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Entertainment calendar for the week of Feb. 16, 2012.

GO! mano-a-mano: Abe Lincoln and Steve Douglas square off in the L.A. TheatreWorks production of Norman Corwin’s “The Rivalry,” at 7 o'clock tonight in the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

GO! tee-hee D.C.: Those singing jesters from Washington-by-the-Potomac, The Capitol Steps, are back in Central Illinois to give an election year its due, at 8 p.m. Saturday in Champaign’s Virginia Theater.

GO! postal: Rare stamps take a licking from family squabbling in Theresa Rebeck’s drama, “Mauritius,” opening a three-weekend run at 7:30 tonight on the Heartland Theatre Company stage in Normal.

GO! ghostal: Nicolas Cage returns as Satan’s biker-bound bounty hunter in the long-in-coming sequel to 2006’s “Ghost Rider,” “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” burning rubber at a theater near you starting Friday.

GO! feel the farce: Moliere’s classic French “Tartuffe” opens the spring stage season at Illinois Wesleyan University, with performances in IWU’s McPherson Theatre today through Sunday.

GO! for a close shave: The annual Sound of Illinois Chorus winter concert will be looking sharp, feeling sharp and sounding sharp, via the barbershoppers’ sweet sounds, at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday on the BCPA stage.

GO! get short-changed: … but definitely come out ahead, via the Normal Theater’s annual “Oscar’s Shorts” showings, with live action nominees tonight and Friday, and their animated counterparts Saturday and Sunday.


Special events

THI WEEKEND (FEB. 16-19)

Bloomington-Normal

Mimi Smartypants and Matt Guenette; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, IWU Hansen Student Center; blogger and poet in readings; free.

Sat. night fever; Watch your favorite ISU faculty-staff member let down their hair and kick their heels  way up via Dancing with the Faculty-Staff Stars, a fundraising spectacle for The Baby Fold featuring competition among five teams representing five separate decades of fashion and sounds (’50s,  ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s). The audience delivers the verdict, via  cellphone texting. Tickets are $5 for the public, with a redution to $3 if you donate an item to The Baby Fold. More info: www.isuudt.jimdo.com.

@Salon 2012; noon-5 p.m. Feb. 18, McLean County Arts Center, 601 N. East St., Bloomington; poetry, performance, music and visual art event, with featured playwright Sharon Bridgforth; free; 309-438-3667.  

Winter Farmers Market; 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 18, McLean County Museum of History, 200 N. Main St., Bloomington; indoor market, with fresh produce, more; free; 309-829-9599. 

Bloomington Kiwanis Pancake Days & Scholastic Book Fair; 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 18-19, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; all-you-can-eat breakfasts and children’s book sale; $3-$7, under 5 free; 866-686-9541.

Central Illinois

Quidam time; One of Cirque du Soleil’s  longest-running shows, Quidam, which first premiered 16 years ago, returns for a five-day stand in Springfield’s Prairie Capital Convention Center, with performances at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday; 3:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $24 to $75, at 217-788-8800.

Garish Garden Show; Feb. 17-March 4, Luthy Botanical Garden at Glen Oak Park, 2218 N. Prospect, Peoria; botanical show on garden decorating faux-pas; $2.50, under 13 free; 309-681-3507.

The Capitol Steps; 8 p.m. Feb. 18, Virginia Theater, Champaign; political satire musical group; $18-$39; 217-356-9063.

Peoria Train Fair; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 19, Illinois Central College, East Peoria; operating layouts, swap meet tables, videos, model supplies, more; $3, under 13 free; 309-369-3515.

THIS WEEK (FEB. 20-22)

Bloomington-Normal

Along the Mackinaw River; 8 p.m. Feb. 21, IWU Westbrook Auditorium; performance on the Mackinaw River combining photography, poetry and original music; free; 309-825-8485.


Live theater

THIS WEEKEND (FEB. 16-19)

Bloomington-Normal

The Rivalry; 7 p.m. Feb. 16, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; L.A. TheatreWorks national tour of Norman Corwin dramatization of Lincoln-Douglas debates; $21.80-$33; 866-686-9541.

Mauritius; pay-what-you-can preview 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16; regularly ticketed performances 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17-18 and 23-25, and March 1-3, and 2 p.m. Feb. 19 and 26, and March 4, Heartland Theatre Company, One Normal Plaza, Normal; $10-$12; 309-452-8709. 

Tartuffe; 8 p.m. Feb. 16-18, 2 p.m. Feb. 19, IWU McPherson Theatre; IWU Theatre production of Moliere farce; $2-$12; 309-556-3232.

iO Theatre’s Improvised Musical; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; comedy troupe in improvised Broadway musical; $14.60-$24; 866-686-9541.

