Smile Politely

Weekender: October 4-6


MU, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7 p.m.

The mysterious underwater pyramids of Yonaguni, Japan, inspire the setting for the legendary lost continent of MU—the Land of the Sun that flourished in peace and prosperity before the dawn of time and served as home to the last Dragon King.When an alienated teenage boy in contemporary San Francisco rescues a Japanese mermaid, he is rewarded with a journey to this sea kingdom of MU, where life is eternal, all seasons coexist, and the sea people know that we are all connected—there is only one ocean and one world.

Through a rich tapestry of Japanese theatre, music (taiko and jazz), and world dance, National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and playwright/artistic director Brenda Wong Aoki, Emmy-winning composer Mark Izu, and Tony-nominated choreographer Kimi Okada weave a beguiling tale that is at once other-worldly and deeply personal and encourages us to explore the treasures of our own ecosystems and envision our futures together. Presented in Colwell Playhouse. Visit the KCPA website for ticket prices and reservations. (MG)

LGTB Resource Center 20th Anniversary Friday Night Social, Quality, 7 p.m.

U of I’s LGTB Resource Center is celebrating their twentieth anniversary with a number of events this weekend, including panels on the past and future of the organizatio, an oral history project, and a drag brunch at Boltini on Sunday starting at 11:30. The weekend events will kick off at Quality. Online registration for the anniversary events is closed, but you can still register by calling 217.244.8863 or emailing (RP)

9 Parts of Desire, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m.

Described by The New Yorker as “an example of how art can remake the world,” 9 Parts of Desire tells the stories of nine Iraqi and Iraqi-American women in the decades between the Persian Gulf Wars and during the US occupation. Whether a painter, a doctor, a communist, a wife, a lover, or an exile, each of these women represents extraordinary as well as ordinary experiences, which bring into sharp relief the truth of women’s lives in the shadows of war. Strong adult content–for mature audiences only.

9 Parts of Desire runs October 3-13 in the KCPA Studio Theatre. The production is directed by its playwright, Heather Raffo. You can look forward to a review from Smile Politely’s Thom Schnarre next week. Visit the KCPA website for ticket prices and reservations. (MG)

Curb Serivce, Brady Glenn, T.R.U.T.H., DJ Belly, Cowboy Monkey, $5, 10 p.m.

Pretty stellar hip-hop/DJ show going down tonight over at Cowboy Monkey. This is a typical spot for DJs to take flight on the weekends, but this is an especially noteworthy show lined up this evening, as Curb Service is set to headline. Larry Gates is hot on the heels of his latest release, Romeo Jive, his first release in a handful of years. If you haven’t done so already, check out David’s recap of the album when it was released back in August. You can actually download/stream the whole thing for free at Curb Service’s Soundcloud page. It’s a contender this year, no doubt. The rest of the crew on this bill is worth checking out as well, including the always great DJ Belly performing opening and closing DJ sets on this night. Boom. (PS)

Eat a taco, eat many of them, Wedge Tequila Bar, All Day, $2 a pop

We’ve told you about the new specials at Wedge, and for good reason: they are pretty much everything an early week special should be. But tonight, and only tonight, they are celebrating National Taco Day, and are offering all of their tacos for just $2 a piece. There are many from which to choose, but my advice: go with the calabacitas, which are zucchini blossoms, and the carnitas de puerco, which is Michoacan-style braised pork. Have a few drinks as well. Your mouth will thank you (SF)


Enough SaidThe Art Theater, 2, 4:30, 7, or 9:30 p.m., $7-$9

When I saw the trailor for this film, it pretty much broke my heart to see James Gandolfini on the big screen and realize he’s no longer around. After pretty much obsessing over The Sopranos for the last few years of my life (yeah, I was totally late to that game, apologies), it just sucks. No other way to put it. Such a remarkable talent in general, and even though I haven’t seen this movie yet, this is going to be the weekend I check that off the list. 95% on Rotten Tomatoes? Done. Not that I needed an aggregate scoring website to tell me what is good and what isn’t, but sometimes, that is the game I play. I’m not a huge fan of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but this one looks like a winner, honestly. Check out the trailor below to see for yourself. (PS)

International Beer Tasting and Food Truck Showcase, 3–8 pm, Downtown Urbana

No longer a beer tasting and chili cookoff shouldn’t be much of an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I love chili, but choosing from a bunch of local food trucks sounds pretty awesome. Plus, beer. Do I really need to say anything more about this or can you just read the title again and be convinced how awesome it is? (CD)

Lunch, Farren’s, 308 N. Randolph, Champaign

Earlier this week I had lunch with a friend at Farren’s. I haven’t been in quite some time, and man, what time I wasted. I forgot how damn good the burgers are. They have a new burger on the menu, the Fire burger, I believe it’s called, that has sautéed jalapeños, red peppers, red onions, and habañero/jalapeño cheese. Holy smokes, no? Get the burger with a side of the hand cut truffle chips, and you’ve got yourself a lovely lunch. Their salads and salad dressings are also killer, for those of you keeping your girlish form. Grab some lunch or dinner before or after you see Enough Said at the Art. Perfect date idea, yes? (JH)


Flying Machine Cofee, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., 208 W Main, Urbana

Flying Machine Coffee is finally up and running. Stop by this weekend and pick up a cup of joe, espresso, ice coffee, or some tea. They also do coffee flights (starting after noon), which is a pretty awesome way to sample different brews. The weather looks cold and damp, and a hot cup of coffee sounds like the best way to warm up.(JH)

Laurence Hobgood with Ernie Watts, The Iron Post, 7 p.m., $10

If you want to hear some really, really good jazz, check on the Iron Post’s show on Sunday, which features two Grammy winners. Hobgood, of NPR fame, has worked with Terence Blanchard, Kurt Elling, and U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, among others. (RP)

NFL Sunday, The Neighbors at The Icehouse, Noon, Free

Of all the places in town to watch the NFL and taunt your Fantasy opponents, none make more sense to me than The Icehouse. Well sure — I happen to live about an Andrew Kling pitching wedge golf shot away, but more than that, it’s just not your average place to view men in tights bashing each other up. The owner almost always has food for her guests, the drinks are cheap, and there’s a TV on the deck where everyone gathers to watch and pretend as though they were at the game. Wangs are generally had, and most people in attendance care more about the company than the games. It’s a true neighborhood bar, and that reminds me that as small as this community seems, it’s still a city, and a great one at that. (SF)

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