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Urbana HS to perform Little Women musical

Per a press release:

Urbana High School Theatre Department presents Little Women, The Broadway Musical, based on the beloved classic novel by Louisa May Alcott November 5 through 9, 2014.  The musical is under the Direction of Tim Broeker, with Musical Direction by Cullyn Murphy.

The cast, crew, and orchestra feature a wealth of talent from well over 30 Urbana High School students.  The production team includes Technical Director Breanna Morton, Costume Designer Barb Hughes, Orchestra Conductor Darren Hicks, Assistant Director Jessica Elliott and Scenic Construction Lead Rick Broeker.

With book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, Little Women, the Broadway Musical follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War America. Jo longs to publish a novel. Meg longs for a fiancé. Beth longs for a piano. Amy longs to be admired. This timeless tale has been given new life as an exhilarating new musical filled with glorious song, dance, and a few tears. It celebrates personal discovery and coming of age in a time of challenge and transformation.

Tickets are $5 for UHS Students and children under the age of 12 and $10 for adults and can be purchased by emailing tbroeker@usd116.org or at the door beginning 30 minutes prior to each performance.

Performances will be in the Cobb Memorial Auditorium at Urbana High School on November 5, 6, 7 and 8 at 7:00pm and a matinee on November 9 at 2:30pm.


“New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation” works by Jason Patterson

Art at the Y presents
New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation

Works by Jason Patterson

Join us for Jason Patterson's show opening this Thursday in the Y's Murphy Gallery, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign. Viewing begins at 7pm followed by a talk with the artist himself at 7:30pm

Follow the event on Facebook.

The University YMCA is pleased to present New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation, works by Jason Patterson. Jason Patterson’s art show opening begins at 7pm on Thursday, October 23 in the Y’s Murphy Gallery, 1001 South Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois. Jason will give an artist’s talk at 7:30pm. New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation will be on view in the Y’s Murphy Gallery through December 2014.

About The Artist: Jason Patterson is a Midwestern American history artist. Working predominantly in portraiture, his work objectively reviews The American Narrative. Jason Patterson was recently named the 2014 Artist ACE winner for his outstanding achievement in impactful and powerful American history portraiture, and for his contributions to the excellence of the arts in Champaign County.

New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation is a stylized, contemporary examination of images of African Americans emerging from the decades following the Civil War. This collection of portraits is fabricated after tintypes, Daguerreotypes, cartes-de-visite prints, and ambrotypes, and is set in frames modeled after that period's interior design and architecture. These works are drawings, rendered with chalk or soft pastel and varnished to emulate their photographic source and reference the portrait paintings of the mid to late 19th century, which represented class and standing. This group of objects intends to glorify that new age for African Americans, focusing on the freedom, hope, and happiness many former slaves and free-born Black citizens saw ahead of themselves after the Civil War. This work is not meant to tell a comprehensive history. It is an idealized history. A life that should have been opportune to all, but was only seen by few.

Cover Image: Drawing of an oval bust portrait of a man in four piece suit & bow tie. After a tintype taken by an unknown photographer or studio. From Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library's Randolph Linsly Simpson Collection. Soft pastel on raw canvas, under clear acrylic & polymer varnish, with acrylic paint & composite gold leaf. 16x20in. 2013-14

Websites: jasonpattersonart.comuniversityymca.org/art/upcoming

Additional Information: All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public. Art @ the Y is an initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street Champaign

Some of the most profound insight, critique, and creative thinking around the issues which comprise the mission of the Y happen in and around the arts. Art @ the Y seeks to engage issues of social justice, international understanding, environmental activism, faith and cultural understanding through quality arts programming. Art @ the Y includes a revolving exhibition space in Murphy Gallery, featuring artists whose work speaks to the mission of the Y and performing arts events throughout the year.

Parking Nearby:

  • Parking lot on 6th between Daniel & Chalmers - Free after 5 p.m.
  • Parking garage on 6th & John - Free after 5 p.m.
  • Street parking on Wright, Chalmers, & 6th Streets for 75¢ per hour.
  • Municipal lot on Green & 5th Streets for $1 per hour.