Cross-roads; With B-N the home of one of the country’s longest-running Passion Plays, Sarah Ruhl’s drama, also called Passion Play, should have extra meaning as it dramatizes three different productions of the play in three different eras and locales (1575 England, 1934 Bavaria, 1970s-’80s South Dakota). The ISU Theatre production is performed at 7 p.m. Fri. and Tue.-Feb. 24, 4 p.m. Sat. and Feb. 25, and 2 p.m. Sun, in the Center for the Performing Arts on campus. Tickets: $10-$12 at 309-438-2535.

Central Illinois

Come Blow Your Horn; Thu.-Sat. eve., Sun. matinee, Feb. 16-26, Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre, Goodfield; Neil Simon comedy; $33-$37; 309-965-2545.

Company; 8 p.m. Feb. 16-18, Station Theatre, 223 N. Broadway, Urbana; Celebration Company production of Stephen Sondheim musical; $10-$15; 217-384-4000.

Midlife, the Crisis Musical; 7 p.m. Feb. 17-18, 2 p.m. Feb. 19, Market Street Theatre, 120 N. Market, Paxton; Tri-County Players production; $12; www.marketstreettheatre.com.

Cotton Patch Gospel; 2 p.m. Feb. 19, Flanagan-Cornell High School West Gym, Flanagan; one-man presentation of gospel musical featuring Phillip Kaufmann; $10; 815-796-2156.


Live music

THIS WEEKEND (FEB. 16-19)

Bloomington-Normal

The Matt O’Ree Band; 8 p.m. Feb. 17, Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington; blues-rock; $8; 309-820-0352.

R. Kent Cook; 8 p.m. Feb. 16, IWU Westbrook Auditorium; IWU faculty pianist; free.

Sound of Illinois Chorus; 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 18, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; barbershop chorus annual winter show, with Beatles tribute and guest quartet ’Round Midnight; $11-$21; 866-686-9541.

ISU Symphony Orchestra and East Central Illinois Youth Symphony; 3 p.m. Feb. 19, ISU Center for the Performing Arts; $6-$8; 309-438-2535.

Central Illinois

Bement Country Opry; 8 p.m. Feb. 17, downtown Bement; country music shows with Bement Country Opry band and guest Chris Krause; $5-$10; 217-877-6499.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra: Classics IV; 8 p.m. Feb. 18, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria; $25-$60; 309-671-1096.

Cynthia Atterbury Piano Duet Recital; 4 p.m. Feb. 19, Eureka College McCallister Hall, Eureka; works for two pianos featuring 10 student-faculty-alumni performers; free; 309-467-6398.

THIS WEEK (FEB. 20-22)

Bloomington-Normal

Paul Nolen; 8 p.m. Feb. 21, ISU Kemp Recital Hall; ISU faculty saxophonist; free.

IWU New Music Cafe; 8 p.m. Feb. 21, IWU Westbrook Auditorium; new/original music showcase; free.

ISU Faculty Showcase; 8 p.m. Feb. 22, ISU Kemp Recital Hall; ISU music faculty soloists; free.

 


Dance

THIS WEEKEND (FEB. 16-19)

Central Illinois

Ballet Folklorico de Antioquia, Columbia; 3 p.m. Feb. 19, U of I at Springfield Sangamon Auditorium, Springfield; folk troupe; $18-$39; 800-207-6960.

 


Nightlife

THIS WEEKEND (FeB. 16-19)

Bloomington-Normal

Acoustic Afterdark; 7 p.m. Feb. 16, Bloomington Knights of Columbus; variety; no cover.

The Bygones; 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17, Mr. Beez at Parke Hotel; acoustic nostalgic rock; no cover.

Jim Vasilou & Trefan Owen; 7 p.m. Feb. 16, Swingers Grille; acoustic rock; no cover.

Karaoke; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Treehouse Lounge; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and Feb. 19, Shooters Lounge; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 19, Illinois Brewing Co.; no cover.

Captain Ron; 6 p.m. Feb. 17, Cheeks Bar & Grill; folk-country; no cover.

Cattle Bandits; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 17, Treehouse Lounge; country; no cover.

Chicken Shack; 7 p.m. Feb. 17, Bloomington Knights of Columbus; blues; no cover.

Double Trouble; 7 p.m. Feb. 17, Bloomington Eagles; rock; $3-$5.

Kilborn Alley Blues Band; 8 p.m. Feb. 17, Bonker’s Place; blues; no cover.

