Memphis Flyer 04/11/2024

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Moviemaker Kevin Brooks is keeping it reel.

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Grand Gasol

A retired hero provides the highlight of the Grizzlies’ season.

PHOTO: WES HALE p11 The Fall and The Climb Snowglobe drops a double release of their rst new material in eight years.

3 CONTENTS aquaTreasures Estate Center & Marketplace 901-486-3444 AQUATREASURES.COM OUTDOOR/ INDOOR SALE! FRI/SAT 11-3 aquaTreasures Estate Center WED.-SUN. 11-5 OUTDOOR FURN. JEWELS, BABY GRAND, PATIO DECOR KITCHENWARE TODD’S LIVE AUCTION SATURDAY, April 20 th Todd’s Auction Services on FACEBOOK LIVE @ 6PM 3449 Summer 38122 PARK IN REAR ELITE HOME DECOR Todd’s Auction Services: TN5911 SEE US ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM SHARA CLARK Editor-in-Chief ABIGAIL MORICI Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER, BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Senior Editors TOBY SELLS Associate Editor KAILYNN JOHNSON News Reporter CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor ALEX GREENE Music Editor MICHAEL DONAHUE, JON W. SPARKS Staff Writers ALICE FAYE DUNCAN, GENE GARD, EMILY GUENTHER, COCO JUNE, PATRICIA LOCKHART, FRANK MURTAUGH Contributing Columnists SHARON BROWN, AIMEE STIEGEMEYER Grizzlies Reporters SYMONE MAXWELL Editorial Intern KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher CARRIE BEASLEY Senior Art Director CHRISTOPHER MYERS Advertising Art Director NEIL WILLIAMS Graphic Designer JERRY D. SWIFT Advertising Director Emeritus KELLI DEWITT, CHIP GOOGE, PATRICK PACHECO Senior Account Executives CHET HASTINGS Warehouse and Delivery Manager JANICE GRISSOM ELLISON, KAREN MILAM, DON MYNATT, TAMMY NASH, RANDY ROTZ, LEWIS TAYLOR, WILLIAM WIDEMAN Distribution THE MEMPHIS FLYER is published weekly by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 Phone: (901) 521-9000 Fax: (901) 521-0129 CONTEMPORARY MEDIA, INC. ANNA TRAVERSE FOGLE Chief Executive O cer LYNN SPARAGOWSKI Controller/Circulation Manager JEFFREY GOLDBERG Chief Revenue Officer MARGIE NEAL Chief Operating Officer KRISTIN PAWLOWSKI Digital Services Director MARIAH MCCABE Circulation and Accounting Assistant National Newspaper Association Association of Alternative Newsmedia NEWS & OPINION THE FLY-BY - 4 POLITICS - 8 AT LARGE - 9 VIEWPOINT - 10 SPORTS - 11 COVER STORY “COMING INTO FOCUS” BY MICHAEL DONAHUE - 12 WE RECOMMEND - 16 MUSIC - 17 AFTER DARK - 18 CALENDAR - 19 NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 20 WE SAW YOU - 22 THEATER - 23 BOOKS - 24 FOOD - 25 NEWS OF THE WEIRD - 26 ASTROLOGY - 27 TV - 28 NOW PLAYING - 28 CLASSIFIEDS - 30 LAST WORD - 31
OUR 1833RD ISSUE 04.11.24
PHOTO: STEPHEN CHOPEK p17 Coming Into Focus Moviemaker Kevin Brooks is keeping it reel. PHOTO: COURTESY KEVIN BROOKS

April 11-17, 2024

THE fly-by

MEM ernet

Memphis on the internet.


e University of Memphis football team got into Masters Week with a little golf on the turf.


GloRilla is everywhere. She was recently seen at the White House with President Joe Biden. Last weekend she was on the red carpet for the CMT Music Awards.

“GET ’EM GLO!” CMT tweeted.


Heybert Flexworthy is a Memphis comedian and musician. A video posted to Instagram last week had the city’s number with lines about high MLGW bills, never going to Graceland, potholes, slang, Dixie Queen, and how the city turned Ja Morant into “a thug.”

{WEEK THAT WAS By Flyer staff

Questions, Answers + Attitude

Porn, Youth Justice, & a New Giraffe

Tighter rules for naughty sites, change for youth detention, and Fitz joins the zoo.


State lawmakers want you to submit a photo ID to use porn sites.

e “Protect Tennessee Minors Act” advanced in the Senate last week. If passed, porn sites would have to verify ages of users. Lawmakers said the process would be similar to age veri cation on alcohol sites but with higher standards.

Those who violate the act would face a Class C felony.


Immaculate Conception Cathedral School (ICCS) will close at the end of this current school year, o cials announced last Wednesday.

e parish could not overcome nancial hurdles nor a “constant struggle with enrollment” at the Midtown school, said Father Robert Szczechura, pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. e school will work with parents to direct their students to other Catholic schools in the area.

“We had hoped that our collaboration, promotion, and recruitment e orts for the school, combined with the availability of Tennessee’s Education Savings Accounts program, would enable our enrollment to grow,” said Kadesha Gordon, ICCS principal. “However, it became increasingly clear that our hopes were not sustainable. And, despite everyone’s hard work, the expense of maintaining a school is far beyond what the parish and community were able to support.”


e Black Men in White Coats event last week at Baptist Health Sciences University sought to increase the number of Black men in medical schools.

Black men make up less than 3 percent of physicians, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Enrollment of Black men in medical schools drastically declined between 1978 and 2014.

Saturday’s event focused on mentorship to help prospective students learn to navigate the medical school system or things like paying for tuition.


A consortium of organizations want systemic changes in the youth justice system and requested a meeting with Shelby

County Sheri Floyd Bonner to address them.

e group includes the Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis, Just City, Memphis for All, and more. e biggest concern for the group is that the Shelby County Youth Justice and Education Center has not allowed in-person visitation for several years. ey also said youth are not receiving an education that parallels mainstream public school, they are not allowed time outdoors, and research and advocacy organizations are not allowed time with detained youth.

“Parents literally cannot parent their children, not because they don’t want to, but because the juvenile justice system erects barriers that make it virtually impossible to do so,” says a report from the Disability Rights TN and Youth Law Center.


A new gira e was born at the Memphis Zoo last week. Fitz is six feet tall and weighs 150 pounds. He was born Tuesday, April 2nd, which is also his father Niklas’ birthday. Fitz is Niklas’ 10th calf and the fourth calf for mother Wendy. Fitz will be on exhibit at the African Veldt section of the zoo, exploring and playing close to his mother.

In the wild, gira es as a species are undergoing what has been termed a “silent extinction” as they’re rapidly disappearing in their native habitat. e population overall has declined 40 percent in the last 30 years.

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

PHOTOS: (ABOVE) BAPTIST HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY, (RIGHT) MEMPHIS ZOO Baptist Health Sciences University hosts Black Men in White Coats event; Memphis Zoo welcomes baby gira e.
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Sales Eclipsed

Bartlett’s American Paper Optics made big moves for big gains to protect the eyes of eclipse watchers.

Earthlings cast their eyes towards the heavens Monday to witness the solar eclipse, and when they did, their eyeballs — about 150 million of them — were protected with glasses made in Bartlett.

American Paper Optics (APO) worked for that moment for years. In the company’s 26-year history, it has produced around 3 billion pairs of 3D glasses. With those and other products (like the eclipse glasses), APO is the largest producer of 3D products in the world. Along the way, it has worked with some of the biggest brands in the country, including Disney, Marvel, Nintendo, Target, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

APO produced around 75 million pairs of eclipse glasses for Monday’s event. Jason Lewin, the company’s chief marketing o cer, said the company learned a lot from the 2017 eclipse, for which it made about 45 million pairs of glasses.

SUE: The T. rex Experience was organized by the Field Museum and is part of the Griffin Dinosaur Experience, made possible by generous support from Kenneth C. Griffin.

at event was a “trial by re,” he said, and the company used that event as a blueprint to prepare for Monday’s eclipse.

“I saw that Indianapolis was in this path of totality,” Lewin said. “So, I reached out to them. I said, ‘You have this amazing racetrack there. What about having a watch party?’ ey kind of laughed at me.”

of glasses each day.

Eclipse-related opportunities were plenty for companies in and around the path of totality. e event was set to spur about $1.6 billion in direct consumer spending, according to e Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic analysis rm.

If this eclipse felt like a bigger deal than the one in 2017, it was. e Perryman Group said more than 30 million reside in the path of totality, from Eagle Pass, Texas, to Houlton, Maine. e audience size was the secret sauce.

“From small towns to large population centers, the numbers of visitors are projected to be unusually large,” read a brief from the company. “These travelers will spend money locally for accommodations, meals, gasoline, and retail items. The result will be a substantial economic stimulus.”

e company produced around 75 million pairs of glasses.

at watch party was expected to draw about 130,000 people to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. e event featured race cars decked out in eclipse wraps and astronauts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Tickets were $20 for adults.

Eclipse fever was rising. So, back in Bartlett, the company needed to build capacity. It powered its sales platform with Shopify to handle volume. It’s also leveraged its proximity to the FedEx hub for faster shipping, helping to fuel sales closer to the event. e ramp-up also meant hiring more people. Lewin said the company had around 35 full-time employees in 2017. at gure is now closer to 85, in order to crank out nearly 500,000 pairs

For AOP, the eclipse meant a higher pro le. Company o cials were seen on major television networks on shows like Made in America with David Muir, CBS Saturday Morning, and more. AOP will also be featured in a 2025 documentary called Totality For Lewin, being a part of this event has a deeper meaning beyond any sales gures.

“We’re kind of living in a time where things are a bit separated,” he said. “So, this is kind of one of those bipartisan moments where it’s like, all right, we get to do this thing all together, work for the same thing. It’s not two groups against each other. Everybody is kind of like kumbaya for the moment, where we get to see this one thing all together.”

April 11-17, 2024 open THRU MAY 12

Lee Harris’ Bucket List

e county mayor proposes a state-of-the-art mental health facility.

For many of us, chasing down the total eclipse of the sun on Monday was a bucket-list thing, and, like all such now-ornever matters, it exacted a cost.

Coming back to Memphis from Hardy, Arkansas, where my son Marcus and I went early on Monday to rendezvous with daughter Julia and friends to see the natural muchballyhooed natural spectacle rsthand, turned into an eight-hour drive, beginning at 3 p.m. a er a delightful ai lunch at Hardy and ending at close to 11 p.m. at home.

I bring this up because it occurs to me that this is how it always goes with bucket-list things. Putting it simply, you pay a price for them.

For those in government, public progress is a bucket-list matter, it dawned on me, and I suddenly saw a speech I’d heard the previous week in exactly that light.

is was Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris addressing a group of Germantown Democrats about the things he is determined to accomplish in this, his second and nal term in o ce. He was rst elected in 2018, and the rst term was something of a wrangle. As is so o en the case, it takes a while to get the hang of the people and the problems.

Harris told the Democrats: “I’m going to show [that the] county mayor’s o ce and Shelby County government is a huge organization. And it does a variety of things. You know, it’s a $1.6 billion budget, thousands of employees, so many, many, many programs.”

Announcing he would focus on three areas — public safety, healthcare, and education — the mayor did a little

recapping and quickly swung to his main point of the evening.

“One of the things that is important that I’m working on right now is a residential mental health facility. And so it’s the idea that we have a problem in Memphis and Shelby County. And the problem is, there’s not enough access to mental health care.

“One of the key problems right now is [that there are] about 2,000 people in detention right now. And more than half of them have a mental health care need. e DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] might want to move those cases; the judges might want to move those cases forward. But a lot of those cases can’t be moved forward until the individuals have 14 days of stabilization. So they’ve got to get access to healthcare; they’ve got to get their prescriptions. ey’ve got to see a healthcare provider. … And so we’re a little bit behind in some ways, right?”

Harris went on to propose a new 60-bed facility for Shelby County. “And we will be able, upon arrest, to move individuals that need those services immediately to the mental health facility, and away from the traditional jail detention facility. One of the bene ts of that is that it creates a lot of opportunities for collaboration among our criminal justice stakeholders.

“So the cost of doing all this is probably about $400 a day, right? Right now as a person in our jail or detention facilities it’s about $100 a day. By contrast, the cost for this kind of specialized care is dramatically more. But a portion of those individuals would be better served by getting treatment, and having their cases in advance, you move a few of those 508 cases. Our expectation is that over time, the county will save money.”

e bottom line: “So it costs us at least $20 million. But people have been talking about this for a very long time.“

So far, Mayor Harris has enjoyed a resourceful second term, working for the most part with a same-minded county commission. He has arranged for a long needed expansion of the Regional One Health facility and the equally overdue creation of two new public schools.

e proposed new mental health facility, which he has since asked the commission to engage with, would raise things to the level of a perfecta.

