. Check out the Art Website for reviews, showing times, and a trailor. (JK)

Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra: Classic GemsKrannet Center, $5-$35, 7:30 p.m. 

At the Follinger Great Hall a student performance will perfom the classic. This collection includes “Serenata” by American Walter Piston, James Giles on Mozart’s humorous “Piano Concerto No. 17,” and Beethoven’s brilliant “Symphony No. 7.” (AB)



The Dirty Feathers, Wicked Walls, We the Animals, Cowboy Monkey, $5, 9 p.m.

For the sake of rock ‘n roll, I had to include this picture of Andrew Kling of the Dirty Feathers, taken by our photographers at the Great Cover Up last week. This is a rock ‘n roll bill and it’s happening at Cowboy Monkey on Saturday night. Make it happen, folks. (PS) 


Community Photo312 S. Coler in Urbana, 1 p.m.

This weekend Darrell Hoemann will capture friends and neighbors who gather to memorialize Urbana’s largest tree that will be cut down soon. The hackberry tree stretches 90 feet tall and over 16 feet around. Due saftey hazards and the tree’s deteriorating branches and trunk, the city of Urbana has issued its removal. All are welcome to be apart of the photo. (AB)


Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen, Tigerbeat, Exile on Main Street, 2 p.m., free

Two performances, two new albums coming out soon, at a record store. There is plenty of appeal here, as this is an all-acoustic show happening on Sunday afternoon at Exile on Main Street. Head over, listen to a few tunes, and buy some records from Jeff and the crew there. You’re probably going to be leaving brunch a bit before this anyway in Downtown Champaign, so make a move over there. (PS)

Groundhog Day, The Art Theater Co-op

It’s Groundhog Day! What else would you possibly be doing for Groundhog Day other than watching Groundhog Day? (Well, maybe making sausage, but that’s an old joke.)  So go see Groundhog Day at the Art Theater Co-op. Two showings: 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. It’s a Bill Murry classic with more heart and smarts than most Oscar winners. Treat yourself. (Yawn.) Zzzzzzzzzzz. (Sound of alarm clock.) It’s Groundhog Day! What else would you possibly be doing for Groundhog Day other than… (MG)

Making Maple Syrup, Common Ground Food Co-op, 2-4 p.m. & Sunday, February23, 2-4 p.m., $15 owners/ $20 non-owners

This two-part class kicks off Sunday afternoon with a trek through the wilderness (?) to learn to identify, tap and collect sap from trees. Over the course of the two sessions, you’ll learn to turn sap into tasty and delicious maple syrup. That is awesome. (JH)



All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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