Sly Devils; 7 p.m. Feb. 17, IWU Hansen Student Center; rock; free.

Sneaky Gene; 9 p.m. Feb. 17, Illinois Brewing Co.; rock; no cover.

Velvet Groove; 9 p.m. Feb. 17, Winners; classic rock; no cover.

J.B. and Tim Barnes; 5:15 p.m. Feb. 17 and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 18 (J.B. only), Shooters Lounge; DJs; no cover.

The Eli Story; 9 p.m. Feb. 18, Illinois Brewing Co.; rock; no cover.

Far From Over; 9 p.m. Feb. 18, Winners; classic rock; no cover.

Mathien; 10 p.m. Feb. 18, Fat Jacks; rock; $5.

Prairieland Dixie Band; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, Maguire’s; New Orleans jazz; no cover.

Central Illinois

Silver Foxes; 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Heyworth American Legion, Heyworth; country; no cover.

Still Kickin’; 8 p.m. Feb. 17, Clinton Eagles, Clinton; country; no cover.

Dwight York; 8 p.m. Feb. 17, 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 18, Mason City Limits, Mason City; comedy; $12.50-$13.50.

Big On Blondes; 9 p.m. Feb. 18, Pit Row, Heyworth; rock; no cover.

Plain Jane; 9 p.m. Feb. 18, Kemp’s Upper Tap, Lexington; party rock; no cover.

Umphrey’s McGee; 8 p.m. Feb. 19, Canopy Club, Urbana; jam rock; $25.

THIS WEEK(Feb. 20-22)

Bloomington-Normal

Karaoke; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Illinois Brewing Co.; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Shooters Lounge; no cover.

Kevin Stearns; 8 p.m. Feb. 21, Diggers Again; acoustic pop; no cover.

Prairieland Dixie Band; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, Fat Jack’s; New Orleans jazz; no cover.

Tim Barnes; 8:30 p.m. Feb. 22, Shooters Lounge; DJ; no cover.

Central Illinois

NiT GriT and Two Fresh; 8 p.m. Feb. 20, Canopy Club, Urbana; dubstep; $12.

 


Just for kids

THIS WEEKEND (FEB. 16-19)

Bloomington-Normal

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.

Daughters of the Stars; 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat., Feb. 17-May 5, ISU Planetarium; planetarium show on night sky legends told by Native Americans; $2-$4; 309-438-5007.

Well-red; The crimson canine himself is bounding back to Bloomington, this time at 3 p.m. Sunday on the stage of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. Clifford the Big Red Dog Live! is a 50th-anniversary celebration of Cliff and his pals from Birdwell Island, complete with an original music score and lots of “smiles all around.” Tickets are $13 for little dog-lovers and $19 for their elders, via the BCPA box office, at 866-686-9541.

THIS WEEK (FEB. 20-22)

Bloomington-Normal

President’s Day Patriotic Party; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 20, Normal Public Library, Normal; themed craft activities and more; free; 309-452-1757.


Exhibits

Bloomington-Normal

Tracy J. Montoya: Light and Dark; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., through March 2, Heartland Community College Joe McCauley Gallery in Instructional Commons Building, 1500 W. Raab Road, Normal; works in charcoal, colored pencil, graphite and pastel.

Deanna Frautschi; 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-noon Sat., through  Feb. 29, IAA Credit Union lobby, 808 IAA Drive, Bloomington; nature photography; free.

The Art of Whimsy: Costume Design by Svetlana Golovko; through March 31, sixth floor of ISU Milner Library; prints of circus performance costumes; free.

Picture This: Picturing Community One Lens at a Time; through Feb. 28, ISU Milner Library; photographic works by area youth.

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.

ISU Faculty Biennial; through Feb. 19, ISU University Galleries, see above; various media by ISU School of Art faculty.

Borderland Collective: The Will to Believe in Something More; through Feb. 19, ISU University Galleries, see above; participatory social art project utilizing photography.

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.

IWU Juried Student Art Exhibition; through Feb. 23, IWU Merwin and Wakeley Galleries, see above; various media.

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.

Jin Lee and Rhondal McKinney; through Feb. 18, McLean County Arts Center, see above; photography.

Learning Simple Things; through March 3, McLean County Arts Center, see above; abstract pastel drawings by John Cassidy.

Central Illinois

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.

Ambiguous Task; through March 7, Eureka College Burgess Hall Art Gallery, see above; monotypes by Bloomington artist Sarah Smelser; reception, 5-7 p.m. Feb. 24.

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.

Claire Lieberman: The Wave; through Feb. 26, Contemporary Art Center, see above; sculpture.

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.

 

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