Just to let you know he’s got that and more on his political bucket list, and he’s working on them.

April 11-17, 2024

The Big E

A long day’s journey into night.

You’re reading this, so I guess it’s safe to say you survived Monday’s great solar eclipse. What an extravaganza! I am hard-pressed to remember any news event that generated so much hype, so much blathering punditry, so many hours of television coverage, so much social media content as did the Big E.

ere were countless maps (interactive and static) of the eclipse’s path, helpful hints on how to watch it, where to go for the best vistas, where to buy viewing glasses, how to photograph it, where to sleep, where to eat, even how to make a pinhole device from a shoebox. It was the most ballyhooed three-and-a-half minutes since Donald Trump had sex with Stormy Daniels.

e media breathlessly reported about how lodging and food services and gas stations in the path of the darkness all across the country would be overcrowded and overbooked. Scary, scary! Governor Sarah “Colonel” Sanders of Arkansas even declared a three-day state of emergency for her state (three days!), and it had nothing to do with the out t she was wearing.

Jones, who announced that Monday’s shadowy spectacle was merely a “dress rehearsal” for martial law in the U.S. How?

I don’t know. It’s Alex Jones, people. He doesn’t make sense. He makes noise. And lots of money o of morons.

Speaking of which … Let us not forget about the religious weirdos who saw the eclipse as the coming of the Rapture, wherein all true Christians would be whooshed up to Heaven, leaving us heathens to stumble around in the dark and party with Satan, I guess. Some of this silliness was apparently spawned by the fact that there was going to be totality over the town of Rapture, Indiana. Right. It was also dark over Bu alo but nobody was predicting a chicken-wing stampede.

And, of course, the eclipse came with a heaping dollop of wasabi-level crazy sauce from the MAGA crowd. Georgia congresswoman and professional troll Marjorie Taylor Greene, who once claimed that Jewish space lasers caused wild res in California, added a side of supernatural hysteria to her usual wacky brain-salad, posting on X that the earthquake in New Jersey and the thenforthcoming eclipse were messages from God (probably not the Jewish one): “God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent,” she wrote. “Earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come. I pray that our country listens.”

And I do nd some irony in the fact that evangelicals have warned us about the coming of the Antichrist for hundreds of years, and then when he nally appears, they rush out to buy a $70 Bible from him. Just sayin’. And speaking of that guy … I’m shocked that the former president didn’t notice that the eclipse just waltzed over the Mexican border into Texas in broad daylight without a bit of interference from Snarky Joe, or whatever Trump’s calling him now. What a scandal!

No rapture. No chicken-wing stampede. What was all the hoopla for?

Honestly, none of this should be a surprise. Eclipses, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena have always sparked religious and conspiratorial theories. And there have always been people who seek to turn such events to their advantage for money or power. e di erence now is that those humans are aided by our “LOOK OVER HERE!” media — social and otherwise.

Scientists helpfully pointed out that the eclipse was predicted hundreds of years ago, so it probably wasn’t caused by a fabulous gay wedding in Atlanta. Scientists also noted that “earthquakes occur naturally and happen (on average) more than 30 times a day across the world.”

But wait, there’s more nuttery to be had. What major event in the United States would be complete without the paranoid vocal stylings of InfoWars’ Alex

Kick off your Best Summer Ever at our annual Memphis Margarita Festival! Sample from the city’s best margarita-makers, and enjoy fresh local food, live tunes from DJ Zetta, and more!

Finally, I have to say, as one who took in our 98-percent Memphis eclipse from my back deck: at thing was way-thehell overrated. It got a little gloomy for ve minutes, but birds kept singing, tra c kept driving, nobody got raptured, and nobody went to Hell (that I’m aware of). Maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn something this time. Maybe we’ll stop and take a beat, possibly even pause and think about how this thing was over-hyped by media sources that use emotion, fear, and sensationalism to gain our eyeballs, no matter the cost to their credibility. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll nally begin to see the light.


April 12 - 14

Ruining America

How Biden is wrecking everything.

Joe Biden is ruining America. We know this because Ron Johnson said so on Fox News. Let’s count the ways:

• His administration has produced the sustained lowest unemployment in decades — and even more importantly, has achieved much more equity in rural employment as well as in employment amongst historically marginalized communities. According to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, “Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate was nearly 20 percent higher in rural than in metropolitan areas. That large gap has been eliminated.” Terrible, right?

• Massive student loan forgiveness, especially for those in public service sector jobs, such as nurses, educators, etc. According to Fox Business News on March 27, 2024, “Only about 7,000 public service borrowers received forgiveness prior to the Biden administration, now that total hovers closer to 870,000.” How awful!

Just ruinous, as any MAGA mouthpiece will affirm. And the list goes on.
Contrast that to how Trump saved America.

• Biden’s infrastructure act has resulted in some 40,000 brand-new construction projects to upgrade America’s roads, tunnels, airport terminals, Superfund cleanup, and — as we recently saw so tragically — more than 7,800 desperately needed bridge repairs and upgrades. Damn you, Biden!

• Despite terrible court rulings that overturned voter-approved gun control measures, Biden has done as much unilaterally as possible for school safety, including, according to Politico, “Biden established the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, and in 2023 schools were awarded $286 million in federal dollars to support student wellness and school mental health professionals.” But what if you only stopped a couple of mass casualty events, huh? You probably only saved a few dozen kids. So inadequate!

• USA Today reports that Biden

has negotiated lower life-saving drug costs for those in need, including the elderly Americans on fixed incomes. “For the first time, the federal law has empowered the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, to negotiate lower Medicare drug prices. The Biden administration has named the first 10 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer drugs that Medicare will negotiate.” What a horrible outcome!

Just ruinous, as any MAGA mouthpiece will affirm. And the list goes on.

Contrast that to how Trump saved America:

• When Dear Leader Donald Trump was in the White House, he saved America with his tax reform (if by America we mean the uberrich, who benefited by far the most from the “tax reform” that was the only significant piece of legislation he passed, even when he had the willing assistance of both the House and Senate, as well as his increasingly packed Supreme Court). Indeed, as Reuters noted, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed by Trump in December 2017, was the most significant restructuring of the U.S. tax system since the 1980s. It slashed the rate companies pay in the United States from 35 percent to 21 percent, cut minimum, estate, and gift taxes for the very wealthy.” Saving the right people!

• According to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Trump signed many executive orders rolling back civil rights and human rights, also including many environmental and consumer protections — but once again, this profited large corporations handsomely. The elites of America thank you!

As Bible-salesman, twiceimpeached, and 88 felony indictmentcharged 2024 candidate Trump said in 2016 about Hillary Clinton’s email “scandal” (which again and again resulted in “no finding”), it would be impossible for anyone under criminal indictment to govern and if a president were investigated for felonious indictments it would grind the government to a halt.

Thanks again, Trump, for your generous willingness to be our savior. You and you alone, baby!

Dr. Tom H. Hastings, PeaceVoice senior editor, is coordinator of conflict resolution BA/BS degree programs and certificates at Portland State University.

April 11-17, 2024

Grand Gasol

A retired hero provides the highlight of the Grizzlies’ season.

It has been a trying basketball season in the Blu City. e Memphis Tigers su ered a midseason collapse unlike any in memory and missed out on the NCAA tournament for the rst time in three years. As for our NBA favorites, the Grizzlies have made a mockery of the “MASH unit” cliche with injured stars — Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Marcus Smart — shaping the team’s lousy record more than their healthy, lesser-known replacements. e Griz have lost 50 games for only the second time in 15 seasons, an unwanted marker fans knew the team would hit as early as December.

FedExForum, the case could be made it should look a lot like Marc Gasol.

We attend sporting events for the possibility of what might happen next, but we tend to go back because of what we’ve seen, the history a franchise and its players make over the course of several years. is makes the retiring of Marc Gasol’s jersey — and Zach Randolph’s in 2021 — so essential to the bond still being formed between an NBA team and the city it’s called home now for 23 years. Why cheer a club that won’t sni the playo s this spring? You might look back at Marc Gasol’s rst winter in Memphis, when the Grizzlies went 24-58, for your answer. Memphis went 40-42 in 200910, then reached the playo s the next seven years, including the Western Conference nals in 2013. Darkest before the dawn, as they say.

But then came last Saturday night at FedExForum. In town to see his jersey number (33) retired was “Big Spain” himself, Marc Gasol. e younger brother of Hall of Famer Pau, Marc received the banner treatment from the franchise before the man he was traded for in a franchise-shi ing (and Gasolfamily-shi ing) deal way back in 2008. Whether or not Pau ever receives this salute from the Grizzlies, the honor was a no-doubter for Marc, the rst Memphis player to earn rst-team AllNBA honors (2015), the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, the franchise’s career leader in rebounds, blocks, and minutes played. He may have won an NBA title with the Toronto Raptors (in 2019), but Gasol had “Grit” and “Grind” engraved on his championship ring. When or if the Grizzlies consider unveiling a statue in front of

On the subject of re ective salutes, it might be time for the Grizzlies to consider a banner that mentions the team’s Southwest Division titles in 2022 and ’23. If you’re the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers, the ra ers have no room for “championships” that don’t come with a parade. But if your franchise has yet to reach the NBA Finals? Let’s acknowledge teams that stand out for posterity, even without a parade (yet) down Beale Street.

• How severely has the injury bug infected the 2023-24 Memphis Grizzlies? rough Sunday, no fewer than 22 players have started a game for Memphis, but only two — Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane — have started as many as 41 (half the regular season), and only Jackson will nish the season with more than 50 starts. Ten years from now, how will Trey Jemison, Jordan Goodwin, and Jaylen Nowell be remembered in these parts? Each started at least one game for this Grizzlies club. ey won’t be getting a banner from the franchise, but if you, a devoted fan, recall their names in 2034, you should.

• With Vince Carter’s election to the Basketball Hall of Fame, it marks consecutive years that a former Grizzly has received the sport’s highest honor. (Pau Gasol was inducted in 2023.) Carter was part of three playo teams (201517) with Memphis over the course of his 22-year career.

11 NEWS & OPINION AT RIVER GARDEN PARK 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. SATURDAY APRIL 20 1st benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis RS FINANCIAL STAGE Earl “The Pearl” Banks Memphis Funk-n-Horns WING EATING CONTEST Ratilla Elevation Memphis AWARDS BLUES STAGE Sean “Bad” Apple Delta Joe Sanders Terry “Harmonica” Bean Uriah Mitchell & Lina Beach Alexis Grace 51 Riverside Drive Thank you and have a good day $15 Tickets at


Moviemaker Kevin Brooks is keeping it reel.

12 April 11-17, 2024 COVER STORY

Memphis lmmaker Kevin Brooks has 15 tattoos.

“I have a rose on my thumb because I just love love,” he says. “I love the idea of love. I just struggle with it a lot.”

He has a sailboat tattoo on his wrist. at’s a reminder to “remember to just go with the ow. Life will take you this way and that way.”

Since Brooks, 30, began making movies as a child, life has taken him to the Sundance Film Festival as winner of the Sundance Ignite award. He won the $10,000 Memphis Film Prize twice for his movies in 2018 and 2019. And he’s been given numerous other awards, including the Indie Memphis’ Best Hometowner Feature award.

His recent movie, “What Were You Meant For?,” which deals with Black male identity, is included in the current Crosstown Arts lm exhibition.

Filmmaker Craig Brewer is a Brooks fan. “I remember seeing this short he had made and thinking, ‘I’ve never seen Memphis kids skateboarding look so epic and beautiful,’” Brewer says. “It was cinema. It wasn’t just skateboarding. Ever since then Kevin has been growing as a storyteller, as a director.”

It all began with Power Rangers when Brooks was 5 years old. “I used to have toy Power Rangers as a little kid,” Brooks says. “And I used to mimic their voices and make them do certain things.” He reenacted scenes from the Power Rangers shows. “I guess that was my way of storytelling and making movies.”

When he was 6, Brooks began using a VHS camcorder his dad bought. “I remember him taking it around the house saying, ‘Press this button,’ which was the red button. ‘And you go and record things. Then if you hit the rewind button, you can watch it back.’ I thought that was the most amazing thing ever. He taught me stop-motion animation.”

was more visually appealing than any movie I had ever seen. It just blew me away. For one, I visually remember the infamous Keanu Reeves-dodging-thebullet scene. And I remember trying to recreate that. Just myself. Just in my room. Trying to bend backwards. Keep falling over and over again.”

“I knew movies weren’t real, but seeing what went into it … I think that is what got me.”

