Higher-seeded Illini heading to Florida? Blame it on Broadway

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois is the higher seed in tonight's NIT contest against Central Florida, but the Illini won't have home-court advantage.

Blame the lullaby of Broadway.

State Farm Center long ago scheduled the musical "42nd Street" for tonight as part of the WCIA 3 Broadway Series, bumping the Illini to Orlando, Fla., for spring break.

UI alumna will try to prove she's got 'The Voice'

University of Illinois alumna Micah Tryba is not every woman at all — she's in a good position to advance on "The Voice."

She sang "I'm Every Woman" — a la Whitney Houston, not Chaka Khan's original version — to win a place on Blake Shelton's team for upcoming episodes of the NBC reality show.

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

'Toni Erdman' playing at Art

Danville Symphony Orchestra: A golden group

DANVILLE — Barbara Hedlund of Urbana performs as principal cellist in four ensembles, among them the Danville Symphony Orchestra.

She's been with it since 1994 and is impressed but not surprised that Danville has been able to sustain an orchestra for 50 years.

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli from the week that was

Viewing works in progress

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events throughout the area

Here's what's happening in the area's ...


Organist will accompany film

The Champaign Park District will host acclaimed theater organist Mark Gifford (above) to accompany the Buster Keaton silent film classic "The General" at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.

Rich Warren: The latest gadgets invade our privacy

If you fear your TV spies on you, disconnect it when not in use. Pull the AC power cord. Depending upon what you watch on your so-called "smart" TV, disable its WiFi and/or disconnect its ethernet cable.

Obviously, that won't work if you watch programming via the internet. Everything is a trade-off. Many of the latest "smart" features require two-way communications.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, March 19, 2017

With Champaign about to shake, rattle and roll like it hasn't in years — booked for shows during a 44-day upcoming stretch: Green Day, Peter Frampton, Lil Wayne, Garth Brooks, Tom Petty and Joe Walsh — we asked 10 familiar faces from around town: What do you remember about your first arena concert?

Ask 'Mimi,' March 19, 2017

Did you meet Brett Eldredge earlier this month in Paris?

No, I arrived around 4:15 p.m., after he had wrapped up other appearances at his alma mater high school, Laker Stadium and elsewhere. I went straight to the Ernie Eveland Gymnasium to chat with people waiting in line for his free concert.

Studio Visit: So Jung Kwak

So Jung Kwak, 34, of Urbana is a 2016 University of Illinois doctoral of musical arts degree graduate in piano performance, organist at First Presbyterian Church in Danville and the lead instructor and coordinator of the UI's Piano Laboratory Program.

Which contest did you win to play at Carnegie Hall?