The Must-Sees of Summer 2015

Once May rolls around each year, tons of new activities pop up, old events spring back to life, and summer feels absolutely endless. That is, it does until it's over. Here are a few ideas to keep an eye out for as you soak up as much summer as possible.

"It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues"

May 26-June 7, New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3531)

You don't need a reminder that Mississippi is the birthplace of blues music. But New Stage Theatre's latest production isn't a reminder. It's a celebration, and with the recent loss of legendary guitarist B.B. King, the play couldn't have come to Jackson at a better time. "It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues" traces the lineage of one the quintessential American music genres with more than 24 classic songs that highlight some of the styles and icons that influenced it along the way. Even for those who aren't well versed in blues, it's a great jumping-off point.

Fondren's First Thursday

Thursday, June 4, August 6, Fondren

If the ever-growing crowds of people who attend each month are any indication, Fondren's First Thursdays have a bright future, which now happens earlier in the day, with the hours being extended to an 11 a.m. start time in June. Owner Ron Chane has doubled up on the successes of the former Fondren After 5 by making it a haven for creative collaborations, whether it's artists, chefs or musicians. And let's just be honest: Before this, when was the last time you said, "Oh, awesome. It's Thursday."?

The Workout Room

Friday, June 12, The Mediterranean Fish & Grill (6550 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-0082)

As it turns out, Jackson is an amazing place for stand-up comedy. In the last few months, we've had successful comedians, such as Bill Burr, Sommore and Sean Patton, perform here. My interview with Burr got me itching to try stand-up at One Block East's monthly open-mic. Now, I'm looking forward to trying again at The Workout Room, a comedy event designed for first-timers and new material. It's nerve-wracking, but it's something everyone should try once.

Mississippi Comic Con

June 27-28, Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St., 601-973-3795)

I don't mind admitting that I'm a massive fan of "nerd entertainment" at large, from movies and TV to comic books and graphic novels. But even if I wasn't, the first-ever Mississippi Comic Con would be on my can't-miss list. It's all about spectacle, and this evolution of last year's successful SOPOCU Con has plenty of that. Guests include a World Wrestling Entertainment star, an anime voice actor, renowned cosplayers and many of the country's best artistic talents. If you're worried about fitting in, don't be. AVC Conventions has pulled together something for fans of anything and everything. Look for a larger story in Jackson Free Press' near future.

The 11th Annual JFP Chick Ball

Saturday, July 18, Hal & Mal's (200 Commerce St., 601-948-0888)

One of my favorite things about working with the Jackson Free Press is being at the center of Jackson's events, and few get people as excited as the annual Chick Ball, which, this year, raises money for the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It's a crazy time with local businesses and artists bringing in auction items left and right, but the food, music and cause make the Chick Ball one of the year's best places to be.


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