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Film and TV Editor
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ere was something in the air last weekend in Downtown Memphis, and it wasn’t just the smell of funnel cakes frying or Pronto Pups roasting under heat lamps. It was the magic of Beale Street Music Festival — and its long-awaited return to Tom Lee Park. e weather was about as nice as could be for the fest’s three-day stretch — sun shining, a warm breeze, and, to the surprise of literally everyone, no rain. is was not Memphis in Mud. (And the new park was pretty cool, too.) Welcome back, everyone.
My earliest Beale Street Music Fest memory is of crowd-sur ng for the rst time at the 1998 Green Day show. I was a teenager, and, appropriate for the time — but not so much for a festival — was sporting a pair of clunky Doc Martens. My friends hyped me up, and some friendly fest-goers agreed to hoist little ol’ me into the crowd. I distinctly recall clocking an unsuspecting fan upside the head with a ailing boot (oops) and having a few creeps grope my nethers as I oated across strangers’ outstretched arms (eek). I also vaguely remember frontman Billie Joe Armstrong stripping down to leopard print skivvies and hollering profanities (punk rock!) — and supposedly getting banned from the fest forevermore.
Every year since, I’ve attended BSMF religiously. I’ve always lived for concerts, chasing my most-loved bands across the country from the time I had a car and a job. And festivals arguably o er the best of that world, a chance to fully immerse yourself in live music, from familiar favorites to new-to-you acts. e endurance test of it all just adds to the experience.
While the memories are somewhat beer-soaked, there are standout BSMF moments that have stuck with me. In 2000, our crew stood through the entirety of a Bryan Adams set to get close to the stage for Foo Fighters, only for me to be overheating — and stepping not on the ground but on other peoples’ feet, crammed in like canned sardines — once they started playing. As I scoured the area for an escape route through the crowd, the only way out, it seemed, was up and over, and a few ne audience members once again hurled me into strange hands that shu ed me over the security railing to safety. In 2002, Stone Temple Pilots opened with a beautiful rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” — epic. In 2006, I saw James Brown shimmy across the stage in an electric performance, just months before his passing — iconic. ere have been some stellar acts through the years, too many to name. And if you’ve ever been, you surely have your own BSMF stories to tell.
A er a two-year Covid hiatus and a temporary move to Liberty Park in 2022, it was a welcome return home for those of us who’ve loved the festival all these years. Were crowds smaller? Sure. Could the lineup have been better? Depends on who you ask. All in all, though, things appeared to have gone o without a hitch. e revamped Tom Lee Park was fun to navigate, with its winding walkways, hilly areas, and fenced-o newly planted landscaping. We still got that majestic river view, the notes wa ing on the wind, and the energy of thousands of fest fanatics living in the moment.
NEWS & OPINION
THE FLY-BY - 4
POLITICS - 8
AT LARGE - 10
“WILD WEST WEED” BY TOBY SELLS - 12
WE RECOMMEND - 16
MUSIC - 17
AFTER DARK - 18
CALENDAR - 20
NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 21
THEATER - 24
FOOD - 25
NEWS OF THE WEIRD - 26
I passed crowd-sur ng age long ago, but I’ll never outgrow the magic of live music, the emotive nature of it. Did I dance like no one was watching? Absolutely. Did I jump around and scream-sing along until I lost my voice? You bet. (If you saw me, I apologize for nothing.) Am I still physically recovering on Tuesday? Yep, I’m de nitely not a teenager anymore. Would I do it all again next weekend if I could? No doubt. ere’s something undeniably special about Beale Street Music Festival, made more so by its home along the Mississippi River. We’re incredibly lucky to have had this event here, at our back door, for so long, bringing not just our city but people from all over the world together for a big, beautiful time.
ASTROLOGY - 27
FILM - 28
CLASSIFIEDS - 30
Hope to see you there next year. I’ll be somewhere up front living my best life.
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My 30-somethingth time seeing 311 live; thanks, BSMF!
SAMUEL X. CICCI Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER, BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Senior Editors TOBY SELLS Associate Editor
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
LAST WORD - 31 1785TH ISSUE 05.11.23
Memphis on the internet.
Searcy, Arkansas, is now home to “central Arkansas’ rst drivethru bikini co ee shop.”
Sweet Cheeks Espresso opened last month. It serves lattes, cold brew, frappes, chai tea, and Red Bullinfused drinks like the Bubble Butt and Fruity Booty. Yep, all of it made and served by women in bikinis.
IT’S GONNA BE MAY
May’s Memphis arrival means two things: Memphis in May and Justin Timberlake memes.
NSYNC’s 2000 hit “It’s Gonna Be Me” is the genesis for the “It’s Gonna Be May” meme that blooms each year around this time. Know Your Meme says the original “May” meme was posted to a Tumblr blog in 2012. It’s still going strong 11 years later, as evidenced by the photo above posted to Facebook by Memphis musician Mike Doughty.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
In the wake of last week’s shooting at FOX13, state Representative John Gillespie (R-Memphis) seemed ready to work on some sort of gun control in a special session promised by Governor Bill Lee.
“ e solution as we know is going to be a complicated one but I am willing to roll up my sleeves, work with my colleagues in Nashville and gure it out. I am here to protect my constituents and speak on behalf of all of those scared for their own safety and the safety of their families and friends. WE MUST DO BETTER AND WE MUST DO IT NOW.”
WEEK THAT WAS
By Flyer staff
Questions, Answers + Attitude
Edited by Toby Sells
Trans Sports, FOX13, & First Horizon
Another law against trans kids, another shooter, and a bank deal o the table.
Tennessee private schools are now authorized to “regulate a student’s participation in the school’s athletic activities or events based upon a student’s biological sex.”
Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law last week.
It says a student who is enrolled in a private school in the state of Tennessee is only eligible to participate in sports activities where “membership in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is required, in accordance with the student’s immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth.”
e law allows schools to prohibit a student from joining a team based on their “biological sex.” But it allows female students to participate in male sporting events if there is not a separate team for that sport.
Last month, another bill attached “ nancial penalties to a 2021 law that prohibited trans athletes from competing on middle and high school teams based on their gender identity.” A similar bill also prohibited males from participating in sports “designated for females” on the collegiate level.
In 2021, state Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) introduced SB0228, which stated that a student’s eligibility for a speci c sport in public middle and high schools must be determined by “the student’s sex at the time of the student’s birth, as indicated on the student’s original birth certi cate.”
is bill is currently at the center of the lawsuit L.E. v. Lee led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee, Lambda Legal, and the law rm WilmerHale. According to the ACLU, 15-year-old Luc Esquivel and his family have sued the state of Tennessee, as he was not able to try out for the boys’ golf team at Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Memphis Police Department (MPD) said a man allegedly red a single shot into the FOX13 station on Highland last week and then “barricaded himself inside of Ubee’s.” From the bathroom, the man broadcast a profanity-laced Facebook live stream for more than 15 minutes. e station said that no one was injured.
e MPD identi ed the alleged shooter as 26-year-old Jarrad Nathan. Nathan was charged with aggravated assault
and reckless endangerment. In a media brie ng, an MPD o cial stated that Nathan was armed, and “he wanted to meet with the media” and had a message to send out.
FIRST HORIZON DEAL OFF
One of the region’s biggest nancial institutions won’t have a new name a er all. Last week, First Horizon Corporation and TD Bank Group announced they had mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement.
“While today’s announcement is unfortunate and unexpected, First Horizon will continue on its growth path operating from a position of strength and stability,” said First Horizon chairman, president, and CEO Bryan Jordan in a statement.
First Horizon had announced in February 2022 that it would be acquired by Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries in an all-cash transaction valued at $13.4 billion. However, the acquisition had been delayed twice — to an ultimate May 27th deadline — due to pending regulatory approvals. With the deadline approaching, the companies were not con dent about hitting that date, and TD could not provide a new projected timeline in which regulatory approvals might be obtained. Because of that uncertainty, the two companies decided to call o the merger. It would have made TD the sixthlargest bank in the United States, measured by assets.
Visit the News Blog at memphis yer.com for fuller versions of these stories and more local news.
4 May 11-17, 2023
POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY SWEET CHEEKS ESPRESSO
PHOTO: SAMUEL X. CICCI
PHOTO: STATE OF TENNESSEE
POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY MIKE DOUGHTY
PHOTO: FOX13 | FACEBOOK
A man red a single shot into the FOX13 station on Highland last week.
5 memphisflyer.com NEWS & OPINION
2023 party line up
By Sam Stockard, Tennessee Lookout
Funds for Fighting
State AG’s o ce bulks up to battle feds and Tennessee cities.
Facing a spate of legal battles with Tennessee cities and the federal government, the attorney general’s o ce enters this year with a new “strategic litigation unit” and he ier budget.
As part of a $56.2 billion budget for scal 2023-24, the legislature approved 10 more positions at a cost of $2.25 million for Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. e 10-attorney special unit was discussed in-depth during budget hearings, Chief of Sta Brandon Smith said, and will focus on “proactive litigation defending the separation of powers and the constitutional rights of Tennesseans, the defense of state laws presenting signi cant federalism issues, and pursue transparency and accountability for certain corporate activities that undermine the democratic process and harm consumers.”
Not a full year into the job, Skrmetti doesn’t necessarily have a di erent philosophy than his predecessor, Herbert Slatery, but appears to be taking a slightly more active role against what he considers federal incursions.
For instance, the attorney general’s o ce joined a national e ort to stop President Joe Biden’s administration from putting new regulations on ovens, stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Skrmetti also joined 23 states in requesting a court injunction on an Environmental Protection Agency rule to expand federal authority over bodies of water nationwide.
In yet another case, Skrmetti led a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fi h Circuit arguing against the Biden administration’s attempt to make the abortion drug mifepristone available through the mail.
to reduce the size of the Metro Nashville Council.
e legislature’s critics, mainly House and Senate Democrats, are fond of saying the Republican-controlled chambers pass lawsuits, not legislation. Based on the attorney general’s o ce budget, they have a pretty solid argument.
Since Republican Governor Bill Lee took o ce in 2019, the attorney general’s o ce has grown nearly every year. e new funds and new unit give the o ce a $52.9 million payroll for 363 positions with an average salary of $146,600. Including operating costs, the o ce’s budget will hit nearly $6.7 million on July 1st, up almost 9 percent from last year’s total.
“Abortion is a matter of state law and Tennesseans, acting through their elected representatives, have chosen to prohibit elective abortions and to strictly regulate the use of abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone,” Skrmetti says.
e attorney general’s o ce also must deal with a challenge of the state’s new law prohibiting gender a rming care for minors, in addition to an injunction placed on the legislature’s move
e scal 2019-20 budget had 341 positions for former Attorney General Herbert Slatery with a $36.18 million payroll and $1.56 million spent on outside counsel, compared to $6 million a year ago. In the nal year of Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen’s administration, the AG’s o ce had 341 positions with a total cost of $30.24 million, including $1.16 million in special litigation costs.
Early in Republican Governor Bill Haslam’s tenure, the AG’s o ce cut personnel to 320 with a payroll of $24.7 million and special litigation of only $1.83 million in scal 2012-13. Since then, the number of attorneys working for the state has crept up, re ecting an increase in the amount of legal work.
Democratic lawmakers argue that much of the litigation is self-in icted.
