Smile Politely

Weekender: February 28-March 1

Friday, February 28th

Avocado jhalmuri is stacked on a square white plate at Himalayan Chimney. The stack of avocado, puffed rice, and chickpeas is topped with very thin strands of raw beets and topped with a mint leaf. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Eat this avocado jhalmuri, Himalayan Chimney, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. + 5 to 10 p.m., $8

Earlier this week I shared some photos of a meal I recently had at Himalayan Chimney. This was my favorite item. It had a wonderful balance of texture and flavor, and just a hint of spice. Give it a try this weekend. (JH)

Check out the latest offering from Parkland Theatre’s Studio Series, 7:30 p.m., free

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been so impressed with this actors’ studio series. Machinal offers an “allegorical look at what it means to be ‘free’ and female here in our mechanized, capitalist, and patriarchal society.” You can also catch it on February 29th at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (DD)

A book with yellowed pages is open and laid flat. On the left the page has the text: Once upon Untitled: A Fairytale Fundraiser. On the right is a black line drawing of a queen looking into a mirror hanging on the wall. Image from Facebook event page.

Image from Facebook event page.

Enjoy an enchanted evening at Untitled, Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., $45-80

It’s time for 40 North’s annual themed fundraiser, and this year’s theme is Once Upon an Untitled: A Fairytale Fundraiser. There will be eats and drinks from Michael’s Catering, caricatures by Dan Wild, tarot card readings, a local art sale, a silent auction and more. So get all decked out in your fairytale finest and enjoy. Purchase tickets online ahead of time, or pay a few more bucks at the door. (JM)

Celebrate with the Laura Driscoll Trio on the release of their album, Woven Dreams, The Iron Post, 8 p.m., cover charge

UIUC grad Lara Driscoll is returning to Urbana to release Woven Dreams, her album with fellow Chicago musicians Ethan Philion and Gustavo Cortiñas Fouilloux. Driscoll, who used to play with Bossa Nuevo and Beat Kitchen around C-U, will be performing with her trio starting at 8 p.m. This will be a super chill start to your weekend, and a great way to show some love to a veteran of our scene. (BH)

Saturday, February 29th

At Emancipation Brewing, a stemless tumbler glass with the brewery's logo on the front is filled with a light yellow beer. It sits on a wood serving tray, and the tray reads

Photo by Jordan Goebig.

Get out of town, anywhere in a short driving distance, all weekend, prices vary

On this beautiful and unseasonably warm weekend, take a short drive to a brewery or restaurant or attraction you haven’t yet visited. You can peruse some ideas in our Food & Drink Travel category, or poke around the Culture section. (JH)

Take the kids to the 20th annual Read Across America celebration, Lincoln Square Mall, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., free

It’s always a good thing to celebrate reading, right? There will be dozens of hands-on activities, volunteers reading stories in English, Spanish, French, and Chinese, and the first 1000 kids will get a free book bag and new book. (JM)

Image: Photo of flying car in the sky with the play title, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr., surrounded by musical notes. Photo from Facebook event page.

Image: Photo of flying car in the sky with the play title, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr., surrounded by musical notes. Photo from Facebook event page.

Support young local thespians, Virginia Theatre, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., $12-14

If I’m honest, the movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang gave me nightmares for weeks. However, this junior version, put on by the Champaign Park District, is guaranteed to be filled with family-friendly fun. Follow the adventures of this magic car and its travelers and support CPD’s impressive youth theatre program. Find out more or get tickets here. (DD)

Grab a drink and support Uniting Pride of Champaign County, Quality Bar, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., drink prices vary, no cover

This Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m., Quality will be donating a portion of every drink sold to Uniting Pride of Champaign County. The fun will continue all night, including a Drag Show at 9 p.m. hosted by Peach of the Midwest. There will be beers from Bling Pig Brewery, Founders Brewing, Left Hand Brewing Co., Stone Brewing, and Wake Brewing. (AB) 

There are several images of cultural exhibits set up in Foellinger Auditorium. They include a display of sarees, a tabel with food samples, a woman doing henna, and people looking at a bulletin board, and a family sitting on the ground listening to musicians play. Image from Facebook event page.

Image from Facebook event page.

Discover India, Foellinger Auditorium, 5 to 8 p.m., free

Learn about the rich diversity of Indian culture, take in some dance, music, and theater performances, and then join in the dancing with some Bollywood tunes. If you check out the Facebook event page you can get a sneak peek into some of the performers and cultural exhibits that will be there. (JM)

Graphic for the upcoming Painted Canyons show at the Rose Bowl Tavern. An image of a skull topped with a bright red rose. Three images of the bands that are playing are stacked on top of each other on the right hand side.

Image from the Facebook event

Enjoy your extra day of the year with a night of Americana, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $10

Urbana’s home of honky-tonk is hosting a night of country, rock, and Americana on leap night. The concert will feature South City Revival at 8 p.m., Painted Canyon at 9:30 p.m., and The Bashful Youngens at 11 p.m. This show is a great way to round out your weekend with the right jams. (BH)

Sunday, March 1st

Get some brunch tamales, Maize at the Station, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., prices vary

Have you tried Maize’s brunch yet? If you haven’t, then this is the weekend to do it. Matt reviewed several of the brunch menu items a few weeks ago. Just looking at the pictures, I’m already hungry for the tamales. (AB)

A huddle of the University of Illinois women’s gymnastics team standing on a blue mat with their backs to the camera. A few of them have their arms in the air. They are standing in a gym space, and a score board is visible on the wall in the back. Photo from the Illini women’s gymnastics vs. Central Michigan Facebook event page.

Photo from the Illini women’s gymnastics vs. Central Michigan Facebook event page.

Watch women’s gymnastics, Huff Hall on the U of I campus, 4-7 p.m., free

Kick off Women’s History Month by celebrating some women athletes at the U of I. The women’s gymnastics team is taking on Central Michigan, and admission is free. There will be plenty to see, and you know you love women’s gymnastics. Who doesn’t? We all watch during the Olympics, so show some love to our local athletes. (JH)

Decide to be a Culture writer at Smile Politely, places and times vary, free

Okay, this is a bit shameless, but whatever. Why should you write for us? Well we are a community magazine, so anyone can be a writer. Yes, even you! You get your voice out there while also getting to meet interesting people and have new experiences in C-U and beyond. Culture is awesome (of course I am biased) because so many areas of interest can go here…from science and tech to where the best bathrooms are in C-U and everywhere in between. Of course, you can write for Art, Food and Drink, or Music if those are more your jam. The more voices we have, the better we are as a magazine. Send an email to [email protected] to find out more. (JM)

Top photo by Matthew Macomber.


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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