Smile Politely

Weekender: July 29—31


Anything Goes at Parkland College Theatre, Fri/Sat, 7:30 p.m., $14

It’s a musical about boy meets girl and then chaos follows. If you’re up for some shenanigans then this may be the thing for you Friday night. (JS)

The 39 Steps at the Station Theatre, Fri/Sat/Sun at 8 p.m., $15 Fri/Sat, $10 Sun

Believe it or not, it is a complete coincidence that The Station is doing Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps during this, it’s 39th season. You cannot let good serendipity like this go to waste, nor should you overlook how awesome it is to have such an active company that brings in stimulating and entertaining shows like The 39 Steps. See you there this weekend. (CDC)

A to Z to ! at the U of I Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Free

Take a gander at some examples of alphabets and calligraphy from the rare books archives. (JS)


Fictional Characters: The Artwork of Barry Callahan & Jason Rackow at Indi Go Artist Co-Op, 6:30–8:30 p.m., freewill donation

Live music from Fictional Characters, Refreshments, and Giveaways


Don’t know much about Callahan.
Don’t know much Jason Rackow.
Don’t know much about the musicians.
Don’t know much about the giveaways.

But I do know that Indi Go
Is always worth a trip, and if you go
What a wonderful time you will have. (TN)

OUTSIDE at the Research Park: Matuto with opening act The Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra at UI Research Park (1816 South Oak Street, Champaign), 6:30 p.m., Free

Of all the goodness that Krannert brings to the community, their Outside show series tends to be one of the more important in that it offers a great chance for the community to enjoy a lot of interesting music, paired with some of the best locals.

One such local is The Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra. The brainchild of Dave King, and with a band of musically talented misfits, it’s unlikely that you will find a better rehearsed and more fun band in the greater C-U area. The environment for this particular show will suit the band well, as its songs tend to err on the side of insanity, and with the heat bearing down, you’ll want a soundtrack to match the part of your brain that is begging for something to provide relief.

Highly recommended. (SF)

Danville Dans home vs. Slippery Rock Sliders, 6:30 p.m., $6

It’s the last weekend of the Dans home slate, so this is your last opportunity to do so without heading to work the next morning with a screaming shaved-ice-and-pocket-flask-ripple hangover. So seize the day, already. (JG)

Beginners at the Art Theater, 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Fri, 2:45 show added on Sat/Sun, $6.50 before 6 p.m., $9 after

Beginners feels good even (and especially) when it feels bad, and everyone knows that’s a great feeling.  A self-reflexive, deconstructed narrative with a big heart and big emotions.  A story about love, lost time and death that still manages to be fun. (RH)


Cowboys and Aliens or Captain America at the Harvest Moon Drive-In, Dusk, $6

Sure, there have been movies with cowboys and aliens before, but none so bold as to advertise their presence clearly in the title. That has to count for something, right? And Captain America has garnered surprisingly positive reviews for a big-dumb-fun summer blockbuster. In conclusion, there might be a reason to head to the drive-in that doesn’t involve necking (do people still neck, or is that just an unnecessary prelude to hooking up? Kids, please explain this to us old people). (JG)

Trainspotting at the Art Theater, 10 p.m., $6.50

Was there a more important film to be produced in the 1990s? Probably, sure — but this film adaptation of Scottish writer Irvine Welsh’s book by the same name, directed by Danny Boyle, launched the career of Ewan McGregor, amongst others, and was the best counterpart to Pulp Fiction’s glorification of heroin use during the post-Reagan War on Drugs era.

The film itself is pretty much top to bottom, and after giving yourself a few moments to allow the thick Scottish accents to take their toll on your brain, you are quickly whisked away into a different world; it’s multi-parts entertaining, sad, funny, and important.

Best line of the film? Upon receiving a suppository of heroin in lieu of an actual shot in the arm to help him come down from the pangs of withdrawal, a disappointed Mark Renton exclaims, ‘Well, for all the good they’ve done me, I may as well of just stuck ’em up my ass!”

And then his smile… oh Lord… priceless. (SF)

Smile Politely Writers Party at Mike ‘N Molly’s, 7 p.m., Free

Easter is playing. With a full band. So is Deathtram. And Petunias. Show up between seven and eight, and SP will pay your cover. Swag. (BV)


There is no way to make this anymore awesome than the image at the left, so I’ll just leave it alone. (TN)

Larger, more awesome image














Curb Shopping, all over town, Free

Monday’s August 1, which means that a sizable percentage of local tenants will be relocating this weekend. As a result, lawns and curbs throughout the C-U micro-metroplex will be strewn with all manner of semi-useful goods. One man’s trash, etc. Happy hunting, but be wary of bedbugs. (JG)

The Cardboard Cup at Sholem Aquatic Center, 2:30 p.m., $2 per boat plus admission to center

This is a real cardboard boat race, one which does not involve over-competitive engineers trying to pretend that they bring some valuable knowledge to the table. It’s a porous, easily soaked material being used for flotation. Hilarity is nearly certain to ensue. You may as well just let America’s Funniest Videos direct-stream the footage. (JG)

Wrapped Up in Ancient Egypt at Spurlock Museum, 1 p.m., $3

Want to make a mummy and a take home tomb? I do. This hands-on workshop is for kids ages 8-13, but you too can go as a chaperone. (JS)

Bruiser and the Virtues at the Champaign Public Library, 2 p.m., Free

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