Smile Politely

Weekender: March 29-31

Friday, March 29th

Vote early, locations vary, times vary, free

Election day for municipal elections is April 2nd, but early voting is now open at several locations. Local officials make decisions that directly affect our communities and our day to day lives, so do your research and get out there and fill out your ballot. Here’s our rundown of this year’s election to help you through that process. (JM)

Spend a night with Big Brother at the New Revels Players’ Production of 1984, Gregory Hall Auditorium, Campustown, 7 p.m., $7 to $10

The Orwellian oeuvre has been having quite a moment these days. I’m sure we’ve all heard someone reference 1984 in their response to current affairs. Kudos to the New Revels Players for staging a live adaptation of this important dystopian classic. So check it out for yourself and explore the eternal question of whether art imitates life or the other way around.  A second performance will be held on Saturday. (DD) Photo from New Revels Players Facebook page. 

Learn to dance to swing blues at the Urbana Dance Company 7:45 p.m. to midnight, $10 to $13

For the price of admission you”ll enjoy a dance lesson (8 to 8:30 p.m.) and get to practice your moves to live music by the Kevin King Quartet. This event marks the first of the bluesCENTRAL series, to be held the last Friday of each month at the Urbana Dance Company. (DD) 

See free world music at Krannert Center Stage 5, 9:30 p.m., free

I’m always on the lookout for live music that’s new or unfamiliar to me, so the Steven Sogo and Hope Street show is where I’ll be spending my Friday night. Sogo is a singer and bass guitarist from Burundi (central Africa), who mixes several western genres with traditional Burundian music for a unique sound. Listen here before you go. (NL) Top photo from Facebook

Saturday, March 30th

Learn to make chocolate and vegan desserts, Rubens Chocolates, 4 to 6 p.m., $55/person or $90 for two 

Rubens Chocolates is hosting another chocolate workshop, this time tackling vegan techniques and recipes. All of the materials will be provided — no need to worry about any of that. You’re going to taste and try some delicious sweets, and maybe learn a thing or two to impress friends and family. (JH) Photo from Facebook

Attend an Indonesian food festival, University YMCA, 5 to 9 p.m., coupons sold in $8 increments 

Pasar Malam is an Indonesian food festival hosted by the Indonesian Students Club at the U of I. It’s an opportunity to learn more about Indonesia, Indonesian food, and the Indonesian community on campus. Get your coupons for food here; they are sold in $8 increments. Additional information is in Facebook. (JH) Photo from Facebook 

Support the Urbana IMC at a benefit show, Independent Media Center, 6 p.m., $5 to 10 suggested donation

Several local and Chicago-based bands are coming together this weekend to help raise money for music-related programming and equipment at the IMC. There’s a $5-$10 suggested donation, and the majority of proceeds will go directly to funding IMC musical projects. Check out the event page for a full lineup for the evening. (NL) 

PechaKucha Night CU Vol. 29, The Virginia Theatre, 8:20 to 11 p.m., $10-15

This installment of PechaKucha is titled Making Space for Women, and all of the presenters will be just that. If you’re not familiar with the concept, each presenter will offer up 20 images with 20 seconds and will talk through said images. There will be 11 total presentations from local women. Tickets are $10 if purchased in advance, or $15 at the door. (JM)

Sunday, March 31st

Adopt a new friend, Champaign County Humane Society, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., prices vary

CCHS is hosting a “Bark Madness” event (get it??) where all adoptions will be half their regular price if you choose to fill out an application that day. They have lots of adorable furry friends that need homes, and you know you want to add one of them to your home. (JM)

CUDO Plays Grand Exhibition, Broadway Food Hall, 12 to 7 p.m., free

This is your annual opportunity to play some board games that have been created by local people. The event is appropriate for all ages and skill levels, and since it’s at the BFH, you can have tasty eats and drinks while you play. Game play happens from noon til 5 p.m., and at 6 p.m. there will be an awards ceremony. (JM) Photo from Facebook

Attend the inaugural CU Wild Food Club meeting, Common Ground Food Co-op, 2 to 3:30 p.m., free

This new club will meet for the first time to discuss “local food systems, ethnobotany, invasive ecology, nutrition science, traditional skills, sustainable landscapes, community building, agronomy, resiliency, culinary arts” and will be led by JP Goguen, If you’ve ever been interested in foraging, think about stopping by to meet like-minded people. It’s an all ages, all abilities situation, so bring the kids, too. (JH) Photo from Facebook 

Check out Defy Gravity’s new location, Lincoln Square Mall, 4 to 6 p.m., free

Defy Gravity Pole Fitness and Aerial Arts Studio has moved across town to Lincoln Square, and they are opening their doors for the community to see the new space. If you’ve been curious about what their classes are like, this is a good way to learn more. We wrote about it this week, and you can read more here. (JM) Photo by Elisabeth Paulus


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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