Memphis Flyer 3/2/2023

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Editor’s note: This issue of the Memphis Flyer is dedicated to Hailey Thomas, a member of our work family who passed away last week. We welcome you to read this week’s Last Word to get a glimpse of the beautiful mark she left on us.

A week or so ago, I had the most vivid dream. I stopped in my favorite bar and my friend Kristin greeted me, smiling ear to ear as if I’d just walked in on a funny conversation. “I didn’t know you worked here now!” I said, pleasantly surprised but perplexed. “I do! Come give me a hug,” she said as she whipped around the counter. Kristin passed away in March 2020, and although it felt as real as the last time I saw her, I knew it was a dream. And I stayed in it as long as I could to admire the way her eyes lit and lips curled when she laughed, to feel the warmth of her embrace. I like to think this was her way of sending a sweet hello, a gentle reminder that she lives on … somewhere. Reaching through to the other side.

When I was a kid, I developed a deep curiosity about death. From my earliest experience of loss — around the age of 5 — I couldn’t help but wonder where the departed went. They existed, they lived full lives, and then they were just … gone. I thought a lot about growing up, and how grown-ups always died. I decided I didn’t really want to be one.

As a teen, I desperately sought to prove that death wasn’t the end. I went “ghost hunting” with friends, in graveyards or “haunted” spaces, with audio recorders and several cameras — digital and film, black-and-white and color, with flash and without. We needed to cover all the bases. At some point, I messed around with Ouija boards and attempted seances. Was that unidentified blob in the photo an “orb”? What was that indecipherable whisper I heard on the tape playback? Did a summoned spirit blow out that candle?

Later, I read about quantum physics and the possibility of alternate realities and timelines. I studied various religions and beliefs on death across cultures. Eventually, I stopped looking for proof. A fruitless effort, really — too much to wrap one’s head around. I liked the way my thoughts went when I considered the law of conservation of energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted from one form of energy to another. I am not a physicist, and whether or not this can be appropriately applied to life and death doesn’t matter much to me. It’s the idea of it. Because I have seen and felt the energy of everyone I’ve ever met. The imprints left in places, in minds, and on hearts. The deceased have lived and because of this, they live on. Their energy hasn’t been destroyed but transferred, transformed into a thing less tangible than physical existence, just outside of our three-dimensional view.

We can still feel them in dreams, in sunsets, in songs, in special places that held special moments. A butterfly in flight, a falling leaf, a soft breeze, the sound of rain on the roof, the smell of cookies baking. In remembering their smile lines, the times you laughed together until your cheeks hurt, the long talks and road trips and late nights.

Maybe death is just a door. To reincarnation, to heaven, to infinity, the unknown. And we’ll all gather again when it’s our time to step through.








MUSIC - 14





FOOD - 19

FILM - 20


Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

of Alternative Newsmedia
OUR 1775TH ISSUE 03.02.23

THE fly-by

MEM ernet

Memphis on the internet.


A highschoolaged Governor Bill Lee dressed as a woman.

at is what thousands of Reddit users claim is seen in the photo above with the detail that it is “from 1977 Franklin High yearbook page 165.”

e image is topical as a bill that would outlaw drag in many places is likely headed for Lee’s desk. e governor said he has not decided whether or not he’ll sign the bill.

Memphis Reddit user u/inscrutablejane got to the heart of why the image matters, commenting, “ e di erence for them is that a skit at Senior Follies with football players in bad wigs portrays nonconformity as laughable, shameful, and ridiculous, whereas drag portrays nonconformity as aspirational, liberating, and beautiful; while super cially they’re both ‘man in a dress as entertainment’ they’re actually opposites.”

Lee’s cosplay past landed him in hot water in 2019 when a photo surfaced of him dressed in a Confederate military uniform. at photo was taken during Lee’s Auburn University years at his fraternity’s “weeklong celebration of the grandeur and glory of the Old South.”

Lee later said he regretted the photo.


Questions, Answers + Attitude

Cannabis, LGBTQ Marriage, & Downtown

Lawmakers look to decriminalize green, marriage threatened, and new projects.


A new bill would decriminalize cannabis across the state. e bill would lower simple possession to a $25 ne or three hours of community service. It would raise the felony amount for manufacture, delivery, or sale from a half ounce to one ounce.

It renames items used to ingest, inhale, prepare, or store cannabis as a “marijuana accessory.”

e wide-ranging bill would lower costs on local governments by nearly $15 million per year, according to a formal review, by lowering jail populations.


A bill that some say threatens LGBTQ marriage rights passed through a Tennessee House committee last week. e bill says that a person would not be required to solemnize (or o ciate or conduct) a marriage if that person has a conscientious or religious objection to it. e bill is backed by Republican state Rep. Monty Fritts (R-Kingston) and state Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon).

Tennessee law does not now require anyone to conduct any marriage they don’t want to. But Fritts, the House bill sponsor, told the Children and Family A airs Subcommittee last Tuesday that a “big reason” he brought the bill was to help block elder abuse.

“When you look at some of the research that we have found on this … young folks are trying to marry older folks to get to their nancial accounts,” Fritts said. “I think there are other things that we need to do.”

State Rep. Jason Power (D-Nashville) disagreed, saying the bill does not get to any problem concerning elder abuse. He called it a “solution looking for a problem” and “government overreach.”

“I think it’s actually just the opposite of overreach,” Fritts returned. “I think it’s a protection of the rights that we have to the rights of conscience that our Constitution guarantees.”

While lawmakers wrangled over some of the bill’s details, one Tennessean said the bill has broader e ects.

Michael Rady, who described himself as a Nashville resident and voter, asked the committee if they wanted a headline to read, “Tennessee lawmakers make marriage white-only and straights-only in 2023.”

Rady explained the bill would

apply not only to religious leaders but to county clerks who certify marriage licenses. He said it would be a “jumbo-sized green light for any county clerk to deny a marriage license to a couple based on their race, gender, or religion.”


New designs for Downtown show a skybridge on Front Street, a boat dock at Greenbelt Park, and a new co-working space and art studio in e Edge District.

e Downtown Memphis Commission’s (DMC) Design Review Board (DRB) was slated to meet this week to review the proposed designs. at approval is a sort of rst step for a project to come to fruition.

AutoZone Inc. has proposed building a skybridge from the under-construction, $42 million Downtown Mobility Center and its Downtown headquarters.

e bridge would connect from the Mobility Center’s h level to AutoZone’s third level, spanning the intersection of Front Street and Peabody Place.

Greenbelt Park would get an enormous dock for cruise ships that would jut into the river just north of the existing boat ramp there.

Two shade structures would be built nearby for passengers awaiting land transportation. A project in e Edge would bring two new storefronts, one an o ce for cnct. design + develop, while the other would be studios, gallery space, and retail space for Ugly Art Co.

Visit the News Blog at memphis for fuller versions of these stories and more local news.

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POSTED TO REDDIT BY U/UNFAIR-SHOWER-6923 PHOTO: DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS COMMISSION A new studio space in e Edge CREDIT: WREG VIA KAPPA ALPHA ORDER PHOTO: DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS COMMISSION A tucked-away and vacant space in e Edge District is due for a glow up and new purpose as a co-working space and art studio.




APRIL 21st, 2023


Alcohol kills on average 95,000 Americans every year. Tobacco related deaths average 480,000 per year.

Once again, meth is back on the scene in full force and taking over US cities. Even recreational drug use is more dangerous than ever. Hear from local experts about current data and find out what we can do to help prevent unnecessary ATOD related deaths.


Students, Teachers, Therapists, School Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Peer Specialists, Addiction & Mental Health Professionals, Treatment Centers, Churches, Outreach Ministries, Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Law Enforcement, Judges, Media Representatives, Individuals In Recovery & Families


MAR. 10, 11 / 7:30PM – MAR. 12 / 2:00PM

Big Fish tells the story of traveling salesman Edward Bloom. His larger-than-life anecdotes thrill everyone, leading his son Will to embark on an adventure to fi nd the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Overfl owing with heart and humor, Big Fish is an extraordinary Broadway musical. Based on Tim Burton’s movie, enjoy BPACC’s Youth theatre show for an experience that’s richer, funnier, and bigger than life itself. Fun for the whole family!

This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
FEE) 2022-2023
TICKETS & INFO 24/7 @ 901.385.5588 — Box O ce Hours — 10a.m. to 2p.m. Michael Bollinger — Artistic Director

Dalí Quartet

Friday, March 17 | 7:30pm Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center

An energetic concert fusing classical and Latin music and featuring Cuban-born Memphis percussionist Nelson Rodriguez

Sat, April 29 | 7:30pm | GPAC

Michael Stern, conducting Steven Banks, saxophone

Iris’ own Michael Stern conducts an unforgettable concert with guest artist Steven Banks performing a newly commissioned saxophone concerto by famed jazz composer Billy Childs.


