All Arts and Entertainment Content

All Arts and Entertainment Content

SPEAK Cafe sets 'Thanks for Giving Us' theme this week

CHAMPAIGN – The next SPEAK Cafe will be from 6:45 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Palette Cafe in Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, C.

The theme, set by emcee Aaron Ammons, is "Thanks for Giving Us: Kindred Spirits."

Want to play in the leaves? Get to Urbana, but be quick

From Robin Kearton, artistic director of Community Center for the Arts:

Crane Alley, on the north side of Main Street in downtown Urbana, just east of the Cinema Gallery, 120 W. Main, is hosting the city's largest collection of intentionally placed leaves. This display is at your disposal for dragging feet, breathing fabulous fall smells and generally having fun.

Vermilion County Farm Bureau taking orders for holiday food

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Farm Bureau is taking orders for fresh Florida citrus as well as specialty nuts and candies for the holidays.

Stopping By: Pesotum's 'Cathedral on the Prairie' a gothic gem

RURAL PESOTUM – Churches scattered across the countryside have always interested me because of their quaint charm and the local history that has happened within the doors.

But none has caught my eye like St. Mary's Catholic Church in rural southern Champaign County near Pesotum. The mere size of it is enough to make one wonder what this lovely church is doing out among the corn and soybean fields of central Illinois. It is about 3 miles east of Pesotum and 3.5 miles north of Villa Grove.

First Student planning coat drive, children's fingerprinting

DANVILLE – A local business and volunteer auxiliary will partner with the Salvation Army for upcoming programs before the holidays.

First Student Inc., which provides school transportation in Danville, will hold a coat drive from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at its 827 E. Cleveland St. garage. Men's, women's and children's coats in all sizes can be dropped off at the bus garage and will be sorted and distributed by the Salvation Army.

American Legion launches Web site to explain new GI Bill

INDIANAPOLIS – The American Legion has launched a new Web site to help veterans and their families understand the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which takes effect Aug. 1, 2009, and how it compares with other federal education benefits for veterans.

The site,, includes explanations of the different GI Bill benefits, news alerts and updates, frequently asked questions, state-by-state benefits and online application opportunities.

Area World War II veterans' tales keep historical event alive

With each year, World War II survivors become an ever-more precious commodity. To mark Veterans Day this year, The News-Gazette's Paul Wood visits with three World War II veterans.

'Romeo et Juliette' tells timeless story with singing in French

Nearly everyone knows the story of William Shakespeare's doomed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

With that in mind, the University of Illinois Opera Program production of Charles Gounod's opera, "Romeo et Juliette," opening next Thursday at Krannert Center, won't have any cast member who takes any audience member out of that story, says stage director Henson Keys.

'Pajama Game': A romantic musical about a labor dispute

CHAMPAIGN – The touring production of "The Pajama Game," the Tony Award-winning best musical revival of 2006, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the University of IIlinois Assembly Hall Star Theatre in Champaign.

In addition to receiving the Tony for best revival, "The Pajama Game" received another one for best choreography.

It also received seven Drama Desk Award nominations and eight Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.

The original 1954 production won three 1955 Tony awards, among them best musical and choreography.

Dancer/choreographer to open photo exhibit on career

URBANA – Artistic director, dancer and choreographer Robert Wood will present selected photographs from his repertory works in an exhibition that opens Tuesday at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities building, 805 W. Pennsylvania Ave., U.

Wood has 25 years of professional stage experience as a soloist and featured artist in several New York dance companies, including his own, Robert Wood Dance New York Inc. Wood also is a George A. Miller visiting professor at Illinois through the Center for Advanced Study.