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The To-Do List: Southern Heritage Classic, then head to the drive-in or Levitt Shell

Welcome back to The To-Do List, where Daily Memphian staffers highlight can’t-miss events and fun activities heading into the weekend. 

It’s Southern Heritage Classic weekend, bringing football fans to town. The Levitt Shell concert series heats up, delivering a couple of Memphis-music sure shots to the stage. Elsewhere: Flicks both foodie and futuristic, some left-of-center country, and two high-wattage authors in a made-for-Memphis conversation. 


A Tennessee State University band leader danced during the halftime show for the 30th annual Southern Heritage Classic at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)


Southern Heritage Classic weekend, Thursday-Sunday:

The actual Southern Heritage Classic will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, at the Liberty Bowl, as Jackson State and Tennessee State face-off in football. And the game itself has more juice than usual, with former NFL greats Deion Sanders and Eddie George strolling the sidelines as head coach for each school, respectively. But the Classic is always more than a game. It’s a multi-day party/gathering for alumni and fans from around the region. Among the additional Classic-related activities (not an exhaustive list): Smooth soul stalwarts Jeffrey Osbourne and Stephanie Mills will perform at the Orpheum on Thursday. Tailgating at Tiger Lane that will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday. A high school “battle of the bands” at Whitehaven High at 11 a.m. on Saturday. And plenty of unaffiliated but related entertainment events around the city. See for more info. 

“Tampopo” at Crosstown Theater, Thursday:

Writer-director Juzo Itami’s 1985 Japanese comedy is one of the most beloved foodie films, arriving, perhaps, before “foodie” was even a concept. Rather than a “Spaghetti Western,” “Tampopo” cheekily marketed itself as a “ramen western.” The plot concerns a truck driver who stops at a family-run noodle shop and decides to stick around to help the struggling business, like so many lone gunfighters or samurai before him. 7:30 p.m. $5. See here for more info.

Brothers Osbourne at The Orpheum Theatre, Friday:

This brother duo has always operated successfully just to the left of mainstream country, a place they’ve underscored with the name of their latest musical jaunt: “The We’re Not for Everyone Tour,” a reference to the duo’s current single. Always more Kacey Musgraves than “bro country,” despite being actual brothers, this was true even before TJ Osbourne, the lead singer in the group, came out as gay earlier this year, apparently becoming the first out country singer on a major country label. 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$79.50. See here for more info. 


Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductee Don Bryant performs at the ceremony at the Cannon Center, Friday, November 8, 2019. (Greg Campbell/ Special for The Daily Memphian)

Don Bryant & the Bo-Keys and Big Ass Truck at the Levitt Shell, Friday and Saturday:

The Levitt Shell’s free concert series returned last weekend, but here’s where it really gets jumpin’. Friday night is Bryant, the Hi Records soul singer and songwriter whose recent comeback has been one of the best things in Memphis music, backed by producer Scott Bomar and his ace band the Bo-Keys. On Saturday, another comeback of sorts, in Big Ass Truck, one of the signature Memphis bands of the 1990s and early 2000s, led by Robby Grant and Steve Selvidge. Free. Both shows at 7 p.m. See here for more info.


Time Warp Drive-In at the Summer Drive-In, Saturday:

This month’s edition of the drive-in movie marathon, booked by Midtown’s Black Lodge, is dubbed “May the Schwartz Be With You: A Sci-Fi Comedy Time Warp.” On tap, in order: The Mel Brooks’ spoof “Spaceballs,” the “Star Trek”-inspired comedy “Galaxy Quest,” the Tim Burton satire “Mars Attacks!,” and the mid-Eighties creature feature “Critters.” Gates at 6:30 p.m. Movies begin at sundown. $25 per car. See here for more info.

Kiese Laymon and Elizabeth Gilbert at MIFA’s “Our City, Our Story,” Tuesday:

Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”) and Kiese Laymon (“Heavy”) became literary stars via soul-baring memoirs. They’ll be in conversation for the first time for MIFA’s “Our City, Our Story,” grappling with the concept of “coming together” in the aftermath of COVID. We talked to both authors here. 11:25 a.m. $25. See here to buy tickets. 

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