Blind Summit Theatre’s Moses is your favorite grumpy old man

Blind Summit Theatre: The Table

Wednesday-Friday, October 22-24, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. | Studio Theatre

Ancient Japanese puppetry influenced by the Sex Pistols? It’s a radical premise, but the imaginative artisans of Blind Summit Theatre are reinventing Osaka’s Bunraku tradition into a sometimes subversive, ever-contemporary stagecraft featuring trios of puppeteers mastering the maneuvers of clever characters in relevant, hip narratives — no strings attached. Perhaps you saw Blind Summit’s 60-foot Lord Voldemort at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London? The company’s latest incarnation, a two-foot-tall, cantankerous, cardboard-headed invention named Moses, is considerably more petite and lives on, well, a table. He’s going to tell you a big story about God... and Moses... and life and death and PUPPETRY but he gets distracted... a lot. So pull up a chair and settle in for the grin-inducing philosophy of this table-top talent and “a smart, lively young company bringing real verve to the art form” (The Guardian).

UI Student Tickets are just $10, general audience are $38.


Champaign, U of I featured on The Onion

These are always fun to see. Check out this hilarious column in the Onion, which features "a study" from the University of Illinois. Check it:

Researchers: Quality Of Sleep May Be Affected By Abandoning Family In 1994

CHAMPAIGN, IL—According to a study published this week by researchers at the University of Illinois, an individual’s ability to get a good night’s sleep may be directly influenced by having made a decision 20 years ago to walk out on their family and never return. “In many cases, we found that chronic insomnia is strongly linked to reaching one’s breaking point on a winter evening back in 1994, waiting until everyone in the house was in bed, and then driving off into the night without looking back,” said study co-author Tim Liu, who noted a close correlation between erratic delta waves during stage 3 of the sleep cycle and not having spoken to your daughter since you tucked her in that night when she was 7. “Additionally, we saw that while nearly everyone who deserted their loved ones experienced some form of sleep loss, those who exhibited the most restless nights were the ones who told their new families they were off working on container ships 20 years ago instead of coming clean about the spouse and three children they left behind halfway across the country.” In a related finding, the researchers also concluded that individuals who carry on extramarital affairs with someone their spouse trusts sleep eight hours every night and always awake fully rested.


Wesley Haunted House scares visitors for a good cause

This weekend, the Wesley Student Center's century-old, neo-Gothic building will be transformed into a creepy labyrinth of freaks and frights. Get ready for Halloween with a horrifyingly good time. Here are the details:

WHEN: October 23-26, 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

WHERE: Wesley Student Center, on campus at Green & Goodwin (1203 W. Green St. in Urbana)

WHO: You must be 13+ to enter

HOW MUCH: $8 ($4 on Sunday if you're in costume). All proceeds benefit the Wesley Evening Food Pantry and Illini Fighting Hunger.

WHY: Because you want to be terrified while you fight hunger.

Visit the Wesley Haunted House website for more details.


Tommy Nugent to perform “Preacherman” on October 29th

October 29 7 p.m.

319 Gregory Hall (on the U of I Campus) 

Tommy Nugent, the hilarious Preacherman, will be performing at the University of Illinois, telling jokes and stories about his own journey from being a faithful youth minister to working as an atheist comedian. He has formerly performed at Stanford, the College of Southern Idaho, and other universities. 


Unit 4 school board member John Bambenek considers Mayoral run

In an email message to Smile Politely, current Unit 4 school board member, and former State Senate candidate John Bambenek told us about his interest in the Champaign Mayoral election in April 2015. 

Mr. Bambenek picked up his Mayoral packet from the city building today

"It is something I am considering and speaking to others about. There is certainly dissatisfaction with aspects of the city and I look forward to contributing to that discussion."

Whether or not he will proceed with acquiring the needed signatures (85 total — which honestly, your average Boy Scout could get) and submitting his name for the election remains to be seen, but adding a fifth candidate to the fold would liven things up a little. 

For starters, it would create a run-off situation, where the candidates would face off in a primary on February 24, 2015 before the top four vote recipients would move on to the general election on April 7, 2015. 

Beyond that, despite the fact that the Champaign council and Mayoral elections are "non-partisan," it's well known that of the four candidates that have stated their intention to run, three of them are considered "conservatives" while one of them is considered "liberal." Whatever those words mean any more. 

But I digress. 

Needless to say, this would create an interesting scenario for the local "right-leaning" voter population.

More to come as it comes in. Or maybe not. We're not the best at covering politics, frankly. Tom Kacich is really good though. So is Eric Bussell at Halfway Interesting, when he's not on his damned high horse