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The Weekly Memphian: ‘The Awful Truth,’ Soul Cinema 6, Songwriters Week and more

By Updated: February 13, 2019 9:04 AM CT | Published: February 12, 2019 11:36 AM CT

The Weekly Memphian is a partial guide to things happening in Memphis, recommended by Daily Memphian staff. This guide covers Feb. 13-19.

Wednesday

“The Awful Truth” at Studio on the Square: This too-under-recognized 1937 Hollywood classic has Leo McCarey behind the camera and Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in front of it for cinema's signature “comedy of remarriage.” Grant and Dunne are married socialites whose tres moderne understanding of monogamy splits them apart in a barbed rivalry that (not much of a spoiler here) eventually brings them back together. The awful truth, of course, is that they need each other. Largely improvised and far naughtier than what most associate with “old movies.” One of the greatest romantic comedies. This is a one-off pre-Valentine’s Day Indie Memphis screening, with The Commercial Appeal’s John Beifuss introducing the film. – Chris Herrington

7 p.m. $10. 2105 Court Ave.

Cities Aviv, Outside Source, Composer 4 at The Hi-Tone: Many artists are direct in their messaging, wearing their influences on their sleeves. Representatives from local experimental label Total Works aren’t those kinds of artists. These guys have cultivated an audience of fans who appreciate a hazy, foggy, sometimes abrasive sound that, for some might sound like literal noise. For those in the know, however, the collective of artists have a unique perspective on the audibly unknown, blended with something vaguely nostalgic. If none of that makes sense to you, then you’re in the majority. But, if you’re curious, the shadowy label’s upcoming showcase at The Hi-Tone is a worthwhile primer for understanding how the conventions of music’s digital age can be twisted into submission. – Jared Boyd

8 p.m. $10. 412 N. Cleveland St.

Friday

Urban Art Commission Open House and Gallery Show: Urban Art Commission’s first open house gallery show features Brian R. Jobe and artwork from several Memphis-based artists. Jobe is co-director of Nashville-based Locate Arts and Seed Space. The Memphis artists exhibited are Kong Wee Pang, Khara Woods, Yancy Villa-Calvo, Joseph Boyd, Larry Walker, Greely Matt, Darlene Newman, Tobacco Brown, Lindsey Bailey, Lester Merriweather, Carl Scott, Desmond Lewis and Danielle Sierra. This gallery show will kick off a series of gallery shows in UAC’s space, located in the Crosstown neighborhood. – Elle Perry

6-8 p.m. 422 N. Cleveland St.

“Kenturah Davis + Desmond Lewis,” “Every American Thing, “New Work by Coriana Close” and “Recent Acquisitions: Friends of the Brooks Museum of Art” at Crosstown Arts: Crosstown Arts is opening four shows simultaneously. Delta Axis and Speed Space are presenting the Davis/Lewis show, in Crosstown Art’s West Gallery. Davis, who uses portraiture and design, works between Los Angeles; New Haven, Connecticut, and Accra, Ghana. Lewis is a Memphis-based sculptor, originally from Nashville. “Every American Thing,” featuring works created by Memphis-based visual artist Lester Merriweather, will be shown in Crosstown Arts’ East Atrium. In Crosstown Arts’ Screening Room on view will be new video art from Coriana Close. Close is an associate professor of photography at the University of Memphis and works in still photography and layered video. And in Crosstown Arts’ East Gallery will be “Recent Acquisitions: Friends of the Brooks Museum of Art,” curated by Lester Merriweather. That exhibition features work from Radcliffe Bailey, Kevin Beasley, Sanford Biggers, Torkwase Dyson, Lawrence Matthews III, Merriweather, Carl Moore, Ebony Patterson, Sheila Pree Bright and Ernest Withers.

Opening receptions for “Kenturah Davis + Desmond Lewis,” “Every American Thing,” “New Work by Coriana Close” and “Recent Acquisitions: Friends of the Brooks Museum of Art” will be held 6-8 p.m. Feb. 15. Crosstown Arts’ Art Bar will have a special cocktail night, “Salute & Sip: For the Love of Soul Music,” during and after the receptions.

