Can’t Miss Alabama is at its best with Broadway musicals and more

Can’t Miss Alabama is at its best with Broadway musicals and more
Mary Poppins, Jr. cast members, left to right, Rachel Ponder and Kirsten Estes. (contributed)

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The possibilities for summertime entertainment in Alabama are almost endless.

Virginia Samford Theatre

Your favorite nanny will recapture your heart through songs and dance in the popular Broadway musical Mary Poppins, Jr. July 26-Aug. 4 at the Virginia Samford Theatre. The hours for the musical are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Reserved seating is $25 and student tickets are $15.

For information, call 205-251-1228 or email [email protected].

Birmingham Freedom Fest

Ruben Studdard and Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson will headline the inaugural Birmingham Freedom Fest, which includes 8 Ball & MJG, Musig Soulchild, Love Moor Midnight Star, Dani, Translee, Alvin Garrett and more. The music and empowerment festival hosted by the City of Birmingham will celebrate civil rights pioneers and showcase local and national artists. Mayor Randall Woodfin and local leaders will lead the Justice, Empathy and Advocacy panel discussion featuring awarding-winning author and prison reform advocate Anthony Ray Hinton and Alabama U.S. Sen. Doug Jones at the 16th Street Baptist Church from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The festival will announce the winner of the online Freedom Fest Contest with eight empowerment sessions in the Birmingham Civil Rights District. Gates will open at 10 a.m., and the music starts at noon on Saturday. Food trucks and food vendors will be on site. Tickets are available online or at JB’s House of Fashion.

Parking is $10 in Deck No. 7 on 18th Street North and at the Boutwell Auditorium deck.

Learn more about the music lineup, locations for the empowerment sessions and parking directions.

Hashtag #FreedomFestBhm for the event.

Red Mountain Theatre

The Red Mountain Theatre Company presents “Matilda” through Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater. The Tony-Award-winning comedy tells the story of how a brilliant young girl with psychokinetic powers overcomes the challenges of her unkind parents and an evil principal. The performance has mild language and teen situations. Tickets for the sensory-friendly performance start at $20.

The Dorothy Jemison Day Theater is at 800 19th St. North.

The Playhouse in the Park

The musical “Oliver” is underway through Sunday, Aug. 11, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mobile’s Playhouse in the Park. The musical is based on Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist.” Because Oliver was an orphan and never felt love, he fell into the hands of a group of boys who were trained pickpockets. Will Oliver stay enslaved in this life of crime or will he be able to escape? Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 251-602-0630.

Chilton County Arts Festival

Thousands are expected to attend the Chilton County Arts Festival this Saturday. More than 50 artisans will display hand-crafted art, wood, fabric, glass and jewelry. Food trucks will be available. Admission is free. For more information about the festival, call 205-245-9441 or email [email protected].com. For updates, follow the event on Facebook. Go here for directions.

The venue is Clanton Conference and Performing Arts, 703 Second Ave. North.

City Lights and Stars Concert

Henri’s Notions will headline the City Lights and Stars Concert Friday, July 26, at Burritt on the Mountain in Huntsville. The band will perform traditional Celtic and American music. Hear the ardent sounds of the fiddle, lilting flute and keen tin whistles. Online tickets are $10 to $15 and tickets sold at the gate are $20. Gates to the concert will open at 6:30 p.m. with food available for purchase from O’Taste & See BBQ and Suzy’s Pops. Email [email protected] or call 256-536-2882.

Burritt on the Mountain is at 3101 Burritt Drive.

Cotton Pickin’ BBQ Cook-off

Hartselle’s 10th annual Cotton Pickin’ BBQ Cook-off is July 26-27. National award-winning cooks will compete for the best-tasting barbecue ribs, chicken, pulled pork and more. On Friday, Bishop Black & Lamont Landers Band will perform on the Venturi Aerospace Stage. Food trucks and the Beer Garden will be available with access to the pool. On Saturday, the People’s Choice barbecue samples are available at 11 a.m., with awards at 4 p.m. Participants competing in the cookoff are required to register.

Weekend wristbands are $10.

The venue is at 500 Nanceford Road SW.

Birmingham Zoo

Take a break from the hustle and bustle and relax at Zoo Fun Days July 27-28. Attendees will see two new African elephants, beautiful lorikeets, a lion training, a sea lion show, animal demonstrations and more. Activities during Zoo Fun Days are weather dependent.

The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a discount of $5 will be taken off admission tickets.

Enjoy the beautiful lorikeets on Zoo Fun Days. (Birmingham Zoo)

Birmingham Barons

The Birmingham Barons are playing the Chattanooga Lookouts through Friday, July 26, at Regions Field. Tickets are online. Follow this link for the complete list of giveaways and special events for each game night. The venue is at 1401 First Ave. South.

For more information, call 205-988-3200 or email [email protected].

Alabama Theatre

Moviegoers will enjoy a variety of classic hits through Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Alabama Theatre. See your favorite movie on the big screen, with everything from “Gone with the Wind” to “Steel Magnolias” to “A Star is Born (1954)” to “The Goonies.” Admission is $9.

View the complete schedule.

Tickets are online.

The Market at Pepper Place

Shipt and Les Dames d’Escoffier, Birmingham are offering weekly cooking demonstrations at The Market at Pepper Place through Oct. 5. Demonstrations from Kathy G & Company are set for Saturday, July 27. View the 2019 schedule here. Pepper Place is a certified Alabama farmers market where you will find goods grown, raised and made in Alabama.

Link to this page for questions and information.

The venue is at 2829 Second Ave. South.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

See what’s blooming at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Beautiful crape myrtles, hostas, Southern magnolias, daylilies, hydrangeas and summer annuals are among the array of flowers. View the July flower gallery here. Admission is free. Follow this link for donations.

The Garden Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The garden is at 2612 Lane Park Road.

Birmingham Legion FC

Enjoy a soccer match at the BBVA Field on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Birmingham Legion will play the Charlotte Independence Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.

Gates to the Legion FC Plaza will open at 5:30 p.m. for drinks, food trucks, concessions and a live concert by Jessy Wilson.

The venue is at 800 11th St. South.

Thursday Night Live at The Pizitz

Enjoy great music and food with Zach & Cheyloe Thursday, July 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Pizitz downtown. Performances are underway in The Courtyard every Thursday until the end of summer. Get two hours of free parking on the corner of First Avenue North and 18th Street North.

Call 205-214-9999 or follow the event on Facebook.

The Pizitz is at 1821 Second Ave. North.

Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens

The next Soul Food Saturday is Saturday, July 27, at 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Upcoming dates are Aug. 10, 17 and 31. A DJ will entertain you with music as you enjoy a meal prepared by Chef Matthew Murphree. This week’s menu will feature pork wings, collard greens and macaroni and cheese. Tour the grounds, pick fresh produce from the garden and enjoy games.

For more information about the event, call 205-780-5656.

Arlington is at 331 Cotton Ave. SW.

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