Smile Politely

Weekender: April 28-30

A large group of people are clustered together running in the center of a road. In the background there is a red brick building with white columns.
Melinda Edwards

Friday, April 28th

A medium plastic up of strawberry drink with a plastic straw. Photo by Matthew Macomber.
Matthew Macomber

Sip a strawberry drink, La Michoacana Express, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., $4.40

This pretty pink drink is just as cute as the dessert shop it comes from. In Matt’s review of La Michoacana Express this week, he recommends this drink which is made with fresh strawberries. The whole menu sounds good, but I want to try the fruit yogurt bar with strawberry, kiwi, and mango. (AB)

See Leaving Iowa, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 7:30 p.m., $5-15

Friday will kick off the 2023 season at the Twin City Theatre Company with Leaving Iowa. The play tells the story of Don Browning, a middle-aged writer who journeys across Iowa to find a final resting place for his father’s ashes while reminiscing about his own childhood. (SSO)

Experience Parable of the Sower as an opera, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. (also Saturday at 7:30 p.m.), $10-$30

Octavia Butler’s book Parable of the Sower has been adapted into an opera celebrating Black music. The much-acclaimed (and in C-U, delayed) production is a must-see. To be frank: opera is not usually at the top of my entertainment list, but this production is supposed to be incredible, and moving, and an important cultural contribution. Don’t miss it; it’s only here for two nights. (JH)

Experience a listening room show with Edward David Anderson, Yellow & Company, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25

Edward David Anderson, singer/songwriter (solo and Backyard Tire Fire) and pioneer of “black dirt music,” is performing at Yellow & Company in Mahomet in a listening room experience. A listening room format allows for more personal and emotional songs to be played, and the quiet environment can help the artist and audience connect on a deeper level. Be in your seats by 7:30 p.m. for this experience. (DP)

Saturday, April 29th

Cheer on runners at the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend, various locations in C-U, 7:30 a.m., free to watch

Race weekend is here! There are multiple events on both Friday and Saturday. And while running and volunteering are two great ways to get involved, the spectators are a huge part of the events too. Check out the beltway, which offers up the best spots on the route to watch the race and shows you where to safely cross. And if you’re feeling inspired, registration for the race is open until Friday night at 7 p.m. (LKG)

Alyssa Buckley

Buy plants and learn the new name of an old farm, Meyer Produce, 9:30 a.m. to noon, free to attend but bring money for plants and snacks

It’s time to plant plants, y’all. This Saturday, Meyer Produce will have baby plants ready to be put in your garden at their plant sale, and the farm also will announce a new name as part of the event. Farmers Ben and Molly Oberg took over the Villa Grove farm from the Meyer Family seven years ago. In addition to the name reveal and plants for sale, there will be free coffee, plus Cakes & Bakes by Kate will also be there — which is great news because she bakes one of my favorite treats: handmade strawberry pop-tarts. She’ll also be selling cinnamon rolls, jammy fruit bars, macarons, and lemon pound cake. Plants, desserts, and a name drop? What more could you want on a Saturday morning? (AB)

A group of musicians sits on a turquoise couch, holding their instruments in a funny pose.
CU Tango Music Festival on Facebook

Dance Tango at the CU Tango Music Festival, Urbana Dance Company, times vary, $20-35

This weekend marks the second CU Tango Music Festival. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with a free 45-minute family friendly presentation about tango music and the bandoneon. The rest of the day features a Spanish-language presentation, a tango music workshop for Strings and Bass, tango dance lessons, a concert, and milonga. The full list of events can be found on the event Facebook page. The dance workshops will be held at the Urbana Dance Company and range from $20-$35 with discounts applied for early registration. (SSO)

a black and white picture of a woman with long hair on a pole. She is wearing a black low cut top and black shorts. She is holding herself horizontal using her arms and her legs for balance.
Defy Gravity

See the Spring Showcase, Defy Gravity, 6 p.m. $25

Students and instructors will be performing at the Defy Gravity studio for an electric Spring Showcase. This studio is an inclusive, supportive, and body positive space that allows people to gain strength and confidence while learning the art of pole, aerial, or dance and movement classes. Tickets are available for shows in person and online at 6 and 8 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and masks and proof of vaccine will be required. (LKG)

A black and white photo of five drag queens and one drag king, lined up and posing for the camera.
Spurlock Museum of World Cultures

Join Sharon ShareAlike for an evening of drag, Spurlock Museum, 8 p.m., free

Sharon ShareAlike is bringing her traveling show of performers from all over Illinois to Spurlock this weekend. Back in 2019, when the museum had a temporary drag exhibit, ShareAlike’s BoobsForQueens original silicone breastplates were featured alongside her amazingly over-the-top “Monster” costume. The show will surely be a glorious spectacle! (JM)

Celebrate the new single from Decadents, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $10-15 suggested donation

Decadents‘ sound is heavily influenced by classic rock and other genres, resulting in a diverse range of music that showcases their skills as musicians. They have gained a loyal following through their high-energy performances, with over 250 shows to their name. Saturday night they will be celebrating the release of their new single, “The Right Thing” off their upcoming album Lost in Translation, due in August. (DP)

Sunday, April 30th

Find new to you clothes in an inclusive space, Defy Gravity, 2 to 5 p.m., free

Defy Gravity is hosting a Queer Clothing Swap in their studio that will is “open to all but will be centering Trans* and gender diverse individuals of all ages who need access to gender affirming clothing.” You do not have to donate clothing to pick out clothing. Just show up and shop in a safe place! If you do have gently used items to donate, they will be accepting those from 12 to 2 p.m. After the swap, all pieces that are left will be donated to Point of Pride. (JM)

The five members of Modern Drugs standing in front of a teal background, wearing mostly dark clothes
Modern Drugs on Facebook

Enjoy five bands and support a great cause, Rose Bowl Tavern, 3 to 9 p.m., donations accepted at the door

Urbana-Champaign Reproductive Justice is hosting a Party for Reproductive Justice featuring local bands Modern Drugs, Emily the Band, Emily Anne Band, Amasong and New Souls. Pay-what-you-can at the door with all funds raised going to Midwest Access Coalition and Elevated Access. Donations can also be submitted online. (DP)

Six jars of honey are displayed on a wood shelf. The bottles are embossed with "one pound pure honey" and stopped with corks. The two bottles in the middle are a lighter but more opaque color than the other four.
Earth Bounty Farms on Facebook

Attend a Pollinator Party, Riggs Beer Company, noon to 5 p.m., free (plus the cost of beer and plants and other goods)

Riggs is the host site for The Well Fed Caterpillar’s and Earth Bounty Farms’ native plant sale this weekend. On Sunday, you can head to the brewery to buy some native plants, plus honey, bees-wax candles, and Cloud Mountain Kombucha. At 2 p.m. botanist Michael Murphy will speak about the importance of native plants to ecosystems. Additional details are on the Facebook event page. (JH)

Celebrate Bengali New Year, Lincoln Hall, 5 p.m., free but bring money for food

One of the cool things about sharing a community with a large university is the opportunity to experience a wide variety of cultural events. The Bengali Student Organization, along with the East Central Illinois Bengali Association and Bangladeshi Students Association, is hosting a Bengali New Year celebration that is open to all. There will be music, dance, poetry, and of course food. Read up on organization and West Bengali cultural traditions before you go. (JM)

All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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