Jeffery Eric Jenkins | Parkland's 'Beauty and Beast' a fun experience for all ages


There is an unwritten rule that professional theater critics do not participate in standing ovations at the end of performances.

To some extent, this is due to the "American Idol"-ization of this country, in which the end of a performance has become a signal for audiences to automatically jump to their feet and cheer.

'Beauty and the Beast': A transformational tale

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company's next production, "Beauty and the Beast," shows off songs, costumes and the talents of many youngsters.

Directed by Whitney Havice, the production opens tonight at Parkland College's Jean & Harold Miner Theatre.

The song tells it all in this classic "tale as old as time."

Frank's Weekend Faves, June 9, 2019

It's shaping up to be a great weekend to get out and take in some live music. On Saturday, CobraFest 2019 will be heating things up with seven bands on two stages indoors and out at the Loose Cobra in Tolono.

The red-hot musical lineup of area talent features Elsinore, Terminus Victor, We The Animals, The Dry Look, The Bashful Youngens, Nectar and The Falbonauts.

Virginia Theatre's 2019-20 season has options galore

The next season at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign runs the gamut of local, regional and national acts.

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins/Review | Station's 'Taming of the Shrew' focuses on fun


Whenever Edward Albee was asked what a play of his was about, he would unfailingly answer, "about two hours." Who knew that the Grand Man of American Drama was fond of "Dad jokes"?

Despite Albee's mischievous reply, though, it is a really good question for young directors to ask themselves: What is this play about?

Full-court press is on in Station Theatre's 'Taming of the Shrew'

URBANA — If you think of "Hamlet" when you think of William Shakespeare, think of the lighter side, too.

Very light.

The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre's production of "The Taming of the Shrew" starts tonight.

Laura Alcantara directs a cast of local talent, featuring familiar faces Mindy Smith, Mathew Green and Lincoln Machula.

John Frayne | Recapping the exciting fall season

Now that the concert halls have mostly fallen silent for the next four months, it's time to look back at selected highlights of the fall 2018 season at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

Frank's Weekend Faves, May 19, 2019

I've always been all about the therapeutic benefits of getting down, and this summer's monthly event series in downtown Urbana is exactly what I'm talking about. The Downtown Get Down debuts at 5 p.m. Saturday, and C-U's premier Latin American dance band will be there.

John Frayne | 'Crazy for You' an overwhelming success

The last offering this semester of Lyric Theatre at Illinois was the 1993 musical "Crazy for You," with songs by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin, largely from their 1935 musical "Girl Crazy." This production ran from April 25 to a matinee performance on April 28, which I attended.

Village board set to vote on allowing Savoy 16 theater to sell alcohol

SAVOY — Despite some concerns about enforcement and possible underage drinking, the Savoy Board of Trustees is moving forward with a vote on a new theater liquor license, which would allow the Goodrich Savoy 16 to serve beer, wine and mixed drinks.

If approved in June, this would put the theater on par with the AMC Champaign 13, which has served alcohol since about 2012.