Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

LOOK AHEAD: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come ...

Feeling board? Check this event out

This unrelenting winter is a perfect time to hunker down and play board games. You can check out unique ones created by local teams at Champaign-Urbana Design Organization's "CUDO Plays Grand Exhibition" from noon to 5 p.m. today at the Urbana Landmark Hotel, 210 S. Race St. Admission is free; refreshments will be provided. People may drop in and out at any time over those five hours.

Bringing back days gong by

Remember TV's "The Gong Show" talent contest? Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Fairmount will have its own from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, with celeb judges and up to 25 acts. It's free. Performers and audience must be 18 and older only. "The first one, it was full in here," said Kayla Johnson, tasting room manager. "It was a lot of fun, and we do actually have a gong made from the top of a barrel."

Trio a tough ticket to track down

If you hoped to hear the Vijay Iyer Trio on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, get on the waiting list. The concerts sold out. Young pianist/composer Iyer "leads a trio that traffics in grooves, crackling and heavy," resulting in "beats that feel borrowed from a future age; alternately, they're new lenses on jazz's big-picture history," says NPR. Call 333-6280.

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