Black Folks Day on the Hill

SisterReach highlights legislation focused on human and reproductive rights.

SisterReach recently hosted its annual “Black Folks Day on the Hill.”

e Memphis organization invited elected o cials to a virtual Zoom call to discuss bills that were focused on human and reproductive rights, which are essential to its purpose.

SisterReach is a “grassroots, 501(c)3 nonpro t that supports the reproductive autonomy of women and teens of color, poor and rural women, LGBTQIA+ people, and their families through the framework of reproductive justice.” e organization was founded by Cherisse Scott in 2011.

Each lawmaker was invited to talk about di erent pieces of legislation that they either sponsored or led.

During an information session held prior to the event hosted by SisterReach’s director of programming Reverend Elise Saulsberry and a policy associate for the organization, SisterReach explained that legislators and policymakers “need to hear the voices of the lives most impacted by their actions and poor policy decisions.” Some of their key legislative concerns for 2023 include reproductive health and healthcare justice, reproductive rights, environmental justice, and RFRA and religious exemptions.

e organization pulled bills for elected o cials from both parties to discuss during their time slot.

State Representative Torrey Harris (D-Memphis) discussed HB0539, which would require that an attorney must be present when a minor is taken into custody and being interviewed.

“Many people are running this piece of legislation across the country right now. at is to make sure that an adequate perspective of what actually took place during the time of an interaction between a juvenile and an o cer, or member of our law enforcement, actually gets properly documented.”

Harris also discussed HB1392, which would require TBI to include data for each law enforcement agency in their annual report on the use of force by law enforcement.

Harris explained that this is a caption bill, and that he and state Senator Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) met a

few weeks ago in the a ermath of the alleged police killing of Tyre Nichols.

“You notice and see a lot of things, especially in Tennessee, or in Memphis, when Tyre Nichols was murdered, everybody wanted their opportunity to be on TV to talk about it … but where’s the actual action behind all of that work? We’re holding this slot to gure out what is going to be the best way to put action behind all the talk that people have.”

State Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) was also present on the call to discuss HB0370, which “requires the department of health to seek federal funding to implement programs for the prevention, testing, and treatment of human immunode ciency virus (HIV) for residents of this state.”

e Flyer reported that the state of Tennessee “is cutting funding for HIV prevention, detection, and treatment programs that are not a liated with metro health departments as of May 31st.”

According to Clemmons, this bill would “restore the status quo.”

During the session, Clemmons was asked if this bill allows for the state health department to “not only request, but gain access to the funding without interference from the governor or ‘any other entity.’”

“Any money that comes through the state is going to necessarily include the ngerprints of the Department of Health most likely, and/or the governor’s o ce,” said Clemmons. “Nothing comes through the state of Tennessee, distributed through there without their ngerprints on it to some extent. Our bill is more to return to the status quo, but they do have a duty to distribute it as those funds are intended. at’s what they don’t like.”

6 March 2-8, 2023
2022–23 Iris Collective Concert Season
PHOTO: TENNESSEE STATE CAPITOL SisterReach is a Memphis organization.



Three on a Match

Although the Memphis city election of 2023 won’t take place until October, candidates are already fully extended in an e ort to get their campaigns (and especially their fundraising needs) established and in order. is has been especially the case regarding the race for mayor, but it is evident in selected council races as well.

One of those races is the one for Super District 8, Position 3, which the term-limited Martavius Jones, currently the council chairman, is scheduled to

vacate at year’s end. e District 8 position is one of the six at-large districts permitted by a judicial consent decree dating from the 1990s. In essence, a line was drawn bisecting the city, dividing Super District 8, a majority-Black district, from Super District 9, a majoritywhite area.

Each of the super districts has three positions, and there are six Super District seats altogether. Unlike the case of the seven smaller regular districts, runo s are not permitted for the Super District races. ey are winner-take-all. ree candidacies are already fully launched for Super District 8, Position 3. e candidates are shown here.

Activist Jerred Price (right) conducted a monster fundraiser at IBIS restaurant last week, and numerous supporters showed up for the event, which was broken up into a meet-andgreet and a concert, in which Price delivered his patented tribute to Elton John. With Price here are urston Smith (le ) and Regina Morrison Newman (center).

8 March 2-8, 2023 FEBRUARY 28 - MAY 25
A Program of Exhibits USA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts Photo Credit: Jeanine Michna-Bales, Capacity 105 , 2013 PHOTO: COURTESY JERRED PRICE PHOTO: JACKSON BAKER Business consultant and community activist Brian Harris (center, with tie) hosted a campaign event for fellow Overton High School alumni (classes of 1995-1999) last Sunday at Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe on Union Avenue. PHOTO: JACKSON BAKER FedEx executive and former City Councilman Berlin Boyd (here in a vintage photo with erstwhile council colleague Bill Boyd) is seeking a return to the council, where he served as a representative from District 7 from 2011 until his defeat by current Councilwoman Michalyn Easter- omas in 2019.
Here’s a trio of candidates for the Super District 8, Position 3 council seat.
By Jackson Baker

Soul Fragments

A cancer diagnosis turns life’s every moment sacred.

onfession: I have a few books out there no one knows about because I haven’t written them … well, finished them. I’ve talked before about “wrestling with infinity” — the match I always lose — by which I mean, picking a subject too large to reduce to words and eventually getting hopelessly lost in it, e.g.: shifting human consciousness, transcending what we think we know, truly creating peace (whatever that is).

So welcome to my latest attempt to circumvent infinity. The book I’m aiming at is a collection of poetry I’ve written over the past two decades, but not exactly. It’s not really a “collection” of anything, and the poetry (and other stuff) I would include I think of essentially as “soul fragments”: bleeding pieces of personal truth. And the point of the book is to enter the present moment with the reader, to revere life together, to tremble at its wonder, to look into the eyes the unknown … with the help of something I call the Blue Pearl.

A second confession: I’m a jewel thief. I came upon the concept “Blue Pearl” years ago, in a book called Meditate by Swami Muktananda. He describes the Blue Pearl as something found at a deep stage of meditation: “a tiny blue light, the light of the Self. … The Blue Pearl is the size of a sesame seed, but in reality it is so vast it contains the entire universe. … [It] lights up our faces and our hearts; it is because of this light that we give love to others.”

Fascinated as I was by this, I considered myself a total mediocrity when it came to meditation, and knew I would never reach a level where I might somehow grasp the Blue Pearl. But a decade later, something happened. My wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Untreatable.

By the time it was discovered, it had metastasized throughout her gastrointestinal system. She was given four months to live — case closed, nothing can be done. The doctor we talked to in the wake of her surgery was stunningly emphatic, so much so that I wrote in my journal afterwards: “At this point my image of Western medicine is of a mason jar with the lid closed tight, all the facts in there stale and hopeless. They want Barbara inside that jar and inside that jar she’s going to die.”

We had no choice but to reach beyond this medical certainty in every way we could — to reach for alleged miracles, and to savor every day, every moment. And, oh my God, I needed a real role to play. I asked Barbara if I could be her “spiritual advisor,” whatever that might mean. She concurred. We joined the Cancer

Wellness Center, read the same books, looked at treatments beyond the world of conventional medicine (some doctors tread there) … and I thought about the Blue Pearl.

Indeed, I just took it — smashed the window, reached in, and seized it, brought it into my life and Barbara’s life. I could never have seized the Blue Pearl if it hadn’t been for the shock of the medical diagnosis, which shattered not some window in a museum of world religions, but an inner window of self-doubt and false awe that could just as easily be called intimidation. I don’t quite know what I seized, maybe no more than three words: “the Blue Pearl.”

But as I felt Barbara’s mortality looming, kicking around in the next room — as I felt my own mortality for the first time — a sense of urgency lit up. This is all we’re going to get. And it was the life around me that began to glow, infused by some precious secret about how much life is worth that the dying pass back and forth to one another.

Barbara survived beyond the diagnosis. She lived nine months — months that were difficult and pain-ridden, but also amazing beyond words. After her passing I started writing poetry. The narrative of my life was interrupted, shattered. I could only write poetry, for the first year or so that I was a widower. I wrote about her life. I wrote about cancer. I wrote about our 12-year-old daughter. I wrote about whatever I encountered — the beauty of wet snow, the streetwise salesman at the train station who pleaded: “Pray for me.” I wrote about a ceiling leak. I wrote about my dad. So these are the soul fragments I want to clump into a book: sparkling blue pearls, perhaps, each of which tries in its own way to turn a moment sacred, to turn life’s every moment sacred. Here, for instance, are the final lines of a poem called “The Blue Pearl”: In the lifeless parking lot my wild heart, so big and wanting happiness, a cure for cancer or just five years five years to perfectly love my wife, stops, lets go of itself, bears for an instant the silver-streaked now of truth, now now only now and always now she is alive and I am alive and that’s my miracle and it’s enough.



