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The To-Do List: Christmas creep, Reba, and Cory Branan’s album release

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

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This week, Devan Shimoyama discusses his portraits of queer Black men, a Memphis publishing icon signs his first novel and a pop-up offers Thanksgiving dinner without the meat.

Reading and book signing with Bob Towery at Burke’s Book Store, Thursday:

Burke’s Book Store will host a reading and book signing for Bob Towery’s debut novel, “Magnolia Song: A Saga of the New South,” on Nov. 17. (The Daily Memphian file)


Memphis Magazine founder and creator of Towery Publishing Bob Towery’s debut novel, “Magnolia Song: A Saga of the New South,” tells the story of two Memphis families whose intertwined fates spiral out of control over four generations of heartbreak and renewal. You can learn even more about Towery (including the two times he swam across the Mississippi River) on The Daily Memphian’s Sidebar podcast with host Eric Barnes. 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (reading begins at 6 p.m.) Free. 936 S. Cooper St. Click here for more information. — Bianca Phillips

“Reharvest Memphis” dinner at Grind City Brewing Co., Thursday:

Clean Memphis will host its annual “Reharvest Memphis” dinner at Grind City Brewing Co.. on Nov. 17. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian) 

In the United States, between 30 and 40% of the food supply is wasted each year, according to the USDA. The annual “Reharvest Memphis” dinner, hosted by Clean Memphis, shines a light on that waste as local chefs (all female this year!) create hors d’oeuvres using surplus ingredients gleaned from grocery stores. The line-up includes Sarah Cai of Good Fortune Co., Jess Hewlette of For The Kingdom and Vittles Cuisines, Monique Williams of Biscuits & Jams and Jazmine Coke of Tsunami (all Project Green Fork-certified businesses). Grind City Brewing beer, wine, and signature cocktails and mocktails are included in the ticket price. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. $75. 76 Waterworks Ave. Click here for tickets. — Phillips

“Chuck Berry” book signing at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Thursday:

Author RJ Smith will sign “Chuck Berry: An American Life” at the Stax Museum on Nov. 17. In this file photo, Chuck Berry performed in concert during the 1970s. (Jeffrey Mayer/Rock Negatives / MediaPunch/IPX/AP file)

In 2012, music writer RJ Smith penned one of the most highly regarded of musician biographies with “The One,” about James Brown. With his new book, “Chuck Berry: An American Life,” he tackles another of the country’s greatest popular artists. Smith will be in town to promote the book at the Stax Museum. 7 p.m. Free. 926 E. McLemore Ave. See here for more info. — Chris Herrington


Reba McEntire at FedExForum, Thursday:

Reba McEntire plays FedExForum on Nov. 17. In this photo, McEntire performed a tribute to the late singer Loretta Lynn during the 56th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. (Mark Humphrey/AP file photo)

She’s not Dolly Parton because no one else in this world is, but Reba McEntire has made for a pretty worthy next-generation inheritor. A daughter of Oklahoma who’s never lost her prairie twang, she’s a true country singer with longevity, having now charted country singles in six different decades since her late 1970s debut. And she’s had beyond-music, cross-cultural appeal, appearing in movies, on Broadway, with her own eponymous sitcom and inspiring devotion from rodeos (as the daughter and granddaughter of world champion steer ropers) to drag shows. She’ll be at a basketball arena this week, commanding the FedExForum stage with opener Terri Clark. 7:30 p.m. Tickets starting at $26. See here for more info. — Herrington

Christmas at Graceland at Graceland Mansion, Thursday-Saturday:

Graceland will flip the switch on their holiday light display on Nov. 17, and there are holiday events happening there all weekend. (Courtesy Graceland)

Graceland is all aboard the Christmas creep bandwagon, and they’re officially turning their lights on a week before Thanksgiving. The light switch will be flipped on Graceland’s extensive blue holiday display, the same one initially displayed by Elvis Presley back in the day, on Thursday at 6 p.m. in a free event. The marketing folks at Graceland are calling for a 100% chance of snow, so we’re guessing that means you can expect the white stuff, real or not (it’s not). On Friday at the Graceland Soundstage, there’s a concert of Elvis’ 2003 “Christmas Peace” album hosted by John Paul Keith with guest performers Katrina Anderson, Nicole Atkins, Peedy Chavez, Jesse Kramer, John Nemeth and the TN Mass Choir. On Saturday at 10 a.m., Whitehaven’s annual Christmas parade, hosted by the Academy for Youth Improvement, kicks off at 10 a.m. And on Saturday night, there’s another Graceland Soundstage concert: Dean Z’s Rockin’ Christmas Show featuring rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly and swing Christmas classics. Graceland Mansion is at 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd.; Graceland Soundstage is at 3717 Elvis Presley Blvd. Click here for more information. — Phillips

