Smile Politely

Weekender: May 4–6


Bleacher Bum Barbeque, 4:30 p.m.

The first 2,000 fans at the Illini Men’s Baseball game against Michigan State will get free admission, free parking, and a free meal. Granted, a free hotdog that is cooked special to order for you and 1,999 other people may not sound amazing, but every hotdog tastes good when it’s at a baseball game.

First pitch is at 6:05 p.m., but get there early for the free food. In years past this has been one of the most attended baseball games of the season. (CJC)


Time-Traveling Radio Theatre Troupe Presents Story About Lincoln, 9:00 p.m.

SoDo Theatre
Tickets: ??

Psychic Joker Entertainment will perform “The Ending Everyone Wanted,” a tale of a time traveler who goes back in time to stop the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

This play was written in 2007 by Dr. Will Anderson, of Central Michigan University’s School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts, and the troupe is hoping that he’ll attend this performance.

For more information about the troupe, visit their Facebook page. For more information about the show, please contact Lisa Cerezo, Co-owner of Psychic Joker Entertainment. (TN)

Old Time Meat & Deli, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (open Saturday also)

Grill out. The calendar may barely say May, but the weather definitely says summer. Go get some beefy fillets, flank steak, ribeye, or t-bones at Old Time Meat & Deli. Fire up the grill and get smoky. Then stuff yourself with meat, like any good American. If you don’t have a grill, go get one. 

Anyway, you may regret it if you don’t. At this rate, it will be about 130 degrees by July, and you probably won’t want to grill out then. (SK)

Christian William, Trouvere, Year of the Bobcat 
Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5), 10 p.m

Chicago’s Christian William (formerly Fall Fox) pays a visit to the cozy upstairs of Mike ‘N Molly’s with its acoustic folk that will be sure to warm that room up quite well. Year of the Bobcat is awfully busy this week, playing in three shows. Trouvere will close this one out with the late set following the headliner. (PS)




Spend a day in Wheatfield Park; drink Mint Juleps, win/lose money on the Derby, All day

Having grown up in Urbana, in Ennis Ridge for that matter (look it up — it’s a real neighborhood!), there were few better places as both child and teenager to spend a lovely Saturday afternoon. An open field provides the chance to play just about any sport or game you wish; tennis courts allow for competitive match ups with your friends and family; big, old pine trees give high schoolers plenty of chances to drink a 12-pack of Zima late at night without being seen by the 5-0.

This Saturday, assuming 30% chance of showers means a perfect Spring day, you should make the hike over to McHenry St. between Philo and Anderson to enjoy what has to be one of the most under appreciated parks in these fine towns: Wheatfield Park.

My guess is that if you pack a picnic and are discreet about what’s in the Thermos, no one will mind if you crack into a few Mint Juleps while sitting in the sun, in advance of the sports’ world most exciting two minutes of the year.

Yep — it’s the Derby on Saturday, and for those of you who love a good horse race as much as I do, I say head over the Jupiter’s at the Crossing, place the bets, and cross your fingers. Why not? You may just head into Sunday as a big winner. (SF)

Buy some plants; start a garden, 8:0011:00 a.m.

Nothing says, “I care about something” like planting a garden. It’s time consuming, tedious, and usually ends in you learning something about yourself or a heaping pile of delicious food. That said, after you have finished loading up your reusable bags with mounds of fresh, local meat and veggies at the reopening of the Urbana Market at the Square you should head over to Common Ground and load up on plants to kick start your garden as well.

At their Annual Plant Sale the co-op will be selling a huge variety of plants that have been given a better chance at living since actual farmers from Blue Moon and PrairiErth farms nurtured them from the beginning. All plants are $3 or less and proceeds go to a good cause. (CJC)

Stand-Up Comedy Showcase, 10:00 p.m., The Iron Post

Stand-up comic and SP writer Andrew Voris hosts the latest installment of the Comedy Showcase featuring Chad Errio, Joe Roderick, Nate Weatherup, & Justin Tuttle. I haven’t seen all of these comedians, but I know that anytime Voris has the microphone some crazy things are going to happen and I’m going to laugh my ass off. (JS)

Cafe Zojo, 6:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m. (open 7 days a week)

Check out our feature in the Food & Drink section, posting Friday, about the new Cafe Zojo in The Pines shopping center in southeast Urbana, and then go check out the pour-over coffee bar itself. It’s like nothing else in town. The owner makes fresh pastries herself, and the deli food comes from local, organic farms. (SK)


Tour de C-U, Saturday in Champaign, Sunday in Urbana

Bicycle racing makes its annual stop in Champaign-Urbana with two days of road racing. The action starts at 12 noon on Saturday, and 9 a.m. on Sunday. Check out the schedule here. It’s a good chance to see people who are a lot faster than you or me. Humbling. And free. (JG)




Modern Urbana Home Tour, 1:004:00 p.m.

