Smile Politely

Weekender: September 9—11


Ellnora Guitar Festival at Krannert Center, Fri/Sat all day and all night, prices vary

Do yourself a favor. Go. Ellnora consistently makes us realize just how special the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts really is. With a lineup like this (click the link above), you’d be hard pressed to not find yourself complete swept up by one of many prolific and influential guitar virtuosos that they’ve brought in for its bi-annual celebration of the almighty AX. (SF)


Martial Arts Showcase at the Courtyard Café

Free, 8:00–10:00 p.m.

Courtyard Cafe Illini Union

Come check out the Martial Arts Showcase this Friday night at the Illini Union’s Courtyard Cafe. Many types of Martial Arts will be showcased by U of I students.

Bleacher Bums at Mike ‘N Molly’s, Fri/Sat 7:30 p.m., $15

It’s been some time since Mike ‘N Molly’s hosted this play, written in 1977 by screen star Joe Mantegna. If you’ve spent time in the beergarden at 105 N. Market in Downtown Champaign, you may have found yourself perched on a small set of bleachers in the northeast corner of the dwelling, and it was built specifically so that Murph could host this particular 9-inning comedy presented by Bah Humbug Productions.

The story is a dandy, especially if you love our National Pasttime, and even moreso if you’ve been bitten by the bug that made you into fan of the Lovable Losers in the Northside of Chicago. Anyone who has ever sat in the Bleachers — namely before it became a tourist trap — at Wrigley will take a special liking to the witty banter, eternal optimism, and ultimate realizations that come with the territory.

With the Flubs next to the cellar once again in 2011, now would be the time to grab an Old Style and a Chicago-style dog, drag it through the garden, and sit back for a great evening of baseball themed comedy. (SF)

Buck at the Art Theater, Fri 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., Sat 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., $6.50 before 6 p.m., $9 after

The only non-digital film presentation of the festival is about a real-life horse whisperer named Buck Brannaman. Buck was a trick roper as a kid, pressured and beaten into perfection by his abusive alcoholic father. With a deeper understanding of hurt, Buck chose a path of good by deciding to help horses with their troubles. The film received acclaim after winning the Audience Award- Best Documentary this year at Sundance Film Festival. I was skeptical when I first read the premise but if you watch the trailer you’ll get a sense of how heartfelt this story is. Look for my review of this film this Saturday. (JS)



Ken Meter speaks at Common Ground Food Co-op, 10:30 a.m., Free

Ken Meter, a nationally-recognized food systems analyst, will be presenting “Local Food: Eating our way to Environmental, Economic, and Community Sustainability.” From the press release: Meter, who works with the Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis, MN (, has been evaluating food systems and community capacity-building for 39 years. His work integrates market analysis, business development, systems thinking, and social concerns. Since 2001, Meter has performed local farm and food assessments in 45 regions in 20 states and in one Canadian province. He has recently been working with groups in Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, and Springfield, and is coming to Urbana to share his findings about the region.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to bring Ken Meter to the area so people who live and eat here can learn more about their local food and farm economies,” says Urbana’s Market at the Square Director Lisa Bralts. “The food system is changing, and this information will help us figure out how to bring more locally-produced foods into our institutions, restaurants, and distribution channels.” (JG)

Football: South Dakota State at Illinois, 11 a.m., $50 & up

Last week the Jacks managed to bring down mighty Southern Utah in the hallowed Cereal Bowl, so this has the potential to be a monster game.  On the other hand, they did one hell of a job with their mascot:


= (RH)

WorldFest at Spurlock Museum, 12:15 p.m., $5 suggested donation

The event will feature a variety of performances from around the world, including Balinese dance, African percussion, U.S. Folk Music, World Fusion of Chinese Music and Jazz, and Brazilian martial arts. Craft activities will be available for all ages.

I’m hoping that means that Chinese jazz is fused with Brazilian Capoeira because that would lack enough sense to be pretty damn cool. (RH)

All Quiet on the Western Front at the Virginia Theatre, 1 & 7 p.m., $5


Lucas Carpenter and Bad Veins at the Courtyard Café

8:00–11:00 p.m.
$3 with your icard; $5 for the public

Illini Union Courtyard Cafe

Come check out Lucas Carpenter and Bad Veins this Saturday.



Softball: Kankakee at Illinois, 11 a.m., Free

Softball in the fall? That’s crazy talk. This is the first game of the Illini’s five-game fall home slate, and the weather looks to be gorgeous on Sunday, so this is a solid no-cost option for your Sunday midday. (JG)

Community Center for the Arts Open House at the Independent Media Center, 4 p.m., Free

The official name is actually Urbana’s Salad Bowl Open House, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but hey, let’s just go with it. The Bow-dacious String Band will kick things off with some live music at 4 p.m., followed by various musical workshops for kids, and closing out with a folk dancing workshop. If you haven’t been to C4A’s facility on the upper floor of the old Urbana post office, this is an excellent opportunity to see what’s going on. (JG)

Page One: Inside the New York Times at the Art Theater, 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., $6.50 before 6 p.m., $9 after

Wait, it’s a R-rated documentary about a newspaper? Okay, it’s about THE newspaper, so there must be some good stuff in store. This film takes an inside look at the country’s most famous daily and looks at the bleak future of print. Could the New York Times crumble? Is journalism still alive and well? Get an inside look at a year at the Times during a time of financial crisis and war. The trailer might give you chills–if you’re an aspiring journalist and/or a dork like me. (JS)


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