Smile Politely

Weekender: March 31-April 2

FRIDAY, March 31st

Green Day’s American Idiot (The Musical)Lincoln Hall Theater, 7 p.m. (Friday & Saturday), $12 non-students/$10 students

You can say what you want about Green Day and how they’ve become a cliche or, in my case, Middle School ephemera. But they did write a rock opera into a musical theater production. To see that, in the beautifully-renovated Lincoln Hall theater space, is worth the price of admission. (BH)

Noname w/ CJ Run, Foellinger Auditorium, 7 p.m., $18, all ages

I can’t say enough about this bill. Noname, the Chicago rapper who has fostered the limelight due to her appearances on Chance the Rapper’s albums, and her own fantastic album, Telefone, hits the U of I campus with one of our very own opening the show, CJ Run. If you want to see some great hip-hop that’s a little alternative to the mainstream, Foellinger on Friday night would be a solid introduction. (BH)




Tornadoes with Andrew Pritchard, Staerkel Planetarium, Champaign, 7 p.m., $2 meterologist, stormchaser, and atmospheric photographer Andrew Pritchard has been sharing his talents with C-U (and occasionally SP) for free for a few years now. Listen to him talk about the spectacle and science of tornadoes inside the giant dome of Staerkel — it may not be as emotionally charged as Twister (RIP Bill Paxton) but it will definitely look cool. Image by Andrew Pritchard (RK) 

Feminine, Fearless, and Free, Amara Yoga & Arts, 7p.m., $20

This is an all female body positive yoga class designed to promote self-love, self-acceptance, and gratitude. Instructor Kristina Reese will lead participants through yoga postures, focus on breath, and explore empowerment mudras in a non-judgemental environment. A potluck style gathering will follow the class. Sign up on the website to reserve your spot. All women and transfeminine people are welcome. Image from Facebook. (JEM)

SATURDAY, April 1st

Spring Stadium Sale, Memorial Stadium, 9am-1pm, free admission

Twice a year, Gameday Spirit hosts a huge sale at Memorial Stadium giving Illini fans a chance to stock up on discounted gear. It requires getting up and moving early on a Saturday morning if you want the best selection, but if you’re a bargain hunter and a die-hard Illini, the temptation of savings up to 80% will probably motivate you. According to the Facebook event, there will also be Cubs merchandise. Image from Facebook. (JEM)

12th Annual Edible Book Festival, Common Ground Food o-op, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., free

The 12th Annual Edible Book Festival has moved from the University Y to Common Ground, which is a fantastic way to open the event up to the community. There are bound to be delicious looking, adorable, and hilarious entries. Bring the kiddos, too, since this event is family friendly. Check out past events here and here. Photo by Jessica Hammie. (JH) 

Whisky, Wood, and BBQ with Nick Offerman, Japan House, price varies

Although this event is super sold out, if you have tickets, or you can get your hands on some — this is happening this Saturday at Japan House. Pretty neat to see Nick Offerman continue to support the University and Japan House in particular. (PS)

Silvercreek’s Spring BashSilvercreek Patio, Urbana, 5-8:30 p.m., $5 cover

It’s occurred to me this might be an April Fool’s, because $5 cover for live music and Triptych beer tasting sounds ridiculously foolish. I’m sure they’ll be charging for the pairing menu, which will feature specially created treats by Silvercreek chefs to go with the Triptych beers, and there will also be “package deals” for beer sales. Dalton Halls Band’s “fresh & funky soul” sound will be entirely gratis, however. (RK) 


Jonathan Richman, The Accord, 7 p.m., $15 in advance / $18 at the door

If you’re a rock music fan who’s unfamiliar with The Modern Lovers, shame on you. Go catch up by listening to their classic self-titled album before you head to Jonathan Richman’s show. He’s the brains behind the defunct 70s band. This show will sort of be like a history lesson, except in a totally unboring, non-lame way. He’s no spring chicken anymore, but Richman’s talent and sincerity are unparalleled. And it’s definitely a +1 to your music buff cred. (JTM)

SUNDAY, April 2nd

Dark Tower Fest, Blips and Chitz and Ghost Planet, 2 p.m. start time on both Saturday and Sunday, $10 per day or $15 for both days

Two of the area’s strongest DIY houses are combining forces this weekend to bring you Dark Tower Fest, two days of the best local and regional acts ripping through sets at breakneck speed. Almost thirty bands will play from over a dozen genres, including emo, metal, punk, hardcore, experimental, noise, indie, and so many more. Much about this event encapsulates the burgeoning scene in the area – if you’ve ever thought about getting to know young local music, but you aren’t sure where to start, it’s here. Check it out. (JTM)

Play games, Riggs Brewing Company, 2-5 p.m., prices vary

Riggs is hosting a game day: bring your own card, board, or lawn games, or play what you can find in the taproom. Rosati’s will be on hand with food offerings. Maybe grab a friend or two so you don’t have to play solitaire. Photo from Facebook. (JH) 

Plan your Ebertfest, anytime

Ebertfest is taking place April 19-23, though they recently released the full slate of films for this year’s festival. Festival passes and single tickets are on sale now, though at the link above you can start to scope out what you’re interested in seeing. Whether that’s one film, or all of ’em, it’ll be here before you know it, you festival junkie, you. (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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