Spring Arts Guide


As you invite spring back into your lives, we invite you to support the arts this season, for Memphis has no shortage of exhibitions, performances, and arts happenings. We also encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Catch a performance by a cast of actors who were formerly incarcerated; try out an immersive theater experience; or maybe, if you’re brave enough, audition for a show yourself.


“Black Alchemy: Backwards/Forwards Revisited”

Aaron Turner explores the depths of music through photography.

TONE, through March 18

“Atmospheric Conditions”

Bill Killebrew’s narrative scenic paintings.

David Lusk Gallery, through April 1

“Jeanne Seagle: Of is Place”

Drawings of landscapes surrounding Memphis with remarkable precision. Dixon Gallery & Gardens, through April 9

“American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection”

More than 100 works, spanning 250 years of

Black Men Missing II

Nine years ago, during a service at Miracle Temple Ministries, Larry NuTall noticed that the majority of the church’s congregation was women. e men, he noted, were missing, not just from the church but from the community and the family, and he let his imagination carry him through the di erent reasons as to why that might be. “I just created little scenarios,” he says. “ at’s how I basically got the idea to write a play about Black men.”

e characters came easily and so did their backstories, wrapped up in crime and family issues, o en the victim of their situation. By the conclusion of the play, called Black Men Missing, most of these men end up dying or incarcerated, and that bleak ending has sat with audiences for almost a decade. NuTall says that, even to this day, people ask him about what happened to the characters and their families a er they last saw them on stage. So, when he was approached to bring back the show, he opted instead to create a sequel.

“Part two is basically giving the audience the ending where everything

American art history. Dixon Gallery & Gardens, through April 16

“Who Is that Artist?” Works by Johana Moscoso, Karla Sanchez, and Danielle Sierra, who speak to Latinx identity, intersectionality,

turns out great,” NuTall explains. “ ese guys [who were incarcerated by the end of the rst part] are back out in society and what they’re doing now is being role models. … ey’re trying to encourage others to be better than they were, not to be a statistic, letting them know that they don’t have to go that way.”

ough Black Men Missing II has yet to take to the stage, it’s already impacting members of the community — specically those in the cast. ough most of them had never acted before answering the casting call NuTall posted at church and on social media, these men have lived the story he has written, stories of addiction and incarceration, stories of lacking a father gure, stories of searching for love in the wrong places.

In turn, they bring a weight to their respective characters that the playwright could never have imagined. For this cast, acting has become a source of therapy. ey’re able to embody their stories with not only a sense of accountability but also sympathy for their characters and, by extension, their past selves.

and transcendence. Dixon Gallery & Gardens, through April 16

Johnson Uwadinma Paintings by this contemporary Nigerian artist. Urevbu Contemporary, through April 29

“Eye is Another” Photography-based installation by artist Tommy Kha.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, through May 7

“Tend To” A ora- lled group exhibition featuring works by Joel Parsons, Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo, and

“One of the guys said that this particular play basically saved his life,” NuTall says. “ ey are actually very emotional. To see them cry, these big guys, strong guys, to see them emotional in rehearsal, it caused my heart to just fall right into my pocket. It’s really helping them. To see them at the very beginning and to see them now, these guys embrace each other and tell them, ‘I love you, brother. I’ll see you next week.’ ey didn’t do any of that at the very beginning.”

NuTall himself knows the power of performing, having been a professional dancer for the Tennessee Ballet eater before turning to playwriting. “I remember back in the day, the Orpheum was one of the biggest spotlights for me because we did the Nutcracker there basically every year. I always said that I would love to bring my very own show back to the Orpheum. And my dream is a reality now.”

Black Men Missing II is a Larry NuTall production and will be performed at the Orpheum eatre, on March 25th, 7 p.m.

Verushka Dior. Urban Art Commission, through May 7

“Extending the Potential” Enameling by the late Bill Helwig and current enamel artists. Metal Museum, through May 21

“Going with the Grain” Rose Marr’s crayon drawings on wood. Hattiloo eatre, March 9-April 6

“Master Narrative”

Harmonia Rosales’ paintings weave tales of West African Yorùbà religion, Greco-Roman mythology, and Christianity.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, March 10-June 25

“From the Studio” Carl E. Moore’s work re ects and represents the people and landscape around him.

Jay Etkin Gallery, March 17-April 29

Jasmine Marie Photographer Jasmine Marie’s work exploring love, Black femme identity, and community. Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery, March 19-April 23

“ e Expansive Moment”

Susan Maakestad’s watercolors take banal urban landscapes and transform them into meditations on light and color.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, April 16-July 9

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“Jeanne Seagle: Of is Place” Carl E. Moore at Jay Etkin Gallery Harmonia Rosales’ Beyond the Peonies

“Reimagining the Real: Ana M. Lopez & Natalie Macellaio”

Works of art that elevate familiar objects, like air conditioning xtures and road signs, to something fantastical.

Metal Museum, April 23-July 9

“Watercolors and Ceramics”

Chinese-French artist Zao Wou-Ki’s lyrical watercolors and designs for ceramics.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, April 30-July 16

Doudou Mbemba Lumbu

Paintings that express the artist’s observations of a failing humanity and his vision for a better world.

Urevbu Contemporary, May 6-June 30

“Rich Soil at the Garden” Outdoor exhibition created by Kristine Mays, inspired by the movements of Alvin Ailey’s dance composition. Memphis Botanic Garden, opening in May

“Dixon Blooms”

One of the Dixon’s biggest garden exhibitions yet, with 350,000 new owering bulbs planted. Stay up to date on the status of the blooms on the Dixon’s social media.

e Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Spring

“We Are Here: LGBTQIA+ Voices in the Contemporary Metals Community”

Jury-selected pieces that showcase the importance and richness of LGBTQIA+ artists working in metals.

Metal Museum, June 6-September 10


Alvin Ailey American Dance eater e dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance eater dazzle with their technical brilliance and passionate energy, bringing audiences to their feet at every performance. Orpheum eatre, March 3-5


A musical and comedic take on the tale of King Arthur’s quest to nd the Holy Grail.

Germantown Community eatre, March 3-19

e Play at Goes Wrong

A play within a play, where disaster befalls the

cast and crew. eatre Memphis, March 3-26

Step Afrika!

One of the top-10 African-American dance companies in the United States comes to GPAC. Germantown Performing Arts Center, March 5

In a Dark Wood

For Julia Hinson and Aliza Moran, writing a script together comes just as easily as nishing each other’s sentences. “I think we have a very similar language,” says Moran. “I feel like it’s something that’s developed through our time working together. She’s one of my best friends, and we are around each other all the time. … We’ve known each other for 20 years.”

For their latest project, titled In a Dark Wood, the two friends, who met while at the University of Memphis, found inspiration in Southern lore. e show is about two travelers who, a er an unexplainable event, nd refuge in a diner, where patrons and sta share their own experiences with the supernatural.

“We have taken real experiences we read about and just put them in the mouths of our character basically,” Hinson says.

“We also knew it was gonna be audio immersive,” she continues, “meaning that the people will go into the theater, they’ll put headphones on, and then we will put them in darkness. So the play happens in their minds, basically.”

As such, the two knew that scripting this experimental play would be di erent than scripting a traditional performance.

“We’re always thinking of the audio rst, so as we’re writing it, if it’s a storm,

Freckleface Strawberry: e Musical

A show for the whole family, this musical follows Freckleface Strawberry as she tries to do anything to get rid of her freckles. e Circuit Playhouse, March 10-April 16

Lonely Planet Centered around the AIDS epidemic, this play touches on mourning and grief, kept at bay with quips and comedy. eatreWorks, March 10-19

Memphis Music & Art Expo

An evening of dynamic jazz by pianist Alex Bugnon, plus a performance by utist Althea Rene. Scheidt Performing Arts Center, March 11

Dalí Quartet

An Iris concert fusing classical and Latin music. Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, March 17

Tchaikovsky and Price: Folk Traditions

Ain’t Too Proud

e electrifying new smash-hit Broadway musical follows e Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Orpheum eatre, March 7-12

Marie-Stéphane Bernard: Sounds of My Life

Witness the worlds of Paris, Italian opera houses, and Memphis as they collide in the lyrical language of Marie-Stéphane Bernard.

Germantown Performing Arts Center, March 11

Memphis Symphony Orchestra celebrates a special full weekend. Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, March 18-19


A team of underdog reporters and an editor set out to beat the competition and change the way the world looks at news — all

continued on page 12

what kind of storm? And then to even think through sounds that you wouldn’t normally think about — like driving in a car, the sound of the keys, the sound of the engine.”

ey plan to record the cast with a binaural microphone. “It’s shaped like the human ear,” Hinson explains. “And so it picks up sound just like the human ear would.”

