If you're in the mood to bob your head to some upbeat oldies while taking in a visual dancing spectacle, don't miss New Stage Theatre's "Smokey Joe's Café."
New Stage Theatre continues the centennial celebration of writer Eudora Welty with the theatrical adaption of one of her more beloved novellas, "The Ponder Heart."
Next week, The Commons at Eudora Welty's Birthplace kicks off Spring Fest 2009, with various nightly events leading up to a big festival Saturday.
"The Colored Museum"• Jim Hill High School• Admission $5
It's only fitting that this writing contest is named after Eudora Welty. Not only was she on the New Stage board of directors, but her work is also is a glorious, beaming example of what it means to be good writer.
"The Vagina Monologues"• Rainbow Plaza• Early Bird Tickets $15
• New Stage Theatre• Jan. 27-31 and Feb. 4-7 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.• Tickets $22; discounts available
Called "our local Keith Richards" by some Jacksonians, musician Chuck Ripperton has been a fixture in Jackson's music scene since the early 1970s. Ripperton, a guitarist, has played in numerous local bands including the Sofa Kings, The Oral Socks, The Riptones and Risque Ray and the Swing Set. On Jan. 2, Ripperton died from cancer, leaving behind his wife Sylvia and three children. A host of local bands and friends have rallied around Ripperton's family and are playing a memorial concert in his honor to help them financially in the wake of his death. The lineup for the show includes the Bill Kehoe Trio, Patrick Harkins, Sofa Kings, Eric Stracener, The Moils and others. This is music for a good cause; do your heart a little good.
The first ballot I cast as a newly registered voter included a referendum to build a convention center in Jackson. It's rewarding to finally see that idea go from a blue voting machine screen become a tangible, beautifully constructed reality in the heart of downtown Jackson. To celebrate the grand opening, the Convention Center Commission, along with many other hosts and sponsors, is throwing a big party with two large stages of music and arts performances all day long. The celebration will also include a lounge with games playing on big screen TVs, a shuttle service to take you to the complex, and a food court and concession stand. The event is kid-friendly, too, with face painting, a rock wall, bungee jumping, Smiley the Clown, a petting zoo, and are you ready for this? ... Vince and Larry, the crash-test dummies. Performers will grace the stages in 30-minute intervals throughout the day and include Latinismo!, Kamikaze, Faze4, Jesse Robinson, Full Moon Circus, JSU step teams, New Stage Theatre, Ballet Mississippi and Dorian the Magician, to name a few. Free music + magicians + food = a perfect Saturday afternoon.
• Cirque du Soleil• Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, Biloxi• Tickets $40-$95; $32-$76 children