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CONTACT US: 800-228-0429 Adam Testa, Lifestyles writer / ext. 5031


Rhonda May, cover designer / ext. 5118 J.C. Dart, online / ext. 5183 Cara Recine, Lifestyles and special projects editor / ext. 5075 The Southern Illinoisan (USPS 258-908) is published daily at a yearly subscription rate of $178. It is published at 710 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901. It is owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa.

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Top 20 Restaurant of the Week: Blend Tea and Crepe BY JOE SZYNKOWSKI

Brenda Kirkpatrick, lists, live music / ext. 5089



Craving a crepe? MingWei Huang is your man, and luckily, he is easy to find. The work-happy owner of Blend Tea and Crepe Lounge in Carbondale puts in 70 hours per week to ensure his eatery’s success, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love it,” Huang said. “We’re bringing a lifestyle and a cultural influence to Carbondale.” Originally from Taipei City, Taiwan, Huang operated a successful crepe business in Virginia before relocating to Carbondale and opening Blend in 2011. He has mastered the art of the crepe, which involves spreading batter into a thin circle over a flattop skillet, and then filling it with fresh fruits, peanut butter, ice cream, meats, cheeses or other items. Blend offers a wide variety of crepes — from the sweet ones filled with Nutella and ice cream to the savory options loaded with ham, egg, cheese and spinach. A diverse, easyto-navigate menu has been critical to Blend’s success in drawing and retaining a large, dedicated customer base. “We now have the


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Page 2 Thursday, March 7, 2013 FLIPSIDE

Popular options are honey, peach, mango and strawberry, but feel free What: Fruit or savory to choose another from crepes, grilled chicken, Blend’s large list of flavor fresh teas, smoothies options. Where: 719 S. University Huang also offers Ave., Carbondale seasonal drinks like Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. cinnamon chocolate milk Contact: 618-300-1088 tea, as well as healthy drink options like skim or soy milk. grilled chicken that is very “We try to have popular,” Huang said. something for everybody,” “People tell us they really Huang said. like it. We’re always SIU students are Blend’s looking to add new main clientele, mainly things.” because of the lounge’s Enthusiasm for Blend’s affordable costs and laidfood offerings is matched back atmosphere. Blend’s by the excitement interior is colorful and surrounding its extensive open, with plenty of selection of teas, slushies seating and room for and smoothies. For less customers to enjoy their than $3, you can enjoy a favorite crepe. Guests can tall glass of shaken iced tea also enjoy a meal or cold with bubbles and a splash tea in the outdoor dining of your favorite flavor. area. Free Wi-Fi is available, making Blend the perfect place to study LEINENKUGEL’S or socialize. 750 ML FLAVORED BEER 6 Pack “We hold a lot of events ARBOR MIST IS$ 29 for the student organizations,” Huang 750 ML 750 ML COMING BACK said. “We’ve done live (NEW FLAVOR - RASPBERRY PINK MOSCATO) music and we have a lot of JR. JOHNSON promotions.” MOONSHINE 750 ML 750 ML Huang cares about his BLACKBERRY customers and is 3790 Hinkleville Rd. (Exit 4) Paducah continually focused on reaching new ones with specials, menu updates STORE HOURS: M-T 8AM-9PM • FRI & SAT 8AM-11PM • SUN 9AM-5PM (TOBACCO ONLY) and loyalty programs.

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Buy one entrée, get one free with this dining card through Nov. 30. Cards are only $20! Blend also sends special coupons to customers on their birthday. With excellent customer service, quality menu items and a comfortable atmosphere, Huang wants Carbondale’s business community to know that there is room at Blend for lunch meetings or special events. “Our target market is definitely the college students, but we would like to expand,” Huang said. “We want to continue to get good business in the summer and winter when the students aren’t here.” Anyone interested in staying current with Blend’s upcoming promotions and menu additions can find and “friend” the lounge on its oft-updated Facebook page.


