A&E priority list for July 25-31: Steve Martin and more

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I'll be out of town this weekend and, believe me, I'm frustrated that I'm going to be missing so much potentially good stuff. Chime in on my You-review-it Monday blog at IBJ.com/arts and let me know what you saw.

Great American Songbook Vocal Competition

These kids today what with their elegant dresses and slick ties. And the music? Don’t get me started on these kids and their music. “Fly Me to the Moon”? “Embraceable You”? I don’t know about you, but I worry about future generations who grow up with influences like Sammy Cahn, George Gershwin and Frank Loesser. And here they come again, from around the country, competing for $3,000 in a vocal competition capping a week that they’ve spent under such dubious influences as Michael Feinstein, Jane Monheit, Sandi Patty, Jim Caruso and Sylvia McNair. Want to hear what these kids sound like? Then, seriously, catch them at this hugely entertaining event that puts those pikers on “American Idol” to shame. July 26.  Palladium

Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers

Don’t go expecting the wild and crazy guy. Don’t go expecting to jam to “King Tut.” Go, instead, because you like infectious banjo music delivered with good humor. Yes, this is the Steve Martin who helped pioneer arena comedy, created “The Jerk,” made grown men weep as the “Father of the Bride,” and penned the remarkable novel “Shop Girl” and the page-turning-yet-gentle early-years biography, “Standing Up.” These days, Martin’s following his bliss with a musical tour where he shares the stage with singer/songwriter Edie Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers. July 27. Murat Theatre

“Such a Night”

“The Last Waltz” is considered by many to be the best concert movie ever made … which is remarkable considering that its subject, The Band, isn’t nearly as well known as most groups that get the cinematic treatment. It's not even as well known as most of the guest stars who appeared at what was supposed to be the group’s final performance. Jumping ahead a few years: When Levon Helm, The Band’s drummer, died in 2012, a gathering of the musician’s fans in Indy evolved into a tribute show re-creating that famed concert. As it stands in its most recent incarnation, “Such a Night” features guest stars Stasia Damos singing Emmylou Harris, Gary Wasson singing Neil Young, Mike Wiltrout singing both Neil Diamond and Paul Butterfield, Matt Mays singing Van Morrison, and much more. Profits go to support Down Syndrome Indiana. And, once again, the show is being performed on a day I’ll be out of town. Here’s hoping there will be many such nights in the future. July 25. The Vogue

Also this week

Karen Irwin rocks the Cabaret at the Columbia Club July 26-27 with her show “A Piece of Her Heart: A Tribute to Janis Joplin.”

Blake Shelton performs at Klipsch Music Center July 27. Heart—with the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience—takes the stage July 30.

Age-appropriate actors perform “West Side Story” at Summer Stock Stage July 25-28 at Park Tudor School.

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