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Entertainment calendar for the week of Sept. 15, 2011.

GO! north … way north: The phenomenon of the polar Northern Lights is the subject of the new ISU Planetarium show, illuminating astronomy buffs and others at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

GO! for seconds: Second-hand goods are, indeed, good, especially via the Ecology Action Center’s latest edition of the “Freecycle Free-4-All,” 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Anderson Park in Normal.

GO! draw straws, pt .1: Rader Family Farms in Normal is in the hay again, via the Scarecrow Scramble, harvesting a bumper crop of fall fun Saturday and Sunday, including live straw men and on-site scarecrow-making.

GO! draw straws, pt. 2: One of the most controversial films of the ’70s, Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs,” is — sigh — the latest seminal classic to get a redo, this time with James Marsden and Kate Bosworth in lieu of Dustin Hoffman and Susan George.

GO! to town(s): Two of Pantagraphland’s finer burgs are throwing fall fetes this weekend — Dwight, via the Dwight Harvest Days, tonight through Sunday; and McLean, via the McLean Celebration, Friday through Sunday.

GO! fly the Coop: You can do it minus the fowl feathers, courtesy the Chicago rockers’ Saturday night show at the Castle Theatre, now in the thick of its first-anniversary celebration (see story above).

GO! croc-rock (almost): Billed as the world’s premier Elton John impersonator is “Almost Elton John,” a tribute act paying homage to the Rocket Man’s most flamboyant years, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Decatur’s Kirkland Fine Arts Center.




Aurora; 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 2 p.m. Sat., Sept. 16-Nov. 12, ISU Planetarium; planetarium show on the Northern Lights; $2-$4; 309- 438-5007.

Spirits of Bloomington Historic Ghost Walk; 7 p.m. Sept. 16, Mid-City Hotel, downtown Bloomington; $10; reservations, 309-846-4306.

IWU Family Weekend; Sept. 16-18, various IWU campus locations; family events with “tree” theme, including entertainment, games, concerts, tours and more.

Plane speaking: Even those with a fear of flying should have fun Saturday at Prairie Aviation Museum’s annual A Day at the Airport, taking wing from 7 to 9 a.m. with a Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast in the Image Air Hangar ($5, under 6 free) and then the Day at the Airportfest itself from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., replete with open cockpits and museum, Convair 880 Simulator tour, static displays, airplane/’copter rides, games and more ($5, under 6 free). New to the mix this year: a free Car Cruise-In outside, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market; 7:30 a.m.-noon Sat., Sept. 17-Oct. 29, downtown Bloomington square; fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, art, live music, more; free admission; 309-829-9599.

Ecology Action Center Freecycle Free-4-All; 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 17, Anderson Park, Normal; collection/giveaway of unwanted household items small enough to be easily carried; free; 309-454-3169.

ISU Outdoor Equipment Sale; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 17, ISU Outdoor Adventure Center, 220 N. Main St., Bloomington; tents, backpacks, sleeping equipment, camp stoves, more; 309-438-8419.

Uprising @ Broadview; 4-8 p.m. Sept. 17, Broadview Mansion grounds, 1301 S. Fell Ave., Normal; outdoor festival, burgers and hotdogs, Christian acoustic music by local artists, more; free; 309-452-6710.

Scarecrow Scramble; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 17, noon-6 p.m. Sept. 18, Rader Family Farms, 1238 Ropp Road, Normal; live scarecrow, storytelling, produce, scarecrow-making, kids’ events, more; $4-$6; 309-275-8765. 

Third Sunday Market; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 18, Interstate Center, 2301 W. Market St., Bloomington; antiques, collectibles; $6, under 14 free; 217-202-2847.

Central Illinois

Dwight Harvest Days; Sept. 15-18, downtown Dwight; carnival, live bands, flea market, games and contests, food, parade (12:45 p.m. Sun.), more; free.

A vine time: Morton’s signature big fat gourds may have some competition at this Year’s Morton Pumpkin Festival — at least at 7 tonight, when high-stepping guest stars the Budweiser Clydesdales make a guest appearance, just as they did two years ago. The rest of the downtown fest, through Saturday, is purely pumpkin, meaning like-themed foods, contests, events and, of course, the big parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Festival hours are 3-9:30 p.m. today, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, 6:30 a.m.-midnight Saturday.

Arts in Central Park; 5-7 p.m. Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 18, Central Park in downtown Decatur; juried fine arts fair, with live entertainment, food booths, children’s activities, more; free; 217-423-3189.

McLean Celebration; Sept. 16-18, downtown McLean and area; live entertainment, parade, family activities, wiener roast, more; free; 309-874-2985.

Peoria Oktoberfest; 5-11 p.m. Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 18, Riverfront Festival Park, downtown Peoria; German heritage fest with songs, food, dance, cultural exhibits, beer and more; $7-$9, under 13 free.

Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center Heritage Day; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 17, Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center, Ill. 116 between Metamora and Germantown Hills; pioneer and faith heritage celebration, with bake sale, hayrack rides, quilting, folk art, exhibits, pioneer pastimes, door prizes, more; $5 per carload; 309-367-2551.

Edwards Place Fine Art Fair; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 17-18, Springfield Art Association grounds, 700 N. Fourth St., Springfield; juried fine art fair, with entertainment, youth tent, concessions, more; free; 217-523-2631. 

Vintage Illinois Wine Festival; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 17, noon-5 p.m. Sept. 18, Matthiessen State Park, near Utica; tastings from 28 Illinois wineries, with live bands, food and other beverages; $15 (includes commemorative glass and 5 tasting tickets); 815-220-7363.

Olio Township Cemetery Walk; 2-4 p.m. Sept. 18, Olio Township Cemetery, 1015 S. Main St., Eureka; Eureka College theater students as prominent figures from Eureka history; donation; 309-467-6318. 



Light in the Darkness; 7 p.m. Sept. 19, ISU Stevenson Hall 101; ISU Documentary Project/Community for Film Against Hate Crime presentation of documentary about hate crime murder, followed by panel discussion; free; 309-827-3934.

Central Illinois

Downs Village Market; 4-6 p.m. Wed., Sept. 21-28, southwest edge of Downs, off I-74; fresh local produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, crafts, more; free admission; 309-378-4223.


This Weekend (SEPT. 15-18)


American English; 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17, CEFCU Summer Stage at Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; Beatles tribute group; $15; 866-686-9541.

The Coop and RamZ/Rez Duo; 9:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington; electronic-jam groups; $10; 309-820-0352.

Dale Thomas Rogers; 3 p.m. Sept. 18, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1617 E. Emerson St., Bloomington; organist; free; 309-454-2956.

Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) and Allison Moorer; 8 p.m. Sept. 20, Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington; rock-country singers; $25; 309-820-0352.

Central Illinois

Nathan & Julie Gunn; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, U of I Krannert Center, Urbana; baritone and soprano; $20-$48; 217-333-6280.

Bement Country Opry; 8 p.m. Sept. 16, downtown Bement; country music shows with Bement Country Opry band and guest Marvin Lee; $5-$10; 217-877-6499.

Almost Elton John; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Millikin University Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Decatur; Elton John tribute singer; $6-$24; 217-424-6318.

Kentuckiana Opry; 8 p.m. Sept. 17, Kentuckiana Kampground, Hopedale; country music shows with Kentuckiana Opry Band and guests Simon Webb & Melanie Finley; adults $8, children $2; 309-449-3274.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra: Classics I; 8 p.m. Sept. 17, U of I Krannert Center, Urbana; with guest conductor James Depreist; $32-$70; 309-671-1096.

Sinfonia da Camera; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, U of I Krannert Center, Urbana; with U of I Chorale, guest-conducted by Fred Stoltzfus; $5-$35; 217-333-6280.



Angelo Favis; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, ISU Kemp Recital Hall; faculty guitarist; free.

Central Illinois

Tom terrific: At Champaign’s Virginia Theater, legendary guitar god Tommy Emmanuel is following fast on the heels Wednes-day of another ax-master, B.B. King, who stood on the same stage several weeks back. Deep into his 45-year career, the Australian-born finger-picker has a resume that includes collaborations with everyone from Eric Clapton to Chet Atkins to Les Paul to Joe Walsh. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $29.50-$35 at 217-356-9063. (If you can’t make this concert, he heads west to the Peoria Civic Center the following night, on Sept. 22.)




And Then There Were None; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15-17, Community Players Theatre, 201 Robinhood Lane, Bloomington; Agatha Christie mystery; $6-$12; 309-663-2121.

The Diviners; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15-17 and 22-24, 2 p.m. Sept. 18 and 25; Heartland Theatre Company, One Normal Plaza, Normal; Heartland Theatre production of drama; $6-$12; 309-452-8709.

Mother Justice; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, ISU Westhoff Theatre; staged reading of new play by its creators, author Michael Dice Jr. and producer Brian Nitzkin, both ISU alumni; $5; 309-438-2535.

Central Illinois

Death of a Salesman; Sept. 15-17, Engle Lane Theatre, Streator; Streator Community Players production of drama; 815-672-4066.

Look, No Hans!; Thu.-Sat. eve. and Sun. matinee,  Sept. 15-18, Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre, Goodfield; comedy; $32-$36; 309-965-2545.

Recycling: Washi Tales; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, U of I Krannert Center, Urbana; Krannert Center-commissioned drama, designed by Kyoko Ibe and written/directed by Elise Thoron; $10-$25; 217-333-6280.