“It’s Giving” Vegan Thanksgiving at Wiseacre Brewing Co. OG, Friday:

Nineteen years ago, I went vegan on the day after Thanksgiving (after having been vegetarian for 10 years), and well, things weren’t easy. Vegan cheeses tasted like rubber. Plant meats often came in a can (I’m looking at you, Loma Linda FriChik). And vegans were always the butt of the joke at the holiday table. But here we are in 2022, and “plant-based” is finally cool (and the vegan cheeses aren’t too bad either). Vegan options abound in Memphis these days, and three plant-based businesses — Vegan Goddess, Chef Avery ENT and R.I.C.H. Health LLC — are coming together to host a vegan Thanksgiving pop-up with “turkey” and gravy, plant-based fried chicken, dairy-free baked mac & cheese, sweet potato pie ice cream, fresh juices and much more. (Just try to make a joke out of that, crazy uncle.) 4 to 9 p.m. Menu items are a la carte and range from $3 to $9 each. 2783 Broad Ave. Click here to see the full menu. — Phillips


Devan Shimoyama’s “Anthonies.” (Courtesy Clough-Hanson Gallery)

Devan Shimoyama artist talk at Rhodes College, Friday:

Work by Philadelphia native and Yale and Penn State fine arts graduate Devan Shimoyama is appearing in the Clough-Hanson Gallery’s “Portraits of Rhodes” exhibition, which seeks to contextualize historic portraits while exploring the future of the art form. Shimoyama falls into the latter category with his evocative works that feature queer Black men, inspired by classical mythology and spirituality and adorned with jewels and vivid colors. The gallery calls this depiction of queer and Black American cultures’ intersections “celebratory and complicated.” The talk takes place in room 318 of the college’s Clough Hall (campus map here). Noon. Free. 2000 N. Parkway. — Elle Perry

Editor’s Note: This talk was originally scheduled for Thursday and was rescheduled due to travel delays.

Art openings at Crosstown Arts, opening Friday:

Artist Janaye Brown’s “Summer in Shanghai” will open at Crosstown Arts on Nov. 18, along with exhibitions of work by Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo and Katrina Perdue. (Janaye Brown/Courtesy Crosstown Arts)

Crosstown Arts will host openings for three separate art shows on Friday night. In the east gallery, former Crosstown Arts resident artist Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo will present new works in “Those Who Hold Dominion Here.” Cornejo’s sculptures in the show take inspiration from serpents in Incan mythology and Southern snakes. In the west gallery, textile artist Katrina Perdue’s “Mending in a State of Abundance” explores the emotional and physical labor of caring for loved ones, including oneself, through repaired personal and found objects. And in the screening room, film artist Janaye Brown will present “Summer in Shanghai,” an art film highlighting what she calls the “pregnant moments” she observes in everyday life. Opening runs from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibitions will be on view through March 5. 1350 Concourse Ave. Click here for more information on Cornejo, here for more info on Perdue, or here for more on Brown. — Phillips


The Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees at the Museum of Science and History, opening Saturday:

MOSH’s Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees opens on Nov. 19. (Courtesy MOSH)

Again with the Christmas creep. But that’s okay. MOSH’s annual enchanted forest is a Memphis holiday must-do. The Pink Palace Mezzanine (yes, it’s still called that) will be filled with a forest of themed trees, like the “Wizard of Oz” tree or the Memphis Tigers tree. Some are professionally decorated, while others are decorated by volunteers. Besides the trees, there are wintry scenes with elves, penguins and teddy bears. And of course, Santa will be there for your holiday selfies. On view through December 24. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. 3050 Central Ave. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Mid-South Trans Resource Fair at Black Lodge, Saturday:

OUTMemphis and Memphis Trans Love are hosting this resource fair for the local transgender community from noon to 5 p.m. with free barber services, hair styling, nail services, bra fittings, mental health care providers, COVID-19 and monkeypox vaccinations, lawyers assisting with name and gender marker changes and more. At 5 p.m., there’s a free community dinner, and at 9 p.m., local drag performer/artist Moth Moth Moth will host “Rainbow Rumble” — a competition-style drag show — and karaoke. Free. 405 N. Cleveland St. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Cory Branan at Hernando’s Hideaway, Saturday:

Last month, Memphis singer-songwriter Cory Branan released his sixth album and first since 2017 with “When I Go Ghost,” and he’ll play his first local show since the release at Hernando’s Hideaway, the historic Graceland-area roadhouse reborn recently in quite cool fashion by relocated honky-tonker Dale Watson. An ambitious but conversational songwriter with a rootsy musicality, Branan is one of the children of John Prine in the modern they-call-it-Americana scene. 7 p.m., $20. 3210 Old Hernando Rd. See here for more info. — Herrington

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