By Sherry Lucas
When the Gumbo Festival stirred up good Southern fun and food at Smith Park that first year, organizers Bill Bissell and Arden Barnett invited me to be a judge and, appetite whetted, I jumped at the chance. An intriguing range awaited, and tasting so many convinced me that this signature stew offered an expansive canvas for creativity and a heckuva lot of gumbo to get through!
Roux the day, I laughed to myself, as I grabbed a beer and sank under a tree to digest afterward, wait out my gumbo coma and catch some of the fine music the fest offered. I know what I like in a good gumbo, and it’s fun to find it at that fest. The music and the community camaraderie — those are simply the perfect sides.
Check out the slew of family fun ahead as well as the stew that brings us all together around many a tasty bowl.
“Morningside” by Mississippi native Topher Payne, continues at New Stage Theatre with performances at 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The baby shower comedy has plenty of emotion, too, as it tackles contemporary issues with an all-women ensemble cast. Tickets are $30, $25 seniors/students; visit newstagetheatre.com or the New Stage box office or call 601-948-3531.
Museum After Hours, 5:30 p.m.-until Thursday at the Mississippi Museum of Art, takes an art and craft focus with works by Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi members on display. The High Note Jam concert series kicks off with Clouds and Crayons (6 p.m.) and Screen on the Green features “School of Rock” at 8 p.m. A cash bar, food available for purchase and food trucks will be on hand.
The Brewery Comedy Tour, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hops & Habanas, features New York- and Los Angeles-based comedians on tour. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 day of show.
Southern Mississippi country music singer-songwriter Derek Norsworthy plays Duling Hall, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, in a free show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the free show.
Grab a blanket, pack a picnic and settle in under the cedars at The Cedars for the popular Symphony at Sunset, 7 p.m. Thursday, by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Find parking at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Lower School and the grassy area at Old Canton and Meadowbrook.
District Green Live, 6 p.m. Thursday at The District at Eastover in LeFleur East, offers live music and a chance for visitors to enjoy dining. Lawn chairs are welcome.
Jackson State University’s department of theatre presents “the Mountaintop,” 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday at Rose E. McCoy Auditorium. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 senior adults and $7 students.
The Austen Film Series in the Welty Garden is back this fall, with a Friday showing of “Persuasian.” The ground open at 5:30 p.m., the program starts at 6:45 p.m. and the movie starts at dark, about 7:15 p.m. In case of rain, the movie will be shown at the Student Center at Belhaven University. Bring a chair or blanket for seating.
One Mic: Five Emcees, 8-10 p.m. Friday at Offbeat, features performers Mr. Fluid, Yung Jewelz, Ray Kincaid, Metaphive, Montshodaw and DJ 7/27. There’s an $8 cover, $10 via card.
The Mississippi Science Fest on Saturday at the four museums in the LeFleur Museum District showcase science, technology, engineer and math professions with a specific Mississippi focus, with family-friendly, hands-on activities that engage kids and spark inspiration, imagination and curiosity. Keep an eye out for robotics, engineering, plastics, conservation, biology, farming, NASA, chemistry and many more activities at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A single $10 ticket gets a wristband for admission at any of the museums, and free parking and a shuttle bus provides transportation among sites. Food trucks will be onsite with food for purchase. Find tickets at mssciencefest.org (online presale closes at noon Friday). Tickets can also be purchased on event day at any of the museums.
The Oaks House Museum presents lawyer/historian/author James L. Robertson in a discussion of the Mississippi Married Women’s Property Law of 1839, at noon Saturday. Mississippi was the first state to adopt a married women’s property law, and state senator Gordon D. Boyd’s (brother-in-law of Oaks owner Eliza Boyd) address to the Mississippi Senate in support of the legislation made the newspaper at the time (and made him a rascal to some and hero to others).
The BankPlus International Gumbo Festival Saturday in Smith Park, where tasty eats and tasty tunes fill up a fantastic afternoon, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with gumbo from competing teams and music from the Cedric Burnside Project, Webb Wilder, Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers and Matt Willis. It’s $10 advance (ardenland.net), $15 at the gate and $30 for a four-pack.
The Mississippi Symphony Orchestras Pops season opener brings back Jeans ’n Classics, this time with “Dancing Queen: The Music of Abba,” and four lead singers who hit all the sweet, stirring, iconic spots in that irresistible collection of music, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Thalia Mara Hall. For tickets, visit msorchestra.com or call 601-960-1565.
Southern rock irreverence meets ‘90s country love song seduction in the sounds of Alabama duo Muscadine Bloodline takes the stage Saturday night at Duling Hall with Jobe Fortner and Jordan Fletcher opening. The show’s at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 advance (ardenland.net) and $15 day of show.
Discovery Night: Around the Campfire, 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum is a family fundraising event celebrating children’s literature and delves into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with a dinner buffet, music by Bill, Temperance & Jeff, S’mores, campfire songs and more special activities. For tickets, $25 adults and $10 children, visit mschildrensmuseum.org.
Enjoy Mississippi Whole Hog BBQ, 5:30 p.m. Sunday at The Cedars, as chefs including The Pig & Pint’s Andy Cook, Roosters’ Nathan Glenn, Walker’s Drive-In’s Derek Emerson and more combine cooking forces. There’s music by Greenfish, a cash bar and a special bourbon tasting — all to benefit Farm Families of Mississippi. Tickets are $25 adults, $15 children younger than 10.
The ACLU of Mississippi’s Fight for Freedom art show and garden party, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday at the Mississippi Museum of Art is a fundraiser focused on visual art and creative writing as freedom fighters and art activists from across the state and brought together, with a silent art auction, food stations and music from the Southern Komfort Brass Band. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601-354-3408.
WellsFest Art Night, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Duling Hall, includes a preview party/buy-now section until 7 p.m. and a 7-9 p.m. live auction with refreshments by Babalu and Table 100 and watercolorist Wyatt Waters painting a still life onsite as part of several WellsFest events that will benefit Growing Up Knowing: Mississippi Campaign for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Find out more at wellsfest.org.
UniverSoul Circus starts a six-day run Tuesday at New Horizon Church International with thrills, colorful costumes, music, jaw-dropping entertainment and much more. For showtimes and tickets (starting at $16), visit ticketmaster.com.
Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a curated sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional Fondren events, see our online calendar here. Reach Sherry at email@example.com.