“So whatever character’s perspective we’re writing, you’re hearing it from their perspective, which is pretty neat,” adds Moran, and that concept focusing on character perspective drove their process. “We started with the characters rst and then moved from there. … We ask questions, which is the part of the devising process that I learned, and it’s like asking questions from these characters like you were trying to get to know somebody. So, say, what is their earliest memory? What do they want? What did they want to be when they were young? And then just keep adding and adding, so that when we got to the writing process, we knew these characters so well that we could trust each other with scripting.”

rough this collaborative process, Moran continues, “No one part of the play belongs to one person,” and the collaboration doesn’t end in the scripting.

For instance, Hinson says, “We’ll tell the actors that if something doesn’t quite t in their mouth, we’ll change it to make it ow out of their mouth. So we hope to be collaborative with them as well.”

Even the audience will be a part of this collaboration, Hinson says. “It’s a communal experience.” Without an audience, the show’s purpose would cease to exist, and in that way, the show belongs to the audience, too. In a Dark Wood, in particular, promises to be intimate, with the audience limited to 20 people. “When we experience things together [through theater], I think it bonds us to people in a way that other things don’t,” Hinson says. “ eater’s also a mirror to society. And while our show is mostly creepy fun — we’re not making any political statements necessarily — we’re looking to give people a di erent kind of experience, but there’s value in that.”

“It is a way to step out of our general lives,” Moran adds, “have the experience with others, maybe be moved by it. You never know.”

In a Dark Wood is a LoneTree Live production and will be showing at Evergreen eatre at select times on March 31st-April 9th;

PHOTO: PAUL KOLNIK Alvin Ailey American Dance eater

continued from page 11

this, under the watchful eye of Rupert Murdoch. e Circuit Playhouse, March 24-April 16

John Crist: Emotional Support Tour

John Crist is one of today’s fast-rising standup comedians. Orpheum eatre, March 24

Mozart and Electric Guitar Concerto

A concert of musical dedications by Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Crosstown eater, March 24 | Germantown United Methodist Church, March 26

School Girls; Or, African Mean Girls Play

Exploring the universal similarities (and glaring di erences) facing teenage girls across the globe. Hattiloo eatre, March 24-April 16

continued on page 15

Mora Play

A er eight years of working on their play, Sarah Rushako was nally ready to share it with the public. Rehearsals began in early 2020 with the theater group Our Own Voice (OOV) and soon came to a crashing halt at the onset of the pandemic. Now, a er another three years of waiting, Rushako ’s Mora Play will at last make its debut on the Evergreen stage as OOV’s rst production since 2020.

e play takes inspiration from medieval morality plays, which were religious in nature and largely allegorical with a protagonist who must choose between good and evil for the sake of their salvation. For Mora Play, Rushako says, “I’m making it the humanist version, with the idea that people can do good without the promise of a reward and avoid doing evil without the threat of punishment, which is opposite of the original morality plays.

“It just always nagged at me that some people who are very religious make it sound very di cult to just be good and do good things,” they continue. “And when you look at a lot of religious zealots today and what they say, a lot of it is not what you would call moral goals. It’s

capitalism, greed, hate, dishonesty, willful ignorance. It turns people against each other, instead of bringing them together. at’s why I thought that this [play] was a version that maybe we need today, instead of re and brimstone.”

But Rushako , a self-declared atheist, is wary of creating their own echo chamber, so they hope to get feedback from their fellow OOV members, who range in religious a liations. ey’ve also recruited Bill Baker, the founding director of the company, as a co-director. “I de nitely wanted di erent viewpoints. I wanted to be challenged if something in the script didn’t sit well with someone.”

A er three years in limbo, Rushako does expect to revise the script. “It’ll probably never be done in my mind,” they say. “But there’s so much stu that’s happened since I rst said I was done writing it. ere’s so much more to say. … But it’s gonna be a collaborative process.”

A er all, that collaborative and egalitarian energy is what initially drew Rushako to OOV. “If you’ve ever done a show with us, you’re a company member,” they say. “Period. Like forever. We

welcome everyone and for a lot of people, we’re the rst play they’ve ever been in. … Auditions are more like, ‘Just show up and if you like what we’re doing and we like what you’re doing, then you’re in.’” (For those interested, auditions are April 1st, 2nd, and 8th.)

Audience participation is also important for OOV performances, where there’s never a fourth wall. “When the performers acknowledge the audience and when we invite them to perform with us,” Rushako says, “it deepens the connection with the audience and makes them feel like a part of the performance.”

Mora Play, for its part, hints at that desire for connection. “We wanted to rede ne the idea of sin,” Rushako says. “We boiled it down to the idea that it’s a modern sin to prevent or break a connection between people. So the ip side of that is, a good deed is building or facilitating a connection between people. at’s what we hope to do [with theater].”

Mora Play will be performed May 26thJune 11th at Evergreen eatre; follow OOV on Facebook (@ourownvoicetheatretroupe).

12 March 2-8, 2023
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Women in the Arts

For a third time, the Dixon Gallery & Gardens and eatre Memphis will cohost the annual Women in the Arts, a day dedicated to, as you may have ascertained, women in the arts, with panels, demonstrations, classes, performances, and more.

“We have such a rich arts community in Memphis,” says Karen Strachan, youth programs coordinator at the Dixon, “and while women are fortunately starting to get more of a nod in other industries from engineering to business to medicine, the case isn’t the same for women who are creatives.” In turn, this event hopes to rectify that gap by supporting and highlighting the women makers, arts administrators, actors, singers, writers, musicians, dancers, orists — basically any kind of artist you can think of.

Split between the Dixon and eatre Memphis, with shuttles going back and forth between locations, the day will cater to all ages, artists and art lovers alike. e schedule for the day is truly packed, so choosing which bits to attend will be the hardest part of the day, says Kristen Rambo, the Dixon’s communications associate. “We try to cover all the things, but you can participate as much or as little as you like.”

At the Dixon, attendees can chat with several visual artists and perhaps even get a chance of some hands-on experience during artist demonstrations. Plus, guests can check out the take-and-make stations, hosted by Hutchison School teens, who will also facilitate a poetry corner. e galleries inside will also be open, with Jeanne Seagle’s “Of is Place” and “American Made,” a survey of American art curated by Diane DeMell Jacobsen, on display.

Also on display is “What Is at Artist?” with art by Johana Moscoso, Karla Sanchez, and Danielle Sierra — all of whom will be present at the event on Saturday. Sierra will be part of the artist demonstrations, Sanchez will facilitate a large-scale collaborative mural activity, and Moscoso will be a part of a panel, titled “Made In,” which will feature women who are artists and immigrants speaking on their experiences.

Meanwhile, at eatre Memphis, there will be a panel featuring women directors as well as an artist market. eatre Memphis will also host various performances and drop-in dancing, acting, and yoga classes.

All in all, the event, Strachan says, hopes to “connect new artists and performers with the community because there is certainly no shortage of talent here. You may see some familiar faces but also some new ones. You might even be introduced to a new art form.”

Rambo adds, “I am a woman in the arts and have been working here for a long time, and every year I am amazed how many people I meet. … So we hope a lot of people will come out and see something that might be out of your comfort zone.”

e Play at Goes Wrong

eatre Memphis, Friday, March 3-March 26, $15-$25

e number-one rule of theater: Do NOT ever wish a thespian “Good luck.” Just don’t do it. Please. eatre Memphis begs of you. ey’re already under a lot of stress with their latest production where everything — literally everything — has gone wrong. Actors are missing cues and breaking character and breaking the unbreakable fourth wall. Doors are sticking, set décor is coming apart, oors are collapsing, props are being misplaced, people are being manhandled and knocked unconscious, and I’m running out of space here, so you’ll just have to witness for yourself the evercomedic, disaster-ridden play within a play: e Play at Goes Wrong Performances are ursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., through March 26th.

Memphis Black Restaurant Week

Various locations, Sunday-Saturday, March 5-March 11

You gotta eat, so why not eat and support minority-owned eateries at the same time? And while you should keep that in mind any week of the year, you should de nitely keep it in mind for Memphis Black Restaurant Week. Dine in or order to-go at any of the 28 participating restaurants. Some of the more popular featured restaurants include e Four Way, Mahogany Memphis, Biscuits & Jams, Evelyn & Olive, and SugaShack. Find a full list at

Concluding the week with a bang will be the Eighth Annual Soulful Food Truck Festival on March 12th at Tiger Lane. is family-friendly event is open to all ages and features a variety of minority-owned food trucks.

Step Afrika!

Germantown Performing Arts Center, Sunday, March 5, 2:30-4:30 p.m., $25 In need of something fun to do this weekend? We’ll be sure to point you a step in the right direction, with a performance by none other than Step Afrika!

Founded in 1994, Step Afrika! is the rst professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Now ranked as one of the top-10 African-American dance companies in the United States, Step Afrika! forms a cohesive, compelling artistic experience by blending percussive dance styles practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities, traditional West and Southern African dances, and an array of contemporary dance and art forms.

