Smile Politely

Weekender: January 23-25

FRIDAY, January 23rd

Selma, The Art Theater Co-op, 4 & 7 p.m.

If you’ve been near an internet portal lately, you might have heard a little something about Selma. In addition to being (by all accounts) a pretty fantastic movie, it has also been the focus of a lot of discussion about its Academy Awards snubbing. Yes, it has been nominated for Best Picture, but there has been outright outrage about its director and lead actors being left out of the awards competition. Now is your chance to support the local art house and see for yourself if the work of director Ava Duvernay and actors David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo is Oscar-worthy or extremely Oscar-worthy. (MG)

The Great Cover Up, The HighDive, 7 p.m., $7

It’s the last day of the 24th Annual Great Cover Up, and Grandkids are playing so it’s not a show to miss. Seriously, I skipped out on Grandkids’ cover-up set last year and missed them covering freakin’ TELEVISION. Learn from my mistakes. Motes, A Cool Hand, The Acme Principle, Tractor Kings and Elsinore are also playing what should be a righteous way to wrap up the cover up. (MR)


33 Variations, The Station Theatre, 8 p.m., $15

Join the folks at the Station for their interpretation of Moisés Kaufman’s time-bending play about a musicologist’s struggle with illness and family and the life and work of Beethoven. Directed by Smile Politely’s own Thom Schnarre and featuring a dynamite cast (including Chris Taber, pictured at right), you have the opportunity not only to see some fine acting but also to hear some sublime music (played by the multitalented Stephanie Swearingen). Check out the Station website for reservations and to read more about a post-show talk-back featuring professors from the U of I who helped Kaufman research his fascinating subject. (MG)

SATURDAY, January 24th

Winter Tree Identification Hike, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Allerton Park, 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello, free

If you’re getting sick of being cooped up this winter, head over to Monticello for a free winter hike. Participants will start at the Visitor Center, and then hike along the Sangamon River (approximately 2 miles). You’ll will learn to identify a minimum of 15 native trees by their bark and buds alone. A highlight of the hike will be a visit to one of the largest swamp-white oaks in the state of Illinois! Dress for the weather. (RP)

Hobbico e-Fest, all day, The Armory, 505 E. Armory, Champaign, $5 admission

Hobbico, the largest U.S. distributer of radio controlled products, is hosting its annual E-Fest here in Champaign. This family-friendly event is open to both pilots and spectators, offering a little something for everyone. From air races to combat flying and more, this event offers something for everyone. Children under 12 are admitted for free. (RP)

Learn to make injera (Ethiopian bread), Common Ground Food Coop, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m., $15 owner/$20 non-owner

Ethiopian food is not available in C-U unless you’re making it. So here’s your opportunity to learn a little about Ethiopian food and Ethiopia. Injera is a spongy sourdough-risen bread, and if you can learn to make it, you’ll definitely impress your friends. (JH)


Get some ice cream, El Oasis, 510 N Cunningham Ave, Suite 14, 11:30 a.m. to 8p.m.

Sometimes it best to eat cold things in the cold weather and think about warmer times. Sometimes you just need some mamey or avocado ice cream as a reward for getting through the week. If you’re still wanting something warm, get the champurrado (Aztec hot chocolate). (JH)






Blade Runner: The Final Cut, The Art Theater Coop, 10 p.m.

Rutger Hauer is one of the greatest names in Hollywood history. But really, Blade Runner on the big screen is an incredible thing and we should be extrememly proud that the Art Theater grabbed this one. For the unfamiliar, it’s one of the few Philip K. Dick adaptations that is actually good. If that’s not enough, Blade Runner is a Ridley Scott film featuring Harrison Ford in a sci-fi epic that influenced most of the best sci-fi films and TV shows in the last 30 years. Be there. (TP)


Pens to Lens Planning, Urbana Free Library, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Remember Pens to Lens? If not here is a reminder: it was a sweet film festival inwhich local kids wrote and directed short films. They were played at The Virginia Theater. It was a huge hit! Anyways, there is going to be a Pens to Lens 2015 and the coordinators want you to come out and weigh in on the planning. They’ll be showing some winners from last year so go out and do your art-community-duty and enjoy some sweet short films while you’re at it. (SL)

Scary and the Scrapers, Churchkey, Diaper Rash, Wolf Luv, Body Image, Dingbat Dungeon, 7 or 8 p.m., $5

Sure there are two rad bands coming down from Chicago for this show, but the best schticky hardcore central Illinois has to offer is also well represented on the bill. Champaign’s own wolf-fronted hardcore band Wolf Luv and Springfield’s mystery band Diaper Rash are also playing. Make sure not to show up on time and ask a punk for the address. (MR)


Beer, Wine, and Mocktails, Breathe Club, 1402 Regency Drive West, Savoy, 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., $5, 25 years and older

Remember this place? The place where teens could go to party the night away without alcohol? Well I think it is time you went there and checked it out for yourself. They have an adult swim hour and a half for you to check the place out. However you must be 25 years or older. Interesting! (SL)

SUNDAY, January 25th

Michael Buratto, Penny Horses, Lonely Trailer, Exile on Main Street, 6 p.m.

Let’s be real, you’re probably not doing that much on a Sunday evening anyway (there’s no NFL action this Sunday, folks), so head over and check out the Exile and Dandelion space. There’s a show happening there, and you can check out some cool local bands and Michael Buratto, the touring act, and hang out for a bit. (PS)



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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