Sound advice for parents and educators

Being the mother of a toddler, I talk to a lot of parents: at play groups, during Parents as Teachers functions and on Facebook. After many of these encounters, I've found myself questioning the way my husband and I choose to raise our daughter.

Red Mask seeks next season's directors

DANVILLE — The Red Mask Players theater group is now accepting applications for directing positions for the 2013-14 season.

Shows in 2013-14 include "Sly Fox," a classic comedy/satire; "I Bet Your Life," a comedy with a surprise ending' and "Amateurs," a show about a community theater cast party that is a drama itself.

African American Studies concert planned

CHAMPAIGN — The annual spring concert for the Afro 498 class of the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois is set for 7 p.m. Monday at Salem Baptist Church, 500 E. Park St.

The concert, "Harmonizing Differences, Using African American & European Sacred Music," will feature a variety of talent from class members and select community singers.

Richard J. Leskosky: The art of the cameo

My previous column talked about films where actors play multiple roles, but that's only one — though probably the most obvious — example of what I call "stunt casting."

There are three major reasons for casting a performer in a movie:

Letter from Birdland: The love endures for books — and libraries

I couldn't have been much older than 7 or 8, but maybe I was only 6. My brother and I were staying with my grandparents in Monticello for a few days. The three little girls were not with us. It was just the two of us big kids.

C-U Haiku

The dark sky

Filled with the cries of crows

Spring morning

— Matt Jordan, Champaign

Studio Visit: Langston Allston

Studio Visit appears in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, a visit with artist Langston Allston, 21, of Urbana.

Free Bond for the Weekend

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Reluctant Townie: 'Road House 2': No repeat offense, please

I was sitting on the couch the other day when my kid approached me with a copy of "Road House 2" and demanded that I play it for her. At first I ignored her request rather than correct it — this is the same way I handle her occasional toddler F-bombs; to respond would only give weight to the behavior.

John Frayne: Chicago group, British import both impress

The April 20 concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Riccardo Muti, was a tremendous success, easily the outstanding concert thus far of the 2012-13 season.

Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts was filled to the rafters, expectations ran high and we in the audience were not disappointed.