That time I hung out with the Molly Ringwalds. Image: Sherry Lucas

by Sherry Lucas

Wish that you had Jessie’s girl? I guess they’re just what you needed: The Molly Ringwalds. Set your clock. Then back it up a few decades.

That New Orleans-based quintet billed as “The World’s Greatest ’80s Experience” returns to Duling Hall Saturday night with all the covers that, if you’re like me, defined your personal party soundtrack first time around. The now retro rock is gussied up all in good fun with makeup, costumes, lights, video and multimedia, adding a whole new flash to flashback. I had a fun visit with the fellows backstage before one or their shows here over a couple of years ago.

It was a lot of cheeky fun, with a crowd invested in full-on Molly mania and a playlist that shaved off the years, paid tribute to those great bands and at times, even whipped up a singalong.

Last time I caught them at Duling Hall, I was with a pal and we were head bopping right along with the rest. The guy in front of us had a beer crammed in each back pocket of his jeans — such a marvel of fit and function I had to take a picture. We laughed. He turned around, all grins that we were so focused on his packed posterior and expert party planning potential. He even offered to share. I reckon you could say we’re all Molly-fied by the butt beers, the band, the buzz. That scene, those tunes … what can I say? I just ‘80ed it up.

Country music singer and guitarist Jason Eady strums it up in the classic country vein, with a stripped-down, roots-oriented sound that showcases his songwriting. Hear him at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Duling Hall. Courtney Patton opens. Tickets are $10; visit ardenland.net for more info.

Jason Eady plays Thursday night at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

This summer’s coming along swimmingly, New Stage Theatre’s Summer Day Camp included. Dive right in, Thursday through Sunday for “Once on This Island Jr.,” an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, “The Little Mermaid.” The song and dance musical tells the story of a peasant girl who rescues and falls for a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. When he’s returned to his people, gods ruling the island guide her on a quest that’ll test the strength of her love against prejudice, hate and more. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, $15 adults and $10 children 12 and younger, call 601-948-3531 or visit newstagetheatre.com. The production is the culmination of the four-week Broadway Junior Summer Theatre Intensive.

“Once on This Island Jr.” is Thursday through Sunday at New Stage Theatre. Image: New Stage Theatre

Friday night, pop by PRGS In the Gallery (at Pearl River Glass Studio) for Incontrived: New Assemblage Sculpture by E. Millet.” The 5-8 p.m. Friday opening sees the welcome return of Ed Millet to the Jackson scene, at least for this show, along his wit-infused sculptures. We’ve been too long without them. The show is up through Aug. 12.

“Incontrived” Friday at Pearl River Glass Studio showcases Ed Millet’s assemblage sculpture. Image: Pearl River Glass Studio

Rum is the quintessential taste of summer. Get you some at Ready to Rhumble, 6:30-10 p.m. Friday at Rickhouse by The Manship, 717 Poplar Boulevard. The Manship Wood-Fired Kitchen and Magnolia Barrel House present this night of world-class rums, led by influential rum renaissance men and rounded out by heavy hors. Tasting tickets are $75 on eventbrite.com.

Guitarist extraordinaire Barry Leach, who can pluck any genre from those strings and sound amazing, plays Friday night in the dining room at Hal & Mal’s. Drop by and give him a listen. You’ll be glad you did.

It’s the sweetest way to get the scoop EVER. The Jackson Zoo’s Ice Cream Safari, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday is the hottest draw with the coolest reward. Now in its 23rd year, the fundraiser and 20-plus celebrity scoopers dish up that many Blue Bunny favorites for the crowd, along with such fun stuff on the side as face-painting with Snap Happy & Fancy Faces, caricature artist David Jackson, a bubble factory, dunking booth, splash pad, guest characters, music with DJ Silas and more. The special event is admission or membership plus $4 per person — so, $14.25 for adults, $11.25 for kids, $4 for members. Go ahead, folks. Lap it up!

The Ice Cream Safari is Saturday at the Jackson Zoo. Check out this year’s trophies! Image: Jackson Zoo

The Molly Ringwalds bring the ultimate ‘80s experience back to Duling Hall, 9 p.m. Saturday. It’s $25 advance (ardenland.net), $30 at the door.

The Molly Ringwalds perform Saturday at Duling Hall. Image: ardenland

Neon Night Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum is the attraction’s signature summer fundraiser aimed at young metro area professionals, to benefit the museum’s programs and literacy promotion. Live music from the always-fun Mustache The Band, beer and signature drinks and food truck favorites are part of the fun, as is the glow promised in the title. It’s 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday and limited to the 21-and-older set. For event tickets, $50 each, visit mississippichildrensmuseum.com.

The Mississippi Children’s Museum’s signature summer fundraiser, Neon Night, is Saturday. Image: MCM

Rippling muscles are just the start at the 2017 NPC Mississippi Championships, Saturday at Madison Central Performing Arts Auditorium in Madison. The 36th annual event is a national qualifier where competitors flex and pose and make muscles dance in bodybuilding, figure, bikini, physique and classical physique categories. There’s a 9 a.m. prejudging, $20, and 6:30 p.m. show, $30 general admission and $40 reserved. Key draws this year include pro guest poser Zoa Linsey, grandmaster strongman Dennis Roger as this year’s entertainment and special guest poser and Mississippi’s own Lequida Sanders. Visit npcmsbodybuilding.com for more details.

Grandmaster strongman Dennis Rogers entertains at Saturday’s NPC Mississippi Championships. Image: NPC Mississippi Championships

The Children’s of Mississippi Fitness Fest, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Trade Mart promises a cool day of fun indoors, with activities that can get the whole family on the move. Among the activities is a one-mile indoor fitness trail where kids can walk, jump dance and play — healthful aerobic fun made easy. Get moving! Admission is $2 per person, $10 max per family. Download a free family pass at parents-kids.com.

The Children’s of Mississippi Fitness Fest is Saturday at the Mississippi Trade Mart. Image: Parents & Kids Magazine

New Orleans indie rock band Motel Radio brings their harmony-driven sound to the stage at Martin’s Saturday night at 10 p.m. It’s $10.

Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 33 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. Reach her at sherry@finditinfondren.com.