“It’s just the continued bad legislation that’s coming out of the General Assembly,” said state Representative Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville). “I guess they need more attorneys to be able to defend the multiple lawsuits the General Assembly forces them into. Whether it’s preventing children from getting healthcare to taking over the city of Nashville, it’s never-ending.”
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“It’s just the continued bad legislation that’s coming out of the General Assembly.”
PHOTO: STATE OF TENNESSEE e o ce has grown every year under Lee.
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POLITICS By Jackson Baker
In Harm’s Way
We hear a lot these days about “bullet trains,” which whisk commuters from place to place with incredible speed. e train which took Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen last week from U.S. ally Poland into Kyiv, the capital of wartime Ukraine, took all of 10 hours. But the ride was surely worth it.
It was Cohen’s privilege, as ranking member of the congressional Helsinki Commission, to ride that slow train (hampered by security precautions) into harm’s way so as to present the gallant Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with the formal support of the commission for himself and his beleaguered nation.
e Helsinki Commission is an ofcial government body created in 1975 to support compliance with that year’s Helsinki Accords, a nonbinding agreement pledging the nations of Europe and the Americas to the pursuit of peace and detente.
Accompanied by fellow House members Joe Wilson of South Carolina and Victoria Spartz of Indiana, Cohen was ushered into the president’s o ce as an air raid siren blared, reminding the visitors of the potential dangers involved.
e American delegation spent an hour with Zelenskyy, who, says Cohen, was the a able and resolute gure the world has grown familiar with during Ukraine’s courageous stand against the nonstop attacks of the Russian invader.
According to Cohen, Kyiv itself, relatively unscarred, remains determined to persevere and comports itself like any other busy metropolis. He described seeing workers rebuilding a bridge that was demolished during the war’s early phase to prevent Russian access into the city.
e American group also visited suburban areas — notably Bucha, the site of widespread massacres and other atrocities by occupying Russian troops, who were later forced to withdraw. Aside from that, says Cohen, “Bucha is actually an upscale sort of place, kind of like Germantown,” but one marked by numerous mass graves.
How would the congressman rank his Ukrainian experience? “Inspiring, and right up there with anything I’ve ever done.”
• However the tangled matter of mayoral residency requirements gets resolved, and it likely will get sorted out on a May 18th hearing in the courtroom of Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins, former Mayor Willie Herenton remains unworried, insisting that, as a new online broadside of his puts it, “My residence has never changed.”
He cites an o cial de nition by Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett of a residence as a “place where the person’s habitation is xed and is where, during periods of absence, the person de nitely intends to return.”
In Herenton’s case, that means a house on Barton Street, near LeMoyne-Owen College, an ancestral place of sorts where Herenton’s mother lived, as did the former mayor, despite his subsequent acquisition of other dwellings, including one in Collierville which he later sold.
Herenton contends that would distinguish him from two other mayoral candidates, Sheri Floyd Bonner and NAACP president Van Turner, both of whom lived just outside Memphis before acquiring dwelling places in the city during the past year.
e issue to be determined by Jenkins is whether, as a vintage city charter maintained, a ve-year prior residency is mandated for mayoral candidates or was made moot by a 1996 referendum of Memphis voters that imposed no such pre-election requirement.
May 11-17, 2023
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PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE COHEN Congressman Steve Cohen with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last week
Congressman Cohen’s visit with Zelenskyy. Plus: Herenton’s con dence on the residency issue.
9 memphisflyer.com NEWS & OPINION
By Bruce VanWyngarden
No Ifs, Ands, and Bots
Turns out I’m not really needed here.
Iwas shocked and dismayed recently at the most unlikely of places: a company lunch. I don’t get to the physical o ce much these days, so a co-worker kindly brought my mail to the get-together. Imagine my horror when four of the letters turned out to be hate mail, each criticizing a di erent column I’d written in the past few weeks.
e person who wrote the letters didn’t sign them (shocker), but it got me to thinking — maybe I’ve been too harsh lately. Maybe I need to tone down the rhetoric a bit. My wife, who’s much more tuned into the zeitgeist than me, suggested I try one of those new AI bots designed to help writers ne-tune their prose. I thought, why not?
A er downloading a popular AI program, I submitted this week’s column to my new digital editor. It bleeped once and told me my options were: Proofread this but only x grammar; Proofread this strongly; Proofread this lightly, improving clarity and ow; Proofread this signicantly, improving clarity and ow. I went for the latter — I mean, why do things halfway? It was a revelation! What follows are samples of the column, followed by the digitally edited version in italics:
Just exactly what level of greed did it take to impel CNN to give twice-impeached, serial philandering, tax-cheating, insurrection-leading, secret-document-stealing, election-tampering, lying douchebag Donald Trump an hour of free television to spew his lies in a “town hall”? Hello, fellow humans. is week’s column (by me) in the Memphis Flyer newspaper is about the CNN cable television network’s decision to hold an hour-long Town Hall on May 10th with Donald Trump, the former (2016-2020) president of the United States (the country in which we both reside). I think this is a bad idea.
is is the kind of unmitigated media avarice that got us Trump in the rst place. From the moment the former president descended on that damned escalator to announce his candidacy in 2015, the television networks swooned, thrilled to learn that letting an orangecolored, poofy-haired, former reality-TV star spout racist, misogynistic garbage and lie his ass o made for stratospheric television ratings. Trump was the golden boy, and the networks gave their viewers wall-to-wall coverage of the candidate from that point forward, raking in unheard of levels of ad revenue all the while. What could go wrong?
When Donald Trump announced his can-
didacy in 2015, he rode an escalator down two levels. Television networks covered the event — which got excellent ratings — and continued to broadcast coverage of Mr. Trump for many hours a day throughout the campaign for the 2016 presidency. During this period, Mr. Trump made many controversial statements, which raised viewership levels and allowed television networks to earn high pro ts. It was not obvious that something could go wrong.
CNN says it will have a moderator for the town hall, but that Trump will answer direct questions from the audience, which, according to a network spokesperson, will include “Republicans and other voters.” In other words, Trump will have free rein to continue to lie about the 2020 election, the January 6th insurrection, those missing o cial documents, his rape trial, President Biden, the “Russia hoax,” and whatever other stream-of-consciousness fantasies erupt from his addled cortex. Awesome stu , CNN!
It was not obvious that something could go wrong.
CNN has announced that Mr. Trump will answer questions from members of the Republican Party and other voters. ere will be a moderator for the discussion, topics for which are expected to include the 2020 election, the January 6th event at the U.S. Capitol, the handling of o cial government documents, and other possibly controversial subjects. CNN is awesome.
Fact-checking Trump in real-time is like standing under Niagara Falls with a bucket and expecting to keep your shoes dry. It can’t be done. He uses his mouth like an AR-15, and his lies are the bullets. Letting this ass wander around a stage with a microphone and a national television audience will only further normalize this dangerously aberrant behavior. Simply put, it’s journalistic malpractice, CNN. And I have two words for you: “You’re red!”
No errors detected.
10 May 11-17, 2023
PHOTO: DEVIDGRUTZ | DREAMSTIME.COM
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11 memphisflyer.com NEWS & OPINION 2023 NOMINATIONS OPEN MAY 17-JUNE 13 bom23.memphisflyer.com
By Toby Sells
wild west weed wild west weed
TENNESSEE’S UNREGULATED HEMP MARKET MIGHT SOON BE TAMED.
PHOTO: ANINKA BONGERS SUTHERLAND | DREAMSTIME.COM
12 May 11-17, 2023
ennessee’s legal cannabis industry is in a sort of Wild West phase.
e frontier is fresh.
e rules are loose. Peril is possible. Good folks outnumber the bad. And fortune awaits those brave enough to grab it.
But there may be a new (well, rst) sheri in town next year. His orders?
Bring order to an industry now operating largely outside of government oversight by pioneers living by code if not by law.
Loose laws are evident all over the state. Look no further than the convenience store down the street or just about any truck stop along I-40. Colorful, psychedelic signs and posters promise mellow times with Delta-8 gummies, CBD vapes, and more.
e original hemp plants for those products do not have to be tested in a lab for heavy metals or pesticides. Processing facilities (that make the oil for the product) are unlicensed and not registered with the state. No license is required to sell hemp products. To make them, Tennessee companies need only register as a food manufacturing facility.
ose colorful labels on gummies and such can list a dosage (like 25 milligrams), but no one is checking that. So, it could be more, could be less, or could be nothing at all. ose labels can also say the product is for medicinal use (or anything at all) but no one is checking that either.
e products — many of which look like candy and which people typically buy because a small dose can get you high — are within a child’s grasp on store shelves. e packaging is, many times, appealing to children and can usually be opened as easily as a bag of gummy bears.
How did we get here?
Plenty of states were legalizing cannabis in some form before the 2018 Farm Bill. When the federal legislation legalized nationwide hemp production, many minds turned rst to products like those rough-hewn pullovers from the stoner store at the mall.
But legalization opened an unexpected door. Scientists pulled hemp samples, examined them under microscopes, and found cannabinoids.
ese chemicals came with confusing, exotic-sounding names like Delta-8 and THC-O. But two things were not confusing. No. 1: ose chemicals found in perfectly legal hemp could produce drug-like e ects in the body, similar to those in federally illegal cannabis. No. 2: People wanted that.
From there, pioneers poured into Tennessee’s new, green frontier. First, local head shops began carrying these new products, most of the time in tinctures or oils — still pretty far-out-
there stu for workaday parents who might usually have turned to a glass of wine to ease anxiety.
en, hemp stores, CBD shops, and even upscale Delta-8 lounges popped up in strip malls everywhere, promising “legal weed” from neon signs to those who sought it out. Somewhere along the way, these products became ubiquitous, routine, as normal at the Mapco as chips and beer. Also, those workaday parents began not thinking twice about turning to the once-taboo THC to ease that anxiety.
No one locally allowed these products in the state. e Farm Bill passed and then they just sort of showed up, initially leaving lawmakers (especially conservative lawmakers leery of that wacky tobacky) scratching their heads.
e law rm Bass, Berry & Sims said on its blog, “Without any parameters in state law, Tennessee found itself with a completely unregulated product market rife with false advertising, consumer misuse, and a sustained spike of nonlethal overdoses.” e overdosing is real, especially among children.
Last year, Dr. Rebecca Bruccoleri, director of the Tennessee Poison Control Center, told Knoxville’s WBIR-TV that her team received 115 calls from people concerned about consuming Delta-8 last year — 32 of those calls concerned children under age 5. Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) saw an increase of child-related THC visits, too. Children would present to the emergency room with “excessive vomiting, seizures, altered states of consciousness, and severe depression in breathing that … led to the need for intubation and admission to the pediatric intensive care unit,” the hospital said on its blog last year.
“ ese edibles resemble candy, and, to young children, they probably even taste like candy,” said VUMC’s Dr. Marla Levine. “ ey are not stopping at one bite or a nibble. ey are consuming the entire piece or possibly pieces. ey have no understanding that there are drugs inside.
“ e doses that are in these products vary. ere is no standardization. Children are exposed to a much higher dose of the drugs leading to a dangerous and o entimes toxic level in their systems.”
Legislators made much of these reports during this year’s session and they may have, in fact, tipped the scales on this year’s cannabis regulation bill.
him sought to outlaw all hemp-derived products here.) Even with several committee meetings, testimony from industry leaders, and much work done behind the scenes, the bill failed but work on it continued.
e re ned version of this year’s bill was passed on April 20th (*chef’s kiss*) and sent over to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s o ce last Wednesday, May 3rd. at gave him 10 days (excepting Sunday) to move on it. So, Lee has until Saturday, May 13th, to sign the bill, veto it, or let it pass without his signature.
