Frank's Weekend Faves, Jan. 14, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, Jan. 14, 2018

Looking to start off this new year with something different, something special, something downright tasty? Have I got a fave for you ...

You don't have to read very many of these Weekend Faves to get a handle on where my entertainment interests lie. I like theater. I like music. I like good food. Put them all together, and what do you get? How about brunch — with a live musical performance — onstage at the historic Virginia Theatre. The Champaign Park District, along with Radio Maria restaurant, is offering the first in a quarterly series of brunches with entertainment from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 21, at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., C. A limited supply of $40 tickets are now on sale at the Virginia Theatre Box Office, online at thevirginia.org, or charge by phone at 217-356-9063.

Family-style serving tables will be arrayed center stage, with brunch served in courses while guests are treated to a live performance of traditional dance music by local musicians Tom Faux (banjo and guitar), Robin Kearton (fiddle and viola) and Linda Owens (percussion). The featured dish? Radio Maria's Masa Boat Surprise — a cornmeal boat filled with scrambled eggs, red bell peppers, green onions, chihuahua cheese, chorizo sausage and chipotle salsa. (Is your mouth watering yet?) If you're not lucky enough to snatch up one of the 50 tickets available for this event, there will be three more such brunches this year, each featuring a different restaurant and performing artist.

Speaking of good food making for great entertainment, don't forget to mark your calendar for the second annual Champaign County Area Restaurant Week, coming up Jan. 26-Feb. 3.

Local restaurants (including Radio Maria) will offer prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner from $9 to $39 daily so customers can discover a new favorite dish or date-night spot. Other participating eateries include C&C Kitchen, Kohinoor Indian Restaurant & Lounge, Nando Milano, JT Walker's Restaurant and Brewery, Project 47 Smokehouse Pub & Patio, V. Picasso, Pizzeria Antica, Miga, The Dancing Dog Eatery & Juicery, Watson's Shack & Rail, The WheelHouse, Sun Singer, Crane Alley, Houlihan's, Monarch Brewing Company, The Bread Company on Goodwin, Scotty's Brewhouse Champaign, Hamilton Walker's, Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Silvercreek and Baxters American Grille. Find many of the menus at visitchampaigncounty.org/restaurantweek.

I'm no fan of bullying — or grunge rock either, normally. But Nashville alt-rock band Bully just may prove the exception. Catch this high-energy quartet Thursday night at Cowboy Monkey in Champaign.

Led by singer-guitarist Alicia Bognanno, Bully will be performing with The Dry Look and Spandrels from 9 to midnight Thursday at Cowboy Monkey, 6 E. Taylor St., C. Bully is touring in support of its second album, "Losing," released last fall on Sub Pop Records. Tickets for the concert, part of the Pygmalion Show Series, are $15, available online at ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1601205.

Have a question, suggestion or fave nomination for Frank? We'd love to hear from you. Please email it to fpieper@news-gazette.com.