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The To-Do List: Ballet, balloons, brews and Tabitha Brown

Welcome back to The To-Do List, where Daily Memphian staffers suggest their favorite events and activities for the coming week.

This week, Mempho brings Americana star Jason Isbell to Radians Amphitheater, Al Kapone plays a free show at the Overton Park Shell and the Cooper-Young Festival is back.

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“A Chat With Tabitha Brown” at Brown Missionary Baptist Church, Friday:

Tabitha Brown will speak at Brown Missionary Baptist Church on Friday, Sept. 16. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP file)


Vegan queen Tabitha Brown will be back in Memphis this weekend for an evening chat hosted by radio personality Sherry Mackey and moderated by Tracy Bethea. If you’re not familiar with Brown, well, that’s your business. But the actress and viral TikTok star even had her own food and home decor line at Target, so she’s kind of a big deal, m’kay baby? The event, hosted by the YWCA Greater Memphis, is a fundraiser to support domestic violence survivors and the YMCA’s DV shelter. And as Brown says, “If you got somebody’s heart, baby, you got their ear.” Like so, like that. 7 p.m. $50 to $100. 7200 Swinnea Road, Southaven. Click here for more information. — Bianca Phillips

Cooper-Young Festival 4-miler and Cooper Young Festival, Friday-Saturday:

The annual Cooper-Young Festival takes place this Saturday, Sept. 16. (Lucy Garrett/Special to The Daily Memphian file)

Cooper-Young Festival weekend always kicks off on Friday night with the Cooper-Young Festival 4-Miler, a party race through the historic Midtown neighborhood. Expect Fireball shots and lots of Memphis Made Brewing Co. beer. There’s also a post-race party with pizza and music from the Mighty Souls Brass Band. On Saturday, more than 130,000 people are expected at the day-long Cooper-Young Fest, where hundreds of vendors will be selling everything from original art and jewelry to handmade soaps and candles. Plus, there will be live music from Switchblade Kid, Avon Park, Skiff, Raneem Imam, Max Kaplan and the Magics and Doug MacLeod, among others, on two stages. Race starts at 7 p.m. on Friday. Registration is $40. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Festival entry is free. Click here for more festival info. — Phillips

“The Crucible” at Theatre Memphis, Friday:

I saw Goody Proctor with the devil. And I saw you enjoying a show at the theater. Dive into Arthur Miller’s 1953 American classic set in the late 17th century, where it seems witchcraft has overtaken a colony — or has it? All is not as it seems in Massachusetts Bay. Against the backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials, this town is headed to desolation after a group of girls take turns accusing fellow colony members of witchcraft to avoid confessing to their own love, lust and jealousy. The play woefully depicts the harsh consequences of blind faith and baseless rumors, a punishing realization for readers in the ’50s as McCarthyism ravaged the country. 7:30 p.m. $25 for adults, $15 for students. Show runs until Oct. 1. For more information, click here. — Kelsey Bowen

Medical District Wellness Festival at Morris Park, Saturday:

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative will host a wellness festival at Morris Park on Saturday, Sept. 16. (Alicia Davidson/The Daily Memphian)


Wellness is sexy, right? Okay, maybe not. But it’s certainly important, and the Memphis Medical District Collaborative is making it more fun with this free, inaugural festival held in collaboration with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Healthcare pros will be on-hand at an “ask the docs” booth (beats Dr. Google!), and Vitalant will be conducting a blood drive. Plus, Memphis influencer/interior designer David Quarles IV will lead a Zumba class, Courtney Little and the Runway DJ will perform live music and there’s a kids’ zone with a bouncy house, face painting and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 747 Poplar Ave. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Oktoberfest at Soul & Spirits Brewery, Saturday:

Perry Allen and Ryan Allen are co-founders of Soul & Spirits Brewery on North Main Street. The brewery will host Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 16. (Patrick Lantrip/The Daily Memphian file)

Prost! Let’s drink because Oktoberfest has come early to Downtown Memphis. Soul & Spirits Brewery is hosting one of my favorite German celebrations, and they’re bringing contests, bratwursts and, of course, beer! There will be stein-holding competitions for men and women at 3 and 7 p.m., a crosscut saw competition, and, most importantly, a dog costume contest. As for the beer — ah, the beer — Soul & Spirits will be releasing its Danke Oktoberfest lager, which is inspired by “I Thank You” from Stax’s very own Sam & Dave, so it’s the perfect blend of Memphis and Oktoberfest. And what’s Oktoberfest without the food? AlBee’s Food Truck will supply brats and pretzels, while Hot-n-Heavy Memphis Dogs brings the, you guessed it, hot dogs! Pro tip: Parking is scarce, so it’s best to take an Uber (especially if you’re drinking!) 1 to 10 p.m. Free to attend. 845 N Main St. Click here for more information. — Bowen

Memphis Brewfest at Memphis Sports & Event Center, Saturday:

Conveniently scheduled toward the end of the Cooper-Young Festival, this year’s BrewFest is within walking distance of the Cooper-Young neighborhood at an all-new location. It’s billed as the “biggest beer festival in the Mid-South” and features samples of more than 100 beers, seltzers and spiked ciders. There are also vendors (if Cooper-Young Fest hasn’t already taken all your money), a DJ, yard games, food for sale and something called a “Jameson Irish Whiskey activation experience.” 3 to 6 p.m. $45 general admission or $65 with a fast pass. 995 Early Maxwell Blvd. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Collierville Balloon Festival on Maynard Way, Saturday-Sunday:

The Collierville Balloon Festival will be held on Maynard Way Saturday through Sunday, Sept. 16-17. (Brad Vest/Specual to The Daily Memphian file)


