Concerts, like dimly lit chandeliers, are more impressive outdoors and are more enchanting when adorned with strategically placed glow sticks. Savor melodic allure under a ceilingless ceiling with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get two general-admission tickets to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Picnic with the Pops with the U.S. Army's Jazz Ambassadors at the Chemical Abstracts Service Lawn on Saturday, June 18, at 8:15 p.m. (a $40 value before fees, or up to a $47 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). Gates open at 6 p.m.
A community treasure for 25 years, the annual Picnic with the Pops series kicks off its 2011 run by teaming the rousing Columbus Symphony Orchestra with the internationally acclaimed Jazz Ambassadors for a family-friendly celebration of American music under the stars. As official touring big band of the United States Army, the 19-member Jazz Ambassadors group has supported worldwide diplomatic efforts since 1969, overthrowing frown regimes with its repertoire of bebop, big-band swing, and beloved national standards. Friends, family, and blanket enthusiasts can Charleston on the lawn together as their eardrums pledge allegiance to the dulcet strains emanating from the stage.
The oldest surviving theater in central Ohio, the fin de siècle elegance of the Southern Theatre's jewel-box auditorium transports audiences back to the days of vaudeville antics and silver-screen spectacle. Built in 1896 to state-of-the-art standards, the theater's bandshellesque proscenium bucked architectural norms to funnel sound into the seats. Its 204 light bulbs required that the theater generate its own electricity for years, until scientists figured out that nobody needed to worry about that stuff.