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES March 2nd - 8th 2166 Central Ave. Memphis TN 38104 Live music at march 23th Jackie Venson april 13th The reverend peyton’s big damn band april 21st Soul Rebels march 11th Shamarr allen march 10th Wednesday night titans
PHOTO: COURTESY DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS is will be the third Women in the Arts.



reative thinking is o en spurred on by a sudden change: ere’s nothing like having the rug pulled out from under you to get you thinking on your feet. And, to hear Steve Selvidge tell it, that’s exactly what happened nearly three years ago when he, Luther Dickinson, and Paul Taylor began work on what’s now the freshly released album, MEM_MODS Vol. 1 (Peabody Records). Of course, that was a time when the whole world was caught o guard, not the least these three musicians who’ve thrived on live performance for decades.

“We were all reeling,” Selvidge recalls. But then a ray of hope appeared. “I got an email from Luther saying, ‘Paul and I have been messing around with some stu , do you want to put some guitar on it?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have anything else to do!’” It was within the rst month of the pandemic’s lockdown, so Dickinson and Taylor had not been playing together in person; they’d been swapping tracks over the internet. And that in itself was not unusual for any of them.

“We all had some sort of digital audio workstation of some sort in our homes,” says Selvidge. “And I’d been doing a bunch of remote recording pre-pandemic, anyway. It’s not uncommon for me to do guitar overdubs here in my home studio.” at might even include the odd overdub on a Hold Steady track, he notes. “Mostly last little pickup bits right at the end,” he explains. “But for that last Bash & Pop record [by Tommy Stinson], we cut half of it live at Tommy’s place, and the other half was stu written a er the fact. So I did a lot of my guitars and all of my vocals here at my place on that album.”

Dickinson and Taylor had similar home studios, though Selvidge’s home in Memphis tended to be where it all came together. “A er a while, it was easier for me to be the guy running everything in Pro Tools, with everybody sending me les,” Selvidge adds. “And so it kept growing.”

As it turned out, the three began to thrive on the collaboration in unexpected ways. A er the rst track, says Selvidge, “I was like, ‘We made this! I love it! And it’s something to keep myself occupied.’ So that turned into another track, and then we realized we had kind of a work ow. And we exploded with this creativity. Paul might start with drums, and either Luther

or I would add a bass line, creating a song out of raw drums. And I started messing with old drum machines and wrote a tune to that. ere were ideas ying everywhere! So much so that we had a brief storage crisis, the music piled up so quickly.”

e result is that rare bird in the indie music world, an instrumental album. While that might be somewhat familiar in the jam band world, MEM_MODS doesn’t really t that tag. e tracks hit more like a lost ’70s soundtrack, evoking everything from Augustus Pablo-like dub to funk bangers to smoldering Isaac Hayeslike ballads. Tasty, ear-catching synth sounds abound. Indeed, the trio leaned into their multi-instrumental talents, with Dickinson not even contributing his rst instrument, guitar. Instead, he played bass and various keyboards; Selvidge played guitar, bass, Rhodes piano, and drum machine; and Taylor contributed drums, percussion, omnichord, bass, fretless bass, washtub bass, synth pedals, and “soundscapes.”

Over these elements sit some of the nest horn parts to come out of Mem-

phis in recent years, courtesy arranger and trumpeter Marc Franklin and saxophonist Art Edmaiston. Ranging from pitch-perfect pads to nimble, jazz in uenced lls, the horns (and a ute cameo) pair with warm drums, bass, and guitar to ground the album in an earthy, Memphis vibe.

It makes sense, given how far back the three musicians go, all from famed musical families. “We’ve been making music together for 30 odd years,” says Selvidge. “So everything we’ve done together and apart came to the table when we did this. We know each other’s instincts, even as our lives have changed, getting married, having children. Losing our fathers. ere’s a depth there with us. And that depth has gone into our playing.”

PHOTO: COURTESY PEABODY RECORDS From the days of lockdown MUSIC By Alex Greene How three friends — Steve Selvidge, Luther Dickinson, and Paul Taylor — survived lockdown with new musical worlds.



Preacher Lawson

Memphis-born comedian comes to GPAC.

Germantown Performing Arts Center, March 25

Menopause: e Musical

Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra and memory loss, hot ashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex, and more.

Orpheum eatre, March 29

Mrs. Mannerly

A demanding etiquette teacher comes face-to-face with a student determined to earn a perfect score.

eatre Memphis, March 31-April 16

30 Days of Opera

Opera Memphis presents a month of free, outdoor performances throughout Memphis. Various locations, April 1-30

e Music of Modern Broadway and Hollywood

A showcase of the best of Broadway today. Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, April 1

Chicago is Broadway show brings all that jazz to Memphis. Orpheum eatre, April 4-9

Cinderella Young and old alike will be enchanted by this timeless tale from Ballet Memphis.

Orpheum eatre, April 14-16

Jose Limón Dance Company

Jose Limón Dance Company is revered throughout the world for its dramatic expression, technical mastery, and expansive yet nuanced movement.

Buckman Arts Center, April 16

Buckman Dance Conservatory’s Spring Celebration of Dance

An enchanting celebration of dance, incorporating colorful costumes, fresh choreography, and dramatic lighting.

Buckman Arts Center, April 21

Rickey Smiley and Friends

Comedy legend and entertainment mogul Rickey Smiley comes to Memphis.

Orpheum eatre, April 21

Sherlock’s Last Case

A modern take on the master sleuth.

eatre Memphis, April 21May 7

So You Are Dating a Latino … Now What?

A hilarious but genuine comedy in two languages. eatreWorks, April 21-30

Brahms: A People’s Requiem

Experience this exquisite, soulful journey with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, April 22-23

Heather McMahan: e Comeback Tour

Your favorite high-functioning hot mess, comedian Heather McMahan is back on tour.

Orpheum eatre, April 28


A couple considers starting a family.

Quark eatre, April 28

Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812

An electropop opera, based on a 70-page segment of War and Peace Playhouse on the Square, April 28-May 28

Orchestra Unplugged: Dvořák New World Symphony

As presented by Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Halloran Centre for Performing Arts, April 28

the legendary comedian to Memphis.

Halloran Centre, May 6

Rachmanino and Shostakovich

One of the greatest symphonies of the 20th century.

Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, May 6 |

Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, May 7


A truck-stop sandwich shop in Reading, Pennsylvania, becomes a place of employment and redemption for the formerly incarcerated sta . e Circuit Playhouse, May 12-June 4

Sistas: e Musical

A er a matriarch’s death, the women in the family bond over old memories.

Hattiloo eatre, June 2-25

Mary Poppins

eir Eyes Were Watching God Collage Dance reimagines Zora Neale Hurston’s novel as a ballet.

Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, April 28-30

e American Experience

A stellar concert celebrating American musical heritage with Iris Collective.

Germantown Performing Arts Center, April 29

Fantasy & Re ections

An intimate chamber concert with Steven Banks and Iris Collective.

Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, April 30

Trevor Noah

e host of the Emmy Awardwinning e Daily Show comes to Memphis.

Orpheum eatre, May 4

Small Mouth Sounds

Six strangers on a silent retreat struggle against their vow of silence.

eatreWorks, May 5-21

e Falling and the Rising

A soldier wrestles with the sacri ces she’s made in this opera.

Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, May 12-13

Frank Ferrante in an Evening with Groucho

Frank Ferrante brings his acclaimed stage portrayal of

You know her and you love her. Mary Poppins is coming to eatre Memphis. eatre Memphis, June 9-July 2

Jersey Boys

An exciting walk down memory lane uncovers the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Playhouse on the Square, June 16-July 16



Join local artists in transforming the Brooks Plaza into the most beautiful masterpiece with chalk.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, March 25

Tennessee Triennial: Memphis Highlight Weekend

Presented by the Tennessee Triennial, the weekend will include receptions and celebratory events at select venues. Various locations, April 27-29

Spring Faire

eatre Memphis’ annual event with artists’ and artisans’ booths, food trucks, and performances throughout the day.

eatre Memphis, April 29

Brazil by Day

Become immersed in the rich culture of Brazil through ne art, live music, dance performances, cuisine, and more! Crosstown Arts, May 13 page 12


March 2 - 8

Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to



“Community Art Gallery: Southern Buildings”

Series of small-scale watercolor paintings by artist David Rawlinson. Through March 4.



Book Event: Author Francesca Royster Francesca Royster discusses her Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions. Tuesday, March 7, 7 p.m.


Meet the Author: Tara M. Stringfellow

Tara Stringfellow celebrates the paperback release of her debut novel Memphis. Tuesday, March 7, 4:30-6 p.m.



Kenny DeForest

Featuring Chris Ivey. Hosted by Charlie Vergos. $15. Friday, March 3, 9-10:30 p.m.


