Early jazz was formed when various regional cultural components met in New Orleans thanks to the powerful currents of the Mississippi River. Syncopated ragtime of the Midwest flowed south to join the call-and-response of African-American gospel. When European instrumentation and classical met blues tonality, jazz was born.

The last of those components will be the order of the day when the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO) tips its collective hat to one of jazz’s most essential wellsprings on July 25 at 6:30 p.m. Guest artist and two-time International Blues Challenge contender Cat Rhodes and the Truth will take center stage at the Gulf City Lodge (601 State St., Mobile) for a show entitled “Summertime Blues.”

Entrance is $12, $10 for students and military and $8 for MOJO members and includes a light jambalaya dinner. A cash bar is available.

For more information call 251-459-2298, go to mojojazz.org or email mobilejazz@bellsouth.net.

Playhouse on the Yellow Brick Road
Playhouse in the Park (4851 Museum Drive, Mobile) invites guests to don their ruby slippers and traipse down the Yellow Brick Road when it stages the classic musical “The Wizard of Oz” July 22 through Aug. 14. This rendition features all the favorites from the timeless Judy Garland film along with a few numbers that weren’t on the big screen.

Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors.

Call 251-602-0630 for reservations. Visit playhouseinthepark.org for more information.

Auditions for Theatre 98 fall play
David Auburn’s intense and intellectual play “Proof” won the 2001 Pultizer Prize and a Tony Award for Best Play. It tells the tale of Catherine, who has spent years taking care of her unstable father, a brilliant mathematician. When he finally passes away, her reconnection with an estranged student and one of her father’s former students only builds the mystery around the possibly monumental contents of her father’s storehouse of notebooks.

Theatre 98 in Fairhope will stage this work late in hurricane season, with performances slated Oct. 7-23.
Auditions will be held Monday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 26, both nights at 7 p.m.

Director Joe Fuselli is looking for women aged 20-40 and men aged 25-70. No experience is necessary. Anyone who would also like to volunteer for offstage duty is also welcome.

For more information call 404-944-8218 or email Chris Francendese at Production98@att.net.