Should the bill pass, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) will control the state’s e ort to regulate hemp products. If it does, hemp companies, retailers, and hemp consumers will nd Tennessee’s Wild West frontier tamed by a man with a badge — a state employee’s ID badge. at man’s name is Danny Sutton. He has the un-Wild-West job title of assistant commissioner of the Consumer and Industry Services Division of the TDA. It’s a regulatory division of the department that inspects and permits everything from bottled water and retail food stores to dairy farms and beekeepers.
Back in 2015 Sutton’s division of the TDA began oversight of what was then the state’s brand-new industrial hemp program, when the crop was most likely intended to make rope, concrete, and those hippy at changed with the Farm Bill and the discovery of those cannabinoids. e word “industrial” was all but phased out and Sutton’s team now travels the state testing hemp plants to ensure the THC levels in them are below the mandated .3 percent. Once that testing has been done and the plants have passed inspection, the TDA is out. (If they don’t pass, the plants are legally destroyed.)
While the market here matured around new attitudes toward hemp and all of its products, regulation has been promised (if not threatened) for the Tennessee industry. It came this year.
A bill from GOP House Majority Leader Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) opened the discussion on the state’s loose cannabis laws last year. (A previous bill from
Whatever happens to that legal hemp and its cannabinoids a er a TDA test is up to the farmer and the market. As Sutton said, “It’s just another crop,” and it’s one
pullovers. that thrives here.
“I’ll be brutally honest,” Sutton told members of the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission (more on them later) last month. “ e state of Tennessee has the perfect weather and the perfect dirt to grow pot. It’s a good crop here. It used to be one of the largest crops grown in our state, along with barley.”
e hemp regulation bill on Lee’s
continued on page 14
13 memphisflyer.com COVER STORY
To make hemp products, Te e Companies n d only register as a f d manufacturing facility.
desk would task Sutton’s team with a new program to manage cannabis and an edible foods program (like gummies) from the plant all the way to the shelf.
Should the bill pass, the TDA will begin to register and license every company up and down the hemp supply chain from farmers, transporters, laboratories, to retailers. This is expected to be the first line of defense to root out bad actors and bootleg operations.
Each batch of cannabis would have to be tested by a third-party lab for toxins, but also for “the presence and amounts of cannabinoids.” This is important for consumers who could then trust that the 10 milligram brownie they bought actually contains THC and actually contains 10 milligrams of it. This is also expected to filter out more of those bootleg operators.
New retail stores could not be established within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public, private, or charter school. In stores that aren’t 21-and-up, all of the cannabis products would have to be behind a counter and inaccessible to customers.
No single serving of a product could contain more than 25 milligrams
of any cannabinoid. Product labels would have to list dosage amounts, ingredients, possible allergens, and a nutritional fact panel.
Product containers would have to be child-resistant. Nothing about those containers or their marketing could depict or signify “characters or symbols known to appeal primarily to persons under 21.” No ingestible hemp product could be made “into the shape of an animal or cartoon character.” So long, hemp gummy bears.
At work, employers would not have to accommodate the use of hemp products or accommodate an employee working under the influence of it. Employers could also continue to “enforce a drug-free workplace” program. This means firings for positive drug tests are still on the table, and the bill does not allow for any cause of action against employers for wrongful discharge or discrimination in hemprelated firings. So you can’t sue your asshole boss because you failed a piss test, bro.
Homeowners and business owners don’t have to allow or admit guests or customers carrying hemp products or who are under the influence of them. That means if you’re carrying or high, neither your neighbor nor your local watering hole has to let you in.
Driving high? Nope. The bill outlaws
operating “a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorized watercraft, or another vehicle while under the influence of a hemp-derived cannabinoid.” It says you can be prosecuted for a criminal offense related to being high on hemp and you must “submit to a breath, blood, urine, or other test to detect the presence” of the substance. However, it does not lay out penalties for getting caught.
Also, the law would restrict hemp
sales to those over 21. Sell it to a minor, buy it for a minor, or get caught with it as a minor, and you’ll get popped with a Class A misdemeanor. In Tennessee, that can get you up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, fines of up to $2,500, or both.
The law also sets a bar for hemp businesses. Caught operating outside the state’s new law, owners could face a Class A misdemeanor charge, the same criminal charge for theft under $1,000.
Kelley Mathis Hess, CEO and lobbyist for the Tennessee Growers Coalition, worked with legislators on the regulation bill. She said it will, ultimately, solidify the industry here and give it some credibility. But she thinks the misdemeanor charge is a step too far.
“There are already penalties for operating a business outside of the law,” Hess said. “We don’t support other levels of criminalization when there’s already systems in place for that.”
Collin Bercier, founder and owner of Memphis-based Ounce of Hope dispensary and aquaponic farm, said he has mixed feelings about the new regulations. The industry largely selfregulates, he said, on things like not selling products to those under 21. The 6 percent privilege tax will impact the industry and its customers, but “it is what it is.” Bercier said he’s at least glad lawmakers didn’t try to (once again) kill
14 May 11-17, 2023 THE GUITAR AND A CHANGING NATION THE TOURING EXHIBITION RADIO TECHNOLOGY RACISM JUSTICE THE COLD WAR PEACE REVOLT THE GUITAR AND A CHANGING NATION A Touring Exhibition of The National GUITAR Museum with Jun 10Oct 22 MEMPHIS MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY In partnership with
courtesy Steve Roberts
continued from page 13
New retail stores could not be established within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public, private, or charter school.
the industry completely.
“As far as what we are currently operating under in Tennessee, it’s probably the best rules and regulations on the hemp side in any of the states,” Bercier said.
But what about medical?
While work on hemp legislation has continued over the past few years, the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission has only watched from the sidelines. But they may get in the game sometime soon, and what some have suggested to them recently could blow the lid for cannabis in Tennessee.
The group was created by the legislature in 2021 to study other states’ medical cannabis programs (not hemp derivatives like Delta-8, but full-bore THC), to build a framework of a program here, and to see if Tennessee even needs a program at all. Since September of that year, the commission has studied. And that’s all they’ve done. And they’re kind of bored.
Members have quit because they just didn’t make it to many meetings. The group has a hard time raising a quorum even if they should ever need to vote on anything. They have money to hire an executive director. But they haven’t because they’re not sure exactly what that person would do and fear they may not get great candidates given
the uncertainty around the state ever getting a medical cannabis program.
Members say, “We’re currently regulating nothing,” and that the mixed signals from the legislature — the body that created the group — range from silence, calls for them to slow down, or even the cold shoulder. They are “begging for direction,” they say, and get none.
Should they even keep meeting monthly, they asked last month? They’re knowledgeable in the field by now, but lawmakers just gave the reins of a hemp program to the agriculture department, not the health department. Medical cannabis bills rise and fall with regularity at the state house. What does the legislature even want with them?
A medical cannabis bill, as it turns out. That was the word from veteran lobbyist Melissa Bast last month, testifying to the commission on behalf of two cannabis-forward groups, Tennesseans United and the Tennessee Research Institute. Those bills that rise and fall each year are retreads from familiar places, she said, and lawmakers want something new.
“What I am hearing from the leadership is that they want [a bill] to be from the [Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission],” Bast said. “They want it to be your bill brought forward. They want it to be vetted …
and to be brought forward in a timely manner so that all the departments can see it and all the members can see it so we can get it ready for 2024. I’m hearing this is the path.”
With that, Bast pushed commission members to continue their work, even speed it up if they could.
The lid-busting element of Bast’s plan (aside from the commission’s bill) would be to remove the state’s requirement not to move on cannabis until the federal government removes it from the Schedule I. President Joe Biden made some cannabis reforms last year but did not remove it from the highest tier of illegal drugs, where it still sits next to LSD, meth, heroin, and peyote. Other states have fully legalized cannabis even though it remains a federal crime. Tennessee law says it won’t until the feds say it’s okay.
“Every state that touches us has a program and we don’t,” said cannabis commission member and Manchester pharmacist Dr. Ray Marcrom. “Many times we have delivered that message [to the legislature]. We’ve received nothing back.”
“If eight states around us have [at least a medical cannabis program] if nothing else, look at the revenue we’re losing in Tennessee. But more importantly, think about the patients we’re not taking care of.”
Ounce of Hope’s Bercier said he hopes the state gets a medical program next year but also keeps a wary eye on them.
“The dirty little secret at this point in Tennessee is that the way we are operating now is better than a medical bill,” he said. “Inside of a medical bill lies a lot more overreaching and ridiculous regulations. Not to mention that when you get thrown into the medical licensing, you are now subject to the federal government’s illegality. There’s a lot of bad things about that. But from the business perspective, once you … put yourself into the medical market, you now do not have a lot of the tax benefits that you do [under a hemp-only program].”
The legislature put a price tag on the revenue from hemp sales. The fiscal note with the new bill adds a 6 percent privilege tax to those products on top of state and local sales taxes. This is expected to yield $10 million a year for the state’s coffers.
Should Governor Lee allow the cannabis regulation bill to become a law, businesses would have until July 2024 to comply, getting their licenses from the state and such. While the TDA will take some time to finalize some rules, consumers could see changes in the way they buy hemp here as early as this year.
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steppin’ out 901
We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews
By Abigail Morici
Over the past few years, Tennessee Ballet eater (TBT) has brought to life the histories of Earnestine & Hazel’s, the Annesdale Mansion, and the Jack Robinson Gallery through dance. is May, as part of the site-speci c series of performances, the company will tackle its next location: the Medicine Factory, once a pharmaceutical company and now home to artists’ studios. ough TBT’s previous site-speci c performances have explored that particular site’s history, this production will diverge from the format by exploring stories throughout Memphis, hence the title 901 Stories. “ e pieces in the show are all stories plucked from or inspired by nuggets of Memphis history,” says TBT’s artistic director Erin Walter, “things that we know in Memphis, things that maybe are related to Memphis that we haven’t explored in depth.”
As such, the ultimate product is a range of stories told through dance, from the romance of novelist William Faulkner and Joan Williams, his muse and a novelist in her own right, to the legend of Pink Lizzie, Memphis’ most famous ghost. Walter even choreographed one piece to tell the story of Mrs. W.C. Stewart, who ran her husband’s potato chip and mayonnaise business in the Medicine Factory a er he died. “Every article I read [about her] just referred to her as Mrs. W.C. Stewart,” Walter says. “I couldn’t actually nd her rst name or given name anywhere. … And so I was really interested in that idea of, back in the ’40s, the rarity of a woman running a $1 million business, and yet we don’t even know what her rst name is.”
ese stories, among others being told in 901 Stories, are worth remembering, Walter says. “We’re calling it a love letter to Memphis,” she adds. “And it’s really exciting to me — the idea of making history come to life through dance, through a sort of unexpected medium. You’re going to remember it.”