Brooks began lming his Power Rangers with his dad’s camera. “I’d just pan back and forth, le and right. A er I did that rst recording, I would go around recording the dog and just anything.”

at same year, his parents took him to see e Matrix. “ at movie

A er viewing the movie 20 times on a VHS tape, Brooks discovered the movie included a special feature at the end of the credits that showed how the moviemakers created that bullet e ect. “I knew movies weren’t real, but seeing what went into it and seeing the directors telling people it would be this and that, I think that is what got me. Just, ‘ is is a world I have got to be in.’”


By the time he was 7, Brooks was making short 30-second lms. He didn’t think he wanted to make a living as a lmmaker, but, he says, “I knew I wanted to be in the realm of making movies. At the same time, I was playing basketball really heavy.”

Basketball overshadowed moviemaking for a while. But Brooks

continued to get blown away by cinema. He loved lms by Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, and Steven Spielberg.

Basketball, eventually, took a backseat to lmmaking. “ at’s when things started to change. Before that, I was really wanting to go down the path of being a basketball player. Trying hard. My love just wasn’t there for it anymore. Before the games, I dreaded playing. It was a weird feeling.”

Plan B was moviemaking. “It was always around.”

To make a little cash on the side, Brooks made music videos for local artists. Making videos as well as short films in high school helped him as a filmmaker. “It taught me how to record on the fly. How to grab what I need for the edit and think of the edit while I’m recording — that taught me a lot. At the same time, I knew I wanted to tell my own stories and gear more toward narrative and documentary filmmaking.”

Brooks, who majored in lm and production at University of Memphis, made a short lm, “Keep Pushing,” during his senior year. “ at was my

Indie Memphis awarded Brooks and his co-director Abby Meyers $10,000 for their lm “A Night Out.”

“Keep Pushing” follows amateur skateboarder Husain Rasvi.

rst thing I was super proud of.”

His idea was to cast real skateboarders to showcase their expertise. He then met skateboarder Husain Razvi, who told him, “Man, what if you just follow me around?”

“I was like, ‘Follow you around?’ Husain can skate, but he’s not doing tricks. What he’s doing is just kicking the board, going down the ramps, but nothing exciting like I was going to have these guys doing.”

en, Brooks says, “A light bulb clicked. And I was like, ‘I was trying to tell the story of all these people who are great skaters.’”

Instead, he shot Razvi. “I lmed him every single part of his day.”

e 10-minute lm turned into a

continued on page 14


April 11-17, 2024

continued from page 13

documentary. “It was great footage. Him interacting with kids. Him talking about life.”

Brooks was looking at his phone one day in geology class when something caught his attention. “I see that Sundance has this program for 18- to 24-year-olds for short lms. It has to be 10 minutes long. You have to turn it in within the next two weeks.”

Brooks went to work on his lm about Razvi. “For the next two weeks, all I did was edit. I stayed up every night editing it. I put my own music to it.”

Four weeks later, Brooks received an email that read, “You have been selected as one of the top ve lmmakers to be part of the Sundance Ignite program. We will y you out. We will take care of everything.”

Brooks was stunned. “I literally almost started crying.”

He attended the festival in Park City, Utah. People praised the lm. “ ey were saying that it just felt like you were really there in that world. And the camera movement really made you analyze things di erently. ey were saying they fell in love with Husain as a character because he felt so real.

“ ey were saying a er the lm they had this di erent outlook on what it means to be successful, what it means to go through life, and how it’s not right to always be in competition with one another.

“I love connecting with people through stories, and opportunities just come about.”

“ e lm is about Husain. He’s not great at skateboarding, but he loves doing it every single day. No matter what, you’re not going to stop him. I don’t care if you’re the best skateboarder. He’s not going to compare himself to you. at’s just his nature. He’s like, ‘I’m in my own world and I’m going to take my place and I’m going to do what I do and I’m in love with what I’m doing.’ I think that’s remarkable. at story worked out because of Husain being the most honest human being.”


Brooks continued to make movies a er Sundance. “Marcus,” which made it in the top 10 for the Memphis Film Prize, is “a short lm that examines

the retaliatory state of gang violence.”

“Myron,” which stars Lawrence Matthews, is about “a young Black man who embarks on a day full of skateboarding with his friends who are predominantly white.”

He returns home “with a di erent outlook on life, and how he’s truly seen in society.”

“Grace,” which stars Rosalind Ross, is about a prostitute who always dreamed about singing on the big stage. “She gets her chance when she comes across a ier for a karaoke contest,” Brooks says.

His next lm, “Bon re,” is a “meditative piece on the nature of love and heartbreak. I was inspired by a big breakup that took place. I wanted to get my emotions out, and the best way for me to do that was through lm.”

“So, I got my friends together and gave them cameras. And we would go out on the weekend and lm scenes with di erent people and ask them, ‘What is love to you?’ It was very cathartic, and the making of it was experimental. It was highly in uenced by Terrence Malick lms.”

The movie premiered at the Indie Memphis Film Festival, where it won the Hometowner Documentary Short award in 2018.

His narrative lm, “Last Day,” is “about a guy’s last day with his family before he’s sent o to prison.” He won his rst $10,000 Memphis Film Prize with that lm.

Brooks won his second Memphis Film Prize for his movie, “A Night Out.” “After a bad breakup a woman goes out with her friends for a girls’ night out. But the night doesn’t end the way she expects.”

He collaborated on “Night Out” with his friend Abby Meyers, who co-directed the lm. “ at came from hearing so many stories of women being sexually assaulted,” he says.

Brooks continued to make music videos, including one for Talibah Sa ya’s “Healing Creek,” which won the Best Hometowner Music Video award in the Video Memphis competition.

In 2020 Brooks was included among the Memphis Flyer’s 20<30 honorees.

He then went to work for Kellogg’s, shooting ve episodes around the United States for a mini series, Black Girls Run. e series, which was about “promoting health in the Black

community,” featured young women training for their rst 5K.

Brooks also did a project for McDonald’s, where he traveled to Los Angeles and “highlighted kids in di erent sectors who were doing amazing things in the Black community,” he says.

One young man was into nance and a young woman was into fashion. But they were all “game changers.”

“I love connecting with people through stories, and opportunities just come about,” Brooks says. “If it’s a story or an opportunity for me to use my voice in that capacity, I’m 100 percent in.”

In 2022, Brooks went to work in his present job as a videographer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He interviews and lms patients telling their stories.


In 2023, Brooks got serious about working on his own feature film. “I wanted to do a feature for so long and put so much pressure on it. When I felt every door was closing, I felt jaded. I just wasn’t sure what my next move would be in terms of

independent filmmaking.”

But, he says, “ rough that period, I also found that inner kid who was in me again, who just wanted to go out and make movies for fun.”

Brooks returned to moviemaking when he made “Embers of Self,” which played opening night at Indie Memphis Film Festival’s Hometowner Shorts Showcase. “ at really got me going, just because it was me being free and making things without a result,” Brooks says.

“ at’s how art should be. I had gotten away from that.”

Brooks felt he had been “focusing on the end result and not the process.”

at’s when he came up with his Crosstown Arts lm. e movie is “just about masculinity and the ways that I have maneuvered in this world because of that label.”

He deals with the idea that Black men “always have to be super masculine,” and that it’s okay to be vulnerable.

Brooks currently is kneedeep into preproduction for a feature lm. “I’m really 100 percent going head rst into it. And I’m doing it my way.

“If it touches one person, that means a lot,” he adds.

Says Brewer: “ e thing I’m most impressed with him is, he is hungry for knowledge and always looking for a way to improve himself and keep in the game of lmmaking. Some people burn out. Some people get discouraged. And there’s a lot in this cra that can turn you o to it. But he manages to push through and stay positive and stay creative.”

“He’s a rare one,” says lmmaker Tom Shadyac. “Full of passion, commitment, and talent. He doesn’t just make movies to tell stories. It’s not just a means to an end for him. It’s more holistic for Kevin. He cares about his subjects and subject matter. For him, the means are the end.”

Among the tattoos Brooks sports are ones that read, “Keep Pushing” and “Enjoy the Journey.”

“You’ve got to do those two things,” he says. “You just have to keep pushing. You have to enjoy the journey that you’re on and know that things are not going to happen fast. But if you just follow Husain’s route and just wake up every day and do what you love, then things will work out.”

“What Were You Meant For?” is on view at Crosstown Arts through April 26th.

PHOTO: COURTESY KEVIN BROOKS Brooks won the Hometowner Documentary Short for “Bon re.”

Saturday, June 15th 10am-5pm


Crosstown Concourse

Featuring 80+ local makers, artists, and craftsfolk - join us and Shop Local!

Our unique Crafts & Drafts shopping experience showcases a curated group of independent local artists for a fun day of shopping and local brews!


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We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Flower Power

Memphis is known for a list of things that I won’t name here for fear of being accused of leaving something out, but was the Dixon Gallery & Gardens’ biennial Memphis Flower Show on the list you were running through in your head?

Well, it should be. It’s a pretty big deal.

As Julie Pierotti, the Dixon’s Martha R. Robinson curator, says, “It is one of eight major Garden Club of America ower shows across the country. e Memphis Flower Show stands out among all of those as one of the longest-running shows. It is known for being the most cutting-edge of all ower shows.”

For this year’s show, titled “Rhythm & Hues,” participating oral designers have selected a piece of art in the Dixon’s latest exhibition, “Memphis 2024,” to interpret in their arrangements. e competing creations, Pierotti says, are “sort of like avantgarde oral design[s]. It’s unusual plant materials that the oral designers use to interpret works of art through organic materials. It’s not like a bouquet of roses or anything. ey use birds-of-paradise and all these sort of exotic plants in a lot of their arrangements.”

e oral designers will travel from all over the country for the presentation, but the show is also an opportunity for local contemporary artists to shine. A er all, “Memphis 2024,” the coinciding exhibition and inspiration for these arrangements, solely features Memphis artists: Jimpsie Ayres, Jamond Bullock, Kevin Burge, Ben Butler, Kelly Cook, Brantley Ellzey, EMYO, Nelson Gutierrez, Amy Hutcheson, ad Lee, Pam McDonnell, Carl E. Moore, Kong Wee Pang, Cat Peña, Nikii Berry Richey, Lonnie Robinson, Laurel Sucsy, and Mikayla Washington.

“It is a great sampling of the art that’s being made right now,” Pierotti says of the exhibition. “It’s di erent media. We’ve got mixed media, metalwork, ceramics, ber art, painting, sculpture, everything. It’s just a little bit of everything and I think there’s something for everyone in the show.”

While “Memphis 2024” will be on display through June 30th, people will only be able to see the works in conjunction with the oral arrangements this weekend during the ower show. In addition to oral design, the show will highlight conservation, horticulture and natural compositions, photography, and jewelry and accessories embellished with botanical life.

“It’s our biggest weekend every two years,” Pierotti adds. “ e last time we did a ower show we saw close to 5,000 people over the course of a weekend, which for the Dixon, that’s a lot of people.”


VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES April 11th - 17th

Out in the Woods: FOG Fairy Tales Evergreen eatre, 1705 Poplar, Friday, April 12, 8 p.m. | Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m. | Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m., $30/general admission, $60/VIP

Once upon a time … Friends of George’s unveiled its latest extravaganza, Out in the Woods: FOG Fairy Tales. is comedy drag variety show spins classic fairy tales into a deconstructed spectacle of hilarity and high heels.

Written and produced by the talented team at Friends of George’s and directed by the acclaimed Irene Crist, Out in the Woods promises an unforgettable night where fairy tales come to life with an FOG spin.

Proceeds bene t Love Doesn’t Hurt. Purchase tickets at Performances continue next weekend, April 18th through 20th.

Shelby County Star Trek Day

Black Lodge, 405 N. Cleveland, Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free

In its most exciting incarnation yet, Shelby County Star Trek Day, organized by DA Steve Mulroy, returns for its ninth year, with a bona de on-screen star of a Star Trek series — we’re talking about John Billingsley, aka Dr. Phlox in Star Trek: Enterprise, who will be beamed in via Zoom for a live Q&A on Trek and Trektivism.

Now you might be wondering why this year’s Star Trek Day is on April 16th and not on its o cially declared Star Trek Day date (April 9th). e answer: e eclipse got in the way. Turns out the Trekkies are into that and didn’t want to be double-booked.

Don’t fret though. e day will have all the fun you’ve come to expect: merch swap, vendors, trivia, costumes, themed drinks and food, activities, etc.

Puppy Palooza

South Plaza at Crosstown Concourse, 1350 Concourse, Saturday, April 13, noon-3 p.m., free Crosstown’s letting the dogs out at this free event open to you and your dogs. e a ernoon will have a DJ, vendors, yard games (for dogs), a costume contest (for dogs) with prizes (for dogs), custom caricature portraits (for dogs), a blessing (of dogs) by Church Health, free nail-clipping services (for dogs), and more (for dogs). You can even adopt a dog from a local rescue organization while there.