Heed the ‘Rumors’ mill

John A. Logan College presents classic Neil Simon comedy ‘Rumors’ A comedy by Neil Simon; 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9; O’Neil Auditorium, JALC; $12/$7 BY ADAM TESTA THE SOUTHERN

CARTERVILLE — Every couple deals with its own relationship problems, but matters are only made worse when an unconscious body with a gunshot wound to the head comes into play. That’s exactly the predicament the characters in Neil Simon’s “Rumors” find themselves dealing with. The cast five couples, each defined by personal issues, united at a dinner party when the host has been shot, the staff gone and the wife missing. As more guests arrive, those who discovered the body create elaborate cover stories, and by the time it’s over, they must all collaborate to attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the police. “They’re trying to stop rumors from spreading, but at the same time, each


Jeff Keasler-Bird portrays Ken Gorman during a dress rehearsal for ‘Rumors’ at John A Logan College. In the scene with him is Amanda Henderson, who portrays Chris Gorman.

couple has its own rumors to hide,” said Derek Hamblin, who is directing John A. Logan College’s rendition of the play this weekend. “They all have their own little quirks in their relationships, so they’re trying to deal with that at the same time as the cover-up.” For the cast and crew, the opportunity to perform “Rumors” has been a special one. “It’s one of the funniest shows ever,” said Vinny Segretario, who plays Lenny, the character who delivers a three-page

monologue at the end of the show attempting to explain and simplify the convoluted events to the police. “I don’t even know how else to describe it. It’s just really funny.” Part of that has been a challenge, though. While there’s a definite desire for the audience to laugh, it can be a challenge for the actors themselves to resist. “It’s just so well written that you don’t even have

to try and make it funny; it just is,” said Diane Taveau, who stars as Cassie, the disgruntled wife of a politician who seeks revenge by attempting to seduce every man at the party. “You will not be able to not laugh at the show. The hard part for us is not laughing on stage.” For Hamblin, another part of the show’s appeal and ability to connect with audiences stems from its realism. It’s not a world of fantasy or impractical fiction, but a situation people could easily find themselves in. The flawed characters and their behaviors and struggles are reminiscent of those individuals and married couples deal with daily. “It’s real life. It’s something that could happen,” he said. “Everyone can relate to a situation in this play. Everyone’s been there at least once.”


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‘Stomp,’ ‘Rock of Ages’ coming to Shryock; tickets on sale now CARBONDALE — SIU Presents! is bringing “Stomp” on Friday, April 12, and “Rock of Ages” on Monday, April 22. Members of Stomp use a bevy of tools and instruments, all outside the norms of percussion. Matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, lighters and

hubcaps become musical tools in this show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. April 12 at Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $45 to 75. Five-time Tony Award winner “Rock of Ages” tells a feel-good love story through the hit songs of iconic rock bands like Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner

and Whitesnake. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. April 22 at Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $45 to $65. Patrons can save $5 on tickets to each show by using the promo code “SOUTHERN.” Go to SouthernTicketsOnline. com or 618-453-6000. — Adam Testa

St. Louis Irish Arts coming to SIC in Harrisburg on Friday night HARRISBURG — St. Louis Irish Arts will bring Celtic charm to Southeastern Illinois College on Friday. The troupe of about 20 performers presents traditional Irish music through voice, instrumentation and dance. The group is the

local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and was founded in 1973. It was created to train and educate musicians and dancers, and the St. Louis chapter started with weekly tin whistle lessons for adults and children. They have performed at the Southern Illinois Irish

Festival many times and has performed once before at SIC. Their performance begins at 7 p.m. at SIC’s Performing Arts Theater. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call 618252-5400 ext. 2487. — Adam Testa

Herrin venue hosting ‘A Night of Cabaret: Songs of Silver Screen’ HERRIN — A local dining spot will host its first cabaret night on Saturday, March 9, bringing a tradition of

music and entertainment to downtown Herrin. The Annex Coffee and Deli, 220 N. Park Ave., will host “A Night of

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Cabaret: Songs of the Silver Screen” with Carterville native Melissa McCamish Olsen and special guest performers at 7 p.m. Musical numbers will include classics like “Somewhere over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca” and “Singing in the Rain.” Tickets are $10 in advance and are available