In the past, audience members have compared TBT’s site-speci c productions to “therapy,” Walter says. “One person said, ‘I literally feel better about my city. I feel inspired by [these stories]. I feel proud that this happened in Memphis,’ and she said, ‘We really need that.’” And that’s what Walter hopes to convey in this show, too. “It’s about mending, healing, coming together to celebrate something that is positive, not negative, in our city,” she says.
e event itself promises to feel like an intimate “party,” with guests enjoying performances throughout the building. “ e audience will have opportunities to get a drink, socialize, see art, and see aerial work or see a tap dance in an elevator [and so on],” Walter says. “You’ll be moving and you’ll be seated as well.” Plus, visual artists will showcase their work in a “living gallery,” where dancers will respond to the pieces on sale with improvisational movements. Jordan Occasionally will emcee, and Morgan McKinney will mix cocktails. Tickets can be purchased at tbt.ticketleap.com.
VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES May 11th - 17th
Memphis Greek Festival
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Friday-Saturday, May 1213, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., $3 is festival boasts delicious Greek food, dancing, entertainment, vendors, sanctuary tours, and fun activities for children.
In lieu of admission, guests can donate three cans of food to the Mid-South Food Bank.
Visit memphisgreekfestival.com for more information.
Memphis Zoo, Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., included with admission Baby Day highlights the newest members of the zoo family — and all moms at the zoo. ere will be special baby keeper chats and educational activities throughout the day.
Brazil by Day
Crosstown Concourse, Saturday, May 13, noon-4 p.m., free Presented by Collage Dance Collective and Iris Collective, Brazil by Day is a fun- lled way to get immersed in the rich and diverse cultures found throughout the regions of Brazil — from Amazonas to Bahia, Rio, and beyond — through ne art, live music, and performances from Collage Dance, Iris Orchestra, and Cazateatro Bilingual eatre Group.
And if you can’t get enough of Brazil, check out the accompanying ticketed event — Brazil by Night — at tinyurl.com/32vj28hr. e Friday event will include live performances by Collage Dance, Iris Collective, and NC Brazilian Arts Project, plus authentic Brazilian food from Carson Rodizio, a cash bar, and a samba party.
Drag Is Art
Art Bar at Crosstown Arts, Saturday, May 13, 7-9 p.m., free, 18+
Art Bar at Crosstown Arts is hosting a drag performance. Drag is an art form with deep roots in United States’ culture, and Art Bar is celebrating that history with a special night of performances from nine artists.
Fried Chicken Fest
e Grove at Germantown
Performing Arts Center, Saturday, May 13, 5:30-8 p.m., $12 is festival combines worldfamous fried chicken with music from James “Super Chikan” Johnson and the River Blu Clan — plus activities for the whole family. Guests can purchase food from Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Mike’s Hot Wings & Such, Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken, Riko’s Kickin Chicken, and Mempops.
16 May 11-17, 2023 railgarten.com 2166 Central Ave. Memphis TN 38104 Live music at may 18 Making Movies may 19 The Soul Rebels may 20 Queen Ann Hines may 27 Kaleta and The Super Yamba Band may 12th Gregg Clark may 14th Thesisterswilkins may 13th luke winslow-king
901 STORIES, MEDICINE FACTORY, FRIDAY-SATURDAY, MAY 12-MAY 13, PERFORMANCES AT 7 P.M. & 8:30 P.M., $30.
PHOTO: DC THE SNAPPER Dancer
MUSIC By Alex Greene
Cauldron of Energy
Last year, we covered the transformation of the artist formerly known as Don Li ed into … himself. at would be multimedia Renaissance man Lawrence Matthews, of course, who soon followed through on that promised transformation in real time during his show at the Overton Park Shell last September. A er a solitary delivery of songs from his Don Li ed trilogy, Matthews stepped o stage for a moment, only to reemerge with a rougher look and fellow rappers Idi x Teco anking him in classic rap posse style. Don Li ed, the beloved emo-alt-hip-hop persona, was gone.
It le many of us wondering, “Where will this artist go next?” But it turns out he’d already gone there. All the while, parallel to his alter ego’s greater exposure. Matthews had been creating music emanating from his truer self. “I had been making a rap album at the same time with IMAKEMADBEATS,” he says of the time leading to Fat Possum’s release of Don Li ed’s 325i album. “So at the same time that I was asked to make 325i, I was already seven tracks deep into a rap album.”
No one’s heard those tracks with IMAKEMADBEATS, but Matthews’ latest work is very much a rap album and very much not Don Li ed. On May 18th, the world will hear “Green Grove (Our Loss),” the rst release from his upcoming album Between Mortal Reach and Posthumous Grip Kicking o with some classic soul strings, it dips into some very Don Li ed-esque atmospherics until a harder-hitting beat kicks in. Matthews’ new voice is one of grim
determination, mixed with a new playfulness that might even make it scarier.
“ is blood, this soil, infused, this river/ is money, this drink, devour your mental …”
And just then it cuts to some midsong banter from an old record by Mississippi Fred McDowell. And that’s typical of the whole album. As Matthews explains, “My narrative mirrors the narrative of so many folks who have lived and died poor, ghting for scraps, even while their songs are known all across the world. I felt a kinship with them, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be that. So while I was signed to Fat Possum, I started to pull from their catalog for samples. Nearly every sample on this new album is from Hi Records, Fat Possum, or Big Legal Mess. And even though I’m not signed with Fat Possum now, we have a great relationship and they’re helping me take care of business.
So this project, to me, was channeling those artists’ stories.”
Yet the spirit of the album is not celebratory. If the near-emo quality of the Don Li ed work captured both the alienation and the romanticism of youth, the newer work seems
more obsessed with sex and death. It’s an approach he dubs Southern Gothic. “Outside of one Stylistics sample, every person sampled on the record has passed. ere are four Syl Johnson samples on this album. He passed while we were making it,” Matthews explains. “And because I had Covid early in 2022, death was very prominent in my thinking. Most of the songs are about death — death and love and obsession. And, being from the South, violence. How much violence I’ve experienced in life, and how much violence is brewing in me, because of what I’ve experienced. ose elements of my life had no place in the music I made as Don Li ed. But with this project, I could express my anger and frustration more directly. I’m expressing the ways violence has come at me and comes out of me. Now, I’m leaning into that without shame.”
And yet he’s also leaning into it with considerable intention and thought, with a sense that this is larger than himself. “ ere’s also the story, these folks’ energy that I’m channeling, and what they have to say,” says Matthews. “In Memphis, in this geography, there’s a lot of dead Black and brown people under us, in this space that we create in, and I feel that. I feel that energy. And that can lead to something beautiful. I think this project is the most beautiful thing in the world, but it’s also scary. e South is all of that: sex and violence and beauty. It’s this cauldron of energy.”
17 memphisflyer.com ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT WINNER!
PHOTO: SAM LEATHERS Lawrence Matthews
cast aside his Don Li ed persona, Lawrence Matthews embraces a new Southern Gothic approach in his latest work.
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CALENDAR of EVENTS: May 11 - 17
ART AND SPECIAL EXHIBITS
“Band of BrothersCBHS: America’s Oldest High School Band”
Take a trip back in time to explore the 150-year history of the Christian Brothers High School Band. Through Oct. 23.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
“Birds & Plants: Art
Exhibit by Jennalyn Speer”
This mixed media collage series highlights the interdependencies shared between birds and plants. Through May 31.
MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
“Build a Heaven of My Own: African American Vernacular Art and the Blues”
This group show explores how the musical and verbal tropes, meaning, and context of the blues not only share traits but have informed the visual culture of African-American artists from Memphis. Through June 24.
ART MUSEUM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS (AMUM)
“Harmonia Rosales: Master Narrative” Paintings by Harmonia Rosales who challenges the concept of the master narrative. Through June 25.
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART “Iterations”
John Salvest’s solo exhibition of articulate works developed out of obsessive collections of objects and a keen social awareness that has driven his practice for decades. Wednesday, May 17-June 24.
DAVID LUSK GALLERY
“Listen to the Lion”
Featuring abstracted landscapes by Ed Hall. Through May 30.
GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
“Made in Dixon / Make at Dixon”
See artwork from more than 300 makers of all ages, diverse cultural backgrounds, and interests, who participated in the Dixon’s program opportunities. Through June 11.
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
“Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition”
Take a trip to the Vatican City without even packing a bag! Through June 10.
RENASANT CONVENTION CENTER
Collection of Catherine Erb’s photographic works of gardens that push picture taking and making in many diverse directions. Through May 13.
DAVID LUSK GALLERY
“Reimagining the Real”
Artists Ana M. Lopez and Natalie Macellaio utilize the visual language of the everyday to create unique works of art
that are both familiar and fantastical. Through July 9.
Created by American artist Kristine Mays, these 29 sculptures are inspired by the movements and gestures of Alvin Ailey’s dance composition, “Revelations.” Through Oct. 1.
MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
“Southern Summers Exhibition”
Learn how early Memphians kept their cool during those dog days of summer! Wednesday, May 17-July 16.
WOODRUFF-FONTAINE HOUSE MUSEUM
Spring 2023 Exhibitions at Crosstown Arts
Crosstown Arts announces its spring 2023 arts programming — with work by McLean Fahnestock, Khara Woods, Tangela Mathis, and Carl Fox.
Through Aug. 6.
CROSSTOWN ARTS AT THE CONCOURSE
Original works by Suzanne Evans and Connie Lampen.
Through May 30.
“Susan Maakestad: The Expansive Moment”
Maakestad’s watercolors abstract the seemingly banal urban landscapes, removing any trace of human presence and transforming them into meditations on light and color.
Through July 9.
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
“The Best BBQ Joints in Memphis”
Palette knife paintings by J.M. Croy of the most iconic
BBQ restaurants in Memphis.
Friday, May 12-June 5.
“Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon”
Exploring the development of the Doomsday Clock against
the backdrop of the Cold War. Through May 24.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
“Waddell, Withers, & Smith: A Requiem for King”
Honoring the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through the artwork of Memphis-based artists. James Waddell, Ernest Withers, and Dolph Smith. Through Aug. 28.
NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
“Zao Wou-Ki: Watercolors and Ceramics”
Exhibition of Chinese-French artist Zao Wou-Ki’s lyrical watercolors and designs for ceramics blending the dynamic energy of expressionism with the formal qualities of traditional Chinese calligraphy. Through July 16.
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
“A World of Our Own” Opening
A group exhibition of artworks by artists who have pushed through obstacles to share valuable stories and create artwork that will hold that message for generations to come. $10. Sunday, May 14, 1-3 p.m.
CRANE CO. BUILDING
Brunch & Crafts
Start your day with lovely brunch and a market featuring Memphis local artists and makers. Saturday, May 13,
Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY. FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVENT LISTINGS, VISIT EVENTS.MEMPHISFLYER.COM/CAL
CAROLINA WATERSHED Collier Calandruccio, Antiquarian & Fine Arts
Join ArtsMemphis and Decorative Arts Trust for an artist talk and reception. The event also celebrates the return of “Art by Design,” hosted by ArtsMemphis. The event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, May 11, 6 p.m.
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART
Lush Beauty - A Tour of “Harmonia Rosales: Master Narrative”
Beauty is a recurring theme in Harmonia Rosales’ lush paintings, which often challenge accepted standards of beauty and social expectations of women.
Join Chastity Monroe to learn more. Saturday, May 13, 2 p.m.
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART
Memphis Fashion Week 2023
Celebrate Memphis fashion.
$50. Friday, May 12, 5-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 13, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Spark your curiosity, channel your attention, and record your wonder in Overton Park. Bring your own notebook, coloring pencils, watercolors, and other materials. Wednesday, May 17, 8 a.m.
