Smile Politely

Weekender: April 12–14


New Art Film Festival, the Art Theater Co-op, Friday 4 p.m.–midnight

NAFF makes its fourth appearance as part of the Boneyard Arts Festival. It’s a great chance to see local, formerly local, and regional filmmakers. Look for Katie’s preview, which will run at noon today, and come out to support the local arts and Jason Pankoke’s efforts to make this happen annually. (JS)

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre, Armory Free Theatre, 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Speak Easy is a new interactive performance piece about sex positivity, presented by the innovative INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre group. Per their press release: “It is 1926, and the Prohibition on sex is in full swing. Dawn and Jazmin, the proprietors of the speakeasy Sassy Sex Cafe, ask you to join them for a secret general meeting of the Sex Liberation Front. The evening will be a mixture of performance, dialogue, and activities you won’t want to miss!” (MG)

Pure Wine Super Tasting and Silent Auction Benefitting WEFT Radio, Buvons Wine Bar, 5:30–7:30 p.m., $15

Corkscrew and Buvons will host a spring “super tasting” with Pure Wine company to benefit WEFT community radio. Entry fee includes appetizers from Black Dog Smoke & Ale House. Tickets are limited, so call at (217) 337-7704 to purchase in advance.

There will be nearly forty wines from worldwide to taste that originate from the Pali Winery (Steve Grass), August Wine Group (Tim Freehan), Campbell Fine Wines (Laura Keun), Vino del Sol (M.T. Gavigan), and Pure Wine (Wes Schemmer). (SK)

Fourth Annual Turn It UP! LGBTQA Variety Show, 88 Broadway, 7:00–11:00 p.m., $5, advance/$7, door (students and youth); $7, advance/$10, door (adult)

You can hear all about this fundraising event on this week’s Smile Politely Radio Show. If you’ve not yet attended the UP Center’s Turn It UP, I really encourage you to check it out. It’s a fantastic time. Just like their PrideFest, the entertainment is family-friendly early on, gradually becoming more adult throughout the evening. It’s just such a great time, and it’s all for great causes.

There will be a raffle for an IPOD as well as a 50/50 raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold for $2/ticket or $15/20 tickets. The IPOD winner will be announced around 10 p.m. and the 50/50 winner will be announced between 11:00–11:30. You must be present to win.

Purchase tickets here. (TN)


  • 7:00 p.m. – Intro and Tusken Raiders
  • 7:30 p.m. – Brendan Summers
  • 7:45 p.m. – Moonlighting Heavy Metal Dance Troupe
  • 8:00 p.m. – Crystal Champagne
  • 8:10 p.m. – Tierney Reed
  • 8:25 p.m. – Awesome Ally Award Presentation (Megan Paceley)
  • 8:30 p.m. – STIGMA
  • 8:35 p.m. – Isaac Arms
  • 8:50 p.m. – Kia Sharealike
  • 9:00 p.m. – Jamie Marlow
  • 9:10 p.m. – Monique
  • 9:15 p.m. – Leiloni Stars
  • 9:25 p.m. – Mike and Kayla
  • 9:45 p.m. – Nebraska Jones
  • 10:00 p.m. – Janelle James
  • 10:20 p.m. – Leiloni Stars
  • 10:30 p.m. – Megan Johns
  • 10:50 p.m. – Kia Sharealike
  • 11:00 p.m. – Jesse Long
  • 11:15 p.m. – Steamwhistle Hollow
  • 11:45 p.m. – Outro (DJ Craig)

Spring Awakening, Krannert Center Colwell Playhouse, Friday–Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $9–16

Spring Awakening is a musical adapted from Frank Wedekind’s late-19th-century German play about the frustration and fear that can result from attempts to repress adolescent sexuality. The story is told from the teens’ point of view.

