See what's happening in Columbus and central Ohio this weekend (2024)

Belinda M. PaschalColumbus Dispatch

There's always something to do in and around Columbus and with two new events launching this weekend, there's even MORE to do! First, you can put on your jogging togs get a running (or walking) start at the Freedom 5K on Saturday morning, then later in the day, get fancied up for the Haitian Cultural Soiree.

Theater productions aplenty are in store, with offerings from Actors' Theatre of Columbus, Weathervane Playhouse and Otterbein Summer Theatre all opening Thursday night.

In the musical realm, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will pay homage to composer George Gershwin during its "Patriotic Pops" concert on Saturday, the Wallflowers are coming on Sunday and early next week will bring Broadway and "Pitch Perfect" star Ben Platt to town.

We've only scratched the surface of these events and others happening this weekend. Read more about them below. To receive these ideas in your inbox each week, sign up for theLife in the 614 newsletter.

Actors' Theatre play explores complex, comical family dynamics

Examine themes of love, forgiveness and healing through one family's hilarious and complex dynamics in "Chicken & Biscuits," to be presented by the Actors' Theatre of Columbus at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through July 14 in Schiller Park Amphitheatre, 100 City Park Ave.

The play, which debuted on Broadway in 2021, tells the story of Baneattaand Beverly, two sisters trying to put aside their rivalry and conflicts as they come together to bury their father.

All performances are free; donations will be accepted at intermission. Reserve a blanket or chair in advance: Zero-gravity reclining chairs are $25, blankets are $25, lawn-level lounge chairs are $20. (

Franklin Park to bring butterflies to life in immersive art event

Come out of your cocoon and get creative with “Color, Fly, Butterfly,” an immersive art experience running through Nov. 17 at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St.

The Cardinal Health Gallery undergoes a metamorphosis as guests color butterflies, then scan the page at a kiosk to release the butterfly into the digital environment of the illustrated Pacific Island Water Garden.

The exhibition is included with admission, which costs $23.50 for ages 13 and older; $19.50 for 60 and older; $16 for ages 3-12; and free for children 2 and younger. Guests who participate in SNAP, EBT, WIC and Medicaid (proof required) and all-access members qualify for $3 general admission. Reserving tickets in advance is recommended. (

Weathervane heads under the sea with 'SpongeBob Musical'

Weathervane Playhouse, 100 Price Road, Newark, brings a beloved cartoon to life in "The SpongeBob Musical" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. When the citizens of Bikini Bottom learn that their home is under threat by a soon-to-erupt volcano, SpongeBob and his friends must unite to save their undersea world. With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, an unlikely hero rises up.

Other performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday, as well as 7:30 p.m. July 2-6. Doors open 30 minutes before the show. Tickets are $36. (

Otterbein Summer Theatre to travel back to Golden Age of Radio

Go back in time with Otterbein Summer Theatre as they present "It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," a reimagined telling of the holiday classic based on Philip Van Doren Stern's short story, “The Greatest Gift." Audiences get a rare peek inside a radio sound studio as a handful of actors play multiple characters, with Foley artists creating sound effects live onstage.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday in Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville. Tickets cost $28 at 614-823-1109 or online. (

'Rent,' 'Barbie' among films to hit the big screen in Topiary Park

Laugh, cry and sing along as you go through the “seasons of love” with Angel, Collins, Roger, Mark, Mimi, Joanne and Maureen — otherwise known as the characters from the film adaptation of the Broadway play, “Rent.” The 2005 musical will be shown Friday in Topiary Park, 480 E. Town St., where the fourth Friday of each month is free outdoor movie night.

Upcoming movies include: July 26: “National Treasure,” Aug. 23: “Barbie,” Sept. 27: “West Side Story” and Oct. 25: “Hocus Pocus.” Bring a blanket or lawn chair — and your appetite because there will be food trucks on-site. Play trivia at 8 p.m. before the movie starts at dusk (approximately 9:15 p.m.) (

Veterans museum to host inaugural Freedom 5K run/walk

Lace up your sneakers and register for the inaugural Freedom 5K coming Saturday to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM), 300 W. Broad St. Presented by the NVMM and Red, White & Boom!, the 5K run/walk begins at 10 a.m., winds along the Scioto River and through Memorial Grove, ending on the NVMM rooftop.

Register online or at 8:30 a.m. the day of the race. Registration is $60, plus fees. All registrants will receive a race bib, shirt, finisher medal and a museum admission ticket. Proceeds benefit the NVMM. (

'Patriotic Pops' to salute the music of George Gershwin

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra celebrates Independence Day a little early with "Patriotic Pops — A Gershwin Celebration," at 8 p.m. Saturday at the John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St. In addition to other George Gershwin favorites, a special 100th anniversary performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" is planned.

The program also features patriotic melodies, an appearance by a U.S. Color Guard, a military branch recognition and a flyover by members of the Cincinnati Warbirds, finishing with fireworks.

General-admission lawn tickets are $35 in advance or at the gate; lawn tickets for children 3-11 are $10. Children 2 and younger are free. Purchase tickets in person at the CBUSArts ticket center, 39 E. State St., by phone at 614-469-0939 or online. (

The Wallflowers to play roots rock at The Bluestone

The Wallflowers, known for such songs as "One Headlight" and "6th Avenue Heartache," perform at 7 p.m. Sunday at The Bluestone, 583 E. Broad St. Fronted by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Dylan (yes, he's Bob's son), the Grammy-winning band has 15 songs that have reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Airplay list.

General-admission tickets are $59.50. (

Haitian Cultural Soiree to make debut with 'Queen of Creole Song'

Learn about the people, music, dance, food and beauty of Haiti during Faveur & Company's inaugural Haitian Cultural Soiree, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Cardinal Ballroom at the Lincoln Theatre, 769 E. Long St.

The black-tie event will be highlighted by a performance by international recording artist Emeline Michel, known as "The Queen of Creole Song" and "The Joni Mitchell of Haiti." Hailed by the New York Times as “the dancing ambassador with a voice serene and warm like the breeze,” Michel blends traditional Haitian rhythms with pop, jazz and blues.

Space is limited and tickets, which start at $150, are selling fast. (

Ben Platt to give 'pitch perfect' performance at Mershon

Fresh from his residency at Broadway's Palace Theatre, actor and singer Ben Platt has taken his show on the road and will come to Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St., at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Brandy Clark, Grammy winner and songwriter for the Tony-winning Broadway musical "Shucked," is Platt's supporting act.

Also known from the first two "Pitch Perfect" movies, Platt won the Tony for best actor in a musical for his performance as Evan in "Dear Evan Hansen" and went on to reprise his role in the adaption with Julianne Moore and Amy Adams.

Tickets prices start at $39.50. (

See what's happening in Columbus and central Ohio this weekend (2024)
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