Smile Politely

The Weekender: April 10–12

Welcome to Smile Politely’s rundown of weekend events in our fair cities. As always, if you have a suggestion for this weekend, add it to the comments thread below. And don’t forget to send us your recommendations for future weekends.


Hannah Montana opens: Yes, that’s right: The movie you’ve all been waiting for opens today. But, did you know that the Beverly Cinema is holding a Hannah Montana look-a-like contest at 1 p.m.? We’re going to enter our very own Joel Gillespie (pictured, right). Go and vote for him.

Gentlemen, time to auction off your house: One of the few regional bands to break through into the C-U scene hails from St. Louis. Gentleman Auction House (yes, it’s singular, and we just pluralized it for the sake of the lede) has been making C-U a regular stop since 2005, and as far as we’re concerned, we’d like them to keep it comin’. They headline Cowboy Monkey at around midnight.

Old School meet Old School: Kosmo hits the decks at Champaign’s oldest and arguably best dance club tonight. Chester Street Bar is still simply the place to get down.


Run, C-U, run!: Starting at 8 a.m., C-U will transform itself into a legitimate race course for the first time in many years. The Illinois Marathon officially begins on Saturday morning at 8 a.m., when over 9,000 participants will compete in a 5K, half-marathon, and full on fully (that’s 26.2 miles). And yes, most likely, your trip to Home Depot will be somehow delayed. Better not plan on Bed, Bath, and Beyond. You just might not have enough time.

Where is the heirloom?: Aspiring detectives in grades 2 through 5 should head to the Champaign Public Library at 2 p.m. for “The Case of the Pilfered Prize,” a search for a prized heirloom hidden somewhere in the library. It’s part of The Big Read, the month-long reading program focusing on Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.

Weekend? Check. Chekov? Check: Head to the Krannert Center on Saturday to submerge yourself in one of the best plays written and produced at the turn of the 20th century. Anton Chekov is known for expressive takes on gender and culturalism in Russia, and his story of the Prozorov family, Three Sisters, is no exception. The play runs both Friday and Saturday. But Saturday night seems right for something like this, no?

Got an Urge: Back in the day (and by day we mean about a decade ago), St. Louis had a legitimate music scene brewing as a result of rap/rock/ska/punk having an orgy and giving birth to bands like 311, Sublime, Linkin Park, and the like. The Urge led the way cross the ol’ Mississippi, and even had a top ten hit with “Jump Right In” that featured Nick Hexum of 311 on vocals. Their frontman, Steve Ewing (pictured, right), was a nebulon full of energy each time out, and they used to pack The Canopy regularly. He performs solo now, and this time he’ll be at The Phoenix. It must have been a crazy decade.

“But that won’t give me a free hand to hold the beer”: So said Billy Carter, brother of President Carter, in the 1970s upon being taught a two-handed backhand in tennis. The UI men’s tennis team hosts Penn State on Saturday at noon and Ohio State on Sunday at noon. Both matches are at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Tango workshop with Kara Wenham: Three intermediate sessions with an instructor from Buenos Aires are being offered today at the Channing Murray Foundation : musicality 12 to 1:30 p.m., Giros 1:45 to 3:15 p.m., and Milonga 3:30 to 5 p.m. If you can’t learn it from her, you’re probably outta luck.


It’s a small world: Head to the Spurlock Museum in Urbana for Children Just Like Me, “an engaging, hands-on exhibit that invites young museum visitors to learn about the diversity of world cultures by meeting peers who live in different countries around the globe.”

Arbitrary ways of celebrating a major historical figure: Jesus Christ. Whether he was the Son of God is anyone’s guess, but the way Christians acknowledge his death and resurrection is, no matter how you spin it, some silly shit. Here’s to the kids looking forward to a big ass bunny bringing them chocolate eggs in the night. The implications are steep. Let Bill Hicks tell you more.

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