Ghosts of Spoon River; 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17-18 and 25 (rain dates: Oct. 1-2), Prairie Rest Cemetery, Delavan; original adaptation of “Spoon River Anthology”; $8-$10; 309-264-8644.


This Weekend (SEPT. 15-18)


Acoustic Afterdark; 8 p.m. Sept. 15, Bloomington Knights of Columbus; variety; no cover.

Buck Stevens; 10 p.m. Sept. 15, Six Strings; country-dance DJ; $3.

Open Mic Night with Jon; 9 p.m. Sept. 15, Illinois Brewing Co.; variety; no cover.

Jim Vasilou; 7 p.m. Sept. 15, Swingers Grille; 6 p.m. Sept. 16, Mr. Beez at Parke Hotel; acoustic rock; no cover.

Karaoke; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and 18, Shooters Lounge; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Illinois Brewing Co.; no cover.

Atomic Farmer; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Winners; rock; no cover.

Back @ Cha; 6 p.m. Sept. 16, Cheeks Bar & Grill; rock; no cover.

The Bygones; 8 p.m. Sept. 16, Maguire’s; nostalgic rock; no cover.

Chicken Pickles and Dawn Shannon; 8 p.m. Sept. 16, Bonkers Place; rock; no cover.

Chicken Shack; 6 p.m. Sept. 16, Windjammer Lounge; blues; no cover.

Double Trouble; 7 p.m. Sept. 16, Bloomington Eagles; rock; $3-$5.

Paige DeChausse and Tyler Sweitzer; 8 p.m. Sept. 16, TheatresCool; pop-rock; $5.

The Shanties; 7 p.m. Sept. 16, Bloomington Knights of Columbus; Irish rock; no cover.

Sometimes Monday; 9 p.m. Sept. 16, Illinois Brewing Co.; rock; no cover.

Two Dollar Ransom; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Six Strings; country-classic rock; $3-$5.

J.B. and Tim Barnes; 5:15 p.m. Sept. 16 and 8:30 p.m. Sept. 17 (J.B. only), Shooters Lounge; DJs; no cover.

Country Chaos; 7 p.m. Sept. 17, Bloomington Eagles; country; no cover.

Emma King & The Heartsets; 10:15 p.m. Sept. 17, Six Strings; $5.

Fifth World; 9 p.m. Sept. 17, Illinois Brewing Co.; rock; no cover.

Kevin Stearns; 7 p.m. Sept. 17, Schooners; acoustic pop; no cover.

Sister Groove; 9 p.m. Sept. 17, Winners; rock-R&B; no cover.

The Nostalgics; 1:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Miller Park Pavilion; ballroom oldies; $7.

Central Illinois

Silver Foxes; 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15, Heyworth American Legion, Heyworth; country; no cover.

Lucky Boys Confusion; 8 p.m. Sept. 16, Canopy Club, Urbana; rock; $10.

Dan Chopin; 8 p.m. Sept. 16-17, Mason City Limits, Mason City; comedy; $12.50.

Back Paiges; 8 p.m. Sept. 17, Clinton Eagles, Clinton; classic rock; no cover.

Bubblegum Jack; 7 p.m. Sept. 17, Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Mackinaw; rock; $5.

Cattle Bandits; 9 p.m. Sept. 17, Pit Row, Heyworth; country-rock; no cover.

David Davenport; 4 p.m. Sept. 17, White Oak Vineyard, Carlock; rock-blues; free.

Jury’s Out; 5 p.m. Sept. 17, Kicks parking lot, Towanda; ’80s; $3.

THIS Week (SEPT. 19-21)


Karaoke; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Illinois Brewing Co.; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 20, Shooters Lounge; no cover.

Open Jam; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 20, Six Strings; variety; no cover.

Ed Anderson & Chicago Farmer; 9 p.m. Sept. 21, Six Strings; Americana/folk; no cover.

Tim Barnes; 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21, Shooters Lounge; DJ; no cover.

Central Illinois

Indie 500: OK, there may not be 500 separate acts at the annual Pygmalion Music Festival Wednesday through Sept. 24 at the Canopy Club and other Champaign-Urbana locales. It’ll just seem that way. Rest assured, though, there’ll be at least that many music fans, and hundreds more, following the celebration of America’s indie rock and music scene as the action-packed weekend wears on. For the complete band roster, go to




Children’s Discovery Museum; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Wed. and Sat., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 1-5 p.m. Sun., 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal; exhibit gallery, paint wall, two-story climber, AgMazing exhibit, educational programs, more; $6 for ages 2 and over; under 2, free; 309-433-3448.



Prologue to Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun, David Davis Mansion, 1000 E. Monroe St., Bloomington; permanent exhibit on Lincoln’s experiences on the circuit; free; 309-828-1084.

