Smile Politely

Weekender: November 14-16

FRIDAY, November 14th

Go see BIRDMAN, The Art Theatre Co-op

I’ve made a handful of movie recommendations in the past, and I stand by all of them. With this one, I stand by it, arms frantically waving to get your attention. I cannot remember a time when I ever felt let-down by a movie at The Art. (Well, okay, except for John Dies at the End. Isolated incident.) But, without hyperbole, this is one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had at the movies. A brilliant, moving, hilarious, and completely original work of cinema that gets to the heart of movies, the theatre, and… the heart. Highly recommended. (MG)

Around the World in Eighty Days, Parkland College Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Adapted from the novel by Jules Verne and directed by Tom Mitchell, this in-the-round theatre adventure follows Phileas Fogg, who has deduced that a mere 80 days is enough to circumnavigate the globe. And he’s staked his entire fortune on it. Will bandits, a herd of buffalo, an act of chivalry, and a meddlesome inspector from Scotland Yard prevent him from fulfilling this mindboggling task? Follow Fogg and his loyal valet Passepartout from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the steamy subcontinent; aboard steamships, locomotives, and elephants — as he learns about the heart, himself, and a world bigger than he ever anticipated. Opening weekend, November 14-16, enjoy free refreshments and tour Parkland’s newly constructed art studios! A note on parking: Parkland requests that audience members do not Park in M lots. Parking lot C4 offers the closest access to the theatre, and there is a new entrance next to the new art studios. (MG)

Drink Beer to celebrate five years of the Blind Pig, Blind Pig, all weekend, the cost of marinating your liver

The Blind Pig Brewery is celebrating its fifth birthday and its 350th brew with an Imperial Stout It has been ageing for several months on four types of dried Mexican chili peppers (Mulato, Pasilla, Guajillo, and Ancho) as well as cacao nibs and vanilla beans. The brew has flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, stewed fruits, raisins, and a little chili heat (ABV 10.1%). Drink up to stave off the cold weather. (RP)

Masked Intruder, The Timmys, Roberta Sparrow, Gnargoyle, Error Records, Doors at 7:30p.m., show at 8:00 p.m.

Masked Indruder are sort of like the American version of Pussy Riot. Actually, not at all, but they do wear colorful ski masks and instead of protest songs they play lighthearted pop-punk. This Error Records show will be a rager! (MR)


U of I Dads Weekend, U of I Campus/Campustown, all weekend

That’s right, it’s the designated weekend for Dads to visit their U of I student children, which means special football, basketball and hockey games, brunches, and of course, the yearly infiltration of old and middle aged men to the campustown bars, which is a spectacle in itself if you ask me. (MR)

SATURDAY, November 15th

Urbana’s Holiday Market, Lincoln Square, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Urbana’s Holiday Market is similar to the farmers market in the summertime in that local vendors come together to provide you with home grown goodies and crafts. If you’re a farmers market fan then you should check this out. Don’t expect to find the same fair of products though, the winter market has a different flavor then the summer. Worth while to check out though! (SL)


Craft League of Champaign-Urbana 32nd Annual Art Fair, Urbana Civic Center, 108 East Water Street, Urbana, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free 

Check out what the crafty folks of C-U have been making all year at their 32nd art fair, which features basketry, ceramics, fiber arts, glass, jewelry, painting, printmaking, photography, woodworking, and more. The fair also takes place on Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (RP)


The Life and Times, The Dirty Feathers, Wicked Walls, The Highdive, 7 p.m., $10

This is one of the better steals of the weekend as far as live music goes in C-U. The Life and Times have been through town and have good connections here, performing at The Pygmalion Festival in the past and plenty of other club shows. They recently released their new record Lost Bees, which you should definitely check out if you’re interested in seeing some high-quality rock music this Saturday evening. Not only will it be TLAT, but they’ll be joined by two very solid locals The Dirty Feathers and Wicked Walls. $10 for all of that? Sold. (PS)



GEO Craft Beer NightIndi Go Artist Co-Op, 7 p.m.

GEO is the graduate employees organization so naturally they are going to host a fundraiser with craft beer. Anyways, if you like craft brews, art, and graduate students head out to Indo Go and hit the cash only bar. All proceeds go to the GEO’s community and solidarity work. “Union made” beers and wines will be served. As an added bosus the Pro Show professional showcase of design exhibit will be on display. See you there! (SL)


Venus in Fur, The Station Theatre, 8 p.m., $15

This is your last chance to see Venus in Fur at the Station! From the Station website: “Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale Venus in Fur. Into his empty audition room walks a vulgar and equally desperate actress — oddly enough, named Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the sophisticated part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material, piquing Thomas’ interest with her seductive talents and secretive manner. As the two work through the script, they blur the line between play and reality, entering into an increasingly serious game of submission and domination that only one of them can win. A mysterious, funny, erotic drama that represents yet another departure for the multifaceted David Ives.” (MG)

SUNDAY, November 16th

Cinnamon buns, Cafe Zojo, 2740 Philo Road, Suite D, Urbana, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cafe Zojo bakes up the bad boys every Sunday. Treat yourself to a warm and sugary baked good and a cup of hot coffee (or a matcha latte, if you’d like). Since it’s seasonal, I’m guessing that you’ll also be able to find some pumpkin bars, too. Photo from Facebook. (JH)


Oh What a Lovely War, Krannert Center, 3 p.m.

Catch the matinee final show of Illinois Theatre’s compelling production about World War I. From Krannert’s website: “As the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign commemorates the centenary of the beginning of World War I, Illinois Theatre will revisit the era with a new musical production of Oh What a Lovely War. Fifty years ago, as the war’s semicentennial approached, Joan Littlewood and her company at the Theatre Royal in London captured events surrounding the “Great War” with this collectively developed piece. A 1963 response to growing cultural interest in uncovering truths about World War I — the first modern, industrial, mechanized war — the company’s work drew into sharp relief the human impact of global conflict.” (MG)

Make a plan for Thanksgiving dinner, all day

I’m guessing that you have some sort of plans for Thanksgiving, which is November 27. If you’re hosting or being hosted, you’ll need to get a list of ingredients for whatever you’re cooking, or some sort of host gift. Maybe you haven’t thought about any of that yet. That’s ok. Think about it this weekend, and then check the Food and Drink section next week for our Guide for a (Mostly) Locally Sourced Thanksgiving. (JH)

We The Animals, Thomas Nicholas Band, Fast Astronaut, Mike ‘N Molly’s, $7

OK — Sure, fans of Rookie of the Year and American Pie can have their chance to watch Thomas Nicholas play music right in front of them. That’s good and all. That’s one angle to this show. But surely you’re interested in seeing We The Animals, eh? I would recommend it. Plus, their pals Fast Astronaut will be opening, so there’s a lot going on here. Get out there on a Sunday evening, won’t you? (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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