More than 20 hot-air balloons will be on display at this annual festival, which also features live entertainment, carnival rides, midway games, arts and crafts for sale and food vendors. Weather permitting, the balloons will ascend at dawn on both days, and that’s free to watch. The festival itself opens at 3 p.m. each day, and — again — weather permitting, you can actually take a ride on a tethered balloon for $20. 3 to 10 p.m. Single day festival tickets are $8 for kids or $15 for adults; weekend passes are $15 for kids and $25 for adults. Click here to see a map and learn more. — Phillips

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at Radians Amphitheater, Saturday:

Jason Isbell, shown here at Mempho Music Festival in 2022, will play Live at the Garden on Saturday, Sept. 16. (Patrick Lantrip/The Daily Memphian file)

Twenty years ago, when a young Isbell debuted as the third singer-songwriter-guitarist for Southern road-warrior rockers the Drive-By Truckers, who could have seen this coming? Now a solo artist and bandleader, Isbell has arguably become the signature figure in what’s been dubbed “Americana,” while writing songs for the recent “A Star is Born” remake, getting his own HBO documentary, and, coming up, acting in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” That journey has Memphis roots, with Isbell as a former University of Memphis student, and over the years he’s played pretty much every stage in town, from small clubs to big festivals. He adds a new one with this Mempho Presents show at the Memphis Botanic Garden. You can also catch Isbell earlier in the day, live in the studio on WYXR 91.7 FM from 10 a.m. to noon. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for Isbell & the 400 Unit’s concert. Lonnie Holley opens. $72.85. 750 Cherry Road. See here for more info. — Chris Herrington

Al Kapone at the Overton Park Shell, Saturday:

Al Kapone will play at the Overton Park Shell on Saturday, Sept. 16. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file) 

It’s Al Kapeezy, oh boy! Get ready to “Get Crunk, Get Buck” because Mr. “Whoop That Trick” himself will perform a free show as part of the Orion Concert Series. Arrive early, and you’ll catch two pre-show performances: Ayan Alexiss at 5:45 p.m. and Blue Bunch at 6:50 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies reps will be on-hand with swag and a chance to win two free tickets to a pre-season game. 7 p.m. Free. Click here for more information. — Phillips


Memphis Dance Festival at Collage Dance Collective, Saturday:

The Memphis Dance Festival will feature three ballet companies, Lil’ Buck, the Grizz Girls and others at Collage Dance Collective’s studio on Saturday, Sept. 16. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file)

The Dance Data Project revealed last month its analysis of the largest ballet companies in the country by revenue. As it turns out, three of the largest 50 are in Tennessee. On Saturday, you can catch performances from members of all three groups — Collage Dance Collective, Ballet Memphis and Nashville Ballet — in one setting and for the low price of free. At the third annual event, you can also catch the largest ballet company on Dance Data Project’s list — New York City Ballet, as well as San Francisco’s Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Washington, D.C.'s Sole Defined, Memphis’ Lil Buck, the Grizz Girls and more. New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Band will perform. The event also features vendors and food trucks. Noon to 4 p.m. Free admission. 505 Tillman St. Click here for more information. — Elle Perry

Tyke T and Friends Present: Ten Years of Driven at the Orpheum Theatre, Sunday:

Memphis hip-hop artist Tyrone “Tyke T” Stroble performed at the 2023 Beale Street Music Festival in early May. In 2021, he released his latest project, “Written by Tyke T,” which features several Memphis singers performing R&B songs that Stroble wrote, in addition to him rapping on the project. This year, Stroble is celebrating a decade since the release of his debut EP, “The Overlooked,” on his DrivenByMusic label. Singer Izzy Moore and rappers St.Courts and Moe Javi join Stroble for the nostalgic occasion. 7 p.m. (sharp). $25. 203 S. Main St. Click here for tickets/more information. — Perry

Permission Party: Alex Wong Listening and Tasting Party at Imagine Vegan Cafe, Tuesday:

Musician Alex Wong will play songs from his new album as guests dine on Chinese-inspired dishes at Imagine Vegan Cafe on Tuesday, Sept. 19. (Alex Berger/Courtesy Alex Wong)

Singer-songwriter Alex Wong is holding a series of listening and tasting parties in several cities to celebrate the release of his new album, “Permission.” And on Tuesday, the tour stops at Imagine Vegan Cafe. The menu features six Chinese-inspired dishes that Wong has created to complement the six tracks on the album. He’ll share a personal story about each course, and then he’ll premiere the accompanying track as guests enjoy the dish. Proceeds from the Permission Parties will benefit groups fighting for AAPI safety and visibility via The Quiet Voice Fund. Regular price tickets are $80, and there’s an equity ticket for those who cannot afford the full price. VIP add-ons come with a cookbook and the album and are an additional $40. 7 to 10 p.m. 2158 Young Ave. Click here for tickets. — Phillips

Goo Goo Dolls at BankPlus Amphitheater, Wednesday:

Goo Goo Dolls, featuring frontman John Rzeznik (pictured), will play BankPlus Amphitheater in Southaven on Wednesday, Sept. 20. (The Daily Memphian file)

Nineties alt-rockers Goo Goo Dolls may be best-known for 1998’s “Iris” and “Slide,” but John Rzeznik and company are still making new music. Their latest album, “Chaos in Bloom” (the first of the Goo Goo’s albums to be produced by Rzeznik), was just released last month, and you’ll surely hear those 10 new tracks at Wednesday’s show. But that leaves plenty of room for all the hits you know all the words to. With opening act Fitz and The Tantrums. 7 p.m. $54 to $94. 6285 Snowden Lane, Southaven. Click here for more information. — Phillips

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