A few things to heat up your January
Things seem to slow down after Christmas and the New Year holidays, when frigid weather really seems to set in, the days become gray and the University of Illinois doesn't rev up until midmonth.
You might be developing a case of cabin fever. Or you might just want to get out during the first month of the year, especially after the furor of New Year's Eve and the quiet of New Year's Day.
Surprisingly, East Central Illinois does have some live entertainment scheduled for January, including two concerts at State Farm Center, a Russian ballet at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Harlem Globetrotters at the Palmer Arena in Danville, and a circus-theme show at the Parkland College Theatre.
Here' a nonexclusive rundown of January events — a few family-friendly, and excluding nightclubs. Check our other listings for those.
Coming up, in chronological order:
The antic basketball clowns the Harlem Globetrotters, a team that's entertained audiences for 88 years, will return to the David S. Palmer Arena at 7 p.m. Jan. 7, as part of its 2014 "Fans Rule" World Tour.
Ticket prices range from $24 to $69. Call 431-2444 to purchase them.
The 23rd annual Parkland College student production, "Welcome to the Big Top: A Peek Behind the Curtain," will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17-18 at the Parkland Theatre in Champaign.
Students developed monologues and vignettes for the event that explore circus life. The audience also will be treated to free carnival food and games.
The event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Randall Millas Scholarship Fund and Bernard Works Technical Theatre Award.
Seating is limited; reserve your spot now. Before the show starts, local vaudeville artists will present entertainment
And here's a bonus: In collaboration with Parkland College's hospitality department, a pre-show, four-course dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 on the campus. The price is $15 per person; dinner is available only to those who reserve ahead. To do that, go to theatre.parkland.edu/bigtop.html.
The theater may be reached at 351-2528.
The Moscow Festival Ballet — did you know Russian ballet is a popular date night among UI students? — will dance three classic ballets in the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert Center: "Swan Lake" on Jan. 21, "Giselle" on Jan. 22, and "Cinderella" on Jan. 23.
All three start at the family-friendly hour of 7 p.m.; Krannert recommends the ballets for people ages 8 and older.
Tickets are $45 for adults, $40 for senior citizens, $15 for non-UI students and $10 for UI students and youths of high school age and younger. Call 333-2680 for ticket information or go to krannertcenter.com.
The intimate Station Theatre can always be relied on for scintillating live fare — and human contact. At 8 p.m. Jan. 23, the theater will open "Good Boys and True" a drama by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, directed by Thom Schnarre.
Running through Feb. 8, the show will feature Maxwell Tomaszewski, Chris Clevidence Taber, Aaron Clark, Martha Mills, William Anthony-Sebastian Rose II and Stefanie Senior.
The Celebration Company gives this synopsis:
"This modern work by an emerging playwright focuses on affluent Washington, D.C., doctor Elizabeth Hardy (Taber), whose idyllic life in 1988 is threatened when the coach of her Ivy League-bound son, Brandon (Tomaszewski), presents her with a grainy video tape.
"The tape shows an unspeakable crime performed by a boy that may be her son. As Elizabeth investigates whether her child is guilty, all of Brandon's secrets come to light, and Elizabeth is forced to confront how her choices have condoned her son's attitudes and actions and affected all around him."
Tickets are $10 for Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and $15 Fridays and Saturdays. Call 384-4000 or visit stationtheatre.com.
NewSong's Winter Jam Tour Spectacular comes to the State Farm Center (formerly the UI Assembly Hall) at 6 p.m. Jan. 25.
Leading the lineup: the multi-Grammy nominated Newsboys and Grammy-winning rap/hip-hop recording artist Lecrae. Also part of the concert: Tenth Avenue North, Thousand Foot Krutch, Plumb, NewSong and Colton Dixon, as well as young evangelist Nick Hall.
In addition, the "iDisciple App Pre-Jam Party" will feature Love & The Outcome, Everfound and Derek Minor.
Tickets are $10 for everyone and will be sold at the door only the night of the event.
The Darius Rucker: True Believers Tour featuring the Eli Young Band with special guest David Nail comes to the State Farm Center at 7 p.m. Jan. 29.
Rucker is coming off a good year, having had one of the most acclaimed singles, "Wagon Wheel," in 2013. It helped the platinum-selling entertainer earn multiple nominations from the Country Music Association and American Country Awards.
The Eli Young Band has charted two consecutive No. 1 hits at Country Radio with "Crazy Girl" and "Even If it Breaks Your Heart." Its new single "Drunk Last Night" also topped the charts.
Tickets are $46 for the pit and A section, and $40 for sections B and C. Call 866-455-4641 or visit statefarmcenter.com.
The Jupiter String Quartet, the UI School of Music quartet-in-residence, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in Krannert's Foellinger Great Hall.
Topping the bill: Franz Schubert's driving "Death and the Maiden" quartet, a pillar of the repertoire. Other pieces on the program, which is subject to change, are Benjamin Britten's String Quartet No. 3 in G Major and Dan Visconti's "Ramshackle Songs."
Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens, $10 for non-UI students and $10 for UI students and youths. Choral balcony seats are $15 ($10 for UI students and youths).
Ending the month: The Red Mask Players theater troupe in Danville will open on Jan. 31 the comedy "I Bet Your Life" by Fred Carmichael.
The synopsis: "Soap-opera author Matthew Stoddard has written a screenplay about a terminally ill man who hires a hitman to kill him and then finds out he was misdiagnosed. Matt's agent and best friend, Greg, thinks the plot is not feasible, so Matt contacts a gangster and arranges for an incognito hitman to join them at a dinner party in the country to prove his point. Circumstances place a real hitman among the guests and the action accelerates as they try to find out who it is before the deadline."
All performances are at the Kathryn Randolph Theater, 601 N. Vermilion St., Danville. Call 442-5858 for tickets.