Book Signings Sharp Shot by Mike Estel: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, March 9, Union County Museum, 117 S. Appleknocker St., downtown Cobden; the book is set during the Civil War and features a fictional soldier from Southern Illinois; Jonathan Patrick Riccardi: 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9, The Bookworm, 618 E. Walnut St., Eastgate Shopping Center, Carbondale; 618-457-2665

Comedy The Carbondale Comedians: 9 p.m. Mondays, Hangar 9, Carbondale; 10 p.m. Wednesdays, Station 13, Carbondale; see The Carbondale Comedians on Facebook

Events Teen Poetry Blowout: 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9, Carbondale Public Library; must be 12 or older to attend; 618-457-0354 Star Wars Convention: 9 a.m. Saturday, March 16, Davis McCann Center, North 14th Street, Murphysboro; memorabilia, collectibles toys, games, comics; Star Wars Movie at 11 a.m. Saturday with free pictures with Star Wars costumed characters, Liberty Theater, Murphysboro; Return of the

Jedi at noon and 4 p.m. Saturday, Liberty Theater; adults, $5; children, $3; profits benefit St. Francis Care and Wright-Way Rescue (no-kill animal shelters); 618-924 5115 St. Jude Craft Fair: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 16, Gallatin County School. 5175 Illinois 13, Junction; booth fee, $25; also, chili cook-off; $10 to enter; silent auction; 618-272-7341 Remote Control Boat Races: May 3-5, Arrowhead Lake, Johnston City; vendors sign up by April 1; $25; 618-983-8160

Theater/Stage Rumors: 10 a.m. Thursday, March 7 and 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 8-9, O’Neil Auditorium, John A. Logan College, Carterville; $12/$7; 618-985-2828, ext. 8287 A Night of Cabaret: Songs from the Silver Screen, 7 p.m. Saturday March 9, The Annex Coffee and Deli, Herrin; featuring Melissa McCamish Olsen; $10/$15 Queen of Bingo: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, Marion Cultural and Civic Center, Marion; $20/$30; explores the worlds of Bingo, family ties, diets, widowhood; audience members can win a turkey during Bingo game;;

618-997-4030 Murder of the Lost Crusade: Murder mystery dinner theater, 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16, Egyptian Country Club, 4880 Old US Highway 51, Mounds; wine tasting, 5 p.m.; dinner, 6 p.m.; auction; sponsored by the Pulaski County Development Association; $35; 618-3063227; The Little Mermaid Jr.: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, March 21-23 and 2 p.m. Sunday March 24, Marion Cultural and Civic Center; $15; presented by Southern Illinois kids ages 4-18; an Artstarts production;; 618-997-4030 At Last: A tribute to great female singers; 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, O’Neil Auditorium, John A. Logan College, Carterville; $15/$10; 618-985-2828, ext. 8287; Dreamgirls: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24, Carson Center, Paducah; story of 1960’s female singing group; $55/$45/$32.50; 270-4504444; Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, Marion Cultural and Civic Center; song, dance, multimedia; $25/$35; or 618-997-4030


Anna quilting group creating ‘Quilts of Valor’ to benefit military personnel ANNA — Quilters are invited to participate in a workshop Saturday to make “quilts of valor” to be presented to members of the armed services. Individuals and groups can take part in the event, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center, 117 W. Davie St. Attendees will make five or six

45-by-60-inch quilts. They are asked to bring red, white, blue or patriotic print material, sewing machines and $5 for lunch. Jane Nimmo, Sue Ann Zimmerman, Phyllis Keller and Connie Arnold of The Happy Scrappers discovered that family members out of the area were

Jordan Carter playing benefit concert

making quilts of valor and were directed to the website Those unable to attend can support the cause by donating material, batting and money for postage. For more information, call 618-614-0094. — Adam Testa

Art Events Student art show: 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, Great Boars of Fire Lodge, 820 Kratzinger Hollow Road, Cobden; music by the Rich Fabec Band, silent auction; 618-833-5858

Exhibits Civil War artifacts: Union County Museum, 117 S. Appleknocker St., Cobden; through early May; hours, 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Mary Porter: Harrisburg District Library; paintings of landmarks of Southern Illinois; through March 24 Painting by Carol Dooley: 35 Views of Yesterday at Gallery Space, Law Office of Joni Beth Bailey, 1008 Walnut St., Murphysboro; through March 29; also at the Blend Tea and Crepes in Cardondale and the Anna Arts Center; gallery@j

