Smile Politely

Weekender: June 24-26


Blues, Brews, and BBQ, Friday and Saturday

Blues. Brews. BBQ. Is it fair to say that you have ready access to all three of these things in the course of your average week? Well, yes. But how often do you get to enjoy them with eight million of your closest friends? Not often. Once a year to be exact. Don’t squander your opportunity. (CDC)

Cars 2 and The Green Lantern at Harvest Moon Drive In, Gibson City (Click link for showtimes)

If you’re up for some dazzling scenery this looks like a good place to do it. The reviews for each of these films has been mixed, but I think you know what to expect with each one. Another reason to go see it? They spent about $200 million on Green Lantern and have a lot of ground to make up to get there. (JS)

West Side Story at Parkland Theatre (CUTC), Fri/Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

Remember that time you sat through your high school’s revival of this classic riff on Romeo & Juliet? You remember. You didn’t want to go, but you did anyway, promising yourself that you were doing it because you “appreciated the theater” — not because Jenny, that one girl (you know, the one who talked to you) was an extra in the cast? Remember how you sat in the front row hoping she’d glance down while delivering one of her numbers to see you there (alone) at which pointe she’d be overcome by your presence, by your “appreication of the theater,” just enough to crack a subtle smile that nobody but she and you would notice? And remember how, in the middle of the “Gym Mambo,” it almost looked like she had noticed you? Like she had smiled, just a little bit? Remember how you walked up to her after the show, holding a single rose, a red rose, classily in your right hand, to congratulate her about a job well done, and maybe even to ask her about that smile? Remember how she’d seen you coming a mile away, seen the look on your face, seen the rose, and at that moment, remember how she reached her little mouth up to Riff’s cheek? Remember how you hadn’t noticed that Riff had been standing there until his arm was around Jenny’s waist? Remember the walk home that night?

You owe it to yourself to see a professional production of this show. You owe it to yourself. (CDC)

Hairspray at the Station Theatre, Fri/Sat/Sun @ 8 p.m.

The Summer Season at the Station Theater opened with a bang this year, as one of the finest local ensembles around have put together a pretty damn fine version of John Waters’ “Hairspray,” a wacky comedy with “crazy characters, toe tapping rock and roll and Motown flavored music with an infectious energy.” It seems to be garnering rave reviews across the board; last we checked, this weekend was sold out, but Station has a reputation for being able to squeeze waiting list folks in last minute, so see about that if you want to go.

QED at Krannert, Friday 7:30 p.m.



University of Illinois Extension Champaign County Master Gardeners Garden Walk, Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. As the only fundraiser for the entire year, the Garden Walk showcases specially selected gardens throughout Champaign and Urbana. A panel of judges determines which properties to showcase every year, and seeing as how the ones doing the choosing are MASTERS, well, it stands reason to believe they know what the fuck they are talking about. Tickets are $12, and go towards supporting the program, which graduates a few dozen local gardeners every year. That means, more beautiful yards, and more good things to look at around town. (JB)

Danville Dans: Home against Springfield Sliders both Friday and Saturday night, fireworks after the game on Saturday

Last summer, we had an SP writer’s party road trip to a Dans game that promised fireworks. Unfortunately, the game was postponed after a long rain delay (and impromptu soccer game involving the players and random children in the outfield), but the fireworks were as promised. Until/unless we get a local minor league team, this is a fine substitute, although you have to limit your intake of $3 Goose Islands to be able to drive home. (JG)

In Living Pink

The Young Survival Coalition of Champaign-Urbana is hosting its breast cancer benefit show at The Highdive again this year. You can enjoy an evening of music, food, cocktails and raffles in hopes of providing education and support for young women with breast cancer. LIve musical acts include: Tricia Scully, Eleni Moraites, Angie Heaton, Grandkids and Hathaways. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. (JS)

Ice Cream and Independence feat. Jim Turpin, Saturday 5 p.m.

At 117 years old, Jim Turpin is still going strong with his radio program, “Penny for your Thoughts” which is a well known talk radio progam that airs live on WDWS every weekday morning. This weekend he will broadcast live from the Virginia Theater, which is actually younger than he is, as they present “Ice Cream and Independence,” an opportunity to enjoy some tasty treats and listen to The Concert Band of Illinois — the most generically named band in the history of the State. All kidding aside, it should be a fun time, if that’s your bag. (SF)

Bunny’s Block Party: featuring 90s Daughter, Saturday @ 7 p.m.

With all this talk about cover bands ’round these parts, it would seem as though there is no better time than now to check out one of the finest around. Playing songs that span the decade — from Nirvana and Alice in Chains to Sublime and Britney Spears, Bunny’s in Urbana will provide the perfect backdrop for swillin’ some domestic drafts and letting go of any pretensions you might have about the Clinton era. After all, any time you get Tom Grassman and Guido Esteves into the same project, no matter the style or genre, you are bound to have a good result. (SF)

Emerald City ShowGirlz @ Emerald City, Saturday @ 10:30 p.m.

Tracy’s out of town for a conference this weekend, or else she’d be giving you the scoop on this one. Hint: it involves drag queens. (JG)

[Title of Show] at Krannert, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.

If you think we left out the title here, well, you’re not alone. The truth is we weren’t that haphazard though. If you’re up for some theatre at Krannert, be sure to check out this play about “the audacity of hoping.” Aspiring writers try to write an original composition for a musical theatre festival hoping to start their journey to the top.  All they need to do is get past that intimidating blank space on the submission form labeled [title of show]. (JS)



Hessel Park Concert: Nicole Witt, Sunday 6:30 p.m.

It’s summertime, which means that there are probably more free outdoor concerts going on than you realize. If the weather’s decent, this should be a good time. (JG)

Live Jazz at Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Sunday 2 p.m.

Heck, if you’re headed to Oakwood anyway (and why wouldn’t you be?), why not make a day of it and take in some jazz? (JG)

Downtown Scavenger Hunt, Sunday, 7 p.m.

Start re-living the summers of your childhood with a scavenger hunt. While your childhood hopefully didn’t include $1.50 PBR cans, that doesn’t make them any less awesome. Plus, when was the last time you spent an evening in downtown Urbana? I’m betting it’s been a little while. (BV)

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