A Day on Witches’ Way

Paradox at PeCo, 248 S. Cooper, Sunday, April 14, noon-6 p.m.

is wondrously witchy event will have artists, jewelers, taxidermists, furriers, oddities dealers, and more. Psychics, cartomancers, and intuitive energy sessions will be available as well.

16 April 11-17, 2024

The Fall and The Climb

Snowglobe drops a double release of their rst new material in eight years.

When the band Snowglobe was most active in the Memphis scene, back in the aughts, they had a run of albums and live shows that any group would envy, culminating in 2010’s Little More Lived In, their sixth release. A er that, it seemed the core players — Nahshon Benford (trumpet, ute), Je Hulett (drums), Brad Postlethwaite (vocals, piano, guitar), Tim Regan (vocals, piano, guitar), and Brandon Robertson (bass) — went their separate ways. Yet there was never a de nitive breakup, as their sporadic reunion shows through the teens proved. Indeed, though band members moved around and their live performances grew less frequent, they began recording new material soon a er Little More Lived In, though those tracks would not emerge until 2016’s Snowglobe was released. By then, the band had grown to include Luke White on guitar and John Whittemore on pedal steel.

Now, with a similarly long gestation period, and extra time thrown in for health issues and a pandemic, their eighth and ninth releases, e Fall (an LP) and e Climb (an EP), will both drop this Friday, courtesy of Regan’s Nine Mile Records, based in Austin, Texas.

And while many bands now assemble whole albums from parts recorded in the members’ home studios, these new tracks were generally created the oldfashioned way, with the band convening in a studio. “ is happened over plus or minus ve years, maybe?” says Regan. “Like, we’re all always writing stu , and we’re all buddies. So we would just get a weird text from Brad saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got the studio booked for this time, let’s go do something!’ en I’d come to town and whoever was around would go in there and start messing on stu . It was all done in Memphis. I mean, I probably did a handful of overdubs from my house, but most of the stu was cut in a studio with engineers.”

ose engineers, Regan is quick to point out, were almost always Toby Vest and Pete Matthews of High/Low Recording, though some recordings were done at American Recording Studio when Vest and Matthews operated in that space, before renovating a dedicated building of their own. As Regan explains, working with professional recordists helps the band focus. “I think one of the bene ts of getting in the studio is not coming back to nd out that Possy [Postlethwaite] put 68 tracks on something. Which happens a lot. He’ll put everything and the kitchen sink in there. So it helps to be working with Pete and Toby and Kevin [Cubbins],

The new tracks are, like much of Snowglobe’s output, rich with layers of ear candy.

who will tell you, ‘We don’t really need six guitars on this.’”

at said, the new tracks are, like much of Snowglobe’s output, rich with layers of ear candy. ough o en grounded by chords on an acoustic guitar or piano, the arrangements ll out from there with all manner of harmonies, synthesizers, or electric guitar ri s and hooks. at’s partly a result of the many cameos by friends of the band, invited into the studio sessions over the years. ere are so many appearances like this that Regan and the band lost track of who plays what.

“Talking with the guys, it’s like, ‘Who

played on this? I don’t remember.’ at’s kind of how it goes. ere are two or three where you can tell it’s Paul Taylor playing drums. I think I’m playing drums on one, and Je ’s on a lot of stu . It’s just whoever was there, whatever needed to happen.” Other guest players, according to the press release, include Mark Edgar Stuart, Ken Stringfellow, Jonathan Kirkscey, Krista Wroten, and Jana Misener.

“ ere’s a song of mine on the EP called ‘Need to Know’ that I actually got Kat Brock from Dixie Dirt to sing because I realized that I’d written and recorded it out of my vocal range. We said, ‘Oh, well, we can either re-record this or get someone who can sing better than me to sing it.’ So I called up Kat for a favor and she knocked it out — it sounds damn cool.”

Yet Regan makes it clear that what sounds the coolest to him is a song that stands as a milestone of sorts in the Snowglobe catalog for guitarist Luke White. As the Memphis Flyer reported in 2019, White had a seizure that year that revealed a cancerous brain tumor. While he’s been on a roller coaster of medical treatments ever since, he’s mostly hopeful about that process. “He’s in pretty decent spirits,” says Regan, adding that “his song ‘Willow Street’ is so damn beautiful. And it’s also the rst one that Luke’s written for us. Not that he hasn’t been a big part of our recordings before, but with this one, he brought it to the table and said, ‘I’ve got a song.’ We were all like, ‘Let’s do it!’ It’s his rst writing credit with Snowglobe.”

MUSIC By Alex Greene PHOTO: STEPHEN CHOPEK Snowglobe in 2019; cover art for e Climb (le ) and e Fall (right) by Andrew Kosten

Alex Lopez and Memphis Lightning

Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.


Brad Birkedahl Band Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.


Cheley Tacket Saturday, April 13, 6:30 p.m.


Chris Gales Friday, April 12, 12:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 4 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 3:30 p.m.


Cody Johnson: The Leather Tour $66-$102. Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.


Earl “The Pearl” Banks Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m.


Eric Hughes ursday, April 11, 7 p.m.


Flic’s Pic’s Band Sunday, April 14, 4 p.m.


FreeWorld Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.


Qemist Friday, April 12, 9 p.m.


T Jarrod Bonta Trio Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m.


The Rockin’ 88s Monday, April 15, 7 p.m.


Vince Johnson

Monday, April 15, 7 p.m.


Bluff City Fest Head over to Highland Strip to enjoy live performances, be immersed in the energy of the music, and discover new artists. Wednesday, April 17, 6:30-9 p.m.


AFTER DARK: Live Music Schedule April 11 - 17

Elmo and the Shades Free. Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.


John Williams & the A440 Band ursday, April 11, 8 p.m.


The Deb Jam Band Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m.


The Mixers Sunday, April 14, 4-7 p.m.


2 Mule Plow Sunday, April 14, 3-6 p.m.


Bob and Reagan Folk/Americana/Roots.

Monday, April 15, 6 p.m.


Canaan Cox - Lost And Found Tour

With Grant Keller. Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.


CD Ghost Monday, April 15, 8 p.m.


Cel Shade, Neon Glitter, Noir Walls

$5. Friday, April 12, 9 p.m.


Cyrena Wages with Lilly Winwood

ursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.


David Wilcox

$30. Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.


Dead Soldiers Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.


Devil Train

A Midtown tradion. ursday, April 11, 10 p.m.


Dirtwire: The Four Directions Tour

With Will Evans Friday, April 12, 10 p.m.


Doughrollers with The McGee Sisters Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.


Doyle & Otep - Tour of the Living Dead 2024

With Red Devil Vortex and Dependant. Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.


Evil Engines (Jackson) + Tyler Keith Friday, April 12, 9 p.m.


FWS, Mi Oso, Deanna Dixon Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.


Graham Winchester Birthday Show

With special guests. Saturday, April 13, 9 p.m.


Grape & Oliveria riday, April 12, 9:30 p.m.


Haydn: The Creation by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra

$35. Friday, April 12, 6:30 p.m.


Hellcats: Hoodoo Train Stereo Session

e 1989 album is featured, with Greg Cartwright and Robert Gordon. Wednesday, April 10, 6 p.m.


Jay Jones Band

Saturday, April 13, 5 p.m.


JD Westmoreland Band Monday, April 15, 10 p.m.


Jeff Evans (Atlanta)

Je Evans (Atlanta) Tuesday, April 16, 9:30 p.m.


Joe Restivo 4 Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m.2 p.m.


Overton Square Music

Series: John Paul Keith and Band

Friday, April 12, 7 p.m.


Matt “Heartbreak” Hill Trio

Sunday, April 14, 3-6 p.m.


Mystrio Sunday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.


Kamaiyah – Another Summer Night Tour

With Artbully, Mikey Christian. ursday, April 11, 8 p.m.


Little Baby Tendencies, Handsome Girl Pretty Boy, Mystic Light Casino Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.


Lunar Journey Wednesday, April 17, 10 p.m.


Mempho Presents: The Wood Brothers Heart of the Hero Tour Friday, April 12, 7 p.m.


Morgue Rot Presents: Just a Fucking Metal Show

With n3philim, Nightspake, Deathspiral of Inherited Su ering, Pantheon, Gravehu er, Epoch of Unlight, Process of Su ocation, and Mudshow. Saturday, April 13, 4 p.m.


Moron’s Moron, Macrophonics, Little Baby Tendencies Wednesday, April 17, 8 p.m.


Vampires Everywhere!The Midnight Mass Tour With Dead Eyes, and Apparitions. Sunday, April 14, 8 p.m.


World Peace, Korroded, Human Shield, Heavy Machine Gun

Sunday, April 14, 8 p.m.


Zach Myers of Shinedown With Allen Mack Myers Moore and Campfire Astronauts (feat. Chris Porter). Sunday, April 14, 7 p.m.


Pepperwood, Shorty & the Grooves, Life, Explicit

Sunday, April 14, 7 p.m.


Roxi Love

Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m.


School of Rock Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.


Shallow Side

Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.


Seeing Red Featuring two terri c female vocalists and a song list made for a good time. Saturday, April 13, 9 p.m.


Slutbomb, Blackwater Sniper, A Kiss Before Dying, Domescticatrix, Calamity

ursday, April 11, 7 p.m.


Soul Glo Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m.


Star and Micey Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.


Steaksauce Mustache, Anemoia, Spite House Monday, April 15, 8 p.m.


The Handsome Devilz (A Tribute to the Cure)

Saturday, April 13, 10 p.m.


The Jason Lee McKinney Band

Americana Roots music that includes an amalgam of genres such as rock, pop, blues, and soul. ursday, April 11, 7 p.m.


The Montvales, Chris Hamlett, Mike Hewlett

Sunday, April 14, 8 p.m.


The River Bride Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.


The Way Down Wanderers

Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.


Alexis Jade & The Gemstones, Sierra Bryan

Sunday, April 14, 7 p.m.


Alex Lopez and Memphis Lightning ursday, April 11, 8 p.m.


Christie Lenee Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.


Danny Banks Trio

Sunday, April 14, 6-9 p.m.


Dickie Du & the Zydeco Krewe

Sunday, April 14, 6-9 p.m.


Duane Cleveland Band

Sunday, April 14, 6-9 p.m.


Christian McBride Eight-time Grammy Awardwinning bassist, composer, and bandleader. $30. Saturday, April 13, 8-9:30 p.m.


Jad Tariq Band

Sunday, April 14, 6-9 p.m.



Sunday, April 14, 6-9 p.m.


Royal Blues Band

Sunday, April 14, 8-10:30 p.m.


The Chaulkies

Sunday, April 14, 6-9 p.m.


Willis Alan Ramsey & Keith Sykes

A rare opportunity to experience these Americana masters. ursday, April 11, 7:30-9 p.m.


Wendell Wells & The Big Americans

Saturday, April 13, 9 p.m.


April 11-17, 2024

CALENDAR of EVENTS: April 11 - 17


“A Place For Everything”

Exhibition of work by Jana Travis. rough April 26.


“A World Apart”

A solo exhibition from Roger Allan Cleaves. rough April 27.


“Branching Out”

Discover intricate connections between students, teachers, and casting communities. rough Sept. 8.


“Compositions in Color”

Exhibition of abstract works by Jon Woodhams. rough April 29.


“Everyday People: Snapshots of The Black Experience”

A photography exhibition showcasing Memphis artist Eric Echols’ photo collection of 20th-century African Americans. rough July 14.


“Homage to the Human Heart”

Maritza Davila-Irizarry’s large format accordion-style book she created using printmaking techniques. rough May 31.



Birdcap’s retelling of Homer’s Iliad set in the Southernmost bayous of Mississippi. rough April 28.


“Lest We Forget … Images of the Black Civil Rights Movement “

A traveling collection showcasing key gures and moments from the Black Civil Rights Movement. rough May 6.


“Nature’s Palette: Art Inspired By the Earth”

Oil landscape paintings by Collierville artist Wes Ashworth. rough May 4.


“People Are People” is exhibition honors famed American designer Christian Siriano’s electrifying contributions to fashion. rough Aug. 4.


“Radical Jewelry Makeover: The Artist Project”

Radical Jewelry Makeover: e Artist Project brings together jewelers working together to examine mining issues while making innovative jewelry from recycled sources. rough April 14.


“Remy Miller and Joe Morzuch: Marking Time” e joint exhibition places

two distinct bodies of work in counterpoint. rough April 14.


“Shelby Canopy: Our Shared Connection”

An immersive public art experience featuring two temporary artworks. rough April 19.


“Southern Railway” Discover the national history behind the Southern Railway Company,. rough April 20.


“SUE: The T. rex Experience”

Step into the world of SUE the T. rex . rough May 12.


“The Earthworm and the Hawk”

Melissa Dunn’s “ e Earthworm and the Hawk” is the overlap between two states of being. rough April 28.


