Smile Politely

Five things in arts: November 2023

snow scene from the nutcracker shows ballerinas in white tutus dancing on stage amongst white mist
CU Ballet

Ah, November. Whether you are eyeing the end of the school or academic semester and the chaos that brings, or preparing for the barrage of holidays, it’s safe to say the last two months of the year are typically busy for many. So why not add a few more things to your plate? Only non-stressful things, of course. Check out the options below for five things you can do this month in the arts.

Side by side photos of Jorge Niedas and Liz Sung dancing tango. The left is a candid shot and the right is a staged studio shot.
Tango Bootcamp on Facebook

Take a tango bootcamp

Jorge Niedas and Liz Sung of Tango21 Dance Theater will be teaching four tango workshops November 11th and 12th. The workshops will cover Argentine Tango technique, musicality interpretation, and beginning and intermediate sequences. Make sure you register early (students get a discount). Even if you don’t dance, you can still come and watch to see what Milonga is all about. There will be food and live music as well.

Tango Bootcamp
Channing-Murray Foundation
1209 W Oregon St
Nov 11–12
Check the event page for pricing details

zombies dancing and singing on stage in fifties attire including poodle skirts and leather jackets
Parkland College Theatre on Facebook

Check out some zombie theatre

Parkland theatre is having a Creature Double Feature: back-to-back performances of 10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse and the musical Zombie Prom. Both shows are rated “Family.”

Here’s the description of 10 Ways:

It’s the end of the world, and hordes of rampaging zombies are about to kill you. What do you do? Try your hand at kung fu against the undead? Attempt to reason with creatures that would rather eat brains than use them? Turn to this handy and hilarious guide to survive the apocalypse! (Hint: “Sacrifice the weak” is step number one.)

And Zombie Prom:

This girl-loves-ghoul rock ‘n’ roll off-Broadway musical is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where a zany, tyrannical principal lays down the law. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing but determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. He still wants to graduate – but most of all, he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead, while a scandal reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour. History comes to his rescue, while a tuneful selection of original songs (in the style of the 50s hits) keeps the action rocking across the stage. 

Creature Double Feature
Parkland College Theatre
Nov 9-19
Th, F, Sa 7:30 p.m.
Su 3 p.m.

a rainbow colored t shirt that says "I like art" is displayed in front of the neon art coop sign in their display window
Art Coop on Facebook

Buy some art for $50 for a good cause

This year marks the 12th for Art Coop’s annual $50 art sale. Artwork is donated to the show from local artists, and 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Champaign County Humane Society. All art is — you guessed it — $50. The grand opening will be November 17th, and purchased artwork can be picked up starting December 15th.

The 12th Annual $50 Art Show
Art Coop
Lincoln Square Mall
138 Lincoln Sq
Nov 17th 5 p.m.
Bring money to support the cause

Artist E. Ainsley points to the mural while speaking with visitors.
Urbana Arts and Culture on Facebook

Check out the new art in town

There’s some new public art around town, and now is a good chance to see it before the weather gets too cold. Two good options: artist E. Ainsley created a colorful new mural at the Boneyard Creek Crossing; and there’s a new temporary art installation at King Park from artists Lisa Kesler and Ja Nelle Davenport Pleasure. The Peace Post at King Park was created with recycled and found objects.

A scene from the nutcracker features a large clock background, pink lighting, and a group of ballerinas performing
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

See a holiday ballet classic

For those who can’t wait to start the holiday season, you can check out the Christmas-classic The Nutcracker at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts starting on the last day of the month through the first week of December. The classic ballet features enchanted toys, a princely toys, and beautiful dancing, of course. This production is recommended for ages 5 and up.

The Nutcracker
500 S Goodwin Ave
Nov 30–Dec 3
Th, F 7:30 p.m.
Sa 2 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Su 2 p.m. + 6 p.m.

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