Mississippi River selfie with my dearest, Randall Thomas. Image: Sherry Lucas

By Sherry Lucas

After a long weekend in New Orleans, where much time was wiled away in languid leisure on a St. Charles Avenue balcony watching streetcars, or in the shade near the bayou soaking up Greek music and sipping pomegranate iced tea, I’m convinced that the tail end of spring in the South has thoroughly seduced me.

A cool drink, slight breeze and great company — the combo works like a charm. It’s a great reminder, just in time for some of the outdoor concerts, festivals and gatherings in the days ahead. As usual, plenty of enticements await indoors, too!

“Bright Star,” the musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell that’s a pure and refreshing dose of great bluegrass and folk music with a great story to boot, continues at New Stage Theatre with performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through June 9. For tickets, $35 adults with discounts for seniors, students and groups, visit newstagetheatre.com/tickets or call 601-948-3531. Some performances are sold out, so get your tickets quick!

The cast of “Bright Star” at New Stage Theatre includes Drew Stark as Daryl Ames, Tess Jonas as Lucy Grant, Tyler Bellmon as Billy Cane, Sari Koppel as Alice Murphy and John Maxwell as Daddy Cane. Photo by Greg Campbell

Kickback at the Compound Wednesdays and Fridays, with extended hours 5:30-10 p.m. through the summer months at Kundi Compound, 3220 N. State St.

Check in, hang out and enjoy some the best in local music at Hal & Mal’s, with this lineup: blues and harp master Scott Albert Johnson Thursday; bluegrass and more with Crooked Creek Saturday; CMBS Blue Monday on Monday; Dinner, Drinks & Jazz with Raphael Semmes and Friends Tuesday night.

Mississippi Opera’s new recital series at St. Dominic Chapel starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday with “Moonlight & Magic” featuring soprano Stacey Trenteseaux from Dresden, Germany, and pianist Zhaolei Xie from Beijing, China. This is the first program in the Opera the Chapel series, which will focus on favorite opera arias, musical theater tunes and art songs, including works by Gershwin, Strauss, Puccini and more. The recital is free and open to the public.

Enjoy a sunset concert Thursday at Lakeshore Park on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, with Keys vs. Strings, with cold beverages, good eats and hot tunes, starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per car (free with Rez license plate) or $1 walk-in or bike-in at the pet-friendly event.

Live@Lunch Friday, 11:30 a.m. on the C Spire Stage in the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, soak up the music of Drew McKercher as you bask in the breeze and perhaps pick up some tasty treats from LaBrioche at the Museum. The Jackson-based musician and artist has been a frontman for bands since the late ‘90s and his solo acoustic work journeys through literary singer-songwriter territory.

Drew McKercher performs at Live@Lunch Friday. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

Swing Fore the Kettle, noon Friday at Castlewoods Golf & Country Club in Brandon is The Salvation Army’s first tournament fundraiser, so grab your clubs and join the fun. Lunch and on-course refreshments are provided for all participants, and the tournament includes raffle prizes and various awards. For info or to donate items, contact development director Jennifer Bennett at jennifer.s.bennett@uss.salvationarmy.org or 601-383-4936.

Get a dollop of great entertainment and then some at the Cathead Jam, Friday and Saturday at Cathead Distillery, with a roster or rockin’ music as the festival celebrates Cathead Vodka’s nine years. The lineup for Friday night (5 p.m. opening, 6 p.m. start) includes The Revivalists, Anderson East and Aaron Lee Tasjan. On Saturday (1 p.m. opening, 2 p.m. start), enjoy Umphrey’s McGee, Greensky Bluegrass, Julian Junior Marvin’s Wailers, Rayland Baxter and Young Valley. Find tickets at catheadjam.com.

The Revivalists perform Friday night at Cathead Jam. Image: Zackery Michael

Official Cathead Jam After Shows at Martin’s feature Cary Hudson with South Jones, 10 p.m. Friday and The Grass Is Dead, 10 p.m. Saturday.

Roll into action with the May Community Ride, 6-9 p.m. Friday as bicyclists take to the city streets in a fun monthly community ride. It’s a great way to celebrate Bike Month, so meet up at 6 p.m. Friday at the Capri Theatre for some fellowship on wheels. The ride rolls at 6:15 p.m. and a visit to Urban Foxes for pie and beverages is in the plan.

Keep Fondren Beautiful Day, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday will see Fondren Renaissance Foundation and Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership volunteers working together to pick up trash, pull weeds and join forces toward beautifying the downtown Fondren Historic District. Join in and let’s all spruce up our favorite corner of the capital city.

Jackson Firefighters Union Local 87’s 4th annual BBQ & Cook-Off, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Smith Park is a chance to eat and compete and soak up summer fun. Contact Dwight McKinney at 601-316-6952 for more info.

Catch the final gathering in the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s Suite of Soirees — a Garden Party, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday, combining exceptional dining. fine wine and a performance by MSO concertmistress Marta Szlubowska, hosted by Kim and Katie Brees. It’s $100 per person; call the MSO office at 601-960-1565 or visit msorchestra.com to make a reservation.

Marta Szlubowska. Image: M. Szlubowska

The grand opening of Eritaj Cookery inside the Kundi Compound (3220  N. State St.), 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday starts the day (as well as Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays to follow) with healthy breakfast and lunch vegetarian and vegan options at affordable prices.

The history of blues unfolds through music and conversation in a special program, “Field to Funk: Grady Champion,” 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The event is a companion to the “Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” exhibit and includes a performance by Grammy Award winner Champion. It’s free. Call 601-576-6800 or email info@mscivilrightsmuseum.com for more info.

Mark your calendar for Snake Day at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, next Wednesday, June 5, for a focus on the slithering creatures with noted snake expert Terry Vandeventer, in two live snake programs, at 10 a.m. and at noon in the museum’s Rotwein Theater. You’ll learn how to distinguish venomous snakes from non-venomous ones, enjoy crafts and activities and much more. Nothing to be scared of here — trust the experts and learn more about these fascinating reptiles. It’s included with museum admission ($6 adults, $4 children ages 3 and older, free for museum members and those younger than age 3).

Snake Day is Wednesday, June 5, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Image: Ginger Vandeventer

Sherry Lucas has been a features writer in Jackson for the last 35 years. Reach Sherry at sherry@finditinfondren.com.

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