Learning Curves: Little Egypt Arts Association Arts Centre, downtown Marion; early and recent works by LEAA members; includes paintings, fiber art, woodworking; through March; 618-559-7379 Mixed Medium Pastiche: Joan Skiver-Levy, Longbranch Coffeehouse, Carbondale; watercolor/ collage; through April 1 Brave New World: The Art of the Book in the Digital Age, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Richview Road, Mount Vernon; through May 5; admission, $5; free Thursday; hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; 618-2421236; Pocketful of Posies: Salley Mavor, Beck Family Center Gallery, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Richview Road, Mount Vernon; fabric relief artwork; hours, 10 a.m.-

Live Entertainment Saturday, March 9th 2:00pm-6:00pm

Bill Bradley Band

More ongoing exhibits at 5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; through May 5; 618-242-1236; Shrode Fine Art & Craft Competition: Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon; through May 5; admission, $5; free Thursday; hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; 618-2421236; Cinema and Photography exhibit: Beal Grand Corridor Gallery, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Richview Road, Mount Vernon; works of SIU students, faculty and staff;

through May 5; admission, $5; free Thursday; 618-2421236; The Artist’s Story Book: University Museum, SIU; students from Cobden, Eldorado, Elverado, ZeiglerRoyalton high schools and Shawnee Community College create illustrated books reflecting their personal stories; through May 10;

Reception SIU Juried Art Exhibition: Surplus Gallery at the Glove Factory, 432 S. Washington St., Carbondale; reception, 68 p.m. Friday, March 8;

METROPOLIS — Nashville recording artists Jordan Carter and Justice will perform a benefit concert for Guardian Family Services on Saturday, March 9, at the Harrah’s. The country band has had two songs break into the top 75 on the National Music Row charts, with both tunes receiving national airplay. The group’s true country and Southern rock sound is led by Carter, a 13-time awardwinning Nashville Recording Artist two years in a row. His accolades include Top Male Vocalist, Top Male Entertainer and Top Traditional Song and Video. Carter is now in talks with a major independent recording label and recently appeared as an extra on

ABC’s television series “Nashville.” Doors for the concert event open at 6:45 p.m. Country line dancing lessons with Nightmoves Dance Club begin at 7 p.m. with Carter and his band performing at 7:30 p.m. Other entertainment between the band’s sets include line dancing, belly dancing by the Saidi Swagger Dancers and zumba by Tishaunda. Tickets for the event, which also features a silent auction and raffle, are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. They can be purchased at Guardian Family Services, 117 W. 10th St., or by calling 618-524-9922. All proceeds benefit Guardian Family Services and an effort to replace the shelter’s roof. — Adam Testa

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Miss Rockabilly favorites? Catch a tribute act in Marion

Southern Illinois Rockabilly Revival: Tribute concert, 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, Marion Cultural and Civic Center; $29/$36/$46/$56;; 618-997-4030 St. Louis Irish Arts: Traditional Irish music, 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, SIC, Harrisburg; $10/ $5; 618-252-5400 ext 2487 Jordan Carter and Justice: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, Harrah’s, Metropolis; doors open 6:45, country line dance lessons 7 p.m.; belly dancing; raffle; silent auction; advance tickets, $15; at the door, $20; 618-524-9922 Stars of Altgeld: Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, Shryock, SIU; winners of annual School of Music solo and composition competitions; $20/$8;; 618-453-6000 Jens Elvekjaer: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, Cedarhurst, 2600 Richview Road, Mount Vernon; one of Scandinavia’s leading young pianists and Denmark’s first Steinway Artist; $18/$5; 618-242-1236;

Kentucky Kentucky Opry Talent Search: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, Kentucky Opry, 88 Chilton Lane, Benton; $16/$15/$10/$7.50;; 888-459-8704 Josh Turner: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, The Carson Center, Paducah; $139-$27; 270-450-4444;

COUNTRY SCENE Vince Hoffard t was a routine day for Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records in Memphis. Carl Perkins, looking for a follow-up to his magical “Blue Suede Shoes,” had a recording session scheduled for Dec. 4, 1956. Johnny Cash had arrived at the studio early and was prepared to spend the day watching Perkins perform. Cash was a budding superstar at this time, with major hits like “I Walk the Line,” “Cry! Cry! Cry!” and “Folsom Prison Blues” to his credit.


