It's been a dismal summer at the movies, not only where the quality of films is concerned but also in regard to how much fun viewers have been having. Sure, "22 Jump Street" was funny, and "X-Men: Days of Futures Past" and "Godzilla" were satisfying spectacles, but neither was lighthearted enough to leave a smile on my face.
VILLA GROVE — From the fastest garden tractor to the tastiest chicken and ribs, a few new competitions will join the traditional array of events at the 36th annual Villa Grove Ag Days this weekend.
"We are always looking for new events to offer and volunteers to get involved," says Ag Days Committee Chair Beth Elston.
Among the highlights of the three-day festival:
WATSEKA — After singing the role of Norma Desmond in the musical "Sunset Boulevard" in Cleveland, soprano Helen Todd will switch gears.
She'll drive eight hours to her hometown of Watseka to sing the role of Rosalinde in the Sugar Creek Opera production of "Die Fledermaus" on Saturday.
CHAMPAIGN — Danville native Dick Van Dyke made an indelible impression as the magical, mystical chimney sweep Bert in the 1964 movie "Mary Poppins."
His tall and lanky frame seemed just right for the role.
And so is Marc Wilson's.
URBANA — Three years ago in New York, Sara Boland-Taylor snagged a student-priced ticket for "4000 Miles," not knowing anything about the play going in. She "absolutely fell in love" with it.
Editor's note: want more cinema talk? Tune to WDWS Thursday at 4:20 as Brian Moline talks with Luke Boyce of Shatterglass Studios.