Smile Politely

The Weekender: July 17–19


Spend an evening under the stars with music: There is little doubt that Krannert Center is continually providing us with a wide variety of options when it comes to the performing arts. And one of their greatest talents is convincing those with deep pockets in town to hand it over for the common good. And that’s exactly what they did with their series Outside at Research Park. Tucked in between a few of the newer buildings on First and St. Mary’s, Outside takes place on a naturally sloping amphitheatre, which provides great sitelines for everyone who attends. And attend people do — average crowds are in the 1000 – 2000 range. For their first of three presentations this summer, they are giving us Funkadesi, a band from Chicago that fused the best of creole, reggae, dub, rock and funk, into one tight joint. Local brother/sister duo Hathaways will open the show. It’s absolutely free as well. Thank Peter Fox. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Spend an evening under the stars with comedy: Don’t forget about the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, in Normal, Ill. Their outdoor amphitheatre was named one of the ten best theater festivals in the nation by National Geographic. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” begins at 8 p.m. and if a different Shakespearian comedy is your cup of tea, “The Tempest,” will be at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

“Moon unit to Boardman’s; Are you receiving us?”: After a highly publicized and well-attended run with the summer hit Public Enemies, Boardman’s follows it up strong with Moon, a feature film that details the life of a man working as an employee on the Lunar surface when he discovers that returning to Earth may not be as easy as planned. Wanna read more about it? We’ve reviewed it already, if you can believe it. Otherwise, just show up. And buy some popcorn or something. It helps them out more than you know.


Kevin Costner was a star?: Yes. It’s true. There was a time that Kevin Costner was an A-lister in Hollywood, before he sipped on his own urine in Waterworld and pitched a perfect game by accident in that movie about love or something. Part of the reason he was so popular back then was simply because he directed and starred in a truly fine film, Dances With Wolves. It won awards. Lots of them. And Costner was king. Then he drank pee. And no one wanted to love him the same. Learn to love Costner in a new light by going to the News-Gazette film series at the Virginia Theater at 1 p.m. or at 7 p.m. or both.

It’s not too late to dig: It’s really nice outside these days. So why not head out to Prairie Gardens or another local shop and tear up some of your yard? While it’s too late to start planting to grow veggies, it’s never too late to plant herbs, perennials and the like. Plus, you know, it’s fun to be outside.

Go fishing at the Civic Center: While we couldn’t find a ton of information about this particular event, it seemed interesting enough to spill about it. On Saturday morning, the Civic Center in Urbana will host a “Fish Exchange” where there will be an auction of fish related items such as aquariums, plants, books, and equipment. Wanna find out more? Show up at 8 a.m. with your kid. I’m sure they’d like a replacement goldfish for the one you flushed down the toilet.



More than a longshot: This week, Rich Whitney announced his intention to again run for Governor in the state of Illinois on the Green Party ticket. Well, that’s great. In all truth, at some point, a third party is going to have to enter the system as a real contender or else this country is going straight to hell. And really, it probably already is. So, that’s why the Green Party, and any other party that isn’t a donkeycrat or republiphant is something that you should, at the least, give some attention to. And if you think you can help push Whitney over the edge, why not start by meeting up with local Greens at Eastland Suites at the odd hour of 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I mean, what a practical time to meet, you know? No one does anything on Sunday mornings. Don’t ask us.

Learn to drum:  This can be a very productive weekend. Plant something, culture yourself with a play, and get a rhythm. Djibril Camara holds West African dance classes every Sunday with live drumming at the Channing-Murray Foundation beginning at 6 p.m. Guests can attend regularly or drop in for single sessions for the low price of $10 for students or $12 for non-students. They also offer a bulk rate if you’re feeling extremely dedicated.

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