Night of Comedy featuring Jay Leno and Henry Cho

A night comedy and laughs. $65-$100. Friday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.



Annual Tree


Volunteer to help pot up native trees.

Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m.-noon.



Hattiloo Theatre at the Library

See Hattiloo Theatre perform Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly, a play about the life and art of Della Wells.

Saturday, March 4, 1-2:30 p.m.


Memphis Parent Camp Expo 2023

A day of learning about camps and summer activities for all ages. Saturday, March 4, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.



Anime Night: Castle in the Sky & Whisper of the Heart

A coming-of-age fantasy double feature from Studio Ghibli. Thursday, March 2, 6:30 p.m.

The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Wednesday, January 15, 2020



62 Phrase in an article on grownup child stars, perhaps … or a hint to this

David Rawlinson’s watercolors at the Morton Museum give new life to abandoned MidSouth buildings and homes.

Farewell, Mr. Haffman

Under the German occupation, an employer and employee are forced to strike a deal which will upend the fate of all concerned. Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.


The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Forbidden Planet

A double feature screening of two legends! Free. Tuesday, March 7, 4 p.m.



Memphis Black Restaurant Week

Twenty-eight participating restaurants are busily preparing to showcase their culinary creations. Sunday, March 5-March 11.


Whiskey Warmer Memphis

Whiskey lovers, bundle up for an evening of live music, good food, and exceptional spirits. $44. Friday, March 3, 6:30-9:30 p.m.



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Performing different programs of mixed repertory. Friday, March 3-March 5.


Step Afrika!

The first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. $25. Sunday, March 5, 2:30-4:30 p.m.



Carnival on Broad

Stop by participating shops on Broad and play games to win prizes and discounts! Attendees are encouraged to wear their carnival masks. Friday, March 3, 5-8 p.m.


Hutchison Beeline Bazaar

Free event featuring local artisans and food vendors. Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

2 Target for a phlebotomist

3 Racetrack ratio

4 Engage in conflict

5 Frat.’s counterpart

6 Mafia don, for one

7 One who’s not “it”

8 Penner of the line “Language is wine upon the lips”

9 Some terminals 10 Brand of cooking spray

11 Line heard from the starting line

12 Unabridged

13 “Das Lied von der Erde” composer

18 “L’___ c’est moi” (declaration of Louis XIV)

22 Nickname for Louis Armstrong

25 Fiesta finger food

26 Confucian

Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year).

Read about and comment on each puzzle:



Memphis vs. Houston

Sunday, March 5, 11 a.m.



Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations

The electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Tuesday, March 7-March 12.


Monty Python’s Spamalot

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Friday, March 3-March 19.


The Play That Goes Wrong

A play within a play with actors missing cues, breaking character and the fourth wall. Where could disaster befall? Friday, March 3-March 26.


16 March 2-8, 2023
ACROSS 1 Swear 5 “America” begins and ends with this 10 Greeting card text, often 14 Mother of Castor and Pollux 15 Rigel’s constellation 16 Tolstoy heroine 17 Australian wind instrument 19 Old story 20 Commencement 21 Pinochle plays 23 It may be checked at a station 24 Decorative garden element 27 Build up charges 30 Impolite onlooker 31 ___ interface 32 [Like magic!] 35 Dot follower 36 Cavernous opening 37 Petulant 39 Sound of a penny dropping? 42 Map abbr. before 1991 44 Garment in Gujarat 45 “Rats!”
song with onomatopoeic lyrics 54 Figure on some greeting cards 55 Ltr. accompaniers 56 How seafood may be shipped 60 ___ Blanc, highest of the Alps
46 Word of greeting or farewell 49 Gently boosted, as someone’s ego
squares 64 Clip 65 Pandemonium 66 Dungeons & Dragons figure 67 Locale of Charon’s ferry 68 Worries 69 Travels (about)
puzzle’s shaded
DOWN 1 Brand of shoes and handbags
path to enlightenment 27 Ingredient in a Bahama Mama 28 Its members are represented by stars 29 Reuters or Bloomberg 33 Cost-controlling W.W. II org. 34 Winter milestone 37 Put pen to paper 38 Wielders of the dark side of the Force 40 Tint 41 Contribute 43 ___-mo 45 Carnival fare on a stick 46 Overwhelms 47 Billy 48 Their days are numbered 50 Steed stopper 52 Onetime instantmessaging app 53 École attendee 57 Female role in “Young Frankenstein” 58 Thin rope 59 Members of a flock 61 It borders Mex. 63 Window boxes, for short
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE 12345678910111213 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 2223 2425 26 272829 30 31 32333435 36 37 38 394041 4243 44 45 4647 48 4950 51 5253 54 55 56575859 60 6162 63 64 65 66 67 68 69


Dream Job

Five lucky participants will clear a cool $1,000 to do what they wanted to do anyway: Eat cheese before bedtime. Fox5-TV reported that Sleep Junkie, a mattress review website, hopes to test the legend that eating cheese before bed causes nightmares, so they’re asking “dairy dreamers” to consume a wide variety of cheeses, log their sleep, and provide feedback about sleep quality, energy levels, and bad dreams. The best part? Participants will be reimbursed for the cheese! The catch: You have to sleep alone. [Fox5, 1/20/2023]

Police Report

A 31-year-old woman was charged with two counts of robbery and possession of a weapon (ahem) on Jan. 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, after a puzzling attempt to steal a pizza, the CBC reported. Around 3 a.m., she allegedly entered a crowded restaurant and demanded a pizza, brandishing a firecracker as a threat. She was denied the pie, so she lit the firework and ran off with a pizza. Outside the restaurant, she got into a cab, but the driver asked her to get out because she was being belligerent. When the driver stepped out of the car, she jumped into his seat and took off, dragging the 54-year-old several meters down the street. Officers caught up with the stolen cab and caught the pizza thief when she became stuck in a snowbank. [CBC, 1/23/2023]

That Rule Doesn’t Apply to Me

A dump truck driver in Contra Costa County, California, either couldn’t read or didn’t care when he barreled through a road closure barricade on Jan. 23, KTVU-TV reported, and ended up with his front left wheel in a sinkhole. The “road closed” sign was found beneath his vehicle, and the driver escaped without injury. Excessive rains have caused “flooding, mudslides, sinkholes, and other issues” in the area, county officials noted.

[KTVU, 1/23/2023]

Bright Idea

If you’re looking for a crafty project for 2023, the online shop Savor has you covered, Slate reported. For the low, low price of $46.95, you can put together your own “In Case I Go Missing” binder, which Savor says “makes it super easy for the true-crime obsessed

to record their key stats for their loved ones.” Those facts include medical and financial information, fingerprints, and lists of “hangout spots.” One woman said she added “a hair sample just in case they need it for DNA testing.” Elizabeth Jeglic, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, soothingly says, “The majority of adults will not go missing or be kidnapped.” Her colleague Patrick McLaughlin offers some ideas for the kit, though: recent photos; the unlock code for your phone; pics of tattoos, scars, or birthmarks; handwriting samples — but he warns that such binders might not be admissible as evidence. [Slate, 1/22/2023]

That Guy

Dennis Garsjo, 73, of Glasgow, Montana, may not know your name when he greets you on the street, but he’ll call out to you anyway, using your birthday. “Top of the morning to ya, April 11,” he might say, according to KRTV. Garsjo has memorized more than 3,000 birthdays and says he came by the talent naturally. “My mother remembered all our relatives’ birthdays before she started getting dementia,” he said. “I don’t think my talent is all that special. I’m more impressed by musicians who can play a song from memory on the piano.” Still, residents of Prairie Ridge Village, where he works, enjoy The Birthday Guy, as he’s known, and he loves surprising people with their special day. [KRTV, 1/26/2023]

News You Can Use

KFC Thailand partnered with perfume experts during the Lunar New Year to create what every finger-lickin’ good fan wants: fried chicken incense. Oddity Central reported that the incense sticks look good enough to eat and smell even better. Alas, you can’t buy them: The incense will be awarded through a raffle on KFC Thailand’s Facebook page. [Oddity Central, 1/20/2023]

Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@ News of the Weird is now a podcast on all major platforms! Visit for more.


