Frank's Weekend Faves, May 19, 2019


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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.

The events are scheduled to take place on the fourth Saturday of each month from May through August at Main and Race streets. The musical line-up on the Main Stage includes:


DJ Medusa, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Live music by Timbalu, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

June 22

DJ — Dance Music Therapy, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Live music by Big Mo and the Phat Groove, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

July 27

IDEAL DJ Wesjile, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Live music by Ther.Up'Y, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Aug. 24

DJ Silkee, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Live music by New Souls, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (in celebration of Urbana Sweetcorn Festival).

While grooving to the music, check out the Downtown Get Down Arts Market sponsored by 40 North 88 West; Teen Maker Lab sponsored by The Urbana Free Library; Interactive Hoop Dancing from Satina; Live Art Demo from The Common Mind; and interactive booths from dozens of local organizations — as well as a Kids Zone with free drop-off childcare for ages 5 and up provided by Urbana Park District, plus Action Inflatables Mega Events Inc. sponsored by First Federal Savings Bank of Champaign-Urbana; and more.

Raise the curtain: Charleston Alley Theatre's production of 'I Do, I Do'

Just an hour south of Champaign-Urbana, opening weekend is underway for this production of the play by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, the same team that wrote "The Fantasticks."

Directed by theater founder Duke Bagger, "I Do, I Do" is a two-person musical about marriage featuring Thomas MacMullen as Michael and Tenille Ulm as Agnes. Musical direction and accompaniment is by Tony Cox.

Remaining performances are scheduled for 2 p.m. today and May 26 and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the theater at 718 Monroe Ave., Charleston. Tickets are $12.

For reservations, call 217-345-2287, and leave a message stating the number of tickets desired, for which performance and a telephone number where you can be contacted to confirm the reservation.

Incidentally, the musical's premiere this past week offered a novel new twist, thanks to an idea hatched by cast member Ulm to unveil it with two preview shows and invite senior citizens from local nursing homes to see the show for free.

That's the ticket: Foreigner, Buckcherry, Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders

Tickets are still available for a couple super-rockin' concerts coming up in Champaign next month.

Of course, the premiere show is Foreigner on June 23 at State Farm Center, featuring members of the Centennial High School Choir on stage for backing vocals on "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Ticket prices range from $47 to $144. The group's hits — like "Urgent," "Hot Blooded," "Juke Box Hero" and "Cold As Ice" — are all 40 years old or older now, but it remains one of the best-selling bands of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records.

Tickets are also still to be had for the following weekend when Buckcherry, along with Joyous Wolf and Burden of the Sky, play The City Center in Champaign on June 29. Buckcherry, a Grammy-nominated band first formed in Anaheim, Calif., in 1995, is touring in support of its eighth and latest studio album, "Warpaint," released in March by Century Media. Tickets range from $27 to $40.

And if those two options are either too pricey, too loud or too far in the future for your tastes, try Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders' return to the Rose Bowl Tavern in Urbana, for a free show from 8 p.m. till midnight this Saturday.

No cover? Now THAT'S the ticket!

What I'm watching this weekend: 'Justice League' on Blu-ray

If I haven't mentioned before that I'm a master procrastinator, well, it's only because I was putting it off. That even goes for my movie-viewing habits, as I was reminded a couple weekends ago when I discovered among my DVD and Blu-ray collection a handful of Christmas gifts I'd yet to enjoy. But it's never too late for a first time, I always say ...

So, a couple weekends ago, that meant my first-ever viewing of "Blade Runner 2049" with Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. Last weekend, it was "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

And this weekend? Would you believe, with "Aquaman" and "Shazam!" out there knocking fans dead, I'm looking forward to "Justice League"? Don't pity me — having a movie on my shelf means I get to watch it when I'm good and ready ... pretty much the Procrastinator's Creed (if we'd ever gotten around to coming up with one).

And this weekend, I'll finally be getting past the great cliffhanger at the end of "Batman vs. Superman," catching up with DC Comics' biggest stars and setting the stage for next weekend's catch-up with "Aquaman." Up, up and away ...

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Copy Editor/Entertainment Editor

Frank Pieper is a copy editor and entertainment editor at The News-Gazette, and the author of Frank's Faves and Frank's Weekend Faves. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@frp308).