The Davis/Lewis panel discussion is scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 16. Brian R. Jobe will serve as moderator. – Perry

1350 Concourse Ave. #280

“Spring Mix” at Ballet Memphis’ Fly Studio: Opening Feb. 15, and continuing on weekends until Feb. 24, Ballet Memphis’ “Spring Mix” features three original works. Two of the works are from past seasons. “Dew Point,” by Julia Adam, debuted in 2011 and includes 1940s swimsuits and music by Louis Armstrong, Camille Saint-Saens, Natalie Merchant, Kate and Anna McGarrigle and Philip Glass. “Flyway,” created by Ballet Memphis associate artistic director Steve McMahon, is inspired by the migratory Mississippi Flyway birds and debuted in 2014. Finally, “Heartwoods,” created by former Ballet Memphis dancer Rafael Ferreras, is inspired by trees and what could happen if humans take them for granted. It features music by Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Yo-Yo Ma, and John Denver. In addition to the performances, there is a free Spark! talk focused on environmental science at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. Tickets are available online, at the Ballet Memphis box office or by calling 901-737-7322. – Perry

Various times. $15 matinee, $25 evenings. 2144 Madison Ave.

Saturday

“Invisible: Imprints of Racism” at Clayborn Temple: Boston-based behearld.world combines performing arts, film and advocacy work. “Invisible: Imprints of Racism” includes nine dancers, three spoken-word poets – and music – in an hour-long performance. – Perry

6 p.m. $15 ($5 for children under 12). 294 Hernando St.

“Soul Cinema 6: Nobody Messes with Pam Grier!” at Malco Summer Drive-In: The Time-Warp Drive-In series returns with this double-feature tribute to one of the signature stars of the so-called blaxploitation era. The second-half of the bill is “Coffy,” Grier’s 1973 starring breakthrough in which she plays a nurse turned vigilante after her sister falls victim to drug dealers. (Tagline: “The baddest One-Chick Hit Squad that ever hit town!”) The lead movie, though, is director Quentin Tarantino’s 1995 modern masterpiece “Jackie Brown,” where he adapts Elmore Leonard’s crime novel “Rum Punch” into a Grier tribute, casting the actress as a down-on-her-luck stewardess negotiating a tough situation with (mostly) untrustworthy men on both sides of the law. A subdued, surprising follow-up to Tarantino’s flashy breakthrough “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown” is an empathetic film about a black woman written and directed by a white man, but even more so it’s a film about aging from a young filmmaker. There’s an argument to be made that it remains Tarantino’s best. He builds a monument – both worshipful and worn-in – to his actress, and she proves very worthy of it. – Herrington

Starts at dusk. $10 per person. 5310 Summer Ave.

Sunday

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram at Growlers: Memphis does its fair share of condescending to other cities regarding one of our most coveted exports: blues music. It is important, though, to do so with caution. Because without the Mississippi Delta, we’d be a neighboring big city with a lot less soul. Thusly, if ever there was an occasion to roll out the red carpet, it should be to welcome one of the most notable true, young Mississippi bluesmen, direct from Clarksdale, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Barely into his 20s, he’s already known worldwide as one of the nastiest guitar slayers on the planet right now. So, you’d do well to practice your stank face in the mirror before attending to see him solo live and in person. You’ll be needing it. – Boyd

7-10 p.m. $12. 1911 Poplar Ave.

Tuesday

Songwriters Week Open Mic Night Memphis at Lafayette’s Music Room: The inaugural Tennessee Songwriters Week begins Feb. 17. Hosted by Nashville’s The Bluebird Café, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Tennessee Songwriters Week is a series of four open mic nights across the state. At each stop, a panel of local judges will select the night’s best songwriter. That person will get to perform March 31 at The Bluebird Café. Barbara Cloyd, the café’s longtime open mic host, will host the events in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Johnson City. – Perry

6 p.m. (doors open). $3, first come, first served. 2119 Madison Ave.

Topics

Urban Art Commission Crosstown Arts Ballet Memphis Locate Arts Total Works

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