© 2023 Andrews McMeel Syndication. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


ARIES (March 21-April 19): In 1993, I began work on my memoirish novel The Televisionary Oracle. It took me seven years to finish. The early part of the process was tough. I generated a lot of material I didn’t like. Then one day, I discovered an approach that liberated me: I wrote about aspects of my character and behavior that needed improvement. Suddenly everything clicked, and my fruitless adventure transformed into a fluidic joy. Soon I was writing about other themes and experiences. But dealing with self-correction was a key catalyst. Are there any such qualities in yourself you might benefit from tackling, Aries? If so, I recommend you try my approach.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Two Taurus readers complained that my horoscopes contain too much poetry and flair to be useful. In response, I’m offering you a prosaic message. It’s all true, though in a way that’s more like a typical horoscope. (I wonder if this approach will spur your emotional intelligence and your soul’s lust for life, which are crucial areas of growth for you these days.) Anyway, here’s the oracle: Take a risk and extend feelers to interesting people outside your usual sphere. But don’t let your social adventures distract you from your ambitions, which also need your wise attention. Your complex task: Mix work and play; synergize business and pleasure.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Astrologer Jessica Shepherd advises us to sidle up to the Infinite Source of Life and say, “Show me what you’ve got.” When we do, we often get lucky. That’s because the Infinite Source of Life delights in bringing us captivating paradoxes. Yes and no may both be true in enchanting ways. Independence and interdependence can interweave to provide us with brisk teachings. If we dare to experiment with organized wildness and aggressive receptivity, our awareness will expand, and our heart will open. What about it, Gemini? Are you interested in the charming power that comes from engaging with cosmic contradictions? Now’s a favorable time to do so. Go ahead and say, “Show me what you’ve got” to the Infinite Source of Life.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Only a lunatic would dance when sober,” declared the ancient Roman philosopher Cicero. As a musician who loves to dance, I reject that limiting idea — especially for you. In the upcoming weeks, I hope you will do a lot of dancing-while-sober. Singing-while-sober, too. Maybe some crying-for-joy-while-sober, as well as freewheeling-your-way-through-unpredictable-conversations-while-sober and cavorting-and-reveling-while-sober. My point is that there is no need for you to be intoxicated as you engage in revelry. Even further: It will be better for your

soul’s long-term health if you are lucid and clearheaded as you celebrate this liberating phase of extra joy and pleasure.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Poet Mary Oliver wondered whether the soul is solid and unbreakable, like an iron bar. Or is it tender and fragile, like a moth in an owl’s beak? She fantasized that maybe it’s shaped like an iceberg or a hummingbird’s eye. I am poetically inclined to imagine the soul as a silver diadem bedecked with emeralds, roses, and live butterflies. What about you, Leo? How do you experience your soul? The coming weeks will be a ripe time to home in on this treasured part of you. Feel it, consult with it, feed it. Ask it to surprise you!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): According to the color consultant company Pantone, Viva Magenta is 2023’s color of the year. According to me, Viva Magenta is the lucky hue and power pigment for you Virgos during the next ten months. Designer Amber Guyton says that Viva Magenta “is a rich shade of red that is both daring and warm.” She adds that its “purple undertone gives it a warmth that sets it apart from mere red and makes it more versatile.” For your purposes, Virgo, Viva Magenta is earthy and exciting, nurturing and inspiring, soothing yet arousing. The coming weeks will be a good time to get the hang of incorporating its spirit into your life.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you are not working to forge a gritty solution, you may be reinforcing a cozy predicament. If you’re not expanding your imagination to conjure up fresh perspectives, you could be contributing to some ignorance or repression. If you’re not pushing to expose dodgy secrets and secret agendas, you might be supporting the whitewash. Know what I’m saying, Libra? Here’s a further twist. If you’re not peeved about the times you have wielded your anger unproductively, you may not use it brilliantly in the near future. And I really hope you will use it brilliantly.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Storyteller Martin Shaw believes that logic and factual information are not enough to sustain us. To nourish our depths, we need the mysterious stories provided by myths and fairy tales. He also says that conventional hero sagas starring big, strong, violent men are outmoded. Going forward, we require wily, lyrical tales imbued with the spirit of the Greek word metis, meaning “divine cunning in service to wisdom.” That’s what I wish for you now, Scorpio. I hope you will tap into it abundantly. As you do, your creative struggles will lead to personal liberations. For inspiration, read myths and fairy tales.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Piscean author and activist W.E.B. Dubois advised us to always be willing to give up what we are. Why? Because that’s how we transform into a deeper and stronger version of ourselves. I think you would benefit from using his strategy. My reading of the astrological omens tells me that you are primed to add through subtraction, to gain power by shedding what has become outworn and irrelevant. Suggested step one: Identify dispiriting self-images you can jettison. Step two: Visualize a familiar burden you could live without. Step three: Drop an activity that bores you. Step four: Stop doing something that wastes your time.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Many astrologers don’t give enough encouragement to you Sagittarians on the subject of home. I will compensate for that. I believe it’s a perfect time to prioritize your feelings of belonging and your sense of security. I urge you to focus energy on creating serenity and stability for yourself. Honor the buildings and lands you rely on. Give extra appreciation to the people you regard as your family and tribe. Offer blessings to the community that supports you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you are like 95 percent of the population, you weren’t given all the love and care you needed as a child. You may have made adaptations to partly compensate for this lack, but you are still running a deficit. That’s the bad news, Capricorn. The good news is that the coming weeks will be a favorable time to overcome at least some of the hurt and sadness caused by your original deprivation. Life will offer you experiences that make you feel more at home in the world and at peace with your destiny and in love with your body. Please help life help you! Make yourself receptive to kindness and charity and generosity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The philosopher Aldous Huxley was ambitious and driven. Author of almost 50 books, he was a passionate pacifist and explorer of consciousness. He was a visionary who expressed both dystopian and utopian perspectives. Later in his life, though, his views softened. “Do not burn yourselves out,” he advised readers. “Be as I am: a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it.” Now I’m offering you Huxley’s counsel, Aquarius. As much as I love your zealous idealism and majestic quests, I hope that in the coming weeks, you will recharge yourself with creature comforts.

18 March 2-8, 2023

Patty Daddies Return

e Secret Smash Society cooks burgers in March.

The Secret Smash Society returns March 5th to cook its mouth wateringly-good smash burgers.

And you’d better get there early because the event, held this time at High Cotton Brewing Company, usually is, well, a smash.

eir last public event was in September at Wiseacre Brewing Company. “We sold out in two-and-a-half hours,” says Harrison Downing, who makes up the team alongside Schuyler O’Brien and Cole Jeanes.

And, he says, “ at was the most burgers we did. Close to 300.”

“People were lining up an hour before we opened,” O’Brien adds.

But, Downing adds, “ e line moves fast because the burgers are cooked fast.”

Porter of Bloodhound Provisions.

“I love doing it because I get to cook with Schuyler and Harrison,” Jeanes says. “We don’t get to cook o en at all.”

And, he says, “When we are together I don’t have to ask them to do something.

ey already know the next step I need to take. If I’m busy, they know what to do. It’s like a dance, basically. If you’re dancing with a partner who doesn’t know how to dance it’s very cluttered and messy, but if you’re dancing with someone who is good, it’s very smooth.”

Using a burger press, they smash together two three-ounce patties until they’re completely at. e burgers cook quickly. e fat goes back into the meat because it doesn’t have time to render out.

“Patty Daddies” is e Secret Smash Society’s nickname. All three chefs are new fathers. Hudson Downing is four months old, Finley O’Brien is one year old, and Luca Jeanes is 16 months old. eir last Secret Smash Society event, a private one, was pretty hectic, Downing says. “My wife went into labor that day.”

ey had to switch all their equipment, which was in Downing’s truck, to O’Brien’s Path nder. “I had to trade vehicles and head to the hospital.”

ey own all their equipment, so setting up and packing down is a snap. “If we wanted to do one tomorrow we could probably make it happen. ere’s not much planning. We’ve got it down to a science.”

Burger lovers don’t get a lot of notice about their events. “ at’s kind of why we play on the ‘secret’ thing,” Downing says, adding, “We don’t post much on social media until it’s about to get going.”

ey don’t like to hold the events too o en. But, O’Brien says, “It’s not like we’re just sitting around making people su er. We have so much other shit going on. When it works, it works, and we make it happen. at’s as regular as we can get it for us.”

O’Brien is City Silo Table + Pantry’s food and beverage director, Downing is chef/sandwich artist at Greys Fine Cheese, and Jeanes is chef/owner of Kinfolk restaurant, consultant and private chef with Jeanes Hospitality, a partner with Josh Conley in the Etowah Hunt Club dinner series, and a partner with Kyle Taylor, James Lancaster, and Tyler

Downing’s new baby is one reason they haven’t held a Secret Smash Society event in a while. “We wanted to give Harry time to take in fatherhood and all,” O’Brien says, adding, “We gave him paternity leave.”

e Secret Smash Society can do other things besides make smash burgers. ey were among the chefs who had to create a dish out of a piece of pig at the Hill Country Boucherie and Blues Picnic last September in Como, Mississippi. e event was held at Home Place Pastures, which is where e Secret Smash Society chefs get the beef for their smash burgers. e pig part, whether it’s the cheek, tongue, or something else, is determined by a drawing. “ ey literally draw your name out of a hat,” O’Brien says.

e Secret Smash Society chefs had to make something out of a pig heart. So, they came up with a Japanese-style yakitori skewer.