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In an effort to beef up Perkins’ rockabilly sound, Phillips brought in local piano pounder Jerry Lee Lewis. At the time, Lewis was virtually unknown outside of the Memphis area, but within a year he would be a national star with “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” and “Great Balls Of Fire.” It was just after lunch when this routine day with three talented young performers in the building would turn into a prominent day in rock ‘n’ roll history, thanks to an unannounced visit by superstar Elvis Presley. Just a few months earlier, Presley created a national sensation with an electrifying performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The program drew a record breaking audience share of more than 82 percent, a mark that has never been broken. His hit list already included “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and ““Hound Dog. A marathon jam session soon broke out and studio engineer Cowboy Jack Clement had the good

sense to press a record button before it started, preserving the 46 unrehearsed tracks for posterity from what would become known as “the Million Dollar Quartet.” At the time, Lewis and Presley were 21. Cash and Perkins were 24. Today, only the 77-year old Lewis survives. Local music fans had a chance to see all four of the legends perform through the years at the Du Quoin State Fair, JR’s Executive Inn in Paducah, the SIU Arena in Carbondale or the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. Those missing the shows are getting a second chance. Rockabilly Revival, a collection of four of the best impersonators in the world, will make a stop at the Marion Civic and Cultural Center at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8. Tickets are $29, $36, $46 and $56. “It’s going to be a cool show,” said Shawn Barker of Caseyville, who portrays Johnny Cash. “I think Johnny Cash is more popular today than when he was alive. He

Presented by

appeals to a broad base of fans. He is the original rebel, so the punk crowd loves him. Then you have his original traditional country fans and the folks brought in late in his career by Rick Bubin. He covers all demographics.” Elvis Presley is performed by Cody Ray Slaughter. John Meuller performs the part of Carl Perkins. Lance Lipinsky captures the essence of Jerry Lee Lewis in awardwinning style. Barker said taking the enormous body of Cash’s work, which included 135 country singles, and reducing it to a pair of 15minute sets for the show is a daunting task. “It can be difficult,” he said. “We are trying to stay with his early Sun Records sound with songs like ‘Big River, ‘I Walk The Line’ and ‘Hey Porter.’ I get out of the time frame a little bit sometimes. You can’t do a Johnny Cash tribute without singing ‘Ring Of Fire.’” VINCE HOFFARD can be reached at 618-658-9095 or vincehoffard@

Marion Cultural and Civic Center





14th Street Saloon: 1017 N. 14th St., Murphysboro 618-684-9338 20’s Hideout: 2602 Wanda Drive, Marion 618-997-8325 Corner Dance Hall: 200 Franklin St., Whittington 618-303-5266 Duncan Dance Barn: 13545 Spring Pond Road, Benton 618-435-6161 Elkville: Elkville Civic Center, 405 S. 6th St., Elkville 618-201-1753 Hangar 9: 511 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale 618-549-0511 J Dee’s Connection: 215 E. Main St., Benton John Brown’s on the Square: 1000 Tower Square, Marion 618-997-2909 Key West: 1108 W. Main St., Carbondale 618-351-5998 Lion’s Cave: South Street, Thompsonville 618-218-4888 Mack’s Lake of Egypt Marina: 12024 Laguna Drive, Lake of Egypt Marion American Legion: Longstreet Road, Marion 618-997-6168 Marion Eagles: Russell and Longstreet Roads, Marion 618-993-6300 Marion Youth Center: 211 E. Boulevard St., Marion 618-922-7853 N-Kahootz Night Club: 115 W. Cherry St., Herrin 618-942-9345 Old Country Store Dance Barn: Main Street, Thompsonville 618-218-4676 Pinch Penny Pub/Copper Dragon: 700 E. Grand Ave., Carbondale 618-549-3348 PK’s: 308 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale 618-529-1124 Scarlett’s Music Barn: 207 Potter St., White Ash 618-997-4979 Steeleville American Legion: 303 S. Chester St., Steeleville 618-965-3362 The Grotto Lounge/Newell House: 201 E. Main St., Carbondale 618-649-6400 The Zone Lounge: 14711 Illinois 37, Whittington 618-629-2039 Trackside Dance Barn: 104 Rock St., Spillertown 618-993-3035 Tres Hombres: 119 N. Washington St., Carbondale 618-457-3308 WB Ranch Barn: 1586 Pershing Road, West Frankfort 618-937-3718 Williamson County Fairground Hanna Building: Fair and Main streets, Marion 618-917-5230