ISU University Galleries; regular school hours, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun.-Mon., summer hours, noon-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and weekends by appointment, ISU Center for the Visual Arts; rotating exhibits in three galleries; free; 309-438-5487.

The Truth Is Not in the Mirror: Photography and a Constructed Identity;  through Oct. 31, ISU University Galleries, see above; photography by more than 20 artists.

When Your Leg Spends the Night in the Water: Adventures from the Northeast; through Oct. 23, ISU University Galleries, see above; works by 13 artists from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Josue Pellot and Hector Arce-Espasas: Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted; through Oct. 23, ISU University Galleries, see above; photographs, paintings and installations.

IWU Merwin and Wakeley Galleries; school hours, noon-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 7-9 p.m. Tue., summer hours, noon-3 p.m. Fri.-Mon.; 302 E. Graham St., Bloomington; rotating exhibits; free; 309-556-3391.

Ann Scott; through Sept. 16, Main Gallery 404, 404 N. Main St., Bloomington; photographic studies of downtown Bloomington dwellers; free; 309-828-9500.

McLean County Arts Center; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat.; 601 N. East St., Bloomington; rotating exhibits, sales, rentals, art classes and lectures; free; 309-829-0011.

Animal Presence; through Oct. 22, McLean County Arts Center, see above; large-scale ceramic and mixed media sculpture by Alanna DeRocchi.

Hunting and Gathering; through Oct. 1, McLean County Arts Center, see above; mixed-media two-dimensional artwork by Susan Gofstein. 

McLean County Museum of History; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. (until 9 p.m. Tue.), 200 N. Main St., Bloomington; permanent and rotating exhibits; adults $5, seniors $4, students, children under 12 and members free; 309-827-0428.

A Passion for Detail: The Architectural Legacy of A.L. Pillsbury; through Jan. 19, 2012, McLean County Museum of History, see above; hand-drawn and colored renderings of noted B-N architect.

Come & Get It! The Way We Ate 1830-2008; through Jan. 31, 2012, McLean County Museum of History, see above; exhibit on McLean County food ways since 1800s.

Prairie Aviation Museum; summer hours, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun., 2929 E. Empire St., Bloomington; permanent and rotating exhibits and displays with aerial history themes; adults $5, ages 6-11 $2, 5 and under free; 309-663-7632.

Central Illinois

U of I Krannert Art Museum; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri. (until 8 p.m. Wed. during fall and spring semesters), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., and 2-5 p.m. Sun., 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign; paintings, porcelain, historical artifacts, traveling art exhibits; $3 donation suggested; 217-333-1861.

At Fifty: Krannert Art Museum; through Oct. 23, Krannert Art Museum, see above; anniversary exhibit with various media and works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Frank  Lloyd Wright and others.

Recent Acquisitions, 2006-2001; through Dec. 30, Krannert Art Museum, see above; more than 350 works given or donated to museum in last five years.

Makeba!; through Dec. 30, Krannert Art Museum, see above; artifacts from South African music history and recordings by singer Miriam Makeba.

Burgess Hall Art Gallery; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and by apt. on weekends, third floor of Burgess Hall, Eureka College, Eureka; rotating exhibits; free; 309-467-6866.

Cave Canum; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and by apt. on weekends, through Sept. 26, third floor of Burgess Hall, Eureka College, Eureka; artwork by Nikki Schwontkowski depicting animals as metaphors for human traits; free; reception 3-6 p.m. Sept. 23; 309-467-6866.

Simpkins Military History Museum; 1-5 p.m. Tue., Thu., Sat.-Sun., 605 E. Cole St., Heyworth; permanent and rotating military history exhibits; free (donations accepted); 309-473-3989.

Dickson Mounds Museum; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 10956 N. Dickson Mounds Road, Lewistown; displays, special exhibits; free; 309-547-3721.

Contemporary Art Center of Peoria; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., Riverfront Arts Center, 305 S.W. Water, Peoria; rotating exhibits in two galleries; free; 309-674-6822.

Artists of the Manneken Press; through Oct. 21, Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, see above; works from Bloomington-based print studio.

Loop and Illuminate: Lisa Nelson & Donna Hapac; through Oct. 21, Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, see above; textile art.

Lakeview Museum; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun., University & Lake, Peoria; permanent and rotating exhibits, planetarium shows and events; adults $6, ages 3-17 $4; 309-686-7000.

Peoria Art Guild; Foster Arts Center, Harrison and Washington streets, Peoria; rotating exhibits, gift shop; free; 309-637-2787.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sun, 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield; Lincoln-themed exhibits, historical displays, special events, more; adults $10, seniors and students $7, ages 5-15 $4, under 5 free; 217-558-8844.

Illinois State Museum; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun., closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; Spring and Edwards streets, Springfield; free; 217-782-7387.


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