Smile Politely

Weekender: March 13-15

FRIDAY, March 13th

Make a reservation, The Spice Box, 905 S Goodwin Ave, Urbana, dinners heldWednesdays and Fridays during the semester, prices about $25 for four-course prix fixe menu. 

The Spice Box is a student-run restaurant associated with the U of I’s Hospitality Management program, and is an excellent opportunity to try some fine dining at a reasonable price. Last spring I attended a Willy Wonka themed dinner and it was pretty good. While this batch of posted menus isn’t quite as whimsical, the themes are intriguing. Tonight’s Seven-forty-seven: Food Served in Flights is not a take on crappy airline food, but rather singular food items served in multiple ways. Or how about March 18th’s A Night in New Orleans? Yes, please. To make a reservation, call 217-333-6520. (JH)

PechaKucha Night Vol. 17, 7 p.m. Canopy Club, $7-10

Check out the 17th community exchange of ideas, featuring presentations by Anthony Benjamin, Sara Benson, Tasleem El- Hakim, Jeff Hake, Ainslie Heilich, Hann Lindahl, Molly McLay, Daniella Pavlić, and Heidi Reible. Presenters have 20 images and 20 seconds per image to share their ideas, works, and passions for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds flat. Pizza from Manolo’s will be served throughout the evening as well. (RP)

24th Annual Student Production, Parkland College Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Parkland College will present, for two nights only, an evening of one-act plays directed and starring studets. The lineup includes: The Man Who Turned Into a Stick, written by Kobo Abe and directed by Ryan Fleming; Juliet, written by Romulus Linney and directed by Katie Odom; and Superhero Support Group, written by D. M. Larson and directed by: Jace Jamison. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The one-acts will be performed in Parkland’s new Second Stage black box theater, and audience member are hereby informed that the selections may contain adult content. (MG)

Two Gents, Chapel of St. John the Divine, 7:30 p.m., $7

What You Will Shakespeare, a campus theatre troupe, will present their adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona this weekend. The production will add a modern twist to the proceedings (hence the new title), and stars Ryan Anastasia and Promise Aziaka as the gents. The play is directed by Stephany Guerrero. The Chapel of St. John the Divine is located at 1011 S. Wright in Champaign. (MG)

Tractor Kings, Lanterna, Mutts, Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 p.m., $7

OK, OK — yes, this is totally a plug for our Smile Politely Show Series installment, but so what? This is kind of why we get on board with shows that we think are awesome in the first place. We want to tell the community why we think that, and hopefully, more people will be exposed to bands and such, and all will be good. You know what else is good? The music that’s going to be played at Cowboy Monkey on Friday night. A double album release show — Lanterna is releasing their first album in quite a while, and Mutts will have their own to bust out as well. All of that, on top of the always excellent Tractor Kings, who will headline it all. What’s not to like here? (PS)

SATURDAY, March 14th

Engineering Open House, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Bardeen Quad, Green & Mathews, Urbana, free

“The Future Starts Here” is the theme for 95th annual Engineering Open House. In addition to more than 250 exhibits ranging from concrete crushing to Non-Newtonian fluid demonstrations, this year’s EOH offers several special attractions including a giant Telsa Coil Concert on the Bardeen Engineering Quad. Also this year: The Beckman Institute Open House, held in conjunction with EOH, will feature more than 30 exhibits highlighting the work taking place at one of the nation’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research. (RP)

Day of the Drum, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, events start at 10 a.m., free

Saturday has been named the Day of the Drum. To celebrate appropriately, performances by percussionists of all kinds—from ritual rhythms to “body music” to the Marching Illini drumline—will take place at Krannert Center. The drumming starts at 10 a.m. with an I.D.E.A. store-fuled percussion craft event. See Krannert’s calendar for a full run-down of the day’s happenings. (MR)


