Brian’s picks – July 7

Strong women are a strong entertainment draw. For example, the last time the play “Steel Magnolias” was presented in Hope, in 2014, it drew 700 people in a dinner theater format — and still generated a waiting list. The production labeled as “the funniest play to make you cry” will be presented again with part of the same cast at 7 p.m. July 14 to 16 (nondinner shows for $15) at WILLow LeaVes of Hope on the historic Hope Town Square. Dinner shows (for $25) will be July 22 and 23, with the meal at 6 p.m. and the play at 7 p.m. A matinee dinner show will be July 24 with the meal at 1 p.m. and the play at 2 p.m. Information and reservations: 812-546-0640.

“The Sandlot” was one of the first and funniest movies my family embraced as a group to watch more than once. When it came out in 1993, my stepson was about the age of the boys in the film, focusing on a new kid in town taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his team. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, you can enjoy it with others at a free showing at 6 p.m. July 13 at the Bartholomew County Public Library. Information: 812-379-1266 or

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.