In its 58th year, UI's Dial-a-Carol embracing social media

CHAMPAIGN — It takes focus to sing "Feliz Navidad" when people 3 feet away are belting out "Santa Baby," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and the "Dreidel Song" — all at once.

Just another day's work for the volunteers at Dial-a-Carol, the 57-year-old tradition at the University of Illinois.

All sorts of characters in Savoy for 'The Last Jedi'

SAVOY — When moviegoers showed up at the Savoy 16 for Thursday night's long-awaited premiere of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," they were greeted by Stormtroopers, Resistance fighters, and even the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Or, as most people know him, Chip from Monticello.

Nightlife listings, Dec. 14-21, 2017



CLARK BAR: Chickadee Sermon, 6 p.m.; C-U Comedy's "The Open Mic," (stand up comedy show; all signups in advance, jesse@cucomedy.com), 9 p.m.

COWBOY MONKEY: Fiona Kimble, Rebecca Rego and The Trainmen, Tigerbeat, 9 p.m.

FAT CITY, THE CITY CENTER: Granger Smith with Earl Dibbles Jr, Morgan Wallen, 7 p.m.

Entertainment listings, Dec. 14-21, 2017


This weekend


What: Annual Christmas display of lights in the park.

When: Light displays, 5 to 11 p.m. every evening, Dec. 14 until Jan. 2, 2018.

Where: McFerren Park, Hoopeston.

Cost: Free.

More info: Call 217-495-2800 or 217-274-2956.


Chuck Koplinski: Familiarity, bad pacing sap wonder from 'Last Jedi'

One of the things I feared would happen when Disney acquired the rights to the "Star Wars" universe and announced an ambitious slate of movies that would take us to that galaxy far, far away on an annual basis would be that what was once special would become all too familiar.

Notes-Worthy: Logan Allen

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with Logan Allen, 11, currently the drummer for After Curfew — a band founded in Champaign that plays all kinds of rock and takes any booking options and opportunities to grow as a band.

John Frayne: Can't say enough about Sinfonia's concert of cantatas

The Sinfonia da Camera gave a concert on Dec. 3 that featured a generous portion of Christmas music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Gerald Finzi and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The concert was conducted by Andrew Megill, head of choral studies at UIUC, and also taking part were four soloists and the UIUC Chamber Singers and Oratorio Society.

Frank's Faves: 'Star Wars' films

"I have a bad feeling about this ... " — spoken at least 10 times by seven different characters in every single "Star Wars" movie, first by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker

Music on Main: Seth Anders (w/ video)

First up in our series featuring local musicians showcasing their talents in our lobby: SETH ANDERS, saxophonist in Dalton Halls Band and Whiskey Shadows, who dropped by this week to play holiday favorites "O Holy Night" and "Frosty the Snowman." A few more detai

Martina McBride: 'It was a special time'

With country star MARTINA McBRIDE in town Thursday night at the Virginia Theatre, staff writer Paul Wood asked her five questions:

What's a favorite song from the Joy of Christmas Tour? Will it end up on your new album?