“What Were You Meant For?”

Kevin Brooks delves deep into the world of lm to uncover the seldom-seen layers of Black male identity. rough April 28.



Artists’ Link Spring Exhibition - Artists’ Reception

Enjoy fabulous art and fascinating conversation with the artists who created the works at the Artists’ Link Spring Exhibition.

Free. Sunday, April 14, 2-4 p.m.


Rhythm & Hues: A GCA

Major Flower Show

Presented biennially by the

Memphis Garden Club, the Memphis Flower Show is one of only eight major ower shows sanctioned by the Garden Club of America.

Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.


Super Saturday –Fashion

Explore fashion as an art form at your art museum, with free admission and art-making for all ages. Free. Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.


Using Artificial Intelligence to ReAnalyze 19th-Century


A talk and reception with Kris Belden-Adams. Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m.



Creative Aging Studio

Course: Exploring Black American Poetry

Participants use the works of Phyllis Wheatly, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Yusef Komunyakaa, and others as inspiration for writing their own original work. Free.

ursday, April 11, 11 a.m.


Marjorie Garber: Shakespeare in Bloomsbury

An acclaimed Shakespeare scholar will discuss her newest book about Shakespeare’s profound in uence on Virginia Woolf and the rest of the Bloomsbury Group, with Scott Newstok. Free. ursday, April 11, 6 p.m.


MMDC Urbanist Book Club

Wanna know more about planning and placemaking? MMDC is kicking o an urbanist book club. Free. Wednesday, April 17, noon-1 p.m.


Rachel Edelman: Dear Memphis

Rachel Edelman will discuss and sign her new book of poetry, Dear Memphis. Friday, April 12, 6 p.m.


Sara Koffi in conversation with

Kristen R. Lee

Sara Ko in conversation with Kristen R. Lee to celebrate the release of her new book, While We Were Burning. Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m.



Ceramic Silly Pots

Becky Zee will guide you through the basics of pinch pot construction. Sunday, April 14, 1 p.m.


Sensational Scarves with Paul Thomas

A creative workshop using upcycled ber design and di erent fabrics to stitch together a simple scarf that looks vintage with a modern twist. Saturday, April 13, 1 p.m.


Free Tax Preparation

Free Tax Preparation by United Way Mid-South ursday, April 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, April 12, 10 a.m.4 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Monday, April 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


outlet to do it again? e Blu City Liars host this free, no-commitment workshop on the rst and third Monday of each month. Monday, April 15, 6-7 p.m.



Kevin McDonald: Cheaters in Love

Kevin McDonald with his rock opera Cheaters in Love, with narration and music by HEELS and the Blu City Liars as supporting cast. Also, two companion workshops on the Kids in the Hall method of sketch-writing. Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.


Michael Colyar

Michael Colyar is a multitalented actor, comedian, and author. $25-$75. ursday, April 11, 8 p.m.; Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 8 p.m.


Shelarious Productions

PHOTO: ZIGGY MACK New Ballet Ensemble presents Springloaded: Tales of Light this weekend.

Interrogating Inequities: Conversations on Health and Justice, with Professor Duane Loynes e Meeman Center for Lifelong Learning at Rhodes College o ers non-credit continuing education courses for anyone curious and excited to learn. All are welcome. $70/ two-week course. Wednesday, April 17, 5:30-7 p.m.


Metal Clay Basics: Fine Silver Leaf Pendants

Learn how to preserve the image of a leaf for a lifetime with ne silver metal clay. Sunday, April 14, 10 a.m.


Lunch & Learn: Transforming Your Community Through Gardening

Kim Halyak, avid gardener, speaker, and retired teacher, shares ideas for doable beauti cation projects. $30. Saturday, April 13, 1 p.m.



Spring Watercolor Workshop

Create a springtime masterpiece under the guidance of artist Drew Blake. $45. Saturday, April 13, 1-4 p.m.


Yes& Improv Workshop

Ever wanted to try improv comedy? Have you improvised before and want an

Comedy Jam:

Celebrating The Queens & Kings of Memphis Entertainment

A night of laughter and music with the greatest entertainers of the 901. $15-$20. Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m.



21st Annual Regatta

Dive into riverside family fun at the 21st Annual Maria Montessori Regatta. Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.


38th Annual “Bowlin’ on the River” Bowl-AThon benefiting Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South

38th Annual “Bowlin’ on the River” Bowl-A- on bene ting Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South. Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.



Free Beginner Salsa Class

Anyone can learn to dance salsa. Saturday, April 13, 7-8 p.m.


Line Dancing with Q

Line dancing lessons, Tuesdays with “Q.” 21+. Tuesday, April 16, 6-9 p.m.


Science of Movement:

Collage Dance Collective

Witness how a dancer prepares for the stage and experience excerpts from Collage Dance Collective’s repertory. Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m.


continued on page 20

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

continued from page 19

Springloaded: Tales of Light

New Ballet Ensemble explores storytelling through dance and illumination in Springloaded: Tales of Light. $25-$30. Saturday, April 13, 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 2:30 p.m.

Swing for Spring

New beginner swing dance series. $80. Tuesday, April 16, 6-7 p.m.



Plant Sale

This plant sale will feature milkweeds, ferns, and an abundant selection of butterfly favorites such as blazing star, ironweed, salvia, phlox, sunflowers, bergamot, blanketflower, and coneflowers. Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.



Dinosaur Crew at GCT

Bring the kids of all ages to meet these very “real” dinosaurs as they laugh and learn. $10-$15. Saturday, April 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 1-2 p.m.



Discovery Forest Opening

Discovery Forest is opening April 12th at Lichterman Nature Center during the annual plant sale. Friday, April 12, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Free Family Day at Stax

Live music, food trucks, arts and crafts, activities, and more for young people of all ages. Free admission for all. Saturday, April 13, 1-5 p.m.


FUNBOX Bounce Park

The world’s biggest bounce park, where 25,000 square feet of continuous jumping zones connect 10 different play areas. Friday, April 12-April 14.


Indie Memphis Youth Film Mixer

Join Indie Memphis Youth for an exciting Youth Filmmaker Mixer. Registration is required. Free. Saturday, April 13, noon-2 p.m.


Kids Fest Powered by Healthier 901

The event features activities the entire family can enjoy with adaptive sports, games, pickleball, soccer, face paint, and much more. Free. Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.


Magic Show in the Park with Magic

Mr. Nick

See Magic Mr. Nick perform his famous magic


show. Plus, enjoy bubble play and free Italian ice from Big Apple Italian Ice. Saturday, April 13, 2-4 p.m.


SciPlay with CAESER & Connect Crew

Unleash your inner scientist while exploring the playground. Saturday, April 13, 10-11:30 a.m.



Art & A Movie: Hairspray

Before a screening of the 1988 Hairspray, make miniature binder clip purses. $15.

Wednesday, April 17, 5:30 p.m.


Indie Memphis Screening: Nostalghia

Indie Memphis presents a screening of the new 4K restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1983 Soviet-Italian drama: Nostalghia. $12.

Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.


Time Warp Drive-In: Hail! Hail!

Classic Rock N’ Roll Cinema

Screening The Doors, Pink Floyd: The Wall, and The Song Remains the Same. $25/carload.

Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m.


Wings Over Water 3D

Michael Keaton narrates this breathtaking film that soars above the clouds and takes you on

an amazing journey to the heart of the prairie wetlands. Thursday, April 11-April 17, 11 a.m.



Hopped 2024

A day full of hoppy beers, music, food, comedy, and more. Saturday, April 13, noon-7 p.m.


Memphis Farmers Market

A weekly outdoor market featuring local farmers and artisans, live music, and fun activities.

Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.



24 Hour Race: Death by 5K

RunStrong Event’s Death by 5K requires participants to complete 10 5Ks over the course of 24 hours, starting each 5K 2.5 hours apart.

Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m.


Body Balance

A new generative yoga class that will improve your mind, your body, and your life. Free.

Thursday, April 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m.


Guided Nature Walk

A themed guided walk around the property. Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Hustle & Flow Pilates

Join instructor Bridget for free Pilates classes at A Monument to Listening in Tom Lee Park. Bring an open mind and your own mat/towel and water. Free. Monday, April 15, 6-7 p.m.


Slow Your Roll | Saturday Morning Meditation

Start your Saturday with some morning mindfulness. Free. Saturday, April 13, 8-8:30 a.m.


Taijiquan with Milan Vigil

This Chinese martial art promotes relaxation, improves balance, and provides no-impact aerobic benefits. 16+. Free. Saturday, April 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m.


Wednesday Walks

A casual stroll around the Old Forest. Meet at Rainbow Lake Playground Kiosk. Wednesday, April 17, 4-5 p.m.


SANA Yoga Free Yoga

All-levels Flow class. Free. Tuesday, April 16, 11-11:45 a.m.


Yoga in the Park

Stretch, strengthen, and unwind after your work day with a free yoga class. Free. Wednesday, April 17, 5:30-6:15 p.m.


Yoga on the River

Candace guides your yoga journey along the mighty Mississippi. Free. Tuesday, April 16, 6-7 p.m.


Zumba in the Park

David Quarles leads this free Zumba class. Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.



Sustainablity in Action: Memphis Landfills and Recycling Program on landfills, recycling, and composting. Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m.



La Divina: A Tribute to Maria Callas Opera Memphis’ latest installment of Variations on a Theme. Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m.


20 April 11-17, 2024 ACROSS 1 Flip (out) 4 Dandy neckwear 10 “___ NewsHour” 13 Opera that famously ends with the line “La commedia è finita!” 15 Potion container 16 NOTED TENOR 17 “Dark Angel” star Jessica 18 Advantage 19 Kickstarter figure 20 Desk tray labels 21 SIMPLE DIET 24 “Dallas Buyers Club” Oscar winner 26 Apprehend 29 Something checked on a questionnaire 30 One of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy 35 Fat remover, for short 36 Some bathroom postings … or what the clues to 16-, 21-, 46- and 59-Across are? 39 Not stuffy 40 Mason’s tool 41 “Watch it!” 42 Puzzle 44 Part of the Spanish conjugation of “to be” 46 GET SPEARED 51 Dune transport 53 Verve 54 First car to offer seatbelts (1950) 58 Ilhan ___, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress 59 DOOR DECALS 61 Goes from liquid to solid, say 62 Babbling 63 Show with noted alumni, for short 64 “See ya!” 65 Off-roader, in brief DOWN 1 Out of the strike zone, in a way 2 Product whose introduction was music to people’s ears? 3 Group of friends 4 Abbr. in a cockpit 5 The Alamo had a famous one 6 “Can you ___?” (classic cologne catchphrase) 7 The planets, e.g. 8 Immune system defender 9 ___ Toby, character in “Twelfth Night” 10 Part of a stove 11 Pakistani restaurant owner on “Seinfeld” 12 Blind spot? 14 “Whither ___ thou?”: John 16:5 15 Milli ___ (1980s-’90s pop duo) 20 “Methinks,” in texts 22 [It’s gone!] 23 Words of empathy 24 When repeated, a classic of garage rock 25 Teeny-tiny 27 Nighttime woe 28 Like the dawn sky 29 Lead-in to load or lift 31 Our: Fr. 32 Overthrow, e.g. 33 Court oath affirmation 34 Morning coat 37 ___ Rockefeller 38 Where to see two runners side by side 43 Serpentine swimmer 45 What to call un hombre 47 State flower of Indiana 48 Candied 49 Heaviest of the noble gases 50 Pepper used in mole sauce 51 Teeth not connected to jaws 52 “And how!” 55 On the briny 56 Elated 57 LG product 59 “Spare” part 60 ___ Wallace, “Ben-Hur” author
Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE 123456789 101112 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 2122 23 2425 26 2728 29 3031323334 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 4445 46 47484950 5152 53 54555657 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 SPANONITDOLLS ALAIGESUNDHEIT NARCROOTYTOOTY NOOVENUSENEE MENLOTITTLES ITBANDSSUE MAUSRAGEMESAS ERRHEARTHSELI SYRIABETABAIT ALTATLARGE CONTACTIRONS BASMARSUPIUM INANUPROARSTEP TAKESATURNTENS SLATSETASASTI The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For
Release Thursday, March 21, 2019

Memphis Matters

Spontaneous stories. Instant impact. Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m.


Out In The Woods: FOG

Fairy Tales

This comedy drag variety show spins classic fairy tales into a deconstructed spectacle of hilarity and high heels. $30$60. Friday, April 12, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 8-10 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 2-4 p.m.


The Starlight Cabaret with Demonica Santangilo

Featuring Pepper SueSage, Taye Jadore Cassadine, Aubrey “Boom Boom” Ombre, Wednesday Moss, and special guest, Reign Symone. Friday, April 12, 9 p.m.



A Day on Witches’ Way

A wondrous, witchy, outdoor event with artists, jewelers, taxidermists, furers, oddities dealers, and more. Sunday, April 14, noon-6 p.m.


