Arts and entertainment picks for July


You've seen the thing on social media that says the No. 1 song on your 14th birthday tells your life story? Well, for me, it was “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John, from the soundtrack to the movie “Xanadu.”

The Greek-mythology-meets-roller-disco-themed movie was adapted into a stage musical, then subsequently adapted for young performers. Columbus Children's Theatre's Junior Ensemble (ages 11-14) will perform “Xanadu Jr.” July 5-15. Tickets are $16.

Columbus Children's Theatre, Park Street Theatre, 512 Park St. (Arena District), 614-224-6672,


This terrific series from Gateway Film Center started Memorial Day weekend and continues through the summer. It is just what it says: screenings of beloved films that are based on beloved books—sometimes one more beloved than the other, but you get the idea. July starts with screenings of “The Princess Bride” through July 5. New films start on Fridays, and the rest of the month includes: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (starting July 6), “Jumanji” (July 13), “The Iron Giant” (July 20) and “The Hunger Games” (July 27).

From Book to Film is presented in partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Admission is free with a library card.

Gateway Film Center, 1550 N. High St. (OSU Campus), 614-247-4433,


The Columbus Jazz Orchestra's JazZoo concerts aren't specifically designed for kids, but a night of classic jazz after a day at the zoo? Sounds like a winning notion. Singer Carmen Bradford joins the CJO July 13. Tickets are $35 and include zoo admission.

Or, try the CJO's summer PBJ & Jazz concert series at Topiary Park. Check out the Youth Jazz All Stars on July 14. These concerts are free.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Road, Powell, 614-294-5200,

Topiary Park, 480 E. Town St. (Downtown), 614-294-5200,


More movie stuff this month comes courtesy of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's Popcorn Pops series and conductor Stuart Chafetz. The July 13 family concert will feature music from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Frozen” and more. Tickets are $10.

Bonus: The CSO's Picnic with the Pops series presents its annual concerts with the Ohio State University Marching Band on July 27 and 28. Tickets are $25.

John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St. (Downtown),


Quite possibly my favorite things about the Ohio State Fair are the All-Ohio State Fair Band and All-Ohio State Fair Choir (food and people-watching notwithstanding). Featuring many of the state's brightest young musicians, the ensembles provide daily entertainment throughout the fair. But they also get their time to shine on the big stage inside the Celeste Center. That combined concert will take place this year at 1 p.m. July 29 and is free with fair admission.

Also of note: For fans of the Kidz Bop franchise, Kidz Bop Live will take the Celeste Center stage on July 31.

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave. (North Side),

The Fam Five is arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at Columbus Alive.