Our Own Voice Open Workshops
Explore different themes in
Mora Play with collaborative techniques, like image theater, building “machines,” and guided creative movement. Saturday, May 13, 2-3:30 p.m.
Talks & Tapas: The Conversation Series Conversation and talk series to gain deeper insights into Johnson Uwadinma’s solo exhibition, “RE(de)FINED.” Saturday, May 13, 3:30-5 p.m.
A Novel Book Club: Razorblade Tears
A Novel Book Club invites all to discuss Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby. No registration required. Wednesday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Book Signing with Eleanor Wilbanks
Meet Eleanor Wilbanks, author of Legacy of Hope. Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Meet the Author: Bruce Meisterman
Novel welcomes Bruce Meisterman to celebrate the release of The Light Inerrant. Tuesday, May 16, 6 p.m.
North Branch Friends of the Library Fundraiser
Support the North Branch Library Friends group by purchasing some reasonably
20 May 11-17, 2023
SHADY GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
“Spring Fling” on display at Gallery 1091 features original works by Suzanne Evans, such Wild as the Wind (above), as well as work by Connie Lampen.
J.M. Croy’s “The Best BBQ Joints in Memphis” show coincides with Playhouse on the Square’s Clyde’s
priced, lightly used books! Thursday, May 11, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Reading and Book Signing with Tom Piazza
Tom Piazza to read from and sign copies of his new novel, The Auburn Conference
Thursday, May 11, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
BURKE’S BOOK STORE
Robert Mugge: Book Signing & Talk
Robert Mugge will discuss his new book detailing his journey in filmmaking, Notes From the Road. Friday, May 12, 3-5 p.m.
MEMPHIS LISTENING LAB
Rufus Thomas Dance Party!
Celebrating Matthew Ruddick’s new biography, The Funkiest Man Alive, Rufus Thomas
A DJ will be playing Thomas’ songs, and the author will give a short reading and sign books. Friday, May 12, 6-8 p.m.
STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC
CLASS / WORKSHOP
Digital Photography “101”
Learn photography from a professional photographer in this hands-on workshop. Free. Saturday, May 13, 8:30 a.m.-noon.
COLLIERVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Learn how to grow food that can be turned into value-added products for sale. Thursday, May 11, 6 p.m.
Tarot University: Cups and Pentacles
Learn the meanings of the minor arcana suits, cups, and pentacles. Handouts will be provided for the class. $15. Saturday, May 13, 2-4 p.m.
THE BROOM CLOSET
Black & Wild Comedy Tour
With Blaq Ron, Drank, and Big Baby. $25, $50. Thursday, May 11-May 14
CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE
Drafts and Laughs at Memphis Made Laugh with Sanjay Manaktala and some of the best stand-up comedians from the Mid-South. Free. Saturday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.
MEMPHIS MADE BREWING COMPANY
Liars Matinee: Mother’s Day Special
See Bluff City Liars at Black Lodge for the kind of improv you could take home to meet your mama. Sunday, May 14, 3 p.m.
Laugh with the Comma Comedians. Thursday, May 11, 8 p.m.
The Peel Stand-Up Comedy Show
Bring an old friend, a new friend, or even come and make friends as some local Memphis comedians take the stage and create an all out ball of laughter and fun. Thursday, May 11, 8 p.m.
Zoe Marsh-Leigh presents “Dick Gregory Taught Me.” $20-$35. Wednesday, May 17, 8 p.m.
CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE COMMUNITY
Paws 4 a Cause
A massive pet adoption event by myriad Mid-South rescue agencies; plus, lots of activities to enjoy with the dogs you already have, including games, demonstrations, a pet artists’ market, and more. Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
SADDLE CREEK SOUTH
Senior Beauty Day
There will be light refreshments, and customers will have a chance for senior citizens to be pampered. Free. Thursday, May 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. LEVI
CALENDAR: MAY 11 - 17
Free happy hour event series featuring live music, axe throwing, makers market, and free food and drinks. Wednesday, May 17, 5-7 p.m.
Free Family Day
The Stax will host numerous other arts groups, have food trucks, games and activities, arts and crafts, bouncy houses, face painting, balloon artists, and live music. Admission is free. Saturday, May 13, 1-4 p.m.
STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC
Ruby Bridges Reading Festival
Children pre-K through elementary school can receive free books at the festival and enjoy storytelling and entertainment. Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
Summer Countdown Community Day
From camping to art making, the pool or playing sports, you can choose your own summer break adventure at this event for all ages. Free. Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
Fried Chicken Fest
Combining world-famous fried chicken with music from James “Super Chikan” Johnson and the River Bluff Clan, plus special activities for the whole family. $12. Saturday, May 13, 5:30-8 p.m.
THE GROVE AT GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Memphis Greek Festival
Delicious Greek food, dancing, entertainment, shopping, sanctuary tours, and activities for children. Friday, May 12, 11 a.m.
ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
“Otto Stok 1935” Art/Music Festival
Local and regional artists, live entertainment, food, and more. Saturday, May 13, noon-10 p.m.
DELTA BLUES WINERY
World Championship Barbecue
Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day competition. Wednesday, May 17, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
TOM LEE PARK
Orson Welles Double Feature Screening Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil. 16+. Free. Tuesday, May 16, 3:45 p.m.
For Release Thursday, January 24, 2019
1 Prophet who said “The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem”
5 E-tail icons
10 Upscale hotel features
14 ___ Sweeney, leading character in “Anything Goes”
15 Actress Aimée
31 “Ready about! Hard ___!”
32 “According to the grapevine …”
35 With 38-Across, what a two-letter answer is in a crossword, usually … or a hint to 20-, 24-, 44- and 51-Across
Indie Memphis Screening: Walk Up
Indie Memphis presents a screening of the South Korean drama from director Hong Sangsoo: Walk Up. Wednesday, May 17, 7 p.m.
MALCO STUDIO ON THE SQUARE
Mother’s Day Screening: Fried Green
A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady at a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know. Sunday, May 14, 7 p.m.
Overton Square Movie Nights: Freaky Friday
Blankets, pets, and folding chairs welcome. Thursday, May 11, 8 p.m.
Rocky Horror Picture Show: feat. Absent Friends!
Absent Friends brings you a reason to love this cult classic with costumes, props, callbacks, and more. 18+. Friday, May 12, 11:30 p.m.
THE EVERGREEN THEATRE
Spring Fling Screenings: Eighth Grade & Freaks And Geeks Pilot
Screenings of the pilot of Freaks and Geeks (The one where we learn to never trust Styx if you’re
continued on page 22
Edited by Will Shortz No. 1220
18 Place for a picnic along a highway
22 See 21-Down
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS
OENOALETAPARC TVPGSEAAIRTAN SYCOPHANTETUDE BEADSHAIR
57 Time of valor, in a Winston Churchill speech
58 Big cheese?
61 Stand and deliver?
62 Org. behind the InSight mission
63 Part of iOS: Abbr.
64 Some greens
65 An aye for an eye, say?
1 Biblical verb
2 What parallel lines never do
3 Because why not?
5 Home to Castro
6 Suffix with expect
7 Tobiko and ikura, on a sushi menu
8 Common casserole ingredient
9 Certain attire when hitting the slopes
11 Not teetotal, say
12 Nail the test
13 Variety of ray
19 1997 Nicolas Cage thriller
21 With 22-Across, a triumphant cry
40 Six of one and half a dozen of the other, say?
41 Like the outer matryoshka doll
43 Time for a mint julep in Louisville
45 “Do you mind?”
46 Concorde, e.g., for short
21 memphisflyer.com ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
16 Approach in handling something
17 Afternoon affairs
20 Choice of routes?
Mr. Potato Head part
23 From birth 24 Result of some sunburn
36 Home to the Rohingya 38 See 35-Across 39 Like lizards and fish 42 River through Flanders
Pouch holder, for short 44 Declaration concerning British geography?
Egg ___ 51 Nitrous oxide?
24 Comic ___ (typeface) 25 Ray of fast-food fame 26 Wray of “King Kong” fame 27 Whips 28 Gatherer of intelligence? 29 Country where camel jumping is a sport
33 Shortly, quaintly 34 Where one might find Jesus 36 Chatty ones
37 The Cardinals, on scoreboards
drive thermometer 54 Trumpet accessory 55 “Wonder Woman” antagonist 56 Carpentry tool
informally 49 In a
PUZZLE BY RUTH BLOOMFIELD MARGOLIN
Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 2425 26272829 30 31 32 3334 35 36 37 38 394041 42 43 44 45 4647 4849 50 51 52535455 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65
BEATERSANTSY GOATSPORK THEOCTHEHILTON
The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550
continued from page 21
hoping for a slow dance. Poor Sam.) and Bo Burnham’s stellar 2018 film, Eighth Grade Free. Saturday, May 13, 4 p.m. BLACK
FOOD AND DRINK
Canoes + Cocktails
Rent a canoe or kayak, or bring your own boat and enjoy the best views of the Memphis sunset from Hyde Lake followed by snacks, cocktails provided by Old Dominick Distillery, yard games, and more. Friday, May 12, 7 p.m. SHELBY FARMS PARK
Elmwood Tea Party
Take time out from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a lovely mid-morning tea at Elmwood. $40. Saturday, May 13, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY
Join Lodge for a Futurama brunch marathon — legendary episodes back to back while you enjoy a full breakfast menu, plus specialty dishes and custom drinks! Sunday, May 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Great Wines World’s Fair
Taste 35+ items, including bourbons, amaros, sake, beer, mezcal, and new wines. Saturday, May 13, 2-5 p.m.
GREAT WINES & SPIRITS OF MEMPHIS
CALENDAR: MAY 11 - 17
Queen of My Heart
Mother’s Day Brunch
Enjoy a Southern style buffet brunch, a live jazz band, an open bar, and giveaways. Sunday, May 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
JACK ROBINSON GALLERY
HEALTH AND FITNESS
40th Annual Memphis in May Triathlon Sports Weekend
Featuring the Olympic Triathlon, Olympic AquaBike, Sprint Triathlon, and Sprint AquaBike.
Saturday, May 13-May 14.
SHELBY FARMS PARK
Get Outside! Cardio Line Dance
Get your feet moving to a mix of classic hits from hip-hop, R&B, pop, reggae, and more. All you need to bring are your dancing shoes, water, and a towel. Free. Wednesday, May 17, 6 p.m.
SHELBY FARMS PARK
Get Outside! Kids Yoga
Stretch, breathe, move, dance, relax, create, and have FUN! These classes will include age-appropriate yoga and movement. Free. Sunday, May 14, 1 p.m.
SHELBY FARMS PARK
Get Outside! Mental Fitness with Breathwork + Meditation
Clear your mind through calming breathing and guided meditation. Bring a yoga mat
and water. Free. Saturday, May 13, 10:30 a.m.
SHELBY FARMS PARK
Get Outside! Pilates
Experience a low-impact yet challenging workout that enhances your mind-body connection. Bring a yoga mat and water. Free. Tuesday, May 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Get Outside! Tai Chi
Relieve stress and increase flexibility with Tai Chi. Classes can be enjoyed either sitting or standing. Comfortable
shoes and loose clothing are recommended. Bring a water bottle. Free. Wednesday, May 17, 3 p.m.
Get Outside! Yoga
These classes will challenge you to focus on your mind, body, and breath. Be sure to bring your mat, water and towel. Free. Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m.