MAS Kitten Shower

Celebrate the start of kitten season with food, games, prizes, and all around fun. Thursday, April 11, 5:30-7 p.m.


Puppy Palooza 2024

Yard games designed just for dogs, dog costume contest, custom caricature portraits of

your dog, and more. Free. Saturday, April 13, noon-3 p.m.


Shelby County Star Trek Day

Shelby County Star Trek Day with special guest John Billingsley. Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.



Bill Pickett Rodeo

The Bill Pickett Rodeo celebrates their 40th anniversary. Saturday, April 13, 1:30 p.m.


Harlem Globetrotters

2024 World Tour

See the Globetrotter stars live as they dribble, spin, slam, and dunk. Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets Sunday, April 14, 2:30 p.m.


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers Friday, April 12, 7 p.m.



Blues in the Night

The soul of the blues wails out full and strong in Blues in the Night, a scorching, Tony-nominated musical. Friday, April 12-May 5.




Tennessee Shakespeare Company presents the tragedy by Shakespeare. Through April 21.


Master Class

Diva opera star Maria Callas is alternately dismayed and impressed by students who parade before her. Through April 21.

THEATRE MEMPHIS POTUS POTUS delves into the world of politics, power, and the presidency. Through April 14.



Discovery Forest is opening April 12th at Lichterman Nature Center during the annual plant sale.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

A one-of-a-kind combination of storytelling and spectacle adapted from Mark Haddon’s award winning novel. $10$26. Friday, April 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 7:309:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 14,

2:30-4:30 p.m.


The River Bride

A tale of true love, regret, and two sisters who struggle to be true to each other and their hearts. Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m.



The Broadway sensation looks at what happened in the Land of Oz … but from a different angle. Through April 21.


You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Join Charlie Brown and his friends as they navigate the ups and downs of growing up. Through April 13.


Spring Blooms at the Garden

Explore what’s blooming at MBG, with a children’s activity, a cash bar, and food trucks. Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.


Tree Tour

Meet Elmwood’s trees! $20. Saturday, April 13, 10:30 a.m.-noon.



We Saw You.

“Christian Siriano: People are People,” the new exhibit at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, is still going strong.

“It’s been great,” says Brooks chief revenue o cer Je Rhodin. “In the rst week we had more than 2,500 people.” e preview party was mind-blowing. More than 900 people attended the event honoring the American fashion designer on March 21st, the night before the exhibit opened to the public.

irty-six Siriano creations, including over-the-top gowns in over-the-top colors and shapes on mannequins of di erent sizes, are featured in the exhibit. As the news release from Brooks states, “Since launching his fashion house in New York in 2008, Siriano has become beloved for statement-making looks. … From glamorous gowns to genderdefying showstoppers, Siriano’s creations have been … worn by the world’s biggest stars, top models, pop icons, legendary divas, LGBTQIA2+ heroes, rst ladies, and more.”

So, anybody who wants to get their mind blown has until August 4th to view the exhibit of fashions worn by Taylor Swi , Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and others.

22 April 11-17, 2024
PHOTOS: MICHAEL DONAHUE above: Christian Siriano and Coco Rocha; bottom row: (le to right) Daniela Gri n, Carl Bledsoe Jr., Paul omas and Grace West, Greely Myatt and Ramona Sonin, Babbie Lovett


e riveting production looks at perspectives of good and bad.

In my junior year of high school, our revamped theater program found its feet with the production of a traditional spring musical, e Wizard of Oz. It was 2008, and three years previously, the smash hit Broadway musical Wicked had begun its national tour, one that would break every house record in every city it played in. As a 17-year-old voracious reader, I knew of Wicked the novel, not the show, but that changed when, for the rst time I could ever remember, a Broadway musical became a common topic of conversation in the hallways of a small-town high school. At the time, I was confused about what the big deal was. Wicked the book was a strange and almost unpalatable read, and I could barely understand how it had been translated to the stage in the rst place. It took over 15 years, but I nally have seen what all the hubbub was about.

Wicked has become a global phenomenon and a household name, just as much as its origin story, e Wizard of Oz. I can’t bring to mind another example of a spin-o gaining as much traction and coexisting so long alongside the original. e Orpheum eatre was a packed house last ursday, with the audience hanging on every word and madly cheering a er every number. e merch table in the lobby was nearly overrun, and all this a er 20 years of the show being on stage.

On the drive home, my friend Meagan Kitterlin asked me how I already knew some of the songs when I hadn’t actually seen the play before. “Doesn’t everyone know ‘Defying Gravity’?” I answered. I couldn’t tell you the rst time I heard that song, or “Popular,” but they are both nearly as familiar to me now as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” e wild success of this musical is staggering, and seeing it in person, I understand why musical-lovers go crazy for this show.

e grandeur of Memphis’ Orpheum eatre lends itself to the opulence of Wicked’s presentation. A giant clockwork dragon adorns the proscenium arch, looking like some sort of steampunk nightmare come to life. Wicked reimagines the early life of the Wicked Witch of the West, painting her as a complicated, misunderstood gure. e musical centers not only on the Wicked Witch — whose name is Elphaba, a er e Wonderful Wizard of Oz author, L. Frank Baum — but also largely on Glinda, nee Galinda, the Good Witch. Celia Hottenstein, who plays Glinda, says, “For both

characters, you’re observing how society and the public views these women. Glinda the Good and Elphaba, this person who is other, di erent, but you, through the show, see who they really are as people.” Glinda and Elphaba are college roommates, and from their rst meeting, immediately at odds. Elphaba has obviously lived a life of hardship, constantly judged for her green skin, while Glinda has obviously lived a life of privilege, being granted her every desire almost before she can even wish for it. e two inexplicably become friends, and their friendship becomes the backbone of the entire musical.

Olivia Valli’s portrayal of Elphaba is

surprising. I expected a bitter, passionate introvert, but Valli plays Elphaba as almost spunky. She’s hopeful, she seems like kind of a nerd, and she’s got moxie. It’s not at all what I was expecting, but it works. Valli and Hottenstein have undeniable chemistry onstage, and watching Elphaba and Glinda interact is where the true magic of Wicked lies. e musical is all about people’s perspectives, especially around what is considered “good” and what is considered “wicked.” As Hottenstein points out, “I think this show really delves into what it means to ‘do good’ and to ‘be good.’ It’s not as easy as you think.” is show’s message resonates

with so many people, and Hottenstein is no exception. “To have compassion for people is the message that really has stuck with me. To always have compassion and always have empathy for others because everybody has their own struggles. And everybody is trying to be a good person, I think, for the most part.”

With show-stopping vocal performances, a set that might as well be another character it has so much personality, and a message all audiences can relate to, it’s no wonder Wicked is so justi ably good.

Wicked runs at e Orpheum eatre through April 21st.

PHOTOS: JOAN MARCUS National Touring Company of Wicked; Olivia Valli as Elphaba

While We Were Burning

Sara Ko began her novel in the summer of 2020. It wasn’t a pandemic project, born out of boredom, but rather seeded from the racial reckoning that stemmed from the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“It was a concern about if these people and their families will actually achieve justice. A stress that these cases weren’t going to have a resolution that matched the justice needed,” she says. “And I kind of took the seed of that paranoia and put it toward the book essentially — that was like the seed of the beginning of While We Were Burning.” e novel, Ko says, is “ rst and foremost fun — fun is not the right word — but it is a fun, fast-paced, twisty read. And then secondly it’s exploring important themes.”

For her debut novel, Koffi puts two women’s stories into counterpoint: Elizabeth, a woman on a downward spiral as she questions the mysterious circumstances surrounding her friend’s death, and Briana, who is hired as Elizabeth’s personal assistant to help her pick up the pieces.

But Briana has questions of her own. e Memphis police have killed her son, and now she’s on the search for who called the cops on her child on that fateful day that took him away.

Together the women rush towards nding their answers as their relationship blurs the line between employer and friend, predator and prey.

“To have a book set in Memphis … it feels like a major responsibility.”

“The thriller genre is very good about exploring justice outside of the usual justice system,” Koffi says. “So I thought for a story like this, it’d be fitting.”

e story begins in Elizabeth’s rstperson perspective, which switches with Briana’s third-person narrative throughout the novel. “I o en joke that Elizabeth thinks she’s the main character. She’s like, ‘ is is my story.’ And then Briana, who arguably is actually the main character, does not center herself the same way.”

Even so, the prologue depicts Elizabeth lamenting her crumbling marriage. “She doesn’t know what

book she’s in,” Ko says. “She cannot conceive of Briana entering into her life. You know, this woman’s very concerned, kind of a borderline obsessed with her husband, like a domestic thriller trope. And then you keep reading. You’re like, ‘Oh, I think that’s a di erent book. at’s not what’s actually going to happen.’

“ at was the rst thing I wrote,” Ko adds of the prologue, “and it has not changed from editing, dra ing, to now. at has remained the same, untouched. … Once I got a good grasp of [Elizabeth], it’s like the story started to unfold.”

And, always, Ko knew, this story was going to unfold in Memphis, the city where she grew up. “I also know about the city’s history, its involvement in the NAACP and Civil Rights Movement as well. And I thought it was interesting because the city also has a history of seeking justice on its own, so that was an interesting parallel to what’s happening in the story.

“For me personally,” Ko says, “to have a book set in Memphis be the rst book I put out, it feels like a major responsibility. But it’s a good one because I’m gonna have a lot of readers who have not been to the city and this book is gonna be their gateway to what the city is like without actually having visited there. I’m hop-

ing — outside of the thriller background — that I capture the city. is is a good city. [Elizabeth and Briana are] having some drama, but the city itself is ne.”

But Ko doesn’t just want to promote Memphis. She wants to create “a thoughtful moment for the reader as well. For me, I want that moment to kind of be a re ection on, like, are there are other things that I’m doing without thinking about it? at might be a ecting other people? Do I have my own blinders on when it comes to certain things in my life, and may that be a ecting other things?”

Sara Ko celebrates the launch of While We Were Burning at Novel on Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m., in conversation with Kristen R. Lee.

24 April 11-17, 2024 We help Mid-South nonprofits succeed. DO GOOD. BETTER. 901.726.5725

Wagashi From the Heart


ika Renzo wants people to think “Japanese sweets” when they think “Wagashi Japanese Bakery.”

“‘Wagashi,’ in the literal translation, does mean ‘Japanese sweets,’ but it’s more than that,” says Renzo, 29, owner/baker of Wagashi Japanese Bakery.

ey’re Japanese desserts that can be made of mochi, which is a glutinous rice our, or red bean paste. “Traditional confections usually eaten during tea ceremonies or eaten with tea in general.”

Renzo, who operates her business out of her home, grew up eating the type of traditional Japanese sweets she makes. “I am a Memphis native, but I am half Japanese and my dad is from Memphis and he is Black. So, I grew up with two di erent cultures.”

She would visit Osaka, where her mother is from, eat the food there, and surround herself with the culture.

Renzo always missed the cuisine when she returned to Memphis. “Now that I have kids, that’s something I want them to grow up and love. Something as simple as Japanese homemade sweets I want my kids to grow up with and share with their friends. Something I never had in Memphis.

“ ere is no homemade Japanese bakery around, as far as I know. It’s a good type of bakery to have. We have all sorts of shops here — French pastries, croissants, and doughnuts — but we don’t have a traditional Japanese bakery. And that’s a gap I want to ll.

“Baking anything where you’re creating is an art that comes from the heart.”

“I’m a self-taught baker, so I kind of taste and experiment with di erent recipes and mold it into what I grew up with and how I remember that nostalgic taste.”

Renzo’s rst baking e ort was “the classic” chocolate chip cookie. “ e quintessential American cookie.”

She used a mix out of a box, but she didn’t nd that satisfying. She wanted to express her creativity. “Baking anything where you’re creating is an art that comes from

the heart. I know that’s corny, but it’s something you feel and you put out for everyone to experience.”

e rst Japanese dessert she made was melonpan — “a Japanese sweet bread that has a cookie crunchy crust scored to look like the skin of muskmelon.”

It didn’t start out as melonpan. Renzo was making bread from a general recipe when she thought, “What if I turn this into melonpan?”

sugar I use that kind of gives it that special flair. It also has a nice coating of sugar. It’s dipped in sugar once it’s scored.”

Melonpan is “essentially more like a biscuit in the English sense.”

She let her mother try it. “She loved it. I even think she might have cried the rst time she ate it because it reminded her of her childhood.”

Renzo, who o cially opened her Wagashi Japanese Bakery website last November, o ers melonpan in its original avor as well as matcha avored, which is “just green tea avor.”

