Coming Up: Odds on for great fun at Howl’s ‘Vegas Nights’

As if Riverside Theatre’s Howl at the Moon audience participation performances aren’t already super weekend entertainment, this Friday and Saturday they’ll be even more fabulous and fun. Because this weekend’s theme (and July 19 and 20) is “Vegas Nights.” You will want to arrive early and make a beeline for the theatre’s beautiful, big lobby, which you’ll find has been transformed into a Vegas-like casino where you can play “authentic casino games” to your heart’s content, and maybe win one of the great prizes. “Vegas Nights” supports Riverside’s educational programs and the free music you enjoy all year long in Live in the Loop, which is also a part of both “Vegas Nights” weekends, as is the high-energy, let-your-hair-down Howl at the Moon three-musicians-face-off request show, where you get to pick the songs – any genre you want – and the musicians (two pianists and a drummer) will play them. They know, like, a million songs. Maybe you can stump them. Many have tried. Few have succeeded. This weekend’s free live music will be classic rock with the Jacks Band on Friday, and “a soulful blend of rootsy jam/rock/blues” with Sleepin’ Dogz on Saturday. You can’t BYO “tumblers, coolers or food,” but that’s not a buzzkill because there is always a terrific full bar and grill set up “in the Loop.” Times: Vegas Nights in the lobby and live music in the Loop, 6 p.m.; Howl at the Moon, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission: Howl – side seats, $12; table seating, $16-$22. Live in the Loop, free. 772-231-6990.

As refreshing as an orange popsicle, a highly anticipated summer musical treat returns this coming Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, July 10, 12 and 13, to First Presbyterian Church’s McAfee Hall. It’s the Vero Beach International Music Festival: three days of dazzling music – “Americana, Bluegrass, Brazilian, Celtic, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock, World Music” – all performed by students of the acclaimed Mike Block String Camp and the camp’s gifted and experienced faculty musicians, according to the festival promo. The camp faculty will perform Wednesday and Friday, July 10 and 12; then, Saturday, July 13, they’ll join their Camp students for a concert and barn dance. This delightful musical event has taking place at First Presbyterian every summer since 2010. According to its website, the Mike Block String Camp offers education for string players of all ages and backgrounds “in non-Classical traditions and contemporary musical styles, with emphasis on learning by ear, creativity, collaboration, and performance.” Students study under world-class musicians, learning traditions, developing improv skills and honing their craft for public performances. Students and faculty agree the camp encourages creativity and individuality, guiding students to express themselves through their music. Times: Wednesday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m. Admission: free. Donations, of course, always appreciated. 772-562-9088.

You won’t need mittens to enjoy this wildly popular show at the Henegar Center for the Arts in Melbourne. This coming Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13, “Frozen Jr.” takes the Henegar stage. It’s based on the smash Broadway hit, which is, in turn, based on the smash-hit animated film, with all those lovable characters – and great songs – from the movie, which takes place in the chilly but magical land of Arendelle. A tale of true love and acceptance between sisters, says the show promo, “Frozen Jr.” expands on the emotional relationship between Princesses Anna and Elsa, who, as they face danger, “find their hidden potential and discover the powerful bond of sisterhood. You’ll hear all those wonderful songs from the film (music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez), plus five more written specially for Broadway. The Henegar assures us “Frozen Jr.” is sure to “thaw even the coldest heart!” Curtain: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets: $15. 321-723-8698.

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