SHELBY FARMS PARK
Mindfulness Walk with Katherine Bush
Begin your Friday morning with a peaceful Mindfulness
Starting May 11th
through October 26th, Memphis Botanic Garden will be open late for Twilight Thursdays.
Walk with Reverend Katherine Bush. Free. Friday, May 12, 8-9 a.m.
Mindfulness Walk & Art
Activity with Caroline
For all ages to practice us-
ing our senses to become grounded in our surroundings and make a Mother’s Day card with things found along the way. Sunday, May 14, 2-3 p.m.
Orion 5K & Street Party
A 5K, a one-mile family fun run, and a street party benefitting MIFA Meals on Wheels. Saturday, May 13, 8:30 a.m.
ORION FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
Tai Chi in the Formal Gardens
Join instructor Marjean for free tai chi lessons featuring gentle moves that will strengthen and calm body, mind, and soul. Tuesday, May 16, 7:15-8 a.m.
Taijiquan on the River
Strengthen your body and mind every Monday with Milan Vigil. All levels are welcome. Monday, May 15, 6 p.m.
Taijiquan with Milan
Led by Milan Vigil, this Chinese martial art promotes relaxation, improves balance, and provides no-impact aerobic benefits. 16+. Free. Saturday, May 13, 10:3011:30 a.m.
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
Twilight Yoga and Pilates
Join the Shell each Monday for a rotating yoga and Pilates workout. Monday, May 15, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
OVERTON PARK SHELL
22 Stop by every weekend in May to check out our butcher shop specials! SPARK UP YOUR GRILL!
BU T C
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H E R
SHELBY FARMS PARK
SHELBY FARMS PARK
CALENDAR: MAY 11 - 17
Yoga Strengthen your yoga practice and enjoy the health benefits of light exercise with yoga instructors Laura Gray McCann and Rachel Drewry.
Thursday, May 11, 6 p.m.
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
Yoga in the Park with Camille Potter
Beginners are welcome at this all-levels class. Bring your water bottle and a mat. Free.
Wednesday, May 17, 5:306:30 p.m.
HEALTH SCIENCES PARK
Yoga on the River
All experience levels welcomed. Don’t forget your mat/towel and water! Free.
Tuesday, May 16, 6-7 p.m.
A fusion of Latin and International music and dance themes that create a dynamic, exciting workout. Tuesday, May 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
OVERTON PARK SHELL
Zumba in the Park with David Quarles
Shake up your Saturday with a free Zumba class led by David Quarles! Saturday, May 13, 10-11 a.m.
HEALTH SCIENCES PARK
Boys & Toys Male
Revue: Kings of Disney
The Boys & Toys Male Revue brings a little Disney magic into your Friday night! Friday, May 12, 10 p.m.
While Keleigh Klarke is away … Dazzle Saturdays will still SLAY! Saturday, May 13, 10 p.m.
Devon’s Dollhouse: Halfway 2 Halloween
Devon’s Dollhouse takes you Halfway 2 Halloween with some of your favorite ooky spooky characters! Thursday, May 11, 10 p.m.
Dragging You Back to the ’90s
Hosted by Simplicity. Saturday, May 13, 10 p.m.
“Drag Is a Mother”
Drag Family Pageant
Drag isn’t just a mother but a family affair! This Mother’s Day … drag your old mother out for a Drag Family Pageant! Sunday, May 14, 5 p.m.
Drag Is Art
Drag is an art form with deep roots in United States’ culture, and Art Bar is celebrating that history with a special night of performances from nine artists. 18+. Free.
Saturday, May 13, 7-9 p.m.
CROSSTOWN ART BAR
Malaysia! Live In Memphis
The prestigious Dance Troupe JKKN Malaysia
direct from Kuala Lumpur takes the stage and presents
sweeping examples of Malaysia’s beautiful and notable dances. $15. Thursday, May 11, 7 p.m.
CANNON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
New Ballet Ensemble’s Springloaded
New Ballet Ensemble & School presents its 20th annual Springloaded production, featuring original and reimagined works. Friday, May 12, 7:30-9 p.m.; Saturday, May 13, 2:30-4 p.m.
BUCKMAN ARTS CENTER AT ST.
Tennessee Ballet Theater’s 901 Stories
The show is a love letter to Memphis, celebrating our city’s unique history by telling its stories through dance.
$30. Friday, May 12, 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 13, 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
The Falling and the Rising A soldier, posted in conflict overseas, is wrestling with the sacrifices she has made, having just missed her daughter’s 13th birthday. $35. Friday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.
SCHEIDT FAMILY PERFORMING
The Stories We Tell A community storytelling celebration. Free. Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
BENJAMIN L. HOOKS CENTRAL LIBRARY
Celebrate the newest members of the zoo family with special baby keeper chats and educational activities throughout the day. Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Black Lodge Presents
The Spring Fling A day dedicated to reconnecting with those fond memories (and even some of the cringey ones) of your past. It’s a big, full day of stuff for actual kids to big kids alike. Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m.
Brazil by Day
A free community event featuring fine art, live music, and dance performances from Collage Dance, Iris Orchestra, and Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group. Free. Saturday, May 13, noon-4 p.m.
Brazil by Night
Featuring live performances by Collage Dance, Iris Collective and NC Brazilian Arts Project, plus authentic Brazilian food from Carson Rodizio, cash bar, and a Samba party to close out the evening. $60. Friday, May 12, 6-10 p.m.
Mother’s Day at the Garden
Enjoy a fun outdoor picnic, live music, activities, and
more. Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
Park After Dark
A special evening celebrating and supporting Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, with cocktails, dinner, live music, an auction, and more. $125. Thursday, May 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
FEDEX CENTER AT SHELBY FARMS
Twilight Thursdays at the Garden
MBG will be open for extended hours for visitors to explore the 96-acre grounds. Dogs are welcome during these special extended hours, and a cash bar will be available. Thursday, May 11, 5-8 p.m.
MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
Memphis 901 FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Saturday, May 13, 7 p.m.
Memphis Redbirds vs. Gwinnett Stripers
Tuesday, May 16, 6:45 p.m.; Wednesday, May 17, 12:05 p.m.
A truck-stop sandwich shop in Reading, PA, becomes a place of employment and redemption for the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff.
Friday, May 12-June 4.
Lungs is a smart, funny drama that follows a couple through the surprising life cycle of their relationship, as they grapple with questions of family and change.
Through May 14.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
A fragment of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace transformed into a magical musical, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 enchants audiences with this timeless classic. Through May 21.
PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE
Small Mouth Sounds
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. $25. Friday, May 12, 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 13, 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 14, 2 p.m.
Thursday Twilight Tour
A one-hour weeknight tour.
Thursday, May 11, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Slip into the bygone era while strolling the mansion’s darkened halls. Wednesday, May 17, 7-9 p.m.
23 memphisflyer.com ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT FREE LIVE MUSIC! OFF BROADWAY 6 - 9 P M • EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT IN MAY • RAIN OR SHINE BLUES MAY 4 THE KEITH JOHNSON TRIO ELMO & THE SHADES MAY 11 THE STONE GAS BAND SUPER CHIKAN MAY 18 EVEN ODDS THE SOUL SHOCKERS MAY 25 THE BILLY GIBSON BAND JOHN WILLIAMS & A-440 FOOD TRUCKS BEER AVAILABLE LAWN CHAIRS WELCOME NO COOLERS, PLEASE w w w v i s i t w e s t m e m p h i s c o m CIVIC CENTER PARKING LOT – 212 WEST POLK PREVENT OPIOID OVERDOSE CARRY NARCAN Free Individual and Agency trainings are available If you need help, support, or referral to treatment, please call Lincoln Coffman (901) 495-5103 This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. (Narcan provided at no cost) To schedule training, please call: David Fuller (901) 484-2852 Qualifying Agencies are: • Health Organizations • Treatment Centers • Churches • Schools • Local Businesses • Non Profits • Restaurants/Bars/Clubs • Hotels etc... memphisprevention.org
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
e Playhouse on the Square production is delightfully bizarre.
The week before I saw Playhouse on the Square’s regional debut of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, I was asked what the play was about. I wasn’t quite sure, having deliberately avoided nding out beforehand, as is sometimes my practice when seeing a show I’m unfamiliar with. is continued until the morning I was to attend, when a coworker read aloud a short synopsis.
e words “electropop,” “opera,” and “Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace” gave me the impression it had the potential to be either really cool or a complete disaster. I’ll tell you now: It was utterly insane, and I loved it.
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is a sung-through musical; there is no spoken dialogue. Everything is performed in song, which can be a lot to take in for the average theatergoer. Coupled with the fact that it’s is an adaptation of Part 8 of War and Peace, you might be forgiven in expecting the e ect to be too much. Instead, the
show leans into its own weirdness, breaking the fourth wall before the action even begins. Performers enter through the lobby, where they mingle with the audience before the show. Almost immediately the musical makes fun of itself; in the rst number, the company scatters additional programs containing a family tree with notes about each character, such as “eccentric” and “slut” (it’s tongue-incheek, don’t worry). e actors warn to pay attention because everybody has, like, eight names.
e set design feels like a cast member in its own right. roughout the show, the ensemble performs in and around the audience, entering from the back of the auditorium and moving toward to stage, or utilizing the half-moon runway that goes from downstage out into the rows. A staircase curves artfully up from stage le to the balcony overhead. Scenic designer Phillip Hughen created something that lends itself to the spectacle called for by the script and
also feels incredibly intimate, as if the audience were peering into the secret back room of a speakeasy or brothel.
Another unique aspect is the live music performed by an orchestra half-hidden by velvet curtains nestled upstage. e music is wild, ranging from moving operatic solos to a bouncing bass-heavy rave. At one point, the characters attend an opera-within-theopera, which can only be described as delightfully bizarre. e note I jotted down reads, “Holy shit. is is hot.”
I’m refraining from going over the broad strokes — such as the plot — if only because I was so enamored with the details. Every actor, from the leads to the individuals of the ensemble, brought such an energy that everywhere you looked there was something interesting going on — which is an accomplishment in a musical this busy. Dave Malloy has written a play scattered with poignant vignettes. One such moment especially stood out, during a song in which an old man repeatedly asks, “Where are my glasses?” only for his daughter to remark that they are on top of his head. She then says quietly, “I disgust myself,” a moment I found incredibly relatable (from both perspectives).
While Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I found it a fully immersive escape from reality and a complete theater success.
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 runs at Playhouse on the Square through May 21st.
24 May 11-17, 2023 presents SEPT 8 LADY A TRAIN DOOBIE BROTHERS WITH MICHAEL MCDONALD MATCHBOX TWENTY BROTHERS OSBORNE JUNE 3 JUNE 24 JULY 14 AUG 25 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K
copy.pdf 1 4/19/23 8:49 AM
PHOTO: D’ANGELO CONNELL PHOTOGRAPHY Nathan McHenry as Anatole and Katy Cotten as Natasha
THEATER By Coco
More Paninis, Please
Little Italy brings Grandma’s Pizzas, and plenty of pasta, to East Memphis.
The story of “Little Italy East,” slated to open around the beginning of June at 6300 Poplar Avenue, Suite 113, began in Italy.
Two of the owners of the new location are from Italy. Giovanni Caravello is from Sicily and Riccardo Marciano is from Calabria.
ey met their wives — owners Brooke Caravello and former Memphian Molly Marciano — in New York.
