Champaign-Urbana PrideFest is at the end of the month, but there are a couple of events to tide you over this weekend.
Sasha Velour, who had her drag debut in Champaign, is getting a homecoming of sorts with a performance at Urbana’s Krannert Center, which is totally booked. You can still get on the waiting list, or just go to the Krannert on Saturday night to watch the live feed they’ll be providing to satisfy the massive demand.
Meanwhile still in Urbana, the Spurlock Museum is opening on Sunday afternoon an exhibit featuring costumes and materials donated by local drag queens. The exhibit, In Her Closet, will be on view until next May, so you have plenty of time to check out all the glorious frocks!
Off the beaten path
Sunday is a good day to see things you won’t see every day. Like a jazz festival where performers are interspersed along a sculpture park. It’s happening at Urbana’s Meadowbrook Park from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
And we bet you didn’t know there’s a Croatian community in Central Illinois. We didn’t either, but there is, and it’s coming together to celebrate the music, dance and food of Croatia from 3-8 pm in Canton.
Speaking of music …
Whoa, where to begin? Let’s go with the local heroes. Indie rockers Elsinore may not have taken the country by storm yet, but they have a big following in their hometown of Champaign, and they’re throwing a party for these fans ahead of their upcoming album release, with a performance, five new music videos, and artwork. Head to The Art Theatre at 7 pm for this.
More local(ish) music will be celebrated at Champaign’s Virginia Theatre on Friday with Illinois Country, a new documentary by WILL-TV that’s getting its debut at 7 pm, but this party starts an hour early with food trucks and live music outside.
The Krannert Center is offering a double treat Saturday night with best-selling trumpeter Chris Botti, and the season opener for Sinfonia da Camara, Central Illinois’ chamber orchestra, both at 7:30 pm. And on Sunday, the Central Illinois Jazz Society welcomes Derel Montieth Trio for its monthly Jazz Nights in the Heights event at 6 pm in Peoria Heights.
On the stage
The Krannert’s first dance performance this season is Halfway to Dawn, an examination of the music and life of Billy Strayhorn by Guggenheim Fellow and Bessie Award-winning choreographer David Roussève and his nine-member ensemble.
Bloomington’s Heartland Theatre Company is tackling a bold contemporary drama by New York playwright Stefanie Zadravec, The Electric Baby, through July 28.
For lighter, family-friendly fare there’s Peoria Player Theatre’s Tarzan the Musical, based on the 1999 Disney film, through Sept. 15.
Also Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, at Peoria’s Cornstock Theatre through Sept. 15.
Just because summer’s ebbing out doesn’t mean there are no more outdoor art fairs to enjoy. Springfield’s Art Spectacular is going on Saturday and Sunday, offering not only high-quality juried works but music at the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon.
For something more unorthodox and participatory, go to downtown Springfield instead for the Third Annual Art Alley Pop-up from 5-9 pm.
Meanwhile in the River City, an exhibit by collage artist Laura Lein-Svencner kicks off on Friday at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, with an opening reception Saturday at 6:30 pm.
And the Peoria Riverfront Museum, in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art and other institutions, is launching Vantage Points: Contemporary American Photography, featuring works by Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Avedon and other giants. It will be on view through Nov. 10, but if you can’t wait (we hardly can) it starts on Saturday.