And, out of 17 or so chefs, O’Brien says, “We took rst place.”

e Secret Smash Society will cook burgers from 2 p.m. until sell out, March 5th, at High Cotton Brewing Company at 598 Monroe.

PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE Harrison Downing, Schuyler O’Brien, Cole Jeanes, and sons. FOOD By Michael Donahue

This Is Your Bear On Drugs

Cocaine Bear just wants to party with you.

Back in 1985, a drug smuggler named Andrew C. Thornton II found himself over East Tennessee in a failing Cessna. Trying to lighten the load, he ejected a few duffle bags’ worth of cocaine into the woods. When that didn’t work, he stuffed several Ferraris’ worth of product in his pockets and jumped out of the airplane. His parachute didn’t open, and the former-federalnarcotics-officer-turned-cocainecowboy went splat in suburban Knoxville.

As someone who grew up in rural Appalachia during the height of the Reagan era, I can attest that bundles of drugs regularly fell from the sky. Some poor randos got lucky and were able to buy a real house, not a trailer. Some less-lucky randos were brutally murdered by employees of the distribution network whose drugs had gone missing. In this case, a black bear found the fallen cocaine cache and ate it. Pablo Escobear, as the overstimulated ursine would come to be known, is the only known bear to die of a cocaine overdose — another Appalachia victim of the War on Drugs.

In retrospect, it’s kind of amazing that it took so long for someone to make Cocaine Bear . In the 1980s, lots of producers got their movies funded with little more than a catchy title and some eye-catching VHS art. The story writes itself. Bears are cute, but they can eat you whenever they want. Luckily, bears are lazy, and you’re more trouble than you’re worth. But a bear on cocaine, they’re edgy. They’re paranoid. They just want to party with you. Why are you holding out on them?

Director Elizabeth Banks sets the gonzo tone in the first scene, when Andrew Thornton (Matthew Rhys) experiences a high degree of job satisfaction by dipping into the bricks before he tosses them out of the airplane. At least he dies doing what he loves: cocaine.

The first people to discover what happened to the cocaine are prime slasher movie fodder: a pair of young European hikers in love. For Cocaine Bear , they’re just a yummy appetizer. Also on the table are a pair of kids: the rebellious Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince), who is skipping school to paint a waterfall, and Henry (Christian Convery), who is following her. Dee Dee’s mom Sari (Keri Russell) is trying to track down both of them, with the help of Ranger Liz (Margo Martindale) and zoologist

Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson).

Meanwhile, Syd (Ray Liotta), who is on the hook for the missing marching powder, sends his enforcer Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and angsty son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) to retrieve the $14 million in assets before the Columbian cartels come calling. They have a violent run-in with a trio of delinquents and find one of the missing duffle bags at the same time as TBI detective Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and the cocaine-crazed bear.

Besides Cocaine Bear, who is an instant movie star, Bob is the film’s best character. He’s a police detective who’s getting too old for this stuff. He’s thinking about retirement and just bought a cute dog. But he’s been chasing Syd for years, and he’s got a hunch that this is his last chance to

If you give a bear a crap ton of cocaine, he’s going to ask for more. He is, a er all, not just a bear on cocaine; he is Cocaine Bear.

take him down. In a movie like this, he’s a dead man walking. Whitlock, a veteran of Spike Lee films and The Wire , understands the assignment and plays it to the hilt.

Everyone involved in Cocaine Bear seems to know exactly how serious to take it, which is, not very. As a classy appreciator of art, I should call Cocaine Bear a guilty pleasure, except I don’t feel very guilty about it. Cocaine, a wise man once said, is a hell of a drug.

Cocaine Bear

Now playing Multiple locations

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FILM By Chris McCoy

Our critic picks the best films in theaters this week.

Creed III

Michael B. Jordan makes his directorial debut in this installment of the boxing franchise that made him a superstar.

Donnie Creed is on top of the world, until his old buddy Dame Anderson (Jonathan Majors) gets out of prison. Back when they were both budding prodigies, Dame took a rap for Donnie, and now he wants the title he was denied. Creed is in for the fight of his life.

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre

Guy Ritchie does spies! Jason Statham is the smooth operator Orson Fortune, hired by the British government to retrieve a weapon called The Handle. Aubrey Plaza

co-stars as Fortune’s rival Sarah Fidel, who also wants to get a handle on things — or her things on The Handle. Josh Hartnett, Cary Elwes, and Hugh Grant are along for the action comedy ride.


It’s December 1941 in war-torn Europe. Czech freedom fighter Victor Lazlo (Paul Henreid) and his wife Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) are fleeing the Nazi juggernaut. They land in the North African port city of Casablanca, where they enlist the help of American bar owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart). But they have a history Victor doesn’t know about. Will they choose love or duty? If you’ve never seen one of the greatest films of all time with an audience, don’t pass up your chance this Sunday afternoon.

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In Memoriam: Hailey Thomas

Please join us in remembering a beloved colleague and friend.

e Memphis Flyer mourns the loss of Hailey omas, a dedicated member of the Contemporary Media sales team. Hailey represented both the Flyer and Memphis magazine brilliantly, and we will miss her bright, strong light. Her colleagues shared these memories of Hailey.

Hailey loved college sports, and relished March Madness. She won at least one o ce pool, but had the decency to only remind me with a wink and a smile now and then. I loved trying to gure out the Tigers’ latest challenge with her, or discussing how the next freshman would make THE di erence in a Final Four run. Mostly, I welcomed Hailey’s enthusiasm, the human quality that transfers easiest. She made me happier whenever we crossed paths, even a er the latest Tiger season ended short of the Final Four. She’ll continue to make me happy, though now with a lump in my throat. —

I’ve been involved with the Flyer for almost 30 years, and I’ve learned that our little corner of journalism tends to attract very unusual people. Sometimes I think we must seek them out. Even so, if we ran a photo of any of my other colleagues with a large white parrot perched on their shoulder, the sun re ected in their aviator sunglasses, I’d think, “What … in the world?” But with Hailey omas, my immediate reaction is, “Yep, that’s Hailey.” No questions needed — just a day in the life of one of the most interesting, fun, and funny people I’ve ever known. It’s not enough to say she was one-of-a-kind. She had a de nite spark about her. Hailey would light up the room with her smile, and even on my darkest days, she would make me laugh. She was my friend, and I will miss her — and her brilliant smile and her unforgettable laugh — forever. —

I knew Hailey omas for 30 years, beginning back when she started selling ads for Memphis magazine in the late 1990s. We were work friends, yes, but we also had many mutual friends outside of the workplace and I always looked forward to running into her, wherever it might happen. In recent years, that occurred almost literally, as Hailey’s running trails and my dog-walking route frequently overlapped on the sidewalks of Midtown around the noon hour. We would always stop and chat for a few minutes, before Hailey pulsed that 1,000-watt smile and took o . at smile! at smile is what everyone will take from their memories of Hailey. It was a smile that made you feel good, like you mattered, and it always came with a dash of mischief, like somehow you both shared a secret. I will miss the spark of life and laughter that was Hailey omas, too soon gone.

Hailey was an undeniable presence in any room she entered — sometimes literally. If someone else sat at the head of our conference table before she got to a meeting, Hailey would stare them down (smiling, of course) until they ceded the chair to her. It was very hard to tell her ‘no’ — I imagine our clients felt the same! I only had the pleasure of knowing her for a few years, but I’ll remember her for many more. She was super-charged with energy, curiosity, and zany humor. And never shy to share an opinion. Whenever we asked for new ideas or suggestions — expecting crickets — Hailey would o er four or ve. She was an original, and I will miss her undeniable presence.

Whenever my band had a gig, Hailey was there to cheer and support me. She always made a concerted e ort to attend my band’s shows. Not only that, she would bring her entourage. She was outgoing, eager to meet and greet, and to introduce me to her friends and acquaintances. Hailey was a cheerful beacon of light.

I’m determined to remember Hailey as a ery, spirited, beautiful person, quick-witted and always ready to ash a glowing, dimpled smile as she walked into any room, wearing a casual but chic designer ensemble (purchased at the most amazing price possible, of course) and holding either a co ee or a coldpressed juice — nah, it’s probably a glass of wine.

Cheers to my friend of at least the past two decades! I’m missing her so — her zest for life, her eternal energy, and her fun-loving heart. Rest in peace, Hailey omas, as t, young, tan, and gorgeous as ever. — Kelli

I’ve known Hailey omas for at least 40 years. She was always cheerful. Always upbeat. I always thought she looked like she could be the twin of actress Dyan Cannon, one of my favorite movie stars from 1970s.

Like everyone I’ve talked to, it’s unfathomable to think Hailey is gone. —

Loved Hailey. She was the most accessible mood-booster we had, bar none. Loved her smile. Admired her running chops. An irreparable loss. —

THE LAST WORD By Flyer staff
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