Giovanni’s mom did the cooking when he was growing up. He worked at the family restaurant a er his family moved to New York.
He met Brooke, who was majoring in psychology at Queens College, when they were both working at a New York pizzeria. “I was a pizza maker there,” he says. “She was a waitress.”
ey moved to Memphis in 2013 and got married the next year. “I had some family down here,” Brooke says.
“Most of the ingredients they were using was frozen, processed, and prepackaged,” Brooke says. “ e biggest change was everything we used was fresh produce.”
And, she says, “ e sauces are all made from fresh ingredients. High quality. Everything is made in-house daily. e pasta dishes are made to order.”
In 2016, they opened the Little Italy at 7717 US-70 in Bartlett. “I ran that one,” Brooke says. “And Giovanni ran Midtown.”
ey sold the Bartlett restaurant to Giovanni’s cousin in 2018. “He purchased it outright, but it’s still Little Italy,” Giovanni says. “Same recipes.”
Giovanni and Brooke did the same thing with their old Downtown location at 106 GE Patterson Avenue. ey bought it in 2019 and sold it in 2020. But, he says, “It’s still Little Italy.”
e new location in East Memphis will be their “ rst partnership going into it,” Giovanni says.
As for that partnership, he says, “I met Riccardo. He just came into the restaurant, Little Italy in Midtown, with a few friends. We started talking. And down the road we became friends.”
made sauce,” he says. “Every Sunday was a feast in my house. A lot of my family and friends.”
Molly met Riccardo “on a blind date in New York,” she says. “We met outside of an Italian restaurant.”
Giovanni began working as a dishwasher at the Little Italy at 1495 Union Avenue. “Before we moved to Memphis we were looking at jobs around here. Little Italy was hiring, so I applied. And they hired me.”
He worked his way up. Little Italy’s owner Bill Giannini, who was commuting from Nashville, decided to sell it. “We bought it from him in 2014,” Giovanni says.
And, he adds, “We changed all the
“Just nding another native Italian in Memphis is pretty unique,” Brooke says. “And they immediately bonded.”
And Molly “being an American wife married to an Italian” was “super unique,” she adds. “ ey became like family pretty quickly.”
Riccardo told Giovanni he always wanted to open a restaurant. “East Memphis came up and we had the opportunity to open one together.”
“I knew how to cook Italian food,” Riccardo says. He used to help his grandmother make her “Sunday home-
ey moved to Memphis in 2018. Riccardo always felt Memphis is “more like Italy. e hospitality. e Southern mentality is like Southern Italy.”
e Little Italy in East Memphis will be similar to the Midtown Little Italy, which the Caravellos still own and operate.“ e base menu is the same,” Giovanni says. “Also, the recipes are going to be the same. ere will be a couple of di erent pasta dishes. More Italian inspired.”
ey also will serve paninis and New York-style pizzas.
ey’ll serve Grandma’s Pizza, which uses “the same mozzarella
cheese and fresh garlic and fresh basil.” It’s one of their most popular pizzas on Union Avenue. “It’s the love that we put in it,” Brooke says. “ e Italian love.”
e Little Italy “East” is their last Little Italy for now, Giovanni says. “None in the near future. We want to see how this goes rst. And then we can plan some other locations.”
ey’re always open to new ideas “as long as we can maintain the quality and level of service and everything that I think the community has grown to appreciate,” Brooke says.
“I’m so thrilled,” Riccardo says. “Real excited. Nervous. And overwhelming. Because my life will change a lot when I open that door.”
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“The sauces are all made from fresh ingredients. Everything is made in-house daily.”
PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE
STRAIGHT FROM LOUISIANA RESERVE YOUR BAG! BY WEDNESDAY BY NOON FOR THE WEEKEND 901-547-7900 CRAWFISH BY THE BAG $2.50 LB VOLUME DISCOUNTS LIVE
Giovanni and Brooke Caravello and Molly and Riccardo Marciano
By the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication
Least Competent Criminals
• Nothing went right for a carjacker in East Memphis, Tennessee, on March 10, WREG-TV reported. An unnamed 22-year-old victim pulled into his own driveway that night, only to have a man yank the driver’s door open and point a gun at him. He asked for the victim’s wallet and keys to the 2006 Honda Element, then tried to back out of the driveway, but as he did so, he rolled down the window. That’s when the victim noticed the thief’s gun didn’t have a barrel, so he reached in and punched the carjacker in the face, causing the car to clip the side of the house and run into a pole. The carjacker jumped out and ran away; police were able to gather prints from the car and a recovered phone, but no arrests have been made. [WREG, 3/13/2023]
• As authorities in Gainesville, Georgia, searched the home of 75-year-old Alan Neil Thur on March 14 after receiving a tip that Thur had child pornography on his computer, Thur sat at his computer … “viewing five images of child pornography,” Hall County Sheriff’s deputies wrote in a report. WSB-TV reported that Thur was charged with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and booked into the county jail. [WSB, 3/16/2023]
Fans of our favorite rude gesture, rejoice! Flipping the bird is a protected, “God-given” right in Canada, NPR reported, after Judge Dennis Galiatsatos ruled on Feb. 24 that “offending someone is not a crime.” The decision stemmed from a court case between two unneighborly neighbors in a Montreal suburb. “The complainants are free to clutch their pearls in the face of such an insult,” Galiatsatos said. “However, the police department and the 911 dispatching service have more important priorities to address.” [NPR, 3/10/2023]
On March 20, police officers were called to a home in Mill Creek, Washington, on a report of items stolen from the house, Fox13-TV reported. As they investigated, they discovered someone was living in the home’s upstairs loft — with a bed, drug paraphernalia, and half-eaten food. The oblivious homeowners did say they had noticed
the smell of cigarette smoke. Police suggested the homeowners wait until the person returned, and it didn’t take long: On March 21, they arrested Daniel Tomoiaga, 24. In his possession, they found the stolen items, along with meth and fentanyl. No word on how long he’d been staying at the home. [Fox13, 3/23/2023]
The Tech Revolution
Artificial intelligence has infiltrated television news in China, Oddity Central reported. Ren Xiaorong, a virtual news anchor, was introduced on March 12 to viewers of People’s Daily. “For 365 days, 24 hours, I will be reporting the news for the whole year, round the clock, without rest,” (Redundant) Ren told viewers. “Whether at news sites or back in the studio, you will always see me.” She has absorbed the talents of “thousands of news anchors” and will continue to evolve based on feedback. Ren can answer many questions, but her answers are all within the parameters of the Chinese Communist Party’s rhetoric. [Oddity Central, 3/17/2023]
In the early 2000s, Joseph DeRuvo Jr. of Norwalk, Connecticut, had developed painful bunions on his feet, and his doctor suggested surgery to remove them, The New York Times reported. While awaiting his operation, he started going barefoot, and he soon realized his feet felt much better. “The tactile feedback just kind of makes everything else going on feel a little bit smoother,” he said. Now 59 years old, DeRuvo has been barefoot for two decades, and he says navigating weather and terrain is easier than navigating people. He is sometimes asked to leave a business and on occasion, he fights back. “If I’m feeling feisty,” he said. His wife added, “We get thrown out of a lot of places.” But his shoelessness contributes to a mindful life: “I pay attention to every single step I take,” DeRuvo said. [New York Times, 3/7/2023]
News of the Weird is now a podcast on all major platforms! To find out more, visit newsoftheweirdpodcast.com.
26 May 11-17, 2023
NEWS OF THE WEIRD
All rights reserved. NEWS OF THE WEIRD
© 2023 Andrews McMeel
Reprinted with permission.
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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
ARIES (March 21-April 19): All of us are always telling ourselves stories — in essence, making movies in our minds. We are the producer, the director, the special effects team, the voice-over narrator, and all the actors in these inner dramas. Are their themes repetitious and negative or creative and life-affirming? The coming weeks will be a favorable time to work on emphasizing the latter. If the tales unfolding in your imagination are veering off in a direction that provokes anxiety, reassert your directorial authority. Firmly and playfully reroute them so they uplift and enchant you.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Most of us have an area of our lives where futility is a primary emotion. This may be a once-exciting dream that never got much traction. It could be a skill we possess that we’ve never found a satisfying way to express. The epicenter of our futility could be a relationship that has never lived up to its promise or a potential we haven’t been able to ripen. Wherever this sense of fruitlessness resides in your own life, Gemini, I have an interesting prediction: During the next 12 months, you will either finally garner some meaningful fulfillment through it or else find a way to outgrow it.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Many of us
Cancerians have high levels of perseverance. Our resoluteness and doggedness may be uncanny. But we often practice these subtle superpowers with such sensitive grace that they’re virtually invisible to casual observers. We appear modest and gentle, not fierce and driven. For instance, this is the first time I have bragged about the fact that I have composed over 2,000 consecutive horoscope columns without ever missing a deadline. Anyway, my fellow Crabs, I have a really good feeling about how much grit and determination you will be able to marshal in the coming months. You may break your own personal records for tenacity.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Why do migrating geese fly in a V formation? For one thing, it conserves their energy. Every bird except the leader enjoys a reduction in wind resistance. As the flight progresses, the geese take turns being the guide in front. Soaring along in this shape also seems to aid the birds’ communication and coordination. I suggest you consider making this scenario your inspiration, dear Leo. You are entering a phase when synergetic cooperation with others is even more important than usual. If you feel called to lead, be ready and willing to exert yourself — and be open to letting your associates serve as leaders. For extra credit: Do a web search for an image of migrating geese and keep it in a prominent place for the next four weeks.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I boldly predict that you will soon locate a missing
By Rob Brezsny
magic key. Hooray! It hasn’t been easy. There has been luck involved, but your Virgo-style diligence and ingenuity has been crucial. I also predict that you will locate the door that the magic key will unlock. Now here’s my challenge: Please fulfill my two predictions no later than the solstice. To aid your search, meditate on this question: “What is the most important breakthrough for me to accomplish in the next six weeks?”
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Losing something we value may make us sad. It can cause us to doubt ourselves and wonder if we have fallen out of favor with the Fates or are somehow being punished by God. I’ve experienced deflations and demoralizations like that on far more occasions than I want to remember. And yet, I have noticed that when these apparent misfortunes have happened, they have often opened up space for new possibilities that would not otherwise have come my way. They have emptied out a corner of my imagination that becomes receptive to a fresh dispensation. I predict such a development for you, Libra.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Kissing is always a worthy way to spend your leisure time, but I foresee an even finer opportunity in the coming weeks: magnificent kissing sprees that spur you to explore previously unplumbed depths of wild tenderness. On a related theme, it’s always a wise self-blessing to experiment with rich new shades and tones of intimacy. But you are now eligible for an unusually profound excursion into these mysteries. Are you bold and free enough to glide further into the frontiers of fascinating togetherness?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) worked at a variety of jobs. He sold cloth. He was a land surveyor and bookkeeper. He managed the household affairs of his city’s sheriffs, and he supervised the city’s wine imports and taxation. Oh, by the way, he also had a hobby on the side: lensmaking. This ultimately led to a spectacular outcome. Leeuwenhoek created the world’s first high-powered microscope and was instrumental in transforming microbiology into a scientific discipline. In accordance with astrological omens, I propose we make him your inspirational role model in the coming months, Sagittarius. What hobby or pastime or amusement could you turn into a central passion?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I wonder if you weren’t listened to attentively when you were a kid. And is it possible you weren’t hugged enough or consistently treated with the tender kindness you deserved and needed? I’m worried there weren’t enough adults who recognized your potential strengths and helped nurture them. But if you did indeed endure
TAURUS (April 20-May 20):
A famous football coach once said his main method was to manipulate, coax, and even bully his players into doing things they didn’t like to do. Why? So they could build their toughness and willpower, making it more likely they would accomplish formidable feats. While this may be an approach that works for some tasks, it’s not right for many others. Here’s a further nuance: The grindit-out-doing-unpleasant-things may be apt for certain phases of a journey to success, but not for other phases. Here’s the good news, Taurus: For now, you have mostly completed doing what you don’t love to do. In the coming weeks, your freedom to focus on doing fun things will expand dramatically.
any of this mistreatment, dear Capricorn, I have good news. During the next 12 months, you will have unprecedented opportunities to overcome at least some of the neglect you experienced while young. Here’s the motto you can aspire to: “It’s never too late to have a fruitful childhood and creative adolescence.”