There will be a free talkback following the April 13 performance. And watch for our review next week. (TN)


Dawn of the Space Age, Parkland Planetarium, Friday–Saturday, 8:00–9:00 p.m., $4–5

One of the overlooked gems in Champaign-Urbana, the Parkland Planetarium is a great place to take a date or a group to see a quick show before or after dinner. Dawn of the Space Age will run every Friday and Saturday night until April 27. Here’s Parkland’s description:

“From the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, be immersed and overwhelmed with this accurate historic reconstruction of Man’s first steps into space. Who were these men and women who took part on these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, passion and perseverance to explore.” It’s only $5 for adults and $4 for students, seniors, and kids. We call this a cheap date. (SK)

Katie Baldwin’s review of this show convinced me to check it out before the end of the month. (TN)



Mid-West Zine Fest 2013, Independent Media Center, 11:00 a.m., free

Patrick already posted this in the Overture, but I thought I’d bring it up here too. The Radical Librarians at the Independent Media Center present the 3rd annual Mid-West Zine Fest, a “gathering of zine-makers, authors, speakers, musicians and other rad people for the purpose of celebrating zines and zine-culture.”

This festival is being held concurrently with the Books2Prisoners annual book sale. To register or for more details about the festival, go to their website. (TN)

To add to what Tracy had to say above, I have to say as a graduate student in Communciation Studies, it’s interesting to see something you’ve learned about in your graduate Alternative Media courses happening right around the corner. If you don’t know anything about zines, you’re missing out. They are pretty cool and very unique creations and can range from being a very challenging piece of media to something that makes no sense at all — which is fine. The point is independence in creating something you want to create. Anyway, it’s going down on Saturday, and there’s music as well at night, featuring Unnerve, Laughboy, and Chain’s Gang. Should be a cool day all around. (PS)

On the Road, Art Theater Co-Op, Saturday, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30 p.m. | Sunday, 2:00, 4:30 p.m.

Here’s something that could be absolutely wonderful or a complete, unmitigated disaster. I loved The Motorcycle Diaries, and this movie is directed by the same guy (Walter Salles), so I have hope. The cast is also impressive: Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart (whom I think is underrated), and Amy Adams. Also Garrett Hedlund, with whom I’m not familiar. This should be interesting. I plan to see it. (TN)

I’d say it’s somewhere in betweeen, in terms of quality. I last read the novel seven years ago, so all those details didn’t cloud all of my judgments. Then again, comparing a book and a film is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you like Kerouac’s novel and all of the alcohol, bennies, girls, and jazz that go along with it, then I’d say you’re on the right track here. I agree that Kristen Stewart gets a lot of unwarranted predetermined criticism, but I honestly couldn’t get past the fact that she was, well, Kristen Stewart, while watching this film. I will say that Garrett Hedlund was a standout as the magnetic Dean Moriarty, and Sam Riley as Sal Paradise (who played Ian Curtis in 2007’s desolate Control) was nearly as adept. Brief appearances by Viggo Mortensen (Old Bull Lee) and Steve Buscemi round out an overall excellent cast. (JS)


The Visiting Writers Series, Mike ‘n Molly’s, 5:30 p.m.,  FREE

As part of the annual Boneyard Arts Festival, the University of Illinois will hold its first Visiting Writers Reading, featuring students from the PhD in Creative Writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and special guest Frank Montesonti, as well as students from UIUC’s MFA in Creative Writing program. (CDC)


Or, The Station Theatre, 8:00 p.m., $15

Catch the final performance of the Station’s production of Or, directed by Kay Bohannon Holley and featuring Lindsey Gates-Markel, Mathew Green, Gary Ambler, and Stephanie Swearingen (pictured, left). (MG)

I already recommended this play after seeing the dress rehearsal, but I also attended the show again last week, and it’s only gotten better with time. Go here for reservations. (TN)

The Dirty Feathers, The Kingston Springs, The Uglies, Baby Strange, Cowboy Monkey, 9 p.m., $5

An awesome show top to bottom lined up over at Cowboy Monkey on Saturday with locals the Dirty Feathers headlining. They’re matched up with fellow psych-blues-rock outfit The Kingston Springs, plus another cool indie rock band The Uglies and Baby Strange. Seriously, a lot of music to throw only five bucks at on a Saturday night. (PS)





Great Titanic Out to Sea Murder Mystery Dinner, 88 Broadway, 6:00 p.m., $25

I’ve been to a few of these murder mystery dinners that Piato Cafe hosts, and they are a hell of a lot of fun. The performance is by the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company, and it’s well worth the price.

Tickets are available at 88 Broadway and Piato. Doors open at 6:00 and dinner is served at 6:30. (TN)

The “third class” menu is:

  • Vegetable soup
  • Irish soda bread
  • Creamed carrots
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Roasted pork with sage and onions
  • Waldorf pudding
  • Chocolate éclairs and coconut sandwiches


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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