Join your community one night a week to support local artists and groups looking for their shot at stardom. Performances this summer range from bluegrass band Crooked Grass to the smooth tunes of Matthew Levitt. Bring a blanket and some snacks, and enjoy a fun night of musical entertainment in the park. Free. 7-8 p.m. Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Drive; 952.924.2500; stlouispark.org
Arts & Performance
The city of St. Louis Park has teamed up with the St. Louis Park Rotary to bring a summer concert series to the community. This year’s series is filled with amazing talent from a variety of genres. From world beat/jazz ensemble Axi Mundi World to the delightful barbershop harmonies of the Minneapolis Commodores, there is something for everyone this summer. Check the website for event details. Free. Times and locations vary; 952.924.2500; stlouispark.org
This musical is a modern twist on the familiar story. Dorothy is a shy Harlem school teacher who gets whisked away to a world resembling a whimsical version of New York City. The upbeat, toe-tapping songs, including classics like “Ease on Down the Road” and “Home,” bring the story alive. $15 for adults, $12 for children under 17 and seniors over 60. Times vary. 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 952.979.1111; stagestheatre.org
We’ve all had those moments during the long frigid winter where we closed our eyes and pictured a balmy evening spent listening to strands of live music melt into the warm summer breeze. It helped us survive the cold (and yes, despite our moments of doubt, we did), and now the fun is finally beginning.
Philly is the fun yet poignant story of a New York rock band that almost made it big. Based on true events, this musical is filled with original music, explosive dance numbers and an energized cast of 30 talented performers. Ticket prices and showtimes vary; see website for more details. Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Road; 952.381.3400; sabesjcc.org
Touted as “the largest jazz event in the Twin Cities,” The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is back for its 16th year. With approximately 90 percent of the artists hailing from Minnesota, the event celebrates local music and talent. The Jazz Festival will take place in the heart of St. Paul at Mears Park, with food and beverage vendors lining the streets. Free. Mears Park, 221 E. 5th St., St. Paul; 651.209.7195; twincitiesjazzfestival.com
“There’s no place like home.” In 1939, Dorothy first uttered these words on screen, clicking her red heels three times. In 2014, student performers at Benilde-St. Margaret’s bring the classic to life for their spring play. Adults $10, students and seniors $6. Check website for performance times. Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 2501 Highway 100 S.; 952.927.4176; bsmschool.org
A founder of the Minnesota-based band the Jayhawks, Gary Louris will go solo for this performance. A singer, songwriter and guitarist, he brings an alternative style to the country-pop genre. Arrive an hour before the show for a social hour with free appetizers and cash bar courtesy of Big Ten Restaurant and Bar. Adults $22, seniors $19, students $12. Social hour starts at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7 p.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts; 952.979.1111.
The Hopkins Center for the Arts partners with Friends of the Hennepin County Library to present the final author in their 2013-14 Pen Pals series. Smith’s most recent collection of poetry, Life on Mars, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2011. Balcony $40, main floor $50. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts; 952.979.1111.