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As I’ve explored the mysteries of healing my traumas and disturbances over the past 20 years, I’ve concluded that the single most effective healer I can work with is my own body. Expert health practitioners are crucial, too, but their work requires my body’s full, purposeful, collaborative engagement. The soft warm animal home I inhabit has great wisdom about what it needs and how to get what it needs and how to work with the help it receives from other healers. The key is to refine the art of listening to its counsel. It has taken me a while to learn its language, but I’m making good progress. Dear Aquarius, in the coming weeks, you can make great strides in developing such a robust relationship with your body.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Can we surmise what your life might be like as the expansive planet Jupiter rumbles through your astrological House of Connections and Communications during the coming months? I expect you will be even more articulate and persuasive than usual. Your ability to create new alliances and nurture old ones will be at a peak. By the way, the House of Communications and Connections is also the House of Education and Acumen. So I suspect you will learn a LOT during this time. It’s likely you will be brainier and more perceptive than ever before. Important advice: Call on your waxing intelligence to make you wiser as well as smarter.
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27 memphisflyer.com ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
FILM By Samuel X. Cicci
The first installment of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy foreshadowed the wacky space antics to come by opening with Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), grooving to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” on a deserted planet. Volume 2 followed Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) as he boogies to Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” blissfully unaware that his fellow Guardians are locked in combat with a giant octopus monster.
But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 o ers no such playful dance number intro from a joyful audience surrogate. Director James Gunn’s Marvel swan song (he’s now creative director for rival DC Studios) opens in darkness. A group of baby raccoons in a dirty cage hears footsteps echo from a hallway, and a silhouette emerges. All the raccoons ee from the cage door except one, his eyes wide in terror as a hand extends slowly into the cage.
at frightened face morphs into the present-day Rocket (Bradley Cooper), the anthropomorphic gunslinging raccoon (but don’t call him that) and Gunn’s preferred “secret hero” of the franchise. When the bristles on Rocket’s face come into sharp focus — the most accomplished CGI that we’ve seen in a Marvel lm for quite a while — it’s clear Gunn is not interested in repeating himself.
e rage and frustration of Radiohead’s “Creep” follow Rocket in an early scene as he walks through Knowhere, the Guardians’ new HQ. His found family of oddballs are in a bad place following the events of Avengers: Endgame. A permanently drunk Quill is despondent that former teammate and love interest Gamora
(Zoë Saldaña) doesn’t remember her time as a Guardian, while Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and Mantis (Pom Klementie ) do their best to pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, comic relief Kraglin (Sean Gunn) is joined by newcomer Cosmo the Space Dog (voiced by Maria Bakalova), cracking wise, playing cards, and trying to keep the mood up.
e early sidelining of Quill establishes that this is Rocket’s story, with frequent ashbacks to his time as a genetic experiment under the eye of the maniacal High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), a man that harbors a twisted obsession to create the perfect being. Rocket is critically injured during an early skirmish with newcomer Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), but the crew needs the High Evolutionary’s tech to save him. From there, the story gets dark and even depressing, at one point delivering the franchise’s rst “Fuck.”
Previous Guardians lms have explored the core crew’s backstories, but Rocket’s tragic past has only been hinted at. Guardians has always been
about fatherly trauma, whether it’s Gamora and Nebula’s years of torture under anos, Drax’s failure to protect his late daughter, or the revelation that Quill’s father was Ego the Living Planet. Rocket’s grueling backstory gives the movie something that’s been missing from recent Marvel lms: an emotional core.
Young Rocket dreams big with his fellow experimental subjects; they’re excited to be a part of the High Evolutionary’s new world, even as they undergo grotesque, body-horror alterations. Pet lovers beware: There are some pretty brutal depictions of violence enacted upon animals in this movie.
Star-Lord’s attempts to win back Gamora provide the series’ usual semicomic tone, and we get the requisite space shoot-outs, and even a Nathan Fillion cameo. But pathos is never far from the surface; Rocket’s journey through his trauma is always front and center. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the sanitized corporate slop that has given moviegoers superhero fatigue
during the MCU’s latest phase. Gunn even manages to introduce Warlock, who is set to be a big player in future MCU lms, as an organic part of this story, rather than a distraction.
Guardians Vol. 3 is the most creative Marvel lm in years, a tting end to Gunn’s time with Disney. It should serve as the template going forward, but will it? It seems unlikely superproducer Kevin Feige will a ord this much creative leeway to directors with lesser reputations, and with Gunn o to DC, the MCU will probably return to the assembly line approach that’s le Phases 4 and 5 feeling stale. At least Gunn, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Nebula, Mantis, Groot, and especially Rocket can all go out with a bang.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Now playing Multiple locations
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James Gunn drops the mic with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Rocket’s backstory forms the emotional core for one last adventure with James Gunn’s Guardians.
Book Club: The Next Chapter
Silver foxes Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen head out on a bachelorette party trip to Europe in this sequel to the 2018 sleeper hit comedy. Craig T. Nelson and Don Johnson also reprise their roles as frigid husband and seasoned himbo with whom our heroines must negotiate new relationships.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
Judy Blume’s revolutionary young adult novel gets a worthy adaptation from director Kelly Fremon Craig and Simpsons producer James L. Brooks. Abby Ryder Fortson stars as Margaret, the confused middle-schooler who must navigate a move to the suburbs, puberty, and religious doubt all at once.
Evil Dead Rise
Sam Raimi’s pioneering horror-comedy franchise continues its perfect record with new director Lee Cronin. This one’s definitely more scary than funny, but Cronin nails the franchise’s irreverent tone, and Alyssa Sutherland kills as a single mom possessed by demons who stalks a haunted apartment building. A must-see for horror fans.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
What’s the beeping noise in the distance?
It’s the sound of The Super Mario Bros. Movie collecting coins. You just saw Guardians, but you can’t get enough Chris Pratt? Good news! You can hear him phoning it in as Mario in this animated adaptation that has earned enough to build Princess Peach a very nice castle.
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Public Health 101: Guns
America: where all attempts to curb access to guns are shot down.
A Texas “gun enthusiast,” Francisco Oropeza, 39, was ring o his AR-15 in his yard Friday night, April 30th, about 40 miles from Houston. He was known to be touchy, so, despite the noise and danger, no one approached him. Finally, a er 11 p.m., his neighbor did. He said something like, “Hey, man, can you not do that? We’ve got an infant in here trying to sleep.”
So, in America, what does a righteous gun owner do when his rights, his dignity, and his command over his own property are threatened by such outrageous demands? Of course, Oropeza marches to the o ending neighbor’s home and bravely stands up for his Second Amendment rights. He shoots most of the family dead — ve of them, including an 8-year old. Two smaller children were saved by their mothers shielding them with their bodies, and of course that was just an extra affront to the intrepid ri e owner, who shot both women dead. As of this writing, Oropeza is apparently surrounded by law enforcement.
So it goes. ere is nothing to be done in our fair land. In Texas, it’s particularly sensitive. at’s where Trump did his kicko rally to honor those who tried to overthrow the U.S. government when he lost the election. He did it in Waco, naturally, where, exactly 30 years ago, right-wing religious cult members — the Branch Davidians — were killed in a stupid ATF raid that was then marked by the militia members bombing the Oklahoma City federal o ce building on the Waco siege anniversary. Trump played on all this, either with his speech or with imagery on a big screen behind him. At least one preacher calls Trump “anointed of God … the battering ram that God is using to bring down the Deep State of Babylon.”
Trump repeated much of his message at the recent National Ri e Association convention, telling the gun rights crowd, “I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”
Yeah, you da man, Trump. I’m betting Oropeza heard you loud and clear.
As did Ettore Lacchei, of Antioch, Illinois, who approached his neighbor doing some leaf-blowing in his own yard in the late a ernoon. Lacchei didn’t get the neighbor to immediately stop, so he naturally assumed control of the situation by shooting his neighbor dead in the head. at was April 12th.
Most of us have heard of young Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old Black kid who was supposed to go to a Kansas City, Missouri, house he didn’t know and pick up his younger brothers. He knocked on the door, but it wasn’t the right house. An elderly white man, Andrew Lester, who, according to his grandson, had become increasingly devoted to Trump, didn’t risk opening the door to this skinny kid. He courageously shot the boy in the head right through the glass and then shot him again in the arm as he lay bleeding. Miraculously, Yarl is still alive. Lester explained that he was afraid due to “the size of the male” and described his victim — er, the threatening Black male — as “around six feet tall.” Yeah, um, Ralph is 5-feet-eight and 140 pounds. e Gun Violence Archive notes where mass shootings happen but no one died, and it seems that, so far this year, Jasper, Texas teens hold that record at a party where 11 were shot but everyone survived. Should we assume the shooter was highly trained and only meant to wound partygoers? Guns, alcohol, and teens. What could go wrong? What happens, politically, when these routine mass murders committed quite o en by MAGA followers, and certainly almost always by NRA believers, are considered by our illustrious elected o cials?
We are told most frequently that, in the wake of such tragedy, now is not the appropriate time to talk of change; it’s time for thoughts and prayers. Of course there is no let up to these killings committed by the Proud Boys who defend unlimited gun rights, so I suppose we just deal with an ongoing tsunami of thoughts and prayers and perpetually postpone actual change.
Sometimes some pesky mothers and others do the legwork to get new gun laws passed, as they did in my state of Oregon, but, as always, the alert lawyers from the NRA, sport shooting groups, etc., come to the rescue and those new gun laws are stopped, usually overturned, since we have a Second Amendment to protect access to combat weaponry.
And everyone knows it’s impossible to repeal an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, right? Well, there was that one time … the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment. But that was special because the 18th Amendment was Prohibition. Repealing the Second Amendment? Want to try? We know how to deal with such betrayal. Lock and load.
America: where all attempts to curb access to guns are shot down. Should we raise a glass to that? And I suppose we should stop calling children who are murdered anything but our expression for war casualties who happen to be 4, 5, 6 years old, “collateral damage.” If it’s good enough for Vietnamese children, Afghan children, Iraqi children — good enough for your children, right?
Dr. Tom H. Hastings is coordinator of con ict resolution BA/BS degree programs and certi cates at Portland State University, PeaceVoice senior editor, and on occasion an expert witness for the defense of civil resisters in court.
31 memphisflyer.com THE LAST WORD
THE LAST WORD By Tom H. Hastings
PHOTO: JOE | UNSPLASH
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