Smile Politely

Weekender: July 26–28


Much Ado about Nothing, Art Theater Co-op, Friday, 5:00, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30 p.m.

I got to see this film a few weeks ago when I was in Chicago, and it’s wonderful. I love Joss Whedon. I love Wesley. I love Fred. I love Captain Reynolds, I love Topher. I love Simon.

Also? Shakespeare! Check out Mathew’s review of this film, and then get thee to the Art. (TN)


Demolition Derby, Champaign County Fairgrounds, 7 p.m., costs as much as you want to eat, drink, and love/hate yourself

So if you’re like me, you love drinking cold beer. More than that, you love eating food that is absolutely terrible for you. Fair fries, funnel cakes, corn dogs, you name it. I think there are a lot of you out there, whether you want to admit it or not. After all, I’m an American, and I do things that are terrible for my body, like eat terribly delicious fair food and drink some ice cold Budweisers. It’s a way of life, and I’ll continue to follow that model tonight at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.
Not only can I eat, drink, and have a great time on a July summer night in Champaign-Urbana, but I get to watch things be destroyed until they no longer work or function as they should. What is it, you ask? Automobiles. With people driving them into one another. Don’t worry — everything is safe here. Well, relatively speaking. The hope is that no one gets injured; after all, this is intended to be a fun event. People bring their kids there and sit in the grandstands and such, but you’ll find me in the designated beer area (because, you know, people who drink beer have to be contained like wild animals, whether you’re drinking one beer or a dozen), watching these beasts smash into each other at 30+ miles per hour. If that doesn’t sound like a good time, I guess I’m losing my mind.
Oh, and God Bless America. (PS)
I don’t even know who you are anymore, Patrick. (TN)

Vertigo, The Art Theater Co-op, Friday & Saturday, 10:00 p.m. | Sunday, 11:30 a.m.

After you check out Joss Whedon’s masterful retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (see blurb above), stick around to see one of the greatest films of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s mind-bending Vertigo. I’ve loved Hitchcock since I was a kid, and James Stewart’s work with the famed director is some of the best of his brilliant career. I’ve always been drawn to Stewart’s dark side, and his post-war films with Hitchcock have a darkness that is so intriguing, especially with such a warmly regarded, aw-shucks actor. Vertigo will be the last of the 35mm films shown at the Art before their big move to digital projection, so make the pilgrimage to downtown Champaign and pay your respects. (MG)



Tasting Party, World Harvest Foods, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Stop by World Harvest Foods on Saturday to sample their deli and cheese offerings. World Harvest has a wide variety of hard-to-find or imported items, including chocolates, teas, spices, jams, and cheeses. Take a look around the store and find something you’ve never tried, or pick up some chocolates and cheese, invite a few friends over, and share. (JH)

Visit Urban Bees, Flatlander Classroom, 1:00–3:00 p.m., $10 owners/$15 non-owners

Coolest Event Ever. Local beekeeper, Maggie Wachter, is welcoming us to her teaching apiary: “Watch beekeeping in action as Maggie opens hives and explains the phenomena of the honey bee society.”

You won’t have to get up-close and personal with the hives if you don’t want to (though it’ll be tough for me not to stick my face completely in to stare at them). You’ll be able to see everything through a “screened window or from outside the enclosed apiary.” Gloves and veils will also be provided.

Check out the link above to get advice on appropriate clothing and more details regarding the event and registration. (TN)

Cut and Paste, Indi Go Artist Co-op, 6:30 p.m.

Per an Indi Go press release: Indi Go Artist Co-Op presents Cut and Paste, a collection of new works by Alan Pocaro and Michael Willett, both first-time exhibitors with the gallery.

In this exhibit, the artists explore the pastiche nature of contemporary life via the curious juxtapositions inherent in their mixed-media images. Willett’s work focuses on a series of collaged exhibition advertisements from the leading contemporary art periodical, Artforum International. The images are dissected and reinterpreted while addressing a wide variety of references including popular culture and philosophical concerns.

Combining paint and images of Americana from sources such as Life Magazine and UFO Skeptic, Pocaro binds a flurry of visual languages in an effort to create a series of alternative realities that coexist tensely on the pictorial surface. Rooted in a physical engagement with a world that is constantly in flux, the images in Cut and Paste are a statement of existence that bridges the divide between the internal world of the self and the external world of sense-things. (MG)

Hank.’s Pinched album release show with Pisces at the Animal Fair, Thundertruck, Mike ‘N Molly’s, 9 p.m., $5

It’s always exciting to see the build up to an album release show by a local band here in Champaign-Urbana. This week, Hank. is that band. They’re pretty rightous dudes, and they’ve put together one of the best records that is being released this year in C-U, no doubt. Sure, their style is not easily digestible, but it is definitely worth checking out if you like a variety of styles of music. Indie rock, math-rock, punk, or any variation of Midwest emo, this is your ticket. Plus, it’s outside at Mike ‘N Molly’s. There aren’t many places in C-U that make me feel as good as looking up at that stage, or the wall covered entirely in vines, drinking PBRs until my heart is content. It’s really something. Anyway, the bill is spectacular all around, featuring Pisces at the Animal Fair and locals Thundertruck. Bring the noise, and pick up a copy of Pinched. You’ll enjoy it. (PS)

Saturday Night Royals, starring Alyssa Edwards, Emerald City Lounge, 10:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’re probably familiar with Miss Gay America 2010, Alyssa Edwards, who competed in the show’s fifth season and finished in 6th place.

Special performances by:

Door: 9 p.m.
Cover: $15

Call (217) 552-9445 or email for information regarding VIP tables, the featured headliner, and reservations. (TN)


Full Irish Breakfast, Dublin O’Neils, 11 a.m.–2 a.m. 

Stop by this Irish pub for a breakfast of Irish champions: eggs, rashers, white pudding, black pudding, bangers, grilled tomato, Irish soda bread, and spuds. This particular plate is available all day, everyday, but why not make it special by having it on a Sunday? They also serve brunch on Sunday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. You can also check out their dessert specials and beer cocktails. (JH)

Drag at Boltini, Boltini Lounge, 2 p.m.–7p.m.

If you’re in the mood for cheap drinks, pasta, and Judy Garland covers performed by Veronica Bleaus, the self-styled “worst drag queen in the Midwest,” head over to Boltini Lounge this Sunday afternoon. Ridiculously cheap drink specials start at 2 p.m.; Veronica’s show begins at 3 p.m.

  • $2 Bloody Mary Bar & $1 Bud Lite Drafts 2 p.m.–midnight
  • Complimentary Pasta Buffet
  • 3–7 p.m. Retro Rewind with DJDoug & Hostess Veronica (RP)

Poetry Sundays, Memphis on Main, 9:00 p.m.

So Memphis on Main has poetry readings on Sundays. Who knew? I sure didn’t because nobody told me. (Damn, Caleb, you walking disappointment).

The night is hosted by Sean Lamkin, and you’re welcome to read your own work or that of others: “poems, monologues, short stories, random musings, anything goes!” (TN)



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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