CHAMPAIGN – Want to cast your ballot for a favorite actor or actress in the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company's "Ginny" Awards?
The only way to do it this year is to attend the 2008 Ginny Awards gala from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Jan. 24 at the I Hotel and Conference Center Chancellor Ballroom, 1900 S. First St., C.
The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company will hold auditions for "Sweet Charity" on Jan. 23, 24 and 25 at 208 W. Main St., U. The audition slots will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 23; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 24; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 25.
Those interested in auditioning are asked to bring 16 bars of music of their choice to sing that are not from the show. They should wear comfortable clothes for the dance audition. Callbacks, if necessary, will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 25. People must be at least 16 years old to audition.
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington will open its 32nd summer season this year with "A Midsummer Night's Dream," considered William Shakespeare's most popular comedy.
The second production will be the physical comedy "Scapin," a new adaptation by off-Broadway star Bill Irwin. The play is filled with hi-jinks committed by a mischievous servant.
Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre in Goodfield will open the 2009 season with romantic comedy "Funny Valentines," playing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday brunch from Jan. 8 through March 1.
"Funny Valentines" by Dennis R. Andersen tells the tale of Andy Robbins, a famous children's book illustrator who is suffering from a prolonged case of Peter Pan syndrome but decides it's time to buckle down and grow up to win back his ex-wife and former writing partner, Ellen.
TUSCOLA – National touring comedian and recording artist Jer-Dog will bring his Grassroots Comedy Tour to the Washington Street Pub in Tuscola on Thursday . The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Jeremy Danley, otherwise known as "The Mighty" Jer-Dog, grew up in Iowa and in now based in Chicago. He performs at comedy clubs, colleges and casinos and has been heard on the nationally syndicated "Bob & Tom Radio Show." His comedy album "Domesticated Party Animal" is currently in rotation on SIRIUS Satellite Radio and available through Laughing Hyena Records.
J.K. Rowling's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" is packaged perfectly for holiday snacking. The slim collection – anchored by five fairy tales – relies on magic, of course, to convey its message. It was referenced in the final Harry Potter installment, much like "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through the Ages" were mentioned in earlier Potter books.
Depending on your reading pace, this book is a very, very short read (111 pages). I felt almost jilted when I noticed each page's huge margins, though the feeling was remedied by the well-known fact that Rowling and American publisher Scholastic are donating the net proceeds from this endeavor to the Children's High Level Group, a children's rights organization co-founded by Rowling.
CHAMPAIGN – World Wrestling Entertainment Raw and Extreme Championship Wrestling Raw will bring some matches to the University of Illinois Assembly Hall at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30. Tickets go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 2.
In one match, John Cena will wrestle Chris Jericho for the world heavyweight championship. In the "RAW Special 2 on 3 Challenge Match," Rey Mysterio and "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels will face "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Manu.
DANVILLE – WITY 980 AM will present its annual broadcast of area school holiday programs beginning Dec. 10.
In the past, the station has aired the programs the week prior to Christmas, but this year has chosen the theme "Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas Concerts" and will air the programs at 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. from Dec. 10 through 21.
CHAMPAIGN – Patience Anders remembers sewing the Nutcracker's head during the Champaign Urbana Ballet's first production of "The Nutcracker" – just as the opening music began to play.
That was seven years ago. Now the pre-professional, nonprofit company has an infrastructure in place to costume 100 dancers, some with multiple roles, in 200 costumes in the holiday show, which opens this year Friday evening at Krannert Center.
DANVILLE – The 32nd Degree Masonic Center will present "Grandpa Hangs the Holly" at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday at the Masonic Temple.
After tragedy befell Grandpa Howard on Christmas Eve 25 years ago, he has refused to celebrate any holiday season traditions. Instead, he makes life miserable for everyone, including himself. When tragedy threatens his granddaughter, he turns to God and shows everyone what the Christmas spirit really is about.