Castle stormers: There's a whole boatload of new additions to the Castle Theatre's spring-summer slate, including longtime B-N favorite Ani DiFranco, a past headliner at most every venue in town since she first arrived back in the early ’90s via IWU's late, lamented Blue Moon Coffeehouse. This is Ani's second time through the Castle's portals, at 7:30 p.m. June 6 ($35-$38). Also coming (or coming back as the case may be): Samantha Fish, 7:30 p.m. May 17 ($16-$18); Marc Broussard, 8 p.m. May 20 ($20-$22); The Mavericks with Ray Wylie Hubbard, 7:30 p.m. June 8 ($27.50-$30); Matthew Sweet, 7:30 p.m. July 11 ($25-$28); and The Lone Bellow, 7:30 p.m. July 22 ($20-$25, on sale April 6). Call 309-820-0352.
Steps right up: Fans of the all-singing, all-zinging political satire troupe The Capitol Steps will be happy to know that D.C. jesters are returning to the area this spring, at 3 p.m. May 13, to the steps of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, which they have ascended several times in recent years. They'll be packing, we're told, "one of the best Donald Trump impressions since Alec Baldwin." Tickets are $36-$76 from the BCPA box office.
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Hot Rod: Country's most ubiquitous court jester, Rodney Carrington, is headed back to Central Illinois this summer for one of his umpteenth stands, via his “Here Comes the Truth Tour” at the U of I at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium, where he'll perform his trademark "mature audiences ONLY!" show at 8 p.m. June 2. Tickets are $35-$199, via the Sangamon box office.
Ticket stubs: Tickets for the previously announced Sept. 7 Jake Owen stand at the U of I State Farm Center in Champaign are now on sale via the venue box office, priced from $39 to $69; Chris Janson and Jordan Davis are also on the bill for the 7:30 p.m. show ... Here come Here Come the Mummies again, this time to the downtown Peoria riverfront, at 8 p.m. June 29, with tickets $22-$25 via the Castle Theatre/Monarch Music Hall box offices.