Smile Politely

Weekender: September 20-22


Univervity of Illinois Women’s Softball vs. Parkland, Eichelberger Field, 4 p.m.

Come out and support the University of Illinois Women’s Softball team this Friday, September 20th at 4 p.m. They will be playing against Parkland at Eichelberger Field on Florida Avenue in Urbana. The team has an overall record of 22-27 and a Big Ten Record of 11-12, ending up in 6th place at the end of last season. On top of that, the U of I team posted the third-longest winning streak in school history, winning 10 straight games in the Big 10 Tournament. Check out below for their 2012-2013 Highlight Video. (AC)

Savoy Orchard Days, Colbert Park, Savoy, 5 p.m.–midnight

Orchard Days is your typical municipal festival. They’ll have local vendors lined up next to carnival games, music from cover bands and some country artist you’re probably not familiar with but will enjoy just fine and some activities for kids and old folks. It’s a good time, a fun thing to stop by, but what makes it really interesting is what Triptych just posted on their Facebook page: Triptych Apple Ale. The key to this beer is the 80 gallons of Curtis Orchard Apple Cider the fine brewmasters dumped into their golden ale. Everything I’ve tried from Triptych has been fantastic, and this sounds like no exception. The festival goes Saturday from noon to midnight, but get out there early and get some of this beer before everyone else does. (CD)

Latin American Film Festival, The Art Theater Co-op

A lineup of films from Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, this popular annual event returns to the Art for seven days and nights of stimulating entertainment. All films will include English subtitles. Check out the Art’s website for a complete list of films and showtimes. (MG)

The Dodos, Cousins, The Highdive, $15 advance/$17 door, 7:30 p.m.

The Dodos are back in C-U with openers Cousins to help them out, and are set to play at The HighDive tonight. Afterwards there will be a DJ set, but you should really head over there to see this one. Anearly show can have its advantages, no doubt. Tickets are sold online for $15 apiece if you’re grabbing them online before the show to save a couple bucks. You can check out the whole event listing linked above. The Dodos have just recently released their fifth LP, called Carrier, on Polyvinyl Records. Do yourself a favor and check it out before heading over and catching their set tonight. (JK)

Blue Man GroupState Farm Center, $39-$62, 7:30 p.m.

It’s official, Blue Man Group is finally coming on to U of I campus. On Friday, September 20th, the group will be performing at the newly named State Farm Center Star Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are already on sale going for between $39 – $62, so get them quick. You can purchase your tickets here. For those of you who don’t know of this infamous band, on one hand, that’s sad, but on the other hand I guess you can say it’s your lucky day because here’s a quick overview: Blue Man Group is essentially a band that found a way to combine music with technology and comedy. They are famous for being completely covered in blue paint and even managing to end their show with the entire audience splattered in an array of colors as well. To be completely honest, a Blue Man Group performance is not like any other show you’ve seen in the past. Their energy and entertaining personalities appeal to individuals of all age groups. But, don’t listen to me, go see for yourself, you won’t regret it. (AC)


Black Rock Pizza Co. at 88 Broadway, 142 Lincoln Square Mall, Urbana, 11 a.m.–midnight

Newly reopened (as of yesterday), Black Rock is now located in Historic Lincoln Square. The new location has the same menu, but has added an arcade and pool tables, so you can munch on your pizza and appetizers while playing games. This might be a nice stop if you’re looking for a casual Saturday evening in Urbana. (JH)

The Audience, The Art Theater Co-op, 11:30 a.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, The Art Theater Co-op will present The Audience, a play by Peter Morgan. The play stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and is a production of the National Theater Live series. This series beams the best of British theatre all over the world in an attempt to engage and entertain audience who might not otherwise be able to enjoy such events. The Art has showcased other NTL presentations over the past few years, and this one–in which meetings between the Queen and various historical Prime Ministers are imagined and dramatized–looks to be another in a long line of very good shows. (MG)

Auditions for Come Back, Little Sheba, The Station Theatre, 1 p.m.

On Saturday, September 21, from 1-3 p.m.; and Sunday, September 22, from 2-4 p.m. the Station Theatre (223 N. Broadway, Urbana) will hold auditions for William Inge’s play Come Back, Little Sheba.