She also sells “Castella cake,” which, she says, is “essentially like a Japanesestyle sponge cake. It has a honey soak on it, which gives it that moisture. But it’s made with bread our, so it’s springy. A lot of people tell me the texture is very similar to pound cake, but way lighter.

“It’s a pretty common Japanese cake. It’s usually in a rectangular block and lined with parchment on the bottom to keep that honey soak.”

Renzo also bakes “matcha mochi bars.” “ ese are not traditional, but something I wanted to add to the menu just to give people other options.”

Since they sort of have the texture of a brownie, Renzo refers to them as “a Japanese mochi blondie.”

As for a brick-and-mortar storefront, Renzo says, “I don’t really see it happening in the near future. Maybe within a year or two just depending on what life throws at us.

It’s like a “ u y bread with cookie crust on top. I just kind of tweaked it with spices I attributed to my childhood taste buds of eating melonpan.”

And, she says, “I do have a special

“I would love to have it be a bakery and also a tea house. e variations would be, we would primarily serve green tea or traditional Japanese tea. Because wagashi in the general sense is eaten during tea ceremonies or special events with tea or green tea.”

Renzo wants to pair the two so people will “get the full experience. We have a lot of bubble tea places and Asian restaurants, but I want to focus more on the traditional pairing that you would see in Japan.”

To order, Renzo says, “You can go online to our website — You can place your order online at least 24 hours in advance, so we can bake those to order. And we deliver free anywhere only in the Shelby County area.”

FOOD Baker brings Japanese sweets to Memphis. PHOTOS: MICHAEL DONAHUE (top) Aiko Renzo; (bottom, clockwise from le ) Castella cake, melonpan, and matcha mochi bar

April 11-17, 2024

The Passing Parade

As the last remaining Hooters restaurant in West Virginia prepared for demolition, residents of Kanawha City gathered on Feb. 23 for a candlelight vigil, WCHS-TV reported. The event, which started as a joke, got international attention, and hundreds of people showed up. “It’s a lot of memories going down with that building,” said Noah Collins of Rand, West Virginia. Tearful former Hooters employees reunited for one last time. “I started out coming in to get a job and it became so much more because I met so many lifelong friends and my co-workers,” said Danielle Hughart. “This building right here was a legitimate iconic figure to the Kanawha Valley,” declared co-organizer Leo Browning. The corporate office sent a box of calendars to distribute to those who attended the vigil. [WCHS, 2/24/2024]

Smooth Reaction

Dr. Krisztina Ilko, 33, a junior research fellow and director of studies at the University of Cambridge Queens’ College in England, lives in a medieval tower, the Independent reported. But on Feb. 29, Ilko became trapped in her bathroom for seven hours after the wooden door locked behind her and wouldn’t budge. She couldn’t signal or yell for help because the tower walls are thick, and there are no windows in the bathroom. However, she kept her cool and MacGyvered the door open using an eyeliner (to push down the door’s latch) and a cotton swab (to pull the locking mechanism away from the door frame). “When … the door opened, it was exhilarating because I didn’t think it would work,” Ilko said. Since the incident, she’s had the lock removed. [Independent, 3/4/2024]

Police Report

• In Kennesaw, Georgia, police responded to the Heritage Park Town Homes on Feb. 21 after a Toyota Corolla “rammed through the pool fence … and [she’s] in the middle of the pool,” said the 911 caller. Fox5-TV reported that the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency and was unconscious when officers arrived; they were able to break a car window and get her out of the car. She was taken to a hospital and was expected to make a full recovery, according to Cobb

County Police. The pool cover was so strong that the car didn’t sink; a tow truck removed it from the cover later in the day. [Fox5, 3/4/2024]

• The Putnam County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office was flooded with calls on March 2 after two low-flying F-15 jets from the Florida Air National Guard caused sonic booms, News4Jax-TV reported. “It destroyed my friggin’ house!” one caller exclaimed, while others thought a bomb had dropped. “I have major damage, they flew right over my house. The lights were blown off the walls, there’s glass everywhere,” said another. The National Guard issued a statement saying they were aware of damage sustained by the sonic booms and had established a contact number for residents who had damage claims. [News4Jax, 3/6/2024]

Delusions of Grandeur

For Connor James Litka, 21, of Bloomington, Indiana, it was, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Litka arrived at a Porsche dealership in Louisville, Kentucky, on Feb. 21 and tried to buy a car with a fake $78 million check, WAVE-TV reported. When he was rebuffed, he searched around the back entrance to the showroom, looking for car keys. Salespeople summoned police, who charged him with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Turns out Litka tried the same stunt the day before at a Land Rover dealership, where he presented a $12 million check. [WAVE, 2/22/2024]


Anne Hughes, 71, was standing outside the Best One shop in Tonteg, Wales, where she works, when the electric security shutters started raising, catching her coat and leaving her dangling upside down seven feet in the air. The incident from March 4 was caught on CCTV, Sky News reported; she hung in the air until a shopkeeper helped free her as the shutter was lowered. “I’m learning to live with the fame,” Hughes said. “I’ll never hear the end of it.” She was uninjured in the mishap. [Sky News, 3/5/2024]

NEWS OF THE WEIRD © 2024 Andrews McMeel Syndication. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. NEWS OF THE WEIRD By the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication THE STUTTERING FOUNDATION A Nonprofit Organization Since 1947—Helping Those Who Stutter ® There are many ways to help kids who stutter... Doing nothing is not one of them! 800-992-9392

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author Betty Bender said, “Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death.” Painter Georgia O’Keeffe confessed she always harbored chronic anxiety — yet that never stopped her from doing what she loved. Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Anyone who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” I hope these testimonials inspire you to bolster your grit, Taurus. In the coming days, you may not have any more or less fear than usual. But you will be able to summon extra courage and willpower as you render the fear at least semi-irrelevant.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Richard the Lionheart (1157–1199) was a medieval king of England. How did he get his nickname? Scholars say it was because of his skill as a military leader. But legend tells an additional story. As a young man, Richard was imprisoned by an enemy who arranged for a hungry lion to be brought into his cell. As the beast opened its maw to maul the future king, Richard thrust his arm down its throat and tore out its heart, killing it. What does this tale have to do with you, Gemini? I predict you will soon encounter a test that’s less extreme than Richard’s but equally solvable by bursts of creative ingenuity. Though there will be no physical danger, you will be wise to call on similar boldness. Drawing on the element of surprise may also serve you well.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Will the adventures heading your way be unusual, amusing, and even unprecedented? I bet they will have at least some of those elements. You could encounter plot twists you’ve never witnessed or imagined. You may be inspired to dream up creative adjustments unlike any you’ve tried. These would be very positive developments. They suggest you’re becoming more comfortable with expressing your authentic self and less susceptible to the influence of people’s expectations. Every one of us is a unique genius in some ways, and you’re getting closer to inhabiting the fullness of yours.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): At least for now, help may not be available from the usual sources. Is the doctor sick? Does mommy need mothering? Is the therapist feeling depressed? My advice is to not worry about the deficiencies, but rather shift your attention to skillful surrogates and substitutes. They may give you what you need — and even more. I’m reminded of The Crystal Cave, a novel about the Arthurian legend. The king, Ambrosius Aurelianus, advises the magician Merlin, “Take power where it is offered.” In other words: not where you think or wish power would be, but from sources that

are unexpected or outside your customary parameters.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The rest of the story is not yet ready to emerge, but it will be soon. Be patient just a while longer. When full disclosure arrives, you will no longer have to guess about hidden agendas and simmering subtexts. Adventures in the underworld will move above ground. Missing links will finally appear, and perplexing ambiguities will be clarified. Here’s how you can expedite these developments: Make sure you are thoroughly receptive to knowing the rest of the story. Assert your strong desire to dissolve ignorance.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the coming weeks, you can ask for and receive more blessings than usual. So please be aggressive and imaginative about asking! Here are suggestions about what gifts to seek out: 1. vigorous support as you transform two oppositional forces into complementary influences; 2. extra money, time, and spaciousness as you convert a drawback into an asset; 3. kindness and understanding as you ripen an unripe aspect of yourself; 4. inspiration and advice as you make new connections that will serve your future goals.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Read the two help-wanted ads below. Meditate on which appeals to you more, and treat this choice as a metaphor for a personal decision you face. 1. “Pedestrian, predictable organization seeks humdrum people with low-grade ambitions for tasks that perform marginally useful services. Interested in exploring mild passions and learning more about the art of spiritual bypassing?” 2. “Our high-octane conclave values the arts of playing while you work and working while you play. Are you ready and able to provide your creative input? Are you interested in exploring the privilege and responsibility of forever reinventing yourself? We love restless seekers who are never bored.”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): What is a gourmet bargain? What is a discount marvel? How about an inspiring breakthrough that incurs no debt? Themes like those are weaving their way into your destiny. So be alert for the likelihood that cheap thrills will be superior to the expensive kind. Search for elegance and beauty in earthy locations that aren’t sleek and polished. Be receptive to the possibility that splendor and awe may be available to you at a low cost. Now may be one of those rare times when imperfect things are more sublime than the so-called perfect stuff.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in,”

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Now is a favorable time to make initial inquiries, ask for free samples, and enjoy window shopping. But it’s not an opportune time to seal final decisions or sign binding contracts. Have fun haggling and exploring, even as you avoid making permanent promises. Follow the inklings of your heart more than the speculations of your head, but refrain from pledging your heart until lots of evidence is available. You are in a prime position to attract and consider an array of possibilities, and for best results you should remain noncommittal for the foreseeable future.

wrote novelist Graham Greene. For me, it was three days near the end of third grade when I wrote a fairy tale about the unruly adventures of a fictional kid named Polly. Her wildness was infused with kindness. Her rebellions were assertive but friendly. For the first time, as I told Polly’s story, I realized I wanted to be an unconventional writer when I grew up. What about you, Capricorn? When you were young, was there a comparable opening to your future? If so, now is a good phase to revisit it, commune with your memories of it, and invite it to inspire the next stage of its evolution in you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Even when you are your regular, ordinary self, you have a knack and fondness for irregularity and originality. And these days, your affinity for what’s unprecedented and uncommon is even higher than usual. I am happy about that. I am cheering you on. So please enjoy yourself profoundly as you experiment with nonstandard approaches. Be as idiosyncratic as you dare! Even downright weird! But also try to avoid direct conflicts with the Guardians of How Things Have Always Been Done. Don’t allow Change Haters to interfere with your fun or obstruct the enhancements you want to instigate. Be a slippery innovator. Be an irrepressible instigator.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Below are truths I hope you will ripen and deepen in the coming months. 1. Negative feelings are not necessarily truer and more profound than positive ones. 2. Cynical opinions are not automatically more intelligent or well-founded than optimistic opinions. 3. Criticizing and berating yourself is not a more robust sign of self-awareness than praising and appreciating yourself. 4. Any paranoia you feel may be a stunted emotion resulting from psychic skills you have neglected to develop. 5. Agitation and anxiety can almost always be converted into creative energy.



April 13, 18, 20,

April 13, 18, 20,

Come spend an evening "in Italy"! Enjoy for free the local premieres 2024 Italian Film Festival USA of Memphis. All films shown Center Theatre on the campus of the University of Memphis. garage next to the University Center.) Sponsored by the National and the local Chapter of UNICO (in-kind sponsor). Cultural Partner, The films will be followed by coffee and refreshments.

April 13, 18, 20, KIDNAPPED

Come spend an evening "in Italy"! Enjoy for free the local premieres 2024 Italian Film Festival USA of Memphis. All films shown Center Theatre on the campus of the University of Memphis. garage next to the University Center.) Sponsored by the National and the local Chapter of UNICO (in-kind sponsor). Cultural Partner, The films will be followed by coffee and refreshments.




SATURDAY, APRIL 20 • 7:00 pm

Saturday, April 13 (Director, Marco Bellocchio, Papal States,1858 Mortara family in take seven-year-old believed the then had secretly baptized international community story of Edgardo


KIDNAPPED • Saturday, April 13 • (Director, Marco Bellocchio, Papal States,1858

Mortara family in Bologna’s take seven-year-old believed the then six-month had secretly baptized international community story of Edgardo Mortara.



