Inspiration takes many forms, and sometimes it can be right under your rump. A trip can spark emotions, and that’s why rails and wings have undergirded a suitcase full of tunes such as “Take the A Train” and “Flyin’ Home.”

The Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed will pay homage to musical numbers spawned by trains and planes on Monday, July 24, 6:30 p.m. at Gulf City Lodge (601 State St.). The City Rhythm Big Band will be at center stage for a roundtrip ticket through the Great American Songbook.

Entrance is $15, $12 for students/military and $10 for MOJO members. It includes a light jambalaya dinner; a cash bar will be available.

For more information, call 251-459-2298, email or go to

Playhouse cranks up imagination factory
Roald Dahl’s wild tale “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was a dark delight. The 1971 film starring Gene Wilder affixed the name Willy Wonka alongside “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wizard of Oz” in the firmament of childhood fantasies.

The familiar components are all present at Playhouse in the Park (4851 Museum Drive): the quirky candy genius, the ill-mannered tykes and sweetly earnest Charlie Bucket who tours the factory with his grandfather. So are songs such as “The Candyman,” “Pure Imagination” and the Oompa-Loompa variations.

Note for parents: “Willy Wonka: The Musical” omits the somewhat frightening tunnel ride, so as to spare younger viewers.
It plays July 21 through Aug. 13. Friday and Saturday curtain is at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors.

For more information, call 251-602-0630 or go to

JJP bestows awards
Joe Jefferson Players handed out the following Joey Awards for their 69th season on Saturday, July 15, at their Carlen Street facility.

Outstanding Performance by Male Actors: Cory Olson for “Sweeney Todd,” Jerel Ely for “The Producers” and Mike Green for “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Outstanding Performance by Female Actors: Lesley Roberts for “Sweeney Todd,” Katie Jeansonne for “Chapter Two” and Whitney Upton for “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Outstanding Newcomers: Mark Wyatt for “Much Ado About Nothing” and Lisa Smith for “Chapter Two.”

Rising Star: Anna Fillingim for “Sweeney Todd” and “Rock of Ages.”

Outstanding Musical Direction: Daniel Driskell for “Sweeney Todd.”

Outstanding Choreography: Rebekah Howard for “The Producers.”

Outstanding Set Design: Ed Kryger for “Chapter Two.”

Outstanding Costuming: Anna Merchant for “The Producers.”

Outstanding Production of the Season: “The Producers.”

Directors Awards: “Sweeney Todd” from Dr. Patrick Jacobs to Ann Sands; “The Producers” from Eric C. Browne to Jake Coleman; “Chapter Two” from Cathy Bouler to David Peeler; “Much Ado About About Nothing” from Joe Fuselli to Sarah J. David; “Rock of Ages” from Jeffrey Williamson to Sam Watkins.

YAMMI (You Are Mostly Missed Indeed): Mark Jeansonne.

President’s Award: James Avera of Avera Design Inc.

Sparky Award: Katie Jeansonne. 

Harris Award: Ryan Northrup.