BENTON Duncan Dance Barn:: Spring Pond Opry Band, 6:30-9:30 J Dee’s Connection:: Bobby Orr and the Crossroads Band, 6:30-9:30 CARBONDALE PK’s: 86ed The Grotto Lounge: Coulter, Goot and Wall, 7-10 Tres Hombres: The Tweedsmen and The Voyageurs, 10 p.m. MARION Williamson County Fairground Hanna Building: Big Lake Country Band, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

FRIDAY CARBONDALE Hangar 9: We Got It Covered, 10 p.m. PK’s: Timmy Whiteford Band Tres Hombres: Eric Lambert and Friends, 10 p.m. MARION Marion Youth Center: Craig’s Country Band, 6:30-9:30 THOMPSONVILLE Old Country Store Dance Barn: Jeanita Spillman & The Sentimental Country Band, 6:30-9:30 p.m. WHITTINGTON The Zone Lounge: Byrd Unplugged

THOMPSONVILLE Old Country Store Dance Barn: Lil’ Boot & Classic Country, 7-10 p.m. WHITTINGTON The Zone: The Holdouts WHITE ASH Scarlett’s Music Barn: Swing N Country Dance Band, 7-9:30 p.m.

SUNDAY MARION Eagles: Salty Dog, 6-10 p.m.

MONDAY ELKVILLE Elkville Civic Center: Jerry’s Jammers, 7-9 p.m. MARION Marion Youth Center: Craig’s Country Band, 6:30-9:30

TUESDAY CARBONDALE PK’s: Alex Kirt and friends MARION Hideout: Bob Pina, piano, 5:30-8:30 p.m. THOMPSONVILLE Lion’s Cave: Mike’s Band, 710 p.m. WEST FRANKFORT WB Ranch Barn: WB Ranch Band, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY HERRIN American Legion: Timberline,

At the Wineries SATURDAY Dave Clark: 2-5 p.m., Blue Sky Vineyard Dave Simmons: 2-5 p.m., Rustle Hill Winery Bill Bradley Band: 2-6 p.m., StarView Vineyards Wooden Ships: 2:30-5:30 p.m., Von Jakob Vineyard Fertile Soil: 4-8 p.m., The Bluffs SUNDAY Brad & Bri: 1-4 p.m., Rustle Hill Winery Rip Lee Pryor: 2-5 p.m., Blue Sky Vineyard Dan Barron: 2-5 p.m., Walker’s Bluff Dirtwater Fox: 2:30-5:30 p.m., Von Jakob Vineyard Larry Dillard Blues Therapy: 3-7 p.m., The Bluffs Mel Goot on piano: 2-5 p.m., Orlandini Vineyard FIND THEM HERE Blue Sky, 3150 S. Rocky Comfort Road, Makanda Lincoln Heritage Winery, 772 Kaolin Road, Cobden Owl Creek Vineyard, 2655 Water Valley Road, Cobden Rustle Hill, U.S. 51, Cobden StarView Vineyards, 5100 Wing Hill Road, Cobden Von Jakob Vineyard, 230 Illinois 127, Alto Pass Walker’s Bluff, 326 Vermont Road, Carterville Orlandini Vineyard, 410

SATURDAY CARBONDALE PK’s: Perpetual Days The Grotto Lounge/Newell House: Casey James, 9 p.m. Tres Hombres: Swamp Tigers, 10 p.m. HERRIN N-Kahootz Night Club: Chris Welch Band, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. MARION Hideout Restaurant: Bob Pina, piano 5:30-9:30 p.m. American Legion: Mocking Bird, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Marion Eagles: Salty Dog, 711 p.m. MURPHYSBORO 14th Street Saloon: Righteous Rebel Band, 9 p.m.