Mad Men fans should get a kick out of this: “The tour will feature 6 houses built during the middle of the twentieth century that exemplify modernist design features, such as the use of transparencies, the connection to nature, the use of open plan design, and simple geometries.” It’s $10, cash only. (JG)

Cure your Kentucky Derby hangover with the Croque Madame at Carmon’s, brunch hours (10:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m.)

Every time I go to Carmon’s now I don’t even have to get a menu because I know exactly the sandwich I want for brunch in order to repress Saturday’s hangover. This is especially true this weekend after drinking Mint Juleps all day and most likely watching the horse I bet on lose. Not only is the sandwich delicious, it comes with an enormous mountain of fries that are amongst (if not the best) in town. Maybe even the world (well, maybe not). But seriously, this thing is awesome. Treat yourself to one for cryin’ out loud. (PS)

Bully, 4:00 p.m. (showtimes Friday and Saturday also)

The Art Theater

Somehow I missed reviewing this film despite it being one of the most anticipated documentaries, if not feature films, of the year. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, the film delves into the harsh world of bullying that exists in schools, some of these leading to children’s untimely deaths. Filmmakers had to battle it out with the MPAA to get a PG-13 rating for the film so those who could possibly benefit the most from it could actually go to the theater and do so. My guess is that this isn’t a film that kids are going to seek out on their own, though. Maybe it’s a chance to sit down with your son or daughter and give them an eye opening experience — or torture them even more if they’re one of the poor kids that is constantly getting bullied at school. (JS)


In the Heights, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

Assembly Hall
Tickets: FL, A, B- $59; C- $53; CC- $45 / UC student discount- $8

In the Heights won the Tony in 2008 for Best Musical, but I don’t know anything else about it, except that it’s the story of “a community of hard-working immigrants seeking a better life and trying to find their place … in their new country.” Honestly, that sounds boring as hell, but I know better. I’m sure it’s great, and I’ll be seeing it on Sunday, because I love musicals. (TN)


Sixth Annual UIUC Art and Design Fashion Show, 7:00 p.m.

Link Gallery of the Krannert Art Museum
Admission is free

Students from Susan Becker’s Art 299 Fashion Design class will be presenting their “trashions,” creatively reusing discarded clothing and raiding the local I.D.E.A. Store to transform yesterday’s garbage to runway fashions. As a former student of Susan’s, the “trashions” are inventive and it’s pretty wild to see such found objects come alive on the runway. (JB)

Four C-U based gamelan groups: U of I Student Gamelan Ensemble, Community Gamelan Ensemble, Booker T. Washington Elementary School Gamelan Ensemble, and Gamelan Bali Lantari, directed by Prof. Asnawa are presenting their music at the Music Building Auditorium from 2-5pm. (JB)

Skip the ribs, try the Smoked Wings at Black Dog BBQ, open hours

As hard as it might be, you’d be better off not eating pork three days in a row this weekend. I know, I know — it’s tough. Life is tough. But some times, you gotta make choices. So, instead of the ribs or pulled pork this Sunday, why not try what I would classify as the best wings in town?

It’s so true. Black Dog’s delights never end, and this appetizer simply proves it. Six big, meaty wings come perfectly smoked and seasoned along with a side of celery and some dipping sauce for just $4.95. So, just under a buck a wing. Get two orders and make it a meal. Get three and share it with friends. Get four, and remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day, and one that may or may not involve chicken skin. But on Sunday, you should do just that. (SF)

Go through your old baseball card collection

Weep at their loss of value. Kick yourself as you realize that the kids who stuffed them between bicycle spokes got more enjoyment out of these worthless scraps of paper than you ever did, you who insisted on keeping them in plastic sleeves to maintain their mintness. You were a dumb kid. (rh)


Continue doing the same things you do every day…


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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