Real life with twist in Celebration Company's 'Absurd'

URBANA – Actor Rien Rogers has annoyed people around town the last few weeks as he practices a British accent for his role of Geoff in British playwright Alan Ayckbourn's comedy, "Absurd Person Singular."

"My supervisor at work today told me, 'Would you stop that,'" Rogers said Monday evening before rehearsal at the Station Theatre.

'Three Fifths of a Man' open auditions set for July 30-31

OAKLAND – Open auditions for an original play, "Three Fifths of a Man," about the 1847 Matson Slave Trial when Abraham Lincoln represented a slave owner for the only time in his law career, will be at 7 p.m. July 30 and 31 in the Columbian Building in Oakland. The building is located at the corner of Pike and Main streets on the town square.

All adults over the age of 18 are welcome and no prior experience is needed to audition.

Harley Raffle and Toy Poker Run scheduled for Saturday

The Marine Corps League Detachment No. 1231 is having its third annual Harley Raffle and Toy Poker Run on Saturday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Savoy.

Tickets for the raffle of the $27,000 Screaming Eagle Harley-Davidson will be $100 and are tax-deductible.

Champaign library sets Twitter workshop for Aug. 11

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Public Library is hosting a workshop to explain Twitter to people interested in learning more about the social networking service.

It's scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C.

Assembly Hall season a mix of classics, contemporaries

CHAMPAIGN – A fuzzy hand puppet does not a Muppet make – at least, not when the puppets in question sing with biting humor about topics such as drinking and Internet porn.

So, people, leave the little ones at home when "Avenue Q" leaves Broadway after a Tony-winning run and comes to the Assembly Hall on Dec. 6.

Blues-jazz guitarist to perform Thursday at Iron Post

URBANA – New York City blues-jazz guitarist Rodney Jones will perform at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at The Iron Post, 120 S. Race St., U. He will be accompanied by Scott Hesse, a Chicago jazz artist and a faculty member at Eastern Illinois University and Harold Washington College, Chicago.

Jones, who teaches at the Juilliard School in New York, spent three years touring with Dizzy Gillespie, recorded five albums on the road with Maceo Parker, and played in Showtime at the Apollo as a backup for numerous funk legends. He's also played with the likes of Lena Horne, Chico Hamilton, Jaki Byard, Arthur Blythe, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Idris Muhammad, James Brown and others. He studied at City College of New York with pianist John Lewis, founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Studio Visit: Kim Curtis, 42, of Champaign

Q: How long have you been at High Cross Road Studio?

A: Since I moved here in 2003. I came from theater. There's not enough theater here to support me full time so I thought I'll get a studio and paint and see if I can support myself full time with painting.

Buon viaggio: A memorable family trip to old country

My parents were turning 50 and celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, my sister graduated from high school and I completed by bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois. Clearly, this was a time to celebrate. So our family booked a trip to Italy – where my parents vacationed for their honeymoon – to see the sights, taste the wine and of course, eat all the pasta and pizza we could stand.

We were also able to see the small towns where my paternal grandparents grew up; my Nonna Russo hails from Cervarezza in northern Italy and my late Nonno Russo was a native of Cosenza in southern Italy.

Urbana Park District's 'Sound of Music' to run July 23-26

URBANA – The Quad will be alive with "The Sound of Music," when young adults from all around the area, ages from 8 to 18, will perform in the Urbana Park District's Youth Summer Theatre production of the classic musical at Foellinger Auditorium on the University of Illinois campus.

The show runs from July 23 to 26 at 7:30 p.m. daily. Two former program participants – Stephen Larson and April Cleveland – will co-direct the show.

'Guys and Dolls' in Hoopeston to feature many youths

HOOPESTON – The Artistic Repertory Theatre will bring together a wide range of young people for its production of "Guys and Dolls" July 24, 25 and 26 at the Hoopeston Civic Center in McFerren Park on Illinois 1.

The romantic musical comedy centers on an up-right and uptight missionary Sarah Brown set to reform gamblers and a smooth-talking big-time gambler Sky Masterson that she can't help but fall in love with. For comic relief, mix in a ditsy showgirl whose chronic flu is brought on by the fact she's been engaged to the same man for 14 years.