Signing event set for local children's book author

Local author and illustrator Megan McNellis will be at Jane Addams Book Store (208 N. Neil St.) at 2 p.m. today, signing copies of her fourth children's book, "Ibex Idiom", and giving away stickers featuring characters from her animal-themed collection.

Here are five things you should know about the Fithian-based author of "Kiwi Simile," "Ant Adaptation" and "Anteater Analogy."

REVIEW: 'Spamalot' is silly, silly, silly

By Tricia Stiller

Silliness reigns supreme thanks to the inexhaustible ensemble brave enough to tackle "Spamalot," the brilliantly chaotic, completely absurd musical comedy which opened this week at Parkland College Theatre.

Rich Warren: Cable options on the rise - and so is the cost

Can you believe a technology columnist who wrote a high school term paper explaining why pay TV would never succeed? Of course, back then pay TV consisted of an experiment by Zenith to broadcast one channel of pay TV in Chicago.

A lot of reasons to see 'Spamalot'

CHAMPAIGN — When actor Michael Steen first heard that the Parkland Theatre planned to put on the musical comedy "Spamalot," he jumped and shouted for joy.

He had seen the show a few years ago in Chicago, and on the way home his car ended up in a ditch.

Even with that he loves "Spamalot," a send up of the King Arthur tale as well as Broadway musicals.

Entertainment listings, April 17-24, 2014

A listing of events, provided by the venues. Here are instructions for submitting entries.

Special events

This weekend

Step on out to the Allerton Barn Dance

With the death of actor Mickey Rooney, the age of barn dance movies is officially over.

But the barn dance lives on.

The University of Illinois Employees Credit Union hosts the Allerton Barn Dance on Friday evening.

It features the BowDacious String Band from 6 to 7 p.m.; Sam Payne and Friends from 7 to 8 p.m.; and The Curses starting at 8 p.m.

Film capsules, April 17, 2014

Summaries and mini-reviews of movies playing now, from e3 magazine:

Chuck Koplinski: Ponderous pace weighs down 'Heaven is for Real'

"Pillar of the community" and "salt of the earth" are the kinds of things you would use to describe Todd Burpo.

He belongs to his town's volunteer fire department, is a loving father and faithful husband and has no problem practicing what he preaches, which is a good thing as he's also a pastor in the close-knit Nebraska town where he lives.

Ebertfest comes to town: See you at the movies!

When it comes to picking movies to show at Ebertfest, Nate Kohn and Chaz Ebert keep in mind what Roger Ebert would have wanted to show.

Kohn, an Urbana native, University of Illinois alumnus and film producer, has been director of Roger Ebert's Film Festival since it began 16 years ago, as a special event of the UI College of Media.

John Frayne: Ukrainian pianist is tops on my Liszt

On April 6, the Sunday Salon series at the Foellinger Great Hall featured a piano recital by the Ukrainian-born Vadym Kholodenko.

This greatly gifted pianist was the gold medal winner at the 14th Van Cliburn competition.

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