Agatha Christie meets 'Scooby-Doo' in Parkland's new play

CHAMPAIGN — Sure, there are murders, but there's nothing serious about "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940."

The play by John Bishop is directed by Mathew Green and opens tonight at Parkland College's theater.

The play is based on several 1940s mystery movies, not to mention newer comedies like "Clue."

Starting with the musical and the murders:

Entertainment listings, Nov. 8-15, 2018


This weekend


What: Featuring the work of Craft League of Champaign-Urbana's artists exhibiting new, original works in basketry, ceramics, fiber, fiber/batik, glass, jewelry, painting/printmaking, photography and woodworking.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11.

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins/review | Absurdity, realism clash to provoke laughs in 'Hir'


"Words matter."

It is a simple but eloquent phrase that arose in conversation with a friend a few hours before the opening night performance of "Hir" by Taylor Mac. As the inspired lunacy of Mac's play unfolded Thursday night at the Station Theatre, the matter of words haunted the air.

Melissa Merli/review | 'Marat/Sade' actors offer an energetic performance

"Marat/Sade," the abbreviated title of the latest offering by Illinois Theatre, premiered in England in 1963, launching the fringe and experimental theater movement there and influencing the careers of many, among them famed British director Mike Leigh.

Frank's Weekend Faves, Nov. 4, 2018

My favorite local music concert this week? No surprise here. That would be hometown heroes REO Speedwagon's triumphant return to the Virginia Theatre in Champaign on Saturday. These guys really do keep pushin' on!

Yes, I've seen Kevin Cronin, Neal Dougherty, Bruce Hall and friends light up the stage on quite a few previous occasions. That's no less reason to want to see them again.

Student turned pit director puts music to Central-Centennial production of 'Shrek'

CHAMPAIGN — Normally, Patrick Duncker's gaze is directed away from the stage during Champaign Central's musicals. The all-state oboe player rarely misses a show as a member of the pit, which faces the audience.

But Central and Centennial's collaboration of "Shrek" this week didn't call for an oboe player. So instead, the Maroons' marching band drum major took the next logical step.

Station's 'Hir' is simultaneously 'hilarious, endearing, chaotic and heartbreaking'

URBANA — There's a certain slyness to "Hir," by Taylor Mac — themes the director says make the comedy especially relevant to our times.

The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre's newest production — it opens tonight — is about gender roles and family tension.

Entertainment listings, Nov. 1-8, 2018


This weekend


What: A Klose Knit Fashion Show — Where Knitting Meets Passion. Silent auction and raffle. Presented by Imbibe Urbana.

When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

Where: held in the back hallway of Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, behind Common Ground Food Co-op, 300 S. Broadway Ave., #166, downtown Urbana.

Illinois Theatre's 'Marat/Sade': 'I like the way it unsettles the audience'

Laura Hackman, the guest director of 'Marat/Sade,' and Kirsten Pullen, the head of Illinois Theatre, told Paul Wood about their Krannert production (opening tonight) of the still-shocking 1960s play.

Kirsten, what attracted you to this play? It's pretty controversial even now.

Illinois Theatre: 'Marat/Sade'

Directed by Laura Hackman, Illinois Theatre presents Peter Weiss' "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the directo of the Marquis de Sade." The play opens in Krannert Center's Studio Theatre on Nov. 1, 2018, and continues through Nov. 11.