Go Ice Skating, Illini Ice Arena, 1:30 p.m., $5

The weather is starting to get a little nicer, but keep the winter spirit alive with a few laps around the Big Pond. This weekend the only time to do it is 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, after that the calendar is a little murky becase of the upcoming spring break. Skate rentals are available and you know want to impress your significant other with how fast you can go before smashing into the boards. (TP)

Acapella Comedy Octet 45th Anniversary Show, Foellinger Auditorium, 7 p.m., $10

The OGs are a U of I men’s acappella group and stand up comedy group. OK, they’re mostly acapella, but they try and crack jokes. You might even laugh. This weekend is their 45th anniversary show, and it is sure to entertain. Watch this comical video to meet some of the OG characters. Watch this video to hear them sing “Somewhere Only We Know“. See you Saturday. Click here for the Facebook event and to buy tickets. (SL)

The Odd Couple, Gregory Hall Theater, 7:30 p.m., $5-7

New Revels Players present Neil Simon’s immortal comedy The Odd Couple. For those who might not already know (from the two TV series, two films, and cartoon adaptation), here’s the gist: The slovenly and carefree Oscar Madison takes, as a roommate, his uptight, neat-freak friend Felix Ungar. Their mismatched personalities quickly put them at odds, and hilarity inevitably ensues. Directed by Alexander Montero & Ryan Neil, the performance will take place at Gregory Hall Theater in Auditorium 112. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. (MG)

Porkapalooza 2015: Pirates of the Caribbacon, Big Grove Tavern, 7:30 p.m. $10

Bacon. So much bacon. It’s a bacon-themed charity event at Big Grove. Entertainment will be provided by the Polkaholics. Typically this has been a free event in the past, but this year the folks behind Porkapalooza are raising money for the Land Connection. (TP)

Swearing At Motorists, Lonely Trailer, Mike N Molly’s, 9 p.m., $7

This is gonna be a good one — stripped-down rock duo Swearing At Motirists, who are from the same cut of Ohio bands as Guided By Voices, have a new album called While Laughing, the Joker Tells the Truth, and are touring on it with a stop in Champaign. They’re joined by long-time local favorites Lonely Trailer. (MR)



SUNDAY, March 15

Comic Convention, Wydham Garden (former Holiday Inn Urbana), 1001 Killarney St., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free

The event will host comic book dealers with booths selling both comic books and relatable collectables for sale. If you’re a comic fan you probably already know about this. If you’re free and looking for something neat to check out, consider this. (SL)



Get your Dinner on the Farm tickets, your couch, $85-$125 per person

Some of the most delicious and delightful food-related events in this town are Prairie Fruits Farm‘s Dinner on the Farm series. Tickets for some of the dinners are on sale. There are some left, but be sure to move swiftly, as these dinners will sell out soon. (JH)


‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 3 p.m., $10-20

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with overbearing suitors, incestuous lovers, double-crossing Spaniards, full-frontal nudity, and buckets of blood? William Brown’s audacious and compelling adaptation of John Ford’s centuries-old text is incredibly modern and incredibly well done. Great performances all around by Illinois Theatre’s first-rate cast, and kudos to the entire design team for an eye-popping, heart-wrenching, surprisingly musical tragedy. This is one of those shows that you never forget, but you can’t not forget it until you’ve seen it. If you know what I’m saying. (MG)

ILoveMakonnen, Frank Leone, mickeyDubs, Foellinger Auditorium, $15 student, $25 public

You must’ve heard the ILoveMakonnen song by now, haven’t you? “Club Goin’ Up On A Tuesday” or “Tuesday” — whatever you want to call it. Whatever it “officially” is called, which I believe is the latter — the song is pretty damn catchy. He sure as hell is cashing in on things this year after a huge 2014. 

Anyway, support Star Course, a pretty awesome RSO that keeps going semester after semester booking shows mostly on campus, but sometimes venturing off every once in a while. Hopefully this one will be an entertaining show to catch. (PS)



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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