Smile Politely

Weekender: December 1-3

exterior of the Vault Art Gallery, a large two story brick building. The first floor features arched windows and door way, with square windows sitting above.
The Vault Art Gallery

Friday, December 1st

A plate of princess chicken on a white plate.
Alyssa Buckley

Eat princess chicken, Rainbow Garden, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, $9.95

Don’t forget about Rainbow Garden in Champaign now that Rainbow Garden in Urbana is closed. The Champaign location was open first, and it remains open serving Chinese cuisine seven days a week. Go for lunch on Friday because the lunch specials are all $9.95-$10.95. I love Rainbow Garden’s princess chicken: thinly sliced chicken with onions, bell peppers, and carrots are all tossed in a delicious, slightly spicy brown sauce and served with steamed white rice. It also comes with a choice of soup and an egg roll. (AB)

Recognize World AIDS Day, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 6 to 8 p.m., free

Greater Community AIDS Project will be hosting a gathering in honor of World AIDS Day. It will feature a candlelight vigil, speakers, musical performances, and a special appearance from Peach of the Midwest. Read more about the event, and the work that GCAP is doing in the community, in my article from this week. (JM)

Watch an arthouse classic, Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $7

As part of their Arthouse Experience Film Series, the Virginia Theatre is showing the 2008 psychological drama Synecdoche, New York. The film screening will include a showing of writer and director Charlie Kaufman’s Q&A discussion from the 2010 Ebertfest. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and is rated R. (SSO)

Saturday, December 2nd

A stuffed animal (possibly a tiger) is being repaired with sutures by a white person wearing scrubs, as a child wearing orange gloves looks on and holds the stuffed animal.
Champaign Public Library on Facebook

Take your kids’ stuffed animals to the “vet,” Champaign Public Library, 2 to 4 p.m., free

Champaign Public Library and the University of Illinois Veterinary Student Outreach Program are hosting a Teddy Bear hospital. I posted about this event in 2018; the photos were so damn cute. Vet students will give the stuffed animals “check ups” and help fix boo-boos. In 2018 they had the kids wear shoe covers and hair nets and scrubs and masks. It was ridiculous, in the best way possible. Kids get to learn about medicine and animals, and have some exposure to medical equipment that could seem pretty scary. (JH)

Listen to swing jazz (and maybe dance a little), The Vault Art Gallery, 2 to 4 p.m., free

The group We Ain’t Misbehavin’ will be jazzing up The Vault Art Gallery in Tuscola with songs from the 1920s to the 1950s. While you’re over there, spend some time browsing the gallery. I did that this summer, and there are so many unique items. Surely you’ll find some good gifts for people. (JM)

A woman with short white hair sits in a chair wearing a black long sleeve sweater with a brown short sleeve sweater over it. She's looking up to the right and light is illuminating her face.
Spurlock Museum

See a unique show, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 3 p.m., free 

Writer and performer Connie Shirakawa will be performing Woman Warriors, a reflection on “four generations of women in her family — their history in America and how they coped with discrimination and displacement with their grit, wit, and tenacity.” The show is directed by Sharon Evans and after the performance there will be a discussion with Nikkeijin Illinois curator Jason Finkelman. (LKG)

Joe Grohens dances tango with Carlota Bullard. Grohens wears a black suit and Carlota wears a long gold-ish skirt and white long sleeve top.
LeiAnna Hamel

Dance some tango, Urbana Dance Company, 7:30 p.m., $5-$10

Urbana Dance Company is hosting their monthly Tango social event this Saturday. General admission is $10, and only $5 for students. The event is BYOB with light refreshments and a buffet served. We are lucky to have such a vibrant social dance in C-U, so if you have been curious about trying something new, an event like this is the perfect low-key introduction. (SSO)

Boogie to garage cabaret, Rose Bowl Tavern, 7:30 p.m., $10 to $15

The Claudettes, known for their eclectic fusion of blues, rock, and pop, are set to enthrall the Rose Bowl audience with their distinctive style, often described as a mix of “piano boogie, punk blues, and cabaret.” This band, under the leadership of Johnny Iguana, consistently re-invents their music, ensuring it remains vibrant and novel. New singer Rachel Williams’s voice is a powerhouse and has invigorated the band. (DP)

3 women sitting side by side, all laughing. One holds a tambourine, one holds a mandolin and the one on the right holds a guitar.
Choro das 3 on Facebook

Enjoy Brazilian Choro music and immersive ambiance, Gallery Art Bar, 8 p.m., free

Choro das 3, a captivating Brazilian instrumental ensemble, will perform at Gallery Art Bar, showcasing their mastery in Choro, a traditional Brazilian music style. Comprising of three sisters, the group brings a rich familial harmony to their performances. Since their formation in 2002, they have garnered accolades and delighted audiences with five albums, blending classic and contemporary Choro melodies. (DP)

Check out Urbanite, City Center, doors at 8 p.m.; show at 9 p.m.,  $19-$25

Urbanite returns to C-U for this dance showcase featuring 19 dance crews, a DJ, and special guests. It’s also a dance party, so bring your dancing shoes / attitude / vibes. Urbanite events are not to be missed — we named the company the BEST annual dance program of the decade in 2019. (JH)

Sunday, December 3rd

Two slices of French toast at brunch at Maize Mexican Grill.
Alyssa Buckley

Take yourself out for French toast, Maize at the Station, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $13

This weekend, go for a brunch French toast with warm guava maple syrup and fresh fruit, served with chips and salsa. I loved the unexpected brightness from the guava, and the soft, eggy toast absorbed all the delicious sweetness from the syrup and berries. I shared this and six other French toasts in my list on Monday for National French Toast Day. (AB)

See Beyoncé (or the next best thing!) The Canopy Club, 6 p.m. doors and 7 p.m. show, tickets start at $5

Renaissance is coming to theaters this weekend and you can keep the celebration going at Beyoncert, a drag show at The Canopy Club that will be celebrating all things Bey. There will be a dance simulation, Beyoncé trivia, and C-U’s favorite drag queens. Wear black and silver and be ready to party. (LKG)

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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