WANT TO BE LISTED? 618-351-5089 Coffeehouses, Cafés Whisky Tongue: 8-11 p.m. Friday, Fat Patties, 611 S. Illinois Ave. Carbondale; 618-529-3287



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Raimi’s ‘Oz’ gets the story right, if not the witches Oz the Great and Powerful *** Rated PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language; starringJames Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff; directed by Sam Raimi; opening Friday at ShowPlace 8 in Carbondale and AMC Centre 8 in Marion BY ROGER MOORE MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS STUDIO

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In the movies’ version of March Madness, Sam Raimi turns out to be a much better Tim Burton than Bryan Singer. Unlike “Giant Slayer” Singer, Sam’s got a sense of humor. Taking on a prequel to the fairytale that frightened generations, Sam does scary. And does it well. “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a winning back-engineering of the Oz fantasy, a “How the Wizard got to be wonderful” romp that is a stunning update “The Wizard of Oz’s” effects, and the most gorgeous use of 3-D since “Alice in Wonderland.” Screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire manage just enough whimsy to make the movie’s two hours pass without irritation. Raimi, having cut his teeth on horror and brought “SpiderMan” to life, was the right guy to make this emeraldtinted world pop off the 3-D screen. But the cast, plainly packed with second or third choices, lets it down. Is there anything in James Franco’s past that suggests larger-than-life, a fast-talking,

womanizing con-man? And the three witches — Theodora, Evanora and Glinda — are Bland, Blander and Blond Bland. Oscar “Oz” Diggs is a magician who escapes the cut-rate Baum Bros. Circus in 1905 Kansas only to be swept, by tornado, to the Merry Olde Land of Oz. Where things aren’t merry. The king is dead, and “the prophecy” says that only a great wizard can replace him. Plainly, the guy with the same name as the place is their man. Intrigues? The witch Theodora (Mila Kunis, never prettier) is smitten with him, her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) is jealous. They want the wizard to rid Oz of the Great Menace, Glinda (Michelle Williams), which Oz, easily bribed, agrees to do. Sidekick? That would be Finley, a flying monkey Oz saves, who then owes a “life debt” to the pretend-wizard. He’s amusingly voiced by Zach Braff. Oz must trek and travel by bubble through the far corners of Oz and sort out who the real villain is and how to fight the hideous, 3-D flying baboons who have supplanted the flying monkeys. Franco, as Oz, turns on the charm and oozes insincerity as he passes on what he’s learned, conning small-town tentshow audiences — “Lies, the stepping stones on the road to greatness.” But the witches — an Oscar winner, an Oscar nominee and a Golden Globe nominee among them — haven’t the necessary vamp to make these conjurers sing. A trip to “Wicked” would have helped.


James Franco and Michelle Williams in ‘Oz the Great and Powerful,’ which opens Friday.

Even with the stunning production design — done by “Alice in Wonderland” Oscar winner Robert Stromberg — which starts our story in a black-andwhite Kansas, where humor and pathos pop up, even with Danny Eflman’s playful score, this “Oz” starts to drag in under an hour. You may miss the witches’ guards’ (Raimi crony Bruce Campbell is one) song — “Oooo weee oh.” As the “climactic battle” story arc of way too many filmed fairytales settles in, you may find yourself checking the time and asking, “Donde estan los Munchkins?” But fear not. Uncle Sam knows what you want. And when he’s done giving a new generation of tykes frights about apes that fly in the night, he’ll cover it all. If it isn’t Oz without Dorothy and those ruby red slippers, he’ll at least do justice to L. Frank Baum’s malleable wizarding world and give us an Oz worthy of our times.

Flipside 03-07  

Churning the Rumor mill

Flipside 03-07  

Churning the Rumor mill