Saturday, April 13 (Director, Marco Bellocchio, Papal States,1858 Mortara family in take seven-year-old believed the then had secretly baptized international community story of Edgardo

Thursday, April (Director, Riccardo Antonio, a passionate teacher for a drama discovers talent his passion for live to stage Samuel theater. Will a triumphal


Thursday, April 18

Thursday, April 18 (Director, Riccardo Milani Antonio, a passionate teacher for a drama discovers talent in his passion for live to stage Samuel Beckett's theater. Will a triumphal



(Director, Riccardo Milani Antonio, a passionate teacher for a drama discovers talent in his passion for live to stage Samuel Beckett's theater. Will a triumphal

Saturday April 20


Saturday April 2 (Director, Neri Marcorè, Walter, an accountant, for work. His boss, employees engage like soccer, becomes “Zamora”, sarcastically goalkeeper of the love interest, Walter FREE

(Director, Neri Marcorè, Walter, an accountant, for work. His boss, employees engage like soccer, becomes “Zamora”, sarcastically goalkeeper of the love interest, Walter FREE

For further information you

Saturday April 20 (Director, Neri Marcorè, Walter, an accountant, for work. His boss, employees engage like soccer, becomes “Zamora”, sarcastically goalkeeper of the love interest, Walter FREE

For further information you

For further information you

27 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Come spend at the 2024 Italian Film Festival USA the University Center Theatre parking garage next Memphis and the local Chapter of UNICO (in-kind sponsor). Cultural Par The films will be followed by coffee and refreshments. ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL USA the cardinal, had penitentiary first, he discovers talent in the unlikely company of prisoners and this rekindles his passion for live theatre. He manages to convince the prison warden to stage Samuel Beckett's famous play Waiting for Godot in an actual theater. Will a triumphal tour begin? ZAMORA Saturday April 20 7:00 pm Director, Neri Marcorè, Comedy, 2023 100 min. Walter, accountant, is forced to transfer from his small town to Milano for work. His boss, who is passionate about soccer, makes the employees engage in weekly soccer games. But Walter who doesn’t like soccer, becomes the hapless goalie and his colleagues rename him “Zamora”, sarcastically comparing him to the great Spanish goalkeeper of the 1930s. Feeling betrayed and embarrassed in front of a love interest, Walter devises a plan to take revenge! FREE admission For further information you can contact Dr C. Gaudenzi and visit ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL USA OF MEMPHIS April 13, 18 & 20, 2024 FREE ADMISSION For further information, visit (RAPITO) SATURDAY, APRIL 13 • 7:00 pm All films shown in Italian with English subtitles. University Center Theatre at the University of Memphis Paid Parking available in the Zach Curlin parking garage next to the University Center Sponsored by National Italian American Foundation and the University of Memphis and the local Chapter of UNICO (in-kind sponsor) Come spend an evening "in Italy"! Enjoy for free the local 2024 Italian Film Festival
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April 11-17, 2024

Kevin McDonald: Superstar

Kevin McDonald grew up in the suburbs outside Toronto, Canada. When he was a teenager, he started making the 45-minute trek into the city to take an improv comedy class at the legendary Second City theater which had produced some of the most signi cant comedy talent of the last 50 years. “It was a bus, a subway, and a bus to get there,” he says. “I remember for the whole 45 minutes before my rst class. I was so nervous, I did a thing that you don’t do in improv: I started writing jokes so I could try to use them when I was at an improv. Of course, it never worked out. It never goes that way.

“I went to Second City workshops, and everybody was over 30. ere were only two teenagers in the class. It was me and another teenager named Mike Myers.”

Myers would go on to fame as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, then as the star of the Austin Powers lm series. McDonald teamed up with another friend he met at Second City, Dave Foley, to found e Kids in the Hall. e comedy troupe, though born in improv, started concentrating more on writing sketches as they gained a cult following by performing at the Toronto punk rock club e Rivoli in the mid-1980s. SNL producer Lorne Michaels discovered them and developed a sketch comedy show, which debuted on CBC and HBO in 1988. Over ve seasons, e Kids in the Hall would go on to become a big in uence on all kinds of comedy in the 1990s and beyond. As documented in the 2022 lm e Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, success de nitely went to their heads, and a er the harrowing production of their 1996 movie Brain Candy, the Kids wouldn’t work together again for more than a decade. ey eventually reunited for an excellent sixth season on Amazon Prime in 2022.

McDonald has appeared in numerous lms and TV shows, from Lilo & Stitch to Arrested Development He’s also forayed into stand-up comedy, which the self-described shy guy says was a di cult transition. “You stop being afraid when you nd your own voice,” he says. “I found that my voice was telling stories — I can tell a funny story. In fact, the rock opera was a story I was going to do in stand-up. en I thought it was too big for standup, too operatic.”

When McDonald appears at

Memphis’ Black Lodge on Saturday, April 13th, he will be performing Kevin McDonald: Superstar. “I’m doing a rock opera with the gang — I don’t use that word enough, I should use the word ‘gang’ more o en — the gang from Blu City Liars. I wrote it, even though I can’t write songs, and I sing the lead, even though I can’t really sing.”

As you might expect from the title, McDonald says the rst song in the cycle is about his Jesus Christ Superstar fandom. “I was a Catholic as a kid, and the only thing I liked at Catholic school was when one of the teachers showed us Jesus Christ Superstar. I was in grade seven and I fell in love with it. I’ve seen it, I’m guessing, between 40 and 50 times.”

“You stop being afraid when you find your own voice,” he says. “I found that my voice was telling stories.”

As for the rest of the rock opera, McDonald says it is “based on a true story me and Dave Foley from e Kids in the Hall are involved in.”

Backing McDonald will be Memphis folk punkers HEELS. “Brennan [Whalen] and I are both huge Kids in the Hall marks,” says drummer (and comedian in his own right) Josh McLane. “ e fact that Brennan is the musical accompaniment and I’m the

narrator is a dream come true to say the least!”

“We’ve had a blast working on this show,” says the Liars’ Amber Schalch. “It’s been an excellent way to stretch out our comedy muscles, and we couldn’t be more honored that he’s coming to Memphis to perform and do workshops with us.”

Before the show on Saturday, and then again on Sunday, McDonald will be teaching two comedy workshops with the Blu City Liars. “Kevin McDonald is such a skilled comedian that he almost makes you think you’re not funny yourself, but then he’s such a good teacher that he alleviates that fear with as much ease as cracking a joke,” says Zephyr McAninch, who was with the Liars when they brought McDonald to Memphis before the pandemic.

Blu City Liars’ Michael Degnan says the show is not to be missed. “Growing up, e Kids in the Hall were incredibly important and in uential on my developing sense of humor. Getting to learn from and perform improv with Kevin when he last came to town was a dream come true. Now getting to help bring his work to life takes that dream to a new level, and I’m ecstatic that we’ll get to do so alongside HEELS and Savannah Bearden who have both been responsible for so much great entertainment in Memphis for the last decade.”

See Kevin McDonald Superstar at Black Lodge on Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at

Our critic picks the best lms in theaters.

Civil War

Writer/director Alex Garland envisions a near-future American divorce that turns into a second war between the states — this time with three sides. Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny star as journalists on a cross-country trip to report on the rapidly deteriorating situation in the West, as drones ll the skies and President Nick O erman orders air strikes on civilians. It’s studio A24’s biggest and most expensive lm to date, and it looks like a doozy.

e Long Game

Jay Hernandez (Friday Night Lights) stars as JB Peña, who leads the San Felipe Mustangs, a Mexican-American golf team from Del Rio, Texas, who try to break into the local whites-only country club. Eventually, they become state champions and become the springboard for PGA stars.

Monkey Man

Dev Patel’s stylish, intense action picture puts him in a John Wickstyle revenge plot. e downtrodden antihero called Kid in ltrates the highest levels of Indian society to search for the fake Hindu holy man/ politician (Makarand Deshpande) who destroyed his home and the corrupt police chief (Sikander Kher) who killed his mother.


If you are afraid of spiders, this

TV By Chris McCoy e Kid in the Hall brings his comedy rock opera to Memphis with Blu City Liars and HEELS.

Australian film by director Kiah RoacheTurner either is or isn’t for you. When young Charlotte (Alyla Browne) gets a new pet, a cute little spider, she thinks she’s got a new friend to help her cope with her dysfunctional family. Instead of weaving encouraging messages into its web, it turns out to be an alien creature with a taste for human flesh. Can Charlotte save her family and apartment building from terminal arachnophobia?

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




29 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SHOP & SHIP Gift Cards & Gourmet Popcorn from or in the Malco app SHOP & SHIP or Malco HOME OF THE TIME WARP DRIVE-IN SERIES SHELBY
This p r oj e ct s f un ded un d e r a G ra nt Cont ra ct with th e St a t e of T e nne ssee De p ar t me nt of Ment a H ea lth an d Sub s t a nc e Abus e Se r vic e s Lorem ipsum HELP
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PHOTO: COURTESY A24 Kirsten Dunst in Civil War NOW
By Chris


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Who Is Coretta Scott King?

Recognizing the impact of the woman beside Martin Luther King Jr.

Plenty of history books magnify the mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was an American champion for the marginalized. While I celebrate his birth each January — and join in remembrance on the anniversary of his April assassination — allow me to shout from the rooftop that the historical impact of his wife, Coretta Scott King, goes largely uncelebrated. As a writer devoted to researching the Civil Rights Movement, I consider America’s lackluster regard for Coretta to be a crying shame.

Coretta’s legacy of social action and promotion of peace deserves to be widely extolled in books and the naming of schools and streets. Without her fortitude, it is likely Dr. King would not have reached his full stature as a civil rights leader. It is also likely that without Coretta’s tireless campaign to establish the King holiday, national and international deference to Martin’s name would be less prominent and shining. If this sounds like an exaggerated assertion, think again.

In 1956 when Dr. King denounced segregation and was a voice for nonviolent protests during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, white segregationists bombed the parsonage where the Kings lived with their firstborn child, Yolanda. While Martin was leading an evening strategy meeting, Coretta and their 10-week-old baby were home when the explosion blasted the front porch to pieces and blew a hole in the living room wall.

No one was injured, but the explosion was a sure reason for Coretta to quit the protest and leave Montgomery for safety. Coretta’s parents, Obadiah and Bernice Scott, lived in Heiberger, Alabama, 80 miles west of Montgomery. Mr. Scott drove to the parsonage expecting to carry his daughter away from danger. Coretta told him, “I am going to stay here with Martin.”

Montgomery was not Coretta’s first encounter with racial terror. When she was a teenager, segregationists set the Scotts’ house on fire. Mr. Scott raised pine timber on the family’s 300 acres. It was the mob’s intention to break his entrepreneurial spirit, but smoldering embers did not make him flinch. He built a new home. Years later, he purchased a lumber mill and segregationists also burned it to ashes.

With faith in a power greater than himself, Coretta’s father stood steadfast in Heiberger to, finally, open a thriving grocery store that served all citizens in Perry County. Just like the song, Obadiah Scott wouldn’t let “nobody” turn him around. He was Coretta’s model of courage. And during the Montgomery bombing, Coretta followed his example. Like her father, she stood unflinching in the face of fire. Coretta then went on to march beside Martin during the Civil Rights Movement from its early days in 1956, until her husband’s assassination on April 4, 1968.

Imagine the outcome if Coretta had abandoned Martin and the movement in Montgomery. If she had fainted in the face of fire, would anyone blame Martin for leaving Montgomery to save his marriage? Absolutely not. But the inward call to pursue freedom in Jim Crow America also weighed heavily in Coretta’s soul. Therefore, Martin never had to choose his family over the movement. And privately, when Martin wanted Coretta to adjourn movement work and be content with motherhood, she reminded him, “I have a call on my life, too.”

During their 13 years marching in the name of civil rights, Martin suffered violence, death threats, and constant trumped-up jail charges. It was Coretta’s disdain for tears, her unwavering words of encouragement, and midnight prayers that helped her husband stay the course. Martin called her “Corrie,” his “brave soldier.”

Few Americans understand the impact of Coretta’s warrior spirit because history books do not adequately explore her life as an activist, leader, and prophetic voice of liberation. Magazines from the ’60s overlooked the bravery in Martin’s warrior woman. Photojournalists rendered her portrait in elegant, unchallenging tones. And from patriarchal pulpits after Dr. King’s murder in Memphis, Black preachers encouraged Coretta to stay pretty and silent, while they jockeyed for positions that once belonged to Martin.

Black male leaders of the movement did not grasp that Coretta was the seed of Obadiah Scott. Burnished by fire, she was incapable of reducing her light. Coretta Scott King followed her own mind. And after Martin’s death, for the next 15 years, she used her voice to promote principles of nonviolence as she rallied the nation to establish a federal holiday to honor Dr. King, a drum major for peace.

As for Martin, Coretta, and the mystery of love, some people believe that marriage is a divine union where two hearts become “one flesh.” If that is true, let me propose a new tradition. Whenever you remember and celebrate the name of Dr. King for his efforts in human rights, be sure to praise and amplify that fated love, who wielded courage to walk as one with him. Her name was Coretta Scott King. She was born April 27, 1927. Martin called her, “Corrie.” She was a woman, wife, and warrior on the battlefield for freedom.

Alice Faye Duncan is a Memphis educator and the author of Coretta’s Journey: Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop; and Yellow Dog Blues, a NYT/NPL Best Illustrated Book selection in 2022. Visit her at

*This piece was originally printed in the Dallas Morning News.

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