The play will be presented at the Station Theatre November 7–23. The director will be casting 3 or 4 mature men, 2 or 3 young men, 2 mature women, and 1 young woman. No preparation is necessary; auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. (MG)

Global Transfer Afterglow: Joy Harjo and the Arrow Dynamics Band, The Krannert Center, 9 p.m., free

Acclaimed poet and memorist Joy Harjo will be rocking out with her band this Saturday in a performance that, according to the Krannert Center’s website, “unites Native American music with jazz and rock.” The performance will also include spoken and sung renditions of her poetry. Harjo’s memoir, Crazy Brave, won the 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction. (RP)


Pizza FM Official Launch, online, all day

After a few years of planning, student-run and commercial free community radio, Pizza FM, will launch their first live radio show.  Until now, Pizza FM has been a music blog, giving album reviews and information on upcoming shows. Tune in online sometime on Sunday and you’ll be able to hear it, if all goes as planned. (JK)

WEFT Fest, Mike ‘N Molly’s, 4 p.m.

Some Sunday afternoon music and a cold drink at Mike ‘N Molly’s never hurt anyone (that I’m aware of). WEFT is a great local community radio station next door to MNM’s, which you might be familiar with, as they’re the hosts of Smile Politely Radio. Well, they’re having their own little fest with a handful of local artists and such on Sunday, including Kevin Elliott, Vaudevileins, and a handful of others. (PS)

Fork in the Road Tasting Trail, noon to 4:30 p.m. or so, $35 per person

This tour takes you through three local agri-tourism sites in our area with plenty of tasty samples along the way. The tour starts at Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign, then goes to Sugar Shack Antiques in Oakwood, and ends at Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Fairmount. You’ll have to drive yourself to these places, so perhaps it best to round up a car full of people. The weather will be fair and comfortable, so there really isn’t a better time to check out these places. Get your tickets here. Read my reviews of Sleepy Creek here and here. (JH)

Per the Prairie Fruits Farm website:

This price includes all three tours, tastings and the wine-cheese-meats sampling at Sleepy Creek Vineyard.  Only thirty tickets are available, so don’t delay! Please be sure to print off and keep your ticket, as it will be your “trail pass” for the day.

The tour will begin at 12:00 Noon at Prairie Fruits Farm.  After the 1 hour tour, guests can head to Sugar Shack, for the start of their tour between 1:30 – 2:00. Following the Sugar Shack tour, trail blazers will head over to Sleepy Creek Vineyard for the final leg of the tour at 3:30-4:00.  After the tour at Sleepy Creek, feel free to hang around and enjoy another glass of wine.

In addition to bringing the ShowClix ticket with you to each location, be sure to pack a cooler.  There will be lots of products to pick up along the way…cheese, gelato, fruits, meat and sausages, wine, t-shirts, soaps, antiques, gifts, and so much more!  We look forward to welcoming you to our farms and showing off a unique “taste” of Central Illinois!

West African Dance Classes with Djibril CamaraThe Channing Murray Foundation, 6 – 7:30 p.m., $12/students and $15/non-students

If you’re looking for an exciting workout this weekend, check out one of the weekly West African dance classes the Channing Murray Foundation is hosting, which are open to beginners as well as advanced dancers. You’ll have the chance to learn dances from several West African countries, Guinea in particular. Instructor Djibril Camara has toured the world with several dance companies as a performer and choreographer and has lived in the C-U area for the past three years. (RP)


Titus Andronicus, Lost Boy, The Canopy Club, $16, 9 p.m.

One of the better bands (and underrated) of the past several years is coming back through C-U, and that’s Titus Andronicus. The Monitor is still definitively one of the best albums to come out in the past five years, and I can without a doubt say you will enjoy yourself at a show like this. This will go down in the Void Room on Sunday night, and if you’re looking for a reason to not go to work on Monday, this might be your ticket. These guys make New Jersey rock ‘n roll look pretty good (as if the state needed any more help, they’ve got The Boss on their side of things). These guys know how it’s done.

Watch this video. Go see them and drink some beer and have a hell of a